17 Backdrops to Engage While You’re On Stage

Attendees are easily bored. Even with the best content, you want your stage set to look engaging. The last thing you want is for your audience to switch off and turn their gaze elsewhere.

You also want to ensure that your pictures look the bees knees when pictures of the speakers and performers are shared on social media.

Use a backdrop to keep attention focused and offer visual stimulation to go with the intellectual stimulation they are already getting. Backdrops offer an excellent opportunity to spruce up your staging and bring it to life but without overpowering what is happening on stage and can tie in with event themes and colors easily for cool effects.

From digital to stage dressing, here are some of the best backdrops that can engage the focus to the stage.

  1. Augmented Digital Mapping

During this performance, this backdrop creates an augmented experience with the performer being integrated into the scene. This digitally mapped dress flickers and changes with the backdrop to create a mesmerising show as the song progresses. This is a clever idea that keeps attention and is adaptable to the performance and different parts of the event.

Happy 18th Riana! This is one very talented girl! She delighted with a rendition of O Mio Babbino together with the Phil-harmonic Orchestra! I was astounded when she let out her very first note and started singing! Riana truly is very gifted… i like her taste; very simple, not over-the-top…. and I’m so happy to have worked again after so many years with none other than Director Robby Carmona! This is truly one memorable debut i won’t forget for a very long time.🤣😘😅#debut #royallyriana #thepeninsulamanila @thepeninsulamanila @rianavlago @pvlago #robbycarmona #events #eventstylist #granddebut #royalty #stagedesign #productiondesign #henrypascualeventstylist #henrypascualevents #henrypascual

Une publication partagée par Henry Pascual Events (@henrypascualeventstylist) le

Credit: Henry Pascual Events

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
  1. Enchanted Garden

As part of this event held by the American Association of Certified Wedding Planners (AACWP) the staging and backdrop mimicked an enchanted garden. With box hedges for the front of the stage and a grass wall installation at the back, it gave a depth like participants have just walked into a garden of their own. These giant fabricated flowers add elements of color into the backdrop while the custom signage is front and centre!

Credit: Branching Out Events, Artifacture Studios, Absolute Entertainment, Amy Karp, AACWP

  1. Signage Fabrics

If you want to keep it simple and get your message or cause out there, this is a cool idea for fundraising or charity events. The custom fabric sheet is clean cut and offers excellent branding opportunities for The Spieth Shootout and Charity Concert. It also can provide an easy way to incorporate the many sponsors for this fundraising event which, when the lights were on for the concert, were in plain view at the top of the fabric.

Credit: Encore Live

  1. Dramatic Cut-Outs

This Versace runway backdrop is powerful and adaptable for different stages of the show. As you can see here, the red lighting on the cut-out backdrop create silhouettes while the models work the runway but can later be changed as different themes or pieces are highlighted. Aside from creating cool photo opportunities like this, looming runway backdrops can be used as part of the performance. In this example, later in the show, models peered through different cut-out sections for a final performance and dramatic impact.

  1. Informal Lanterns

If you’re trying to give off an air of comfort and informality to put the audience (and presenters) at ease, something like this could be a good idea. The concertina divider transforms this small staging space and blocks off the corner of the venue to create a cosy and decorative backdrop. Combined with the lantern props providing a warm glow, this would be an excellent small conference or meeting idea with the facilitator or speaker sitting comfortably instead of standing.

Credit: Solijin M. Robles

  1. Lit Boxes

This intricate backdrop can create unique and adaptive effects that change with the music or tone of the event. These boxes give the glow of candlelight which is softer, sets the mood and complements the blue uplighting used. The different patterns on this backdrop also show through, making it more intricate and adding small details for the audience to look at.

Credit: The Old Mill Flea

  1. Ombre Balloons

Balloons are in, and they are diverse! From décor, entrances and props to staging backdrops, they are adaptable elements that don’t disappoint. This is particularly cool as it’s incorporating an ombre effect which is popular in design and color trends to ensure this stage stands out. Balloons are particularly useful for backdrops because you can easily scale them up or down or shape them into ways that fit your space.

//PLAY reinvents the rules.// PlayTime @peabodyessex @shassey #partnersindesign

Une publication partagée par Nilda Martin (@reservemodern) le

Credit: Reserve Modern, Peabody Essex Museum

  1. Western Talks

This custom corporate conference backdrop is definitely a hit! Using themes or designs to spruce up a panel can make it more captivating and could also be incorporated into the conversation as the doors on this backdrop are fully operational. It’s also an excellent way to get event signage seen without interfering with the stage directly behind the panel.

Dear #corporateevents world: Please stop using pipe and drape! #customstaging #eventdesign

Une publication partagée par Encore Live (@encorelive) le

Credit: Encore Live

  1. Adaptable Elements

The Academy Awards always go all out but this staging and backdrop really makes an impact as it adapted throughout the evening. The floating Oscar statues that you can see here are one of the many backdrops used throughout the night, alongside a movie palace and other lighting and design elements that changed according to results, presentations or performances. The statues themselves are a great example of how you can use a recurring theme or idea and bring it to life using props to create a dynamic background that could move or animate if you wanted it to.

