Stage manager

From 35C3 Wiki

Stage Managers are responsible for a specific lecture hall (Saal) and all the talks within a 4 hour time slot. In short, stage managers make sure the talks go as smoothly as possible, including technical issues and crowd management.

How to Become a Stage Manager?

Stage Manager Angels are not automatically enabled, since a specific skillset and some introduction to the job is needed. Orientation meetings are being held at specific times. Please refer to the Engelsystem for specific dates!

Assigning shifts

Stage manager need to attend an orientation and have their Engelsystem account authorized to sign up for Stage manager shifts. To do this, attend a meeting or get in touch with one of the Herald Archangels. One of them will be present during every regular angel meeting. You'll get a short briefing of what to do, but you should get the idea from this page as well, so read it!

Sign-ups will happen at the meeting at 2000 hours (Day 0) (after general engel introduction) as well as on the following days. Please attend if you're interested. You can find all Stage manager meetings here:

Job Description

In years before the 32c2, this Job has been part of the Heralds duty. You need to cooperate closely with your herald and understand what the job of a herald includes.

You can find more information about Heralds here: Static:Heralds. The Stagemanager keeps the information flowing and makes sure that everyone is on the same page how a Talk will be handled. Last minute changes, crowd flow management, delays, announcements and problems in the Saal are all handled by the Stagemanager. The most important part of the job is to inform the Herald of everything necessary that he needs to deliver a great moderation and a complete set of announcements. Keep in mind that the Herald is most likely blinded by the bright lights and can probably not see everything that the Stagemanagers or the audience can. So in a sense, you are also a 2nd pair of eyes, hands and mouth for the Herald.

You make sure that the show runs on time and looks and feels smooth. The timekeeping involves that you should frequently inform the Speaker and the Herald of the remaining time, before they should go on stage. The Herald will be happy about any and all time signals you give him. While anyone is on stage, you should focus on what is happening on stage, someone might have a request or an issue that needs adressing. In most cases the responsible teams should act on their own, if they don't, or if there is no team formally responsible, then it is up to you to solve the issue or communicate it to whoever can help you.

All issues related to audio, video or anything else related to that are handled by the A/V Technican. Those people are responsible for the smooth technical operation in a Saal. They are familiar with the equipment that is used during the event and able to fix (nearly) all technical issues and if not they know who to ask. Experiences from the past show, that you as stagemanager and the A/V Technican need to work together for the goal of a smooth operation of the talks, so both have the same time slots for shifts.

Over the last years, it showed that a close and very detailed communication between you as stage manager, the herald and the A/V Technican, resulted in a relaxed and productive talk experience for everyone.


No checklist is ever complete. Study it well and think about the intention behind each point, so you can adapt to the ever changing demands and circumstances. Generally you should have your eyes everywhere, be responsible for everyone and more on time punctual then a japanese train driver.

Before a Shift

  • Wear comfy shoes, you will spend most of the shift standing or walking
  • Bring a warm hoodie, last year the Halls were rather cold, they may be this year.
  • Before first shift of the Day:
    • Retrieve DECT from SHOC
    • Retrieve Radio from Heaven
  • 20 Minutes before the talk, please go to the designated area for room coordinators (it's on the side of the stage, the side with the lectern and the stairs).
  • Meet the prior STM, have a short handover-briefing, get the Radio and Saal-DECT from him/her. The Hand-Over Briefing should include:
    • known Issues
    • necessary (new) Announcements for the Herald
    • Last-Minute changes that the prior STM learned about for Talks outside of his shift
    • Fill-Level of the Hall / waiting areas / Crowd Flow Situation
    • important Learnings

