Trivia events are one of the best ways to increase traffic in your bar and we hope these tips will help