Think about some of the most memorable events you’ve been to. What made the scene stand out to you? Was it the speaker’s charisma? Or was it something more tangible, like an incredible stage design that immediately pulled you in? While some stages (especially those for meetings or corporate events) tend to feel rather lackluster and uninspired, others quite literally set the stage and tone for the entire event with their drama and presence. Chances are that if you’ve been wowed by a stage design in the past, there were scenic elements at play that helped give serious visual interest to the look and feel of the stage.
Most modern events stage designs have a few basic elements. There is the stage, of course, as well as some type of large-format display (either one or multiple screens), and then usually a curtain or backdrop to help remove any distractions and focus the audience’s attention on the speaker. This basic setup will also push lighting against the drape to give it some visual depth and interest. If you’re thinking back to most corporate events and meetings you’ve attended, this is probably the extent of stage design you’ve experienced in a more ‘corporate context.’
But why do so many event designers choose to leave their stages with this bare minimum design? In most cases, it’s because they are either concerned about the cost impact or they are simply unaware of what else is out there in the realm of scenic stage elements. The good news, for both stage designers and corporate event managers, is that there are plenty of options available to elevate the look of a stage set, and thus the look and feel of an event. Pull some inspiration from different textures below!
Taking scenic elements to the next level
While cost is certainly a valid consideration when expanding your stage design, scenic elements don’t have to be expensive. First, there are a ton of options out there for rental backdrop elements, which is a great option for organizations who are still tweaking branding or messaging options. Additionally, having custom branded panels or backdrops produced isn’t as expensive as it might seem. Just make sure to brand it to you and not the specific event and you can use it over and over again, making the expense worth it.
Let’s also consider the purpose of scenic backdrops. They allow set designers to:
- Frame in the stage to provide deeper visual interest
- Focus audience attention on the presenter and content being discussed
- Transport the audience outside of the event hall
- Deliver relevant visual connections and assist with storytelling
- Create a sense of immersion and world-building
So how can designers and event marketing managers achieve these same results without raising costs? When looking at options for scenic backdrops and set pieces, take care in selecting your material to ensure it soaks up light well. Adding in additional lighting features is typically an inexpensive way to add more depth to a backdrop, but only if the materials are well thought out. Additional lighting features allow you to incorporate colorful scenic pieces for relatively little investment.
Outside of lighting, there are other more ‘unusual’ scenic elements that you can incorporate into your next stage design to elevate storytelling to the next level. Think about adding 3D elements to the stage itself, such as a shed or door frame for the speakers to enter and exit through. It’s an unusual, unexpected addition that can easily transport the audience to a number of different places. Plus, it’s something they’ll remember for a long time.
If you’re looking to take your stage design to the next level, the team at Bluewater can help. We’re passionate about bringing creative ideas to life to capture your audience’s attention. Want to learn more? Let's talk!