Post #4: The 2015 87th Academy Awards After an impressive viewership in 2014 with host Ellen DeGeneres, the production team hired Neil Patrick Harris for the 87th Academy Awards. He had previously hosted four Tony Awards and two Primetime Emmys, and so the producers thought he’d bring home audience gold. So, what did we think? FRANKI (tcg+visual Executive Producer): When we at tcg+visual produce a live event, we like to create scenic and set pieces that allow the ability to completely change the look of the room for each segment. This year, the red proscenium gave an old-school movie theater feel to the show, but I felt the hue limited how much they could deviate from complementary colors. I absolutely loved the circular feel of the stage elements this year, mainly the metallic Oscar statue cutout backdrop and the crystal curtain. Those stage pieces really helped tie into the arch shape of the proscenium. RALPH (tcg+visual Visual Design Director): In 2015, the designers moved away from the clean repetitive patterns of previous years to more organic shapes and textures. For me, this worked well in some cases, and not as well in others. I loved the twisty towers that spun across the stage between segments and during entrances. They provided a wonderful energy to the transitions. However, the hodgepodge of floating Oscar statues at times made the set feel cluttered, and there was a moment or two when I found it difficult to see the rear screen. The blue exterior movie palace backdrop was a big winner for me this year. The blue neon color matched beautifully with the Edison bulbs and red proscenium. KELSY (tcg+visual Director of Live Events): Once again, the designers went with a giant LED screen that split apart. It was one of my favorite elements from 2014. I’m glad they brought it back another year but wish they would have done something different with the split to mix it up a little bit. I also felt the show direction wasn’t nearly as good. The cameras seemed to have trouble following the action on stage and finding the celebrities for reaction shots.

Une publication partagée par tcg+visual (@tcgvisual) le

Credit: tcg+visual

  1. Concert Castle

This Game of Thrones themed concert went all out for their backdrop having a 28ft high and 60ft wide castle fabricated specifically for the event. This looming backdrop is an excellent way to immerse the audience alongside the performance. With the lighting effects to easily change the atmosphere, this scene could be changed from a fairytale to a nightmare at the flick of a switch!

Credit: Thermocut

  1. Marquee Letters

Use marquee letters as sponsorship or event signage opportunities and then double them up as a backdrop to the stage like this idea. It’s a way of leaving things open, not taking up too much height but still creating cool effects and getting your point across. This example is simple but effective and looks like the stage extends into the letters.

  1. Travel Destinations

This is a cool example of integrating event themes or ideas and integrating them into the backdrop. The travelling event show “BEDTalks” uses a large shipping crate with giant license plates stamped to show different states that this company are appealing to on its corporate conference tour. An excellent idea to appeal to the demographic and give visibility on social media.

Credit: Encore Live

  1. Gatsby Themed

The Gatsby theme is highly popular and the black and gold raised décor is very adaptable (after all, black goes with everything.) This is simple but integrates the theme nicely as well as using the bold signage for the stage décor. While this is a small party stage, this idea would make an even bigger impact if it were upscaled and had the gold striped side panels on a larger scale.

#GatsbyParty #stagebackdrop #minimalist #YouandMeWeddings #stagedesign #gatsbybackdrop #Gatsby

Une publication partagée par You and Me Weddings (@youme_weddings) le

Credit: You and Me Weddings

  1. Digital Honeycomb

Digital backdrops always come in handy, particularly for conferences or presentations because they can adapt to the message. This honeycomb version allows for interesting effects that can appear and fade throughout the presentation and when not in use can easily be turned into a decorative backdrop. This is a more interesting alternative to the plain rectangular screens that are normally found at conferences and is more engaging for attendees.

Credit: Staging Connections

  1. Floor Extension

If you want to create an illusion, particularly with runway staging, have backdrops that match the floor design. This is an excellent example of how you can immerse the audience and make the room feel larger with intricate artwork that merges with the floor. You could hire a local artist to create the designs to be more sustainable and create an art showcase along with the fashion.

  1. Simple Curtains

Sometimes simple is the best answer and you can’t go wrong with curtain draping. This is a quick and effective method that can turn any venue area into a stage with a backdrop, throw in some lighting uplighters to change the effect. White curtains can fit in with any color scheme.

Credit: Oh My Gosh Events

  1. Live Video Feed

When considering backdrops, why not go interactive? For runways or presentations that don’t interact with the audience, this can be an engaging way to pick up the slack and make things more immersive. White décor and themes are key to this event so the mirrored DJ booth blends in well and can change the musical tone according to how the audience reacts to the show.

credit: Reserve Modern

In Conclusion

Backdrops can change your event staging and atmosphere to keep attendees interested and retain focus. For venues without permanent stages, they can provide bespoke areas for temporary staging that blends well and looks deliberate so your attendees will never know and these can be adapted to suit your needs. Just remember, backdrops are excellent branding and signage opportunities, particularly for sponsors so capitalise on this to use them to their full potential.

About The Author
EventMB Team
This post is brought to you by the EventMB editorial team.   
Comment Policy Comments
Julius Solaris
Editor, Julius Solaris

Plan awesome events & boost your career

How often should I update you?

Join over 60,000 subscribers that use EventMB to stay on top of How to's, Trends & Event Technology.