Before a Talk

  • Then go and meet: (be done by T-15)
    • your Herald
    • A/V-Tech
    • Audio-Mixer
    • Translation
    • Signal Angel
    • The Saalengel
  • Each Saal has one Radio for (emergency) communication. You will be carrying it! In case of Emergency, it is your duty to coordinate closely with Secu, CERT, PL and everyone in the Hall. If a serious emergency is communicated via radio, you need to send the Herald on stage, decide to end the Talk and coordinate the following chaos to the best of your abilities.
  • This year we will reduce stress on the Speaker further. Please do not communicate directly with the Speaker if possible (special situations may need rare exceptions to this rule. Use your brain.) Your Herald will talk to the Speaker and give you a briefing. It is advisable to listen in on the conversation between the Herald and the Speaker before the show.
  • Prepare the Audio- and Video setup with the A/V Technician. The A/V Technician will handle the following points
    • Do you need a special (something to) DVI/HDMI or if really necessary even VGA adapter?
    • Assisting and helping to connect their video.
    • Introducing the speaker to the microphone setup or placing them
    • If there is audio a speaker, they will set it up with the audio personnel.
    • Solve the last minute A/V Related issues (eg. change of requirements, opt-out)
  • During this phase, observe and check that all these details are handled. Talk to the AV-Tech and make sure you learn about problems.
  • The AV-Tech may inform the STM as soon as everything is set up and working. If he/she doesn't, then please ask.
  • If the camera / mixer angels need support, the A/V Technican will assist them after setting up the speaker.
  • If necessary, ask the previous speaker to clear the stage, along with the group who has questions for them to move out of the conference room.
  • Before the Talk begins, check all Angels wether they are ready to go, this includes:
    • Video
    • Camera
    • Signalangel
    • Translations
    • Audio-Team
  • Communicate with the Herald.
    • Time-sign countdown to the end of the Slot or to the begin of Q&A Session? /
    • If to begin of Q&A, then: How long will the Q&A be?
    • How many time-signs, starting when?
    • How long will the Intro to the Talk be?
    • Decide together with the Herald if crowd flow management is necessary. Decide how early before the Talk the Herald should go on Stage and help with Crowd Flow Management
  • At the appropriate time before, you will be giving the Herald a signal to start the moderation, so that the Talk starts on time.
    • Communicate with your Herald how many Announcements there are and how much time the Herald needs to introduce the next Talk
    • Tell your Herald wether every team is good to go (Audio, Video, Camera, Signalangel, Translations)
  • When the Herald is on Stage
    • Always be visible to the Herald
    • Communicate with the Herald silently with gestures and sign-language.
    • Listen to what he/she is saying and try to anticipate what Informations he/she might need
    • Stay ahead of the Crowd Situation
      • Work with the Saalengel to efficiently fill and empty the Hall
      • Example: If the Herald says "There are a lot of free seats in the front" - the Saalengel might be directing the Crowd to the wrong spots, check
      • Example: If the Herald says an area is full, communicate this to the Saalengel so they stop guiding people there
      • When everything is full, make sure that the Saalengel get the signal to close the doors
      • At very full talks we might need to first let some people leave the Hall, before we start to let in others, check, communicate with Herald and decide.
    • The Herald might not be able to see much, talk to the Herald to communicate where additional seats are available or if the Herald needs to say something to the Crowd to manage the crowd flow proactively.
  • Translation
    • all Talks will be translated from German to English or vice versa, depending on the talk language.
    • maybe, some of the Talks will be translated into a second language.
    • NEW You will NOT receive a call from Translations as in past years. Instead, please go physically to the Translation-Booth and check
      • check if they are ready to go
      • ask which languages will be available
    • Please remind your herald to announce the translations and which languages are available
      • There is a Button you can press to show the Translatin-Slide for 30sec
      • Please arrange a Keyword with your Herald. Upon hearing that keyword, you will press the appropriate button, so that the Translation-Slide is shown.
      • There will not be DECT-Translation, instead the translations are delivered via Mumble.
  • If there is a Q&A session, be sure to make sure the microphones in the audience will be turned on.
  • Fill up all available seats in the room if there is an over capacity crowd

