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Stage Design Ideas for Your Next Event

Last updated July 28th, 2021

It is the most exciting and rewarding job on the planet. There is nothing quite like the buzz of delivering a live ‘show’ - often with no rehearsal - it's creative, energetic, intense & totally varied . No day is the same

Lorne Armstrong, Director, The Event Academy

Ask any event manager anywhere what element of an event makes the biggest impact and the majority will say stage design. Finding inspiration is one of the toughest asks for an event manager, so we thought we would help with some stage design ideas.

While only one element of a much larger undertaking, stage design is the one thing that influences the look and feel of the event, as well as how well the performance goes down.

Whether it’s a festival, live music event or round table, setting is key.

You can influence the mood, the receptiveness of the audience and how effective the entire event is at delivering on its goals.

If you need a little inspiration for stage design ideas for an upcoming event, we got you covered!

Stage design ideas

As we like to show as well as tell, we include some images to help you visualise what your event could look like.

Prisms of light

There’s nothing like plenty of light and colour in a setting to inspire or provoke interest. Prisms deliver that in spades. Whether you use an actual installation like the one pictured above or use lights to create the effect, this is definitely something to use in an event.

Colour can influence mood, which could be very useful for certain events. Change the colour to mark a new speaker or topic or have it as an installation to greet guests, we think they could work anywhere!


Mystic stage

Mystic or supernatural style stage designs aren’t just for plays or productions, they could be used for seasons, to simulate night, to create an eerie mood, to set the scene or something else entirely.

The example above is from Sleeping Beauty, a stage production, but it could provide inspiration for any type of event you’re planning.

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Roof projections

Projection is used a lot in stage design and with good reason. Done well, they can add an entirely different look and feel to an event space. Keep the projection simple and static to avoid distracting from the speaker or performer but make it striking enough to keep interest.

It’s a tough balance to strike, but as the example above shows, even a simple projection over the main event can help create atmosphere, generate conversation and make the event memorable.


Tech stage designs

This stage design idea was used in the 2018 World Electronic Sports Games event. It’s a deceptively simple design with complementing lighting, circuit boards on the rear set, uplights and downlights and an elevated stage.

This could be used for almost any type of event from presentations to performances, eSports to product reveals. All you would need to do would be design different backdrops and change the lights to create a completely different look and feel.

Bold room decorations

The design above is part of an overall scheme for a wedding event but could easily be used in something else. It’s a superb way to decorate a room and add interest to what otherwise might be a dull or dark area of an event space or entire stage.

A similar approach could be used to zone off event areas, add an atmospheric entrance walkway, or cover up unsightly areas of a space.

These settings don’t hide those aspects but they camouflage it enough that you don’t really see beams and empty walls.


Monochrome stage design idea

This is another deceptively simple stage event idea that could be configured to work for many types of events. While the example uses black and white, you could use colour, or not, in any way you like.

These installations could be used to direct traffic, to obscure surprises, to complement a wider theme or something else entirely. They provide an artsy look that is flexible enough to be tweaked for almost any purpose.

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Urban farm design

This urban farm stage design could work well for festivals or outside events. You could also bring the outside in if the space permits. This is a very simple but effective way to fill a space that could be ideal for guiding foot traffic, providing a surround for an eating area, provide a little greenery for an otherwise austere space or something else.

You could use cheap cardboard drums or have bespoke shapes manufactured depending on your chosen design.


Private pallets

On a similar theme, this use of old pallets could also work wonders for an outside event. They can work on stage, to wall off areas, provide somewhere quiet to sit and relax, a place to eat or drink or to get some shade.

Pallets are cheap and plentiful and very easy to prepare for use. They can also be recycled or reused afterwards too.

Paper ceilings

This paper ceiling is an excellent idea for covering huge empty roof spaces cheaply. They could work in any configuration you can think of, handle any colour, any shape or size and still deliver an awesome visual.

Have a stage or room that echoes? A paper ceiling like this can help solve audio issues while also providing astounding visuals and interest for attendees.


Making an entrance

Looking for a stage design idea to help make stairs or steps more interesting? Looking to start your event off in the right way? This effect from Poland’s National Gallery might help.

It’s a colourful floor made of paint splatters offering different colours directing people to different areas. This could perform double duty at an event by helping direct guests without being too obvious or using too many signs, while also setting the scene nicely.

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Fun with mirrors

Mirrors are incredibly useful in stage designs. This example of an art installation in East London is just one of many ways you can use mirrors creatively without repeating the same old themes.

This display is a work of genius but you can see how cheap and easy it could be to set up and how you could tweak it to your own theme or design. All while not giving guests anything to break or trip over.


Use shapes

This could be an excellent stage idea for concerts or corporate events. It’s a simple enveloping shape that makes you feel as though you’re part of the stage even when you’re in the audience.

Shape can be very powerful when done right and, as you can see here, change the colour, the pattern and include layers of effects and you could customise it to suit any type of event.


Blocks of colour

This final stage idea uses simpler shapes to create an entirely different effect. A mixture of coloured blocks, gradients, projections and effects creates a very engaging set design that could be useful for many types of events.

While this example has a lot going on, which could detract from more low key performances, higher energy acts could leverage a lot of engagement out of a stage design like this!

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