With so many portable stage options on the market, how do you find the right portable stage for your needs? Consider these 5 factors to help you narrow down your choices:

Overall Size of the Stage

How large of a stage do you require? How specific does the size need to be?

The first and most important consideration for choosing a portable stage is the overall size. Measure the width and depth of your planned stage area as well as ceiling height if you plan to use it indoors in a room with ceilings less than 12 feet high. Also, make sure to include room for steps (for stages over 8" tall) and a ramp, if necessary.

Most stage systems use 4'x8' or 4'x4' stage platforms, so it is easiest to plan your overall stage size in 4-foot increments. For spaces that require more precise sizing, there are stage systems that offer 1-foot or 2-foot wide (Biljax) or 3-foot wide (IntelliStage, QuickLock, NPS and Midwest Folding) platforms, but this will increase your cost per square foot.

Fixed Height or Multi-Height

Will it be used at one height or multiple heights?
Will it be set up on uneven ground or over a curb that requires each leg to be adjustable?

If you require a dual-height or adjustable-height stage, this will quickly narrow your options when choosing a portable stage system. Here are the options offered by each brand:

Surface Finish

What type of surface do you require?

Most portable stage brands offer carpeted and/or textured vinyl finishes. Carpet is usually less expensive and tends to show less wear, dirt or scratches, while a textured vinyl finish will usually be water-resistant (though not waterproof) and may provide better traction for activities such as dance or fitness.

Using your stage outside? The fully weatherproof aluminum finish offered by the All-Terrain brand is ideal for stages that will be used outdoors long-term. For temporary use in good weather, our water-resistant industrial finish works well (IntelliStage, QuickLock, Pro-Flex, Staging 101, All-Terrain).

On a budget? Hardboard finish is usually the most economical (Staging 101, NPS, Midwest Folding).

Setup Crew

Do you have a crew of multiple people to set up your stage, or will it be set up by one person?

Larger platforms like 4'x8' stage decks from Staging 101 and Pro-Flex can weigh as much as 200 lbs and will require multiple people to carry due to weight and size. Some 4'x8' platforms have built-in wheels (NPS, Midwest Folding) to make solo setup easier but will still require some muscle to maneuver. 

Smaller platforms like 4'x4' and 3'x3' are much easier to carry and maneuver if the stage will be set up by one person. IntelliStage is ideal for lightweight one-person setup, with platforms weighing in at only 55 lbs apiece.

Storage & Transportation

Will the stage stay set up in one place, or will it be put in storage when not in use?
Will the stage need to be transported by car?

If you plan to keep your portable stage set up long-term, then storage and transport are not a concern. However, if you will be storing it regularly, think about where you will be storing it and if there are narrow passages or doorways it will need to travel through. Most stage systems offer a transportation cart or dolly for moving and storing your stage, but the widths differ. Some carts store the platforms horizontally, which for 4-foot wide platforms would require at least 50" wide clearance for passageways and doors. Other carts store the platforms vertically on their side, and for 4'x8' platforms, this would require ample clearance if it must turn a corner.

Larger pieces like 4'x8' platforms will not fit into a car or SUV. Regular 4'x4' platforms will not fit into most cars either. If you plan to transport your stage pieces by car, we recommend using either IntelliStage or QuickLock 3'x3' platforms or IntelliStage folding platforms, which are 4'x4' or 3'x3' platforms that fold in half.

Still have questions? Call StageDrop at (800) 887-8243 (Monday - Friday, 10am - 5pm EST) or email sales@stagedrop.com, and we'll be happy to help you find what you need and send you a quote.

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