Having a stage manager on your team for a live event production can often be that difference. Imagine the day of your live event. Just off stage is that person with a headset, clipboard and a calm, confident look. Their gestures to the speakers are relaxed and presenters seem to heed their direction, being gently guided to the correct place. This is your Stage Manager.
When To Hire A Seasoned Stage Manager & What They Do
If your event features more than one presenter or requires a stage change – such as including a panel discussion, you may need a stage manager. As the number of people entering and exiting the stage increases, the greater the chance something could go wrong.
91% [of event planners] measure the success of their events on attendee satisfaction. 61% measure according to their specific event objectives and 60% determine results based on staying within budget. (EventMB, 2018).
The value of a seasoned stage manager is incalculable. This article explores just a few ways a live event manager can help your event really shine.
Stage managers must:
- 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 show runs smoothly.
The most essential job of a stage manager:
Coordinate all the moving parts to ensure your presenters flow smoothly and capture every audience member’s attention.
Your stage manager will spend time:
- Rehearsing every presentation with the speakers and the event producer.
- Learning names and 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.
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.
Constant Crew Contact
The stage manager also functions similarly to that of an air traffic controller for everyone involved in the live production.
- Maintain the contact and control of the stage flow from the technical side with the flow of show 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.
The 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, maintaining awareness of every independent system that catalyzes show stopping presentations and folding that into their management of the action on stage.