We’ve been involved in countless events over the years, and have noticed a few common mistakes that can lead to the event room being set up in a way that isn’t ideal for a performance. Here’s a look at what we think are the most common mistakes for setting up a room, and how to avoid them!
Mistake # 1: The Dance floor is in between the audience and the performer
Dance floors are great… who doesn’t love to dance? But if there’s entertainment that requires guests to be attentive, such as a magic show, then a dance floor can be a real hindrance. If the dance floor is positioned in front of the stage with the audience on the opposite side of it, this can disrupt the flow of the show and the energy of the room drastically. This is because magic shows require lots of interaction and intimacy between the performer and the crowd, which can become nearly impossible with a 25-foot gap between the two.
So, where should the dance floor go? In order to keep the energy up and to ensure the best possible performance, our suggestion is to have the dance floor off to the side or on the opposite side of the audience.
Mistake #2: Podiums are placed in the center of the stage
While podiums are necessary for speeches, it’s important for performers that the podiums aren’t in the center of the stage during the entertainment portion of the event. This is because podiums can block the full range of movement needed for the performer and any audience member he brings up on stage. They also block the sightlines of guests sitting on the sides of the crowd.
This can be remedied by either having the podium always positioned on the side of the stage for the whole event, or even better, allow it to be easily removed right before the show and then put back right after.
Mistake #3: Centerpieces are too tall
Although they look nice, large arrangements of flowers or balloons should be saved for the outskirts of the room. Having large pieces on tables (anything over 10-12 inches) will block a lot of the guests from seeing the action that’s happening on stage. Not only that, but it will also restrict guests sitting at opposite ends of a table from being able to interact with one another, as that large centerpiece would eliminate eye contact.
We’ve found that small flower bouquets add that subtle flair without taking away from anyone’s experience.
Mistake #4: Not having stairs up to the stage
At least one set of stairs leading from the stage to the audience is requested by nearly every performer. This enables both the performer and audience members to safely enter and exit the stage. We’ve seen situations where in order for guests to come onto the stage to help out in the show, they’ve had to walk all the way to the end of the ballroom, around the pipe and drape, through the backstage area, and then up the stairs leading from backstage which the speakers had been using. This takes up a lot of time and interrupts the flow of the event.
The safer and easier method would to have one set of stairs on either side of the stage, or just one in the center. The edges of each step should be clearly marked in neon tape to avoid any slips and falls.