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Think about some of the most memorable events you’ve attended. 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 creative stage design in the past, there were scenic elements at play that helped give serious visual interest to the look and feel of the conference stage.

Most modern event stage designs have a few basic components. 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 stage backdrop to help remove any distractions and focus the audience’s attention on the speaker. This basic setup also pushes 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 planners and stage designers leave their stages with this bare minimum design? In most cases, a lack of stage decoration is because the designer is either concerned about the cost impact or they are simply unaware of what else is out there in the realm of scenic stage design 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 the different textures below!

Taking scenic elements to the next level

While cost is a valid consideration when expanding your stage design, scenic elements don’t have to be expensive. First, there are many options out there for rental backdrop elements, which is an excellent option for organizations who are still tweaking branding or messaging options. Additionally, getting custom-branded panels, signage, or backdrops 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 repeatedly, 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 the content being discussed
  • Transport the audience outside of the event space hall
  • Deliver relevant visual connections and assist with storytelling
  • Create a sense of immersion and world-building

So how can designers and event planning & 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 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. An experienced lighting design expert can help you with this.

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, such as adding scenery via projection mapping or adding a beautiful chandelier above the speaker to create a focal point. You can also add 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 several 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, with special focus given to your specific type of event. Want to learn more? Let’s talk!