If you’re having your stage custom built from scratch, there are certain elements you have to consider to ensure your stage performs as required for your event. Bespoke stage design will require you to consider the following points.
Type of stage
When considering the type of stage you need, think about the purpose of the stage: will it be used for introducing a new product, or for presenting an award? Alongside this, consider the specifications of the event: is the event indoors or outdoors? How many people will be onstage and how much weight must it bear? There are many types of event staging to choose from, including: modular, mobile, and scaffold. Modular staging is manufactured with the intention of being constructed easily onsite. Mobile staging is designed to be moved around as the event moves from one location to another. Scaffold staging uses steel or aluminium framing for reinforced strength and stability.
Size of stage
To calculate the size of the stage you require (including height, width, and depth), consider what will be happening on stage – how much space is needed? Take into account space for props, a screen, and rigging for audio and lighting. This should be considered in conjunction with the size of the room.
Where the stage will be located within the venue not only dictates the size of the stage, but the type of stage and shape of the stage.
Although it is typical for a stage to be constructed at the front of a venue, this is not a hard and fast rule. Feel free to get creative – place the stage in the centre of the room, for example. However, also consider this within the context of best serving your event; for instance, if you’re hosting a product release, and a 360° view of the product will be more engaging for attendees, place your stage where 360° access is viable.
A proximity of around 1.5 metres from the stage to the first row of attendees is also recommended, to ensure that attendees are engaged within the event and activities on stage.
Moreover, don’t forget to consider where the power sources for your stage are located, as well as obstructions such as pillars, as this may dictate where the stage can be placed.
Don’t forget about the details! When designing your stage, you should include safe disability access onto and off the stage. You should also consider if sight lines or the visibility of the stage are affected from where any disabled attendees may be seated.
Marking entry and exit points
For both indoor events and outdoor venues, it is crucial to keep all fire exits clear, meaning the location, size, and type of your stage should not block fire exits. The same applies with entry and exit points in general – there should be enough entry and exit points so as to disperse dense crowds safely. These points must also be clearly marked, even in the dark.
Safety is a huge requirement when considering the staging requirements for events. The responsibility of the health and safety of attendees, speakers and presenters, and service people involved in an event, falls with the event organiser. Therefore, it is of great importance you consider all safety aspects involved in event staging.
The safety of the stage will of course be considered by the event construction company selected to design, manufacture, and construct the stage if this is applicable.
Despite this, as an event organiser, you are required to complete a written risk assessment, which clearly identifies potential hazards and the measures which will be taken to control or eliminate the risks associated.
Stage construction and set up
Some of the safety risks associated with event staging include staging construction and set up. The stage should be constructed so that it is self-supporting and stable, even with a load placed on it. The maximum load for the stage should also be outlined and adhered to, to ensure the stage does not break or become damaged during the event, which could injure attendees.
Additionally, any coverings on the stage should be sufficiently secured to prevent an accident such as tripping. The steps or ramps up to the stage must also be non-slip and stable to prevent accidents occurring.
You may need to consider stage barriers if you anticipate crowd density; stage barriers are designed to retain audience pressure and can prevent people climbing onto the stage, but should only be used where appropriate.
Stage lighting and audio
Technology used in conjunction with staging can potentially cause hazards and should be considered whilst undertaking risk assessments.
Part of your risk assessment includes a fire risk assessment. One of the greatest safety concerns surrounding technology on stage is a fire outbreak. To prevent this, soft goods should be kept away from the lighting and non-flammable goods should be used where possible in staging.
Supporting cables must also be sufficient to support overhead lighting and equipment, so that they don’t break and fall.
There are many staging requirements for events to consider – and even more so if you’re looking for a custom stage for your event. However, by having a clear idea of the necessary specifications for your stage, and considering these alongside health and safety concerns, you should be able to produce an expansive and informative brief from which an event production company can design and construct your perfect stage.
You can approach the IMA professional team with a simple photograph of your stage concept. By utilising reverse engineering methods, the IMA stage design team will convert your concept into a CAD file and will include all design considerations such as stage type and size. Following the design phase, our construction team will build your event stage. All you have to do is contact us, and the rest will be handled by the IMA team, allowing you to concentrate your energy and attention on other aspects of your event while remaining confident in the stage design and build outcome.