During a Talk

  • Check that the entrance doors/emergency exits are not blocked. Walk around the room and ask people in front of exits and aisles to clear out. If attendees start piling up inside, ask them to find and take available seats
    • There are NO SAVED SEATS once a talk begins. Fill all available seats. (But there are reserved and marked seats for angles to ensure that the talk is running smoothly)
    • If the room is too crowded, ask attendees to go outside and watch the video stream.
    • You may use the (by now bored) Saalengel to help you speak to people and ask them to leave, if the Saal is (too) full.
    • 'If you are unable to enforce emergency exit routes or other security requirements, please call 110 from your DECT'
    • During the Talk you should regularly check all emergency exits.
  • Memorize the locations of the Q&A/Mics, so you know where to look for standing persons during the Q&A
  • Know at all times how much time is left in this slot.
  • Notify the speaker of how much time is left with the pre-agreed signals. Make sure they acknowledge your signals.
  • Estimate the percentage of filled seats for this Talk and note this on the form provided by Content-Team
  • Q&A
    • The Herald can not very well see whats going on in the Saal due to very bright lights. stand by to signal the herald on which microphone there are people that want to ask a question
    • Communicate with pre-agreed hand signals with the signal angel and tell the Speaker with gestures how many questions the signal angel has, because the herald might not be able to see the signal angel, due to the bright lights.
    • Talk to the Signalangel how you will communicate. At 34c3 a blinking smartphone flashlight turned out to be an effective solution. Discuss blink-signals.
  • Unless there is no talk following, allow ABSOLUTE maximum of 3min over time if necessary. Do everything within your power to allow speaker(s) to gracefully end their session.
  • At +2 min, send the Herald on Stage.

After a Talk

  • Ask the previous speaker to clear the stage, along with the group who has questions for them to head to a breakout room.
  • Make sure that access to the stage is not restricted by fanbois/fangirlz.
  • Stick around, fix problems if any.
  • Check the stage, if necessary remove trash from the stage
  • Help to set up the stage for the next talk (Tables, Chairs)
  • Put a new water bottle at the speaker lectern, for the next speaker
  • Talk to the other Angels in the lecture hall, gather Feedback, relay Feedback to relevant people

After a Shift

  • Reflect on the shift and communicate feedback, ideas and improvements via Rocketchat in the #stagemanagement channel.
  • After the last shift of the Day
    • Handover Radio to Access Angel Shift
    • Bring DECT to SHOC

Stagemanager Angel Briefing

The Stagemanagers meet on these Dates for the Introduction meeting: Currently, they are all planned in [Lecture Room M1]


Rocket Chat

We run an opensource "Slack alternative" chat server called that we are using to communicate during and before the event.

The Server can be found here: This service provides free Apps for Android and Apple

Important Numbers

What? Number When?
Himmel 1023 Call in case your fellow Angels are not present.
Speakersdesk 1020 Call in case your speaker is not present!
Security 110 Security Issues
CERT 112 Medical Emergency
VOC Helpdesk 1600 Call in case there are technical issues regarding Audio or Video or if Mixer and Camera Angels are missing
Infodesk 1111 Call if there is a conflict with the schedule or an attendee has a question you cannot answer.
katzazi 4744 Call if you are overwhelmed or need assistance
Lindworm 5463 Call if you are overwhelmed or need assistance and katzazi is not available
Ijon 4566 Call if you are overwhelmed or need assistance and katzazi is not available
VOC Coordination 1699 Call if you have an organizational issue with the VOC
all Stagemanagers 1602
Lampenfieberbeauftragter (Stage Fright Council) 8434 Call if your Herald or Speaker has stage fright or looks like he/she is being overwhelmed by it
Signal Angel Coordinator 8745 Call if you don't have a signal angel
Translation Coordinator 8424 8425 Call if the German / English translation angle is missing
Subtitles Coordinator ???? Will we have subtitles this year?
Awareness-Team 113 Someone convinced me of putting this here, but I don't know the number. Feel free to edit if you can.
STM Saal Adams 1612 Stage Manager Saal Adams
STM Saal Borg 1622 Stage Manager Saal Borg
STM Saal Clarke 1632 Stage Manager Saal Clarke
STM Saal Dijkstra 1642 Stage Manager Saal Dijkstra
STM Saal Eliza 1652 Stage Manager Saal Eliza
Archived page - Impressum/Datenschutz