What a Stage Manager Brings to Your Live, Virtual, or Hybrid Event
3 min. read
Having a stage manager on your team for your organization's event can often make a world of difference. Imagine the day of your event. Just offstage is that person with a headset, clipboard, and a calm, confident look. Their gestures to the speakers are relaxed, and presenters heed their direction, being gently guided to the correct places. This is your stage manager.
When To Hire A Seasoned Stage Manager
If your event features more than one presenter or requires a stage change, as with a panel discussion, you may need a stage manager. As the number of people entering and exiting the stage increases, so does the chance that something could go wrong.
Ensuring a successful event is already challenging, especially now that 63% of event professionals see hybrid events as the future. Hybrid events have added complexity with both virtual and in-person components, like strict safety requirements and robust audio-visual (AV) technology demands. Virtual or hybrid events can also benefit heavily from the presence of a stage manager to stay on top of the situation and ensure appropriate movement.
Whether your event is live, virtual or hybrid, the value of a seasoned stage manager is incalculable. They will keep things moving smoothly by tackling hiccups, watching for problems and delegating tasks. The job requires a keen eye and an experienced stage manager has had years to develop that experience and understand the nuances of live event management. Another overlooked benefit is freeing up your team to focus on the content and goals achievement of your event.
In short, a stage manager can be the difference between an event that flops and one that helps you meet your business goals, like sales or expanded reach. This article explores just a few ways a live event manager can help your event really shine.
What Does a Stage Manager Do?
While a stage manager wears many hats, their primary goal is to coordinate all the moving parts to ensure your presenters flow smoothly and capture every audience member’s attention. Throughout the event, your stage manager will:
Juggle chaos while maintaining a sense of personal calm.
Be highly detail-oriented.
Function as a second set of eyes and ears.
Stand ready only a few steps offstage to ensure your event runs smoothly.
Before the Event
Your stage manager is involved long before you open your doors. Their familiarity with the event is key to a successful presentation — they need to understand their environment and your goals to inform on-the-fly decision making and smooth transitions.
To get that sense of familiarity, your stage manager will spend some time preparing for the event by:
Rehearsing every presentation with the speakers and the event producer.
Learning names, titles and roles to ensure a level of familiarity once the event starts.
Reviewing the AV technology.
Explaining how the technology works.
Explaining how technology will look to the audience when they are using it correctly.
As your partner throughout the event, the event manager will work to have a complete understanding of the event and your goals for it before it begins.
During the Event
The stage manager also maintains constant crew contact. They function as an air traffic controller for everyone involved in the live production. As part of this, they:
Maintain the contact and control of the stage flow from the technical side with the flow of the event in mind.
Make sure that the presenter can adapt to the problem and the presentation can go on as planned, in the unlikely event that something goes wrong.
Delegate necessary stage tasks to assistants via headset.
Here's a pro tip — a seasoned stage manager is also ready for the unscripted presenter, that expert on the topic at hand that might be called upon seemingly ad-hoc to answer a question or add information to the dialog.
The stage manager's constant contact ensures that there are always eyes and ears on the stage and that people, props and cues are in place. Put simply, experienced stage managers are more like master jugglers. They maintain awareness of every independent system that catalyzes show-stopping presentations and fold that into their management of the action on stage.
Stage Managers From HB Live
If you have a corporate event coming up, HB Live has experienced stage managers on hand to help you make the most of it. Our team's decades of experience optimizing events can help you meet your business goals and stay prepared for the uncertainties of live presentations. With state-of-the-art technology and seasoned stage managers at your side, we can help you rest easier. Let us take care of logistics so that you can focus on the message.