8 Ways to Add Character to Your Next Event

Everyone wants their event to stand out from the rest; but what makes some events more outstanding than others? We at Chef du Jour Catering feel a lot of the most memorable events are the ones with character.

Are you currently in the process of planning an event? Whether your plans are for a large or small gathering, adding character to an event can make a big difference for your attendees.


Here are 8 suggestions for adding character to an event:

1) Choose a venue outside the “usual” places

Adding character to an event begins with hosting it at a unique venue. Rather than choosing the usual dining hall or restaurant, take some time and check around for creative event venues that help create an atmosphere you desire. In a previous article, we listed 5 of Portland’s best event venues, which cover a range of sizes and styles. Some of these might give you an idea of what types of unique venues are available.

When you begin your venue search, take both the type of event you are hosting and your attendees’ interests into consideration. You may end up finding the perfect venue for your event where you least expect it. Knowing your budget and staying within it is also important. However, you should have no trouble finding a perfect venue that fits right into your price range.

2) Create a theme

Once you lock in your venue, you may consider choosing a specific theme for your event. Themes help set an event’s tone and focus. Selecting a theme which matches the current season or a holiday is one way of adding character to an event. However, once again, you should consider the type of event and its attendees when deciding on a theme.

3) Match décor to your venue and theme

Continue adding character to an event by adding décor that ties into your venue and theme. The decorations you choose – from the colors to the styles – further establish your event’s ambiance.

Event planners can find inspiration in a variety of places:

  • Event-specific websites, such as BizBash
  • Visual sharing sites, such as Instagram or Pinterest
  • Television, movies, or magazines

4) Mix local flair into your event

Here in Portland, we’re proud of the things that make our city unique. Creating events which incorporate our local flavor is always a lot of fun. Regardless of where you live, there is often at least one local thing, such as a type of food, which differentiates your city or state from others. Tying in local flair is a fun way of adding character to an event.

5) Get creative with your event menu

As we have mentioned in previous posts, attendees often anticipate your event’s menu more than anything else at events. Get creative with your menu by serving food and beverages that match or complement your venue and theme. Hiring a caterer who will help you plan your event’s menu, and who also has experience in creative food presentation, can save you a lot of time and trouble.

6) Honor your event’s attendees

Since it is impossible to have an event without attendees, you might consider clever ways of demonstrating your gratitude to them. After all, they have chosen (hopefully voluntarily) to attend your event. Depending on the nature of your event, engage your attendees in different team-building activities, contests, or games they might enjoy. Award the winners with prizes, but make sure you send everyone home with a token of appreciation.

7) Provide entertainment

Another way of adding character to an event is through choosing fun, yet appropriate, entertainment for your attendees.

Susan Friedmann, CSP, offers the following entertainment suggestions in her article for BusinessKnowHow.com:

  • Music (e.g. live, disc jockey or even karaoke)
  • Spectacle (e.g. magician, juggler, comedian or mine)
  • Theater (e.g. dinner theatre, murder-mystery experience or corporate theater)
  • Games (e.g. treasure hunt, or a game show)
  • Video or slide show

8) Remember that even a simple event can be filled with character

Adding character to an event does not mean you must spend a lot of money or create an overly elaborate soiree. In fact, many successful events are remarkably elegant due to their simplicity. As long as you plan an event around your attendees’ interests and what matters most to them, then you are well on your way to creating an event they will enjoy and remember.


If you’re in the Portland-Metro area, we’d love to help you with any of your catering needs. Whether you are planning an office lunch or a wedding – or anything in between – just give us a call!


Photo Credit: alexanderevent.balharbour via Compfight cc

1 Comment

  1. Michelle swain on March 31, 2015 at 11:50 pm

    Hoping to have my wedding at Castaway early 2016. This would be an event for 160-200people. I have a few questions. I saw you would provide a bartender for 300$ we were hoping we could provide our own beer, wine (ect)? Next question, I would really like a “family style dinner” is that a possibility or do you only do buffets? Is linen provided for tables? I’ve heard great things about your company and hope we can work together! Feel free to email or call me 503…

    Hope to hear from you soon! -Michelle Swain

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