See The Light

One of the most cost-effective ways to improve any meeting is to add lighting. From color-changing LEDs to moving lights to gobo effects, adding decorative fixtures can enhance any show.

But before you add anything fancy, you should know that the easiest way to improve your show can cost as little as $250. Just add 2 lights to brighten your stage.

Too often, presentations are delivered at a lectern with no stage lighting. Audience members are left straining to see the face of the presenter, or worse, simply stop watching. This problem becomes worse if there is projection, as the screens glow brightly next to a dim stage. The human eye (much like a camera lens) can only handle so much contrast, and the most important part of your presentation – your speaker – is now dark, dull, and not the center of attention.

I attended a recent awards show where the presenters stood in front of a bank of windows just before dusk. Because there was no stage lighting, the hosts on stage – framed by the outside lighting – appeared as shadows. Audience members couldn’t see their faces and lost interest in looking at a stage filled with silhouettes.

Stage lighting doesn’t need to be expensive.  For less than $250 (your cost may vary based on location), you can add two lights – one on each side of the room on stands or on a truss or tower – to light up your lectern. Besides allowing your audience to actually see the presenters, the stage now becomes more of a focal point of your event, drawing the eyes of every attendee.

Stage lighting should be deployed during every main session at your event. Sometimes lighting is built in to the room and simply needs to be turned on to brighten your stage. Depending on the size of your stage and the number of people appearing at one time, you may need to add more fixtures to achieve a stage wash. These additional lights can often be added to the same light stand or tower, marginally adding to the budget but greatly enhancing your show.

by Tom Graybill | Tri-Marq Communications, Inc.