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Diagrams – Are You a Doodler, an Artist or a Techie?

By:  Kathy A. Newby, CERPCertified Event Rental Professional at Stuart Event Rentals

I decided to write this after being given a diagram by an established planner to set-up an event that was hand drawn…I couldn’t believe my eyes.  Was it drawn to scale? The reply “pretty much.”  What if it doesn’t fit? Well, you can adjust onsite.  I was taken aback!

I will not name or endorsing diagramming programs in this article only provide you with things to think about when presenting your creative ideas to clients.

With all the technology available, why not create a computerized diagram of some type?  To me diagrams and illustrations are tools to show your clients that you understand their vision.  It’s a way for your clients to provide feedback.  As a vendor, I love getting computerized to-scale diagrams because they provide a cross-check that we have everything in the order you are expecting. 

20+ years ago when I started doing this work, we did our to-scale diagrams on graph paper using plastic templates with tables, chairs and a sundry of other items on them.  I still have my box of templates, mechanical pencils, and erasers in a filing cabinet.  


With all the technology available, why would you show a client a doodle and not a more professional diagram of some type?  There are many programs available from the very basic to advanced.  If you don’t want to be troubled with this process or invest in one, there are services available that will do them for you right here in the Bay Area. 

Computerized diagram programs can help make you job easier too!  With just a few keystrokes you can change a king’s table of 8 to a 72” round with 10-12 guests.  Many of these programs also have 3-D options that allow you to “walk” your client through the event space.  Imagine the look on your clients face when then walk into the venue and they say, “It looks just like you said it would!”

For an outdoor diagram, another helpful tool is to superimpose a diagram onto a satellite photo of the venue.  Adding another way for your client to visualize the space as it will appear.

Colored renderings are also great!  Generally these are of specific objects such as a cake, arbor or dessert station.  These can be a little trickier and may require a graphic artist but as creative event professionals, this may be a new discipline you may want to add to your repertoire.


Make it a goal for 2016 to update the techniques you use to express your clients vision of their event.