How to start a trivia night in 8 steps

If you've just purchased one of our trivia packets and are thinking, "now what", here are a few (eight, to be exact) steps to get you started.

STEP 1: Choose a day and time.

DAY - Hint: Go Off-Peak.

Peak hours are already bringing you business.

Keep it simple and pick a slower night for trivia.

Don’t worry, a good event will bring in customers. (We’ll give you tips for making that happen in a minute.)

TIME - Hint: Find the sweet spot.

You want to give quizzers time to arrive after work while ending the quiz at a reasonable hour, especially on a weeknight.

At the events we host, we’ve found 7:30pm - 8pm are the most consistently attended times.

You know your customers best, though, so pick a time that works for them.

STEP 2: Choose a format.

Hint: Again, keep it simple.

Pub quizzes have been entertaining bar-goers in England and Ireland for decades.

We like to follow the traditional pub quiz format and simply ask questions, give answers and give people something to look at in between.

Five rounds of ten questions, with a picture round for folks to work on throughout the game, has proven time and time again to be the perfect amount of trivia to get to the ideal 2 - 2.5 hour time range.

STEP 3: Choose questions.

Hint: Get your facts straight.

As experienced quizmasters, we've seen plenty of objections to answers. People don’t like to be wrong.

The problem arises when their objections are correct.

So, get it right in the first place and CHECK CHECK CHECK your questions.

We do multiple rounds of fact-checking each week using multiple sources to keep our questions and answers accurate.

We also structure the questions to be objective and to have only one or two solid, concrete answers.

STEP 4: Choose a host.

Hint: Don’t overthink it.

Choose a regular customer or bartender (or you!) Someone who your customers already know will make a GREAT host.

Because our format is so simple, anyone who feels comfortable enough reading questions to a crowd can be a pub quiz host.

Banter and humor always help but just about anyone can host a successful pub quiz thanks to our easy-to-use format and our fact-checked questions.

STEP 5: Set up a location in your bar.

Hint: You won’t need much space.

A chair, a table and a microphone are pretty much all you need to run one of our quizzes.

Carve out a little spot somewhere that quizzers can easily walk to and where a microphone can be hooked up to your speaker system or a free-standing speaker.

Have a tiny bar? If you can spare a stool, a bar spot would work in a pinch. (Just get a wireless microphone or one of those Britney Spears head mics.)

STEP 6: Choose a prize.

Hint: People LOVE winning something (big surprise, right?)

Some bars like to charge a small entrance fee (five or ten bucks) and pay out the pot to the winning team.

A round of drinks or bar tab prize is also very popular.

Bar merchandise, if you have it, is another good way to easily make quizzers happy.

Don’t worry how valuable the prize is — most people play for bragging rights, not to pay the bills.

STEP 7 : Promote!

Hint: Know your target audience.

There are two groups to concentrate on: the "already-customers" that AREN'T “already-quizzers" and the "already-quizzers” that aren’t “already-customers."

A few weeks before your first quiz, let your customers know you’re starting a pub quiz and fill them in on the day and time and how the quiz works.

Provide this info through posters, word of mouth and of course social media. (We have tons of examples of how we’ve done this over the years so if you have any questions, just ask.)

Your goal here is to convince the people already coming to your bar to try out the pub quiz. (Good news: trivia popularity has grown so much over the years that this is becoming an increasingly easier task.)

Social media is also how you’re going to get the people who love pub quiz already but aren’t already coming into your bar.

True trivia buffs are always on the search for more. You already know the power of keywords so don’t be shy. #pubquiz and #trivianight should work but play around with the message that works for you and your area.

STEP 8: Quiz!

Hint: Consistency is key.

Now that you’ve got everything you need for a successful trivia night, keep a steady schedule so quizzers keep coming back.

Keep it on the same night each week and give it a few weeks to see how well your marketing is paying off.

Eventually you'll see your bar brimming with patrons on an otherwise quiet night and the true payoff comes on the weekends when you start seeing new faces from trivia night.

BONUS TIP: Follow Up.

Just because you have a good crowd doesn’t mean you stop promoting.

Blog about the events of the last quiz, give hints for next week’s event, announce new prizes etc to keep people interested.

You’ll have a core group of regular quizzers before you know it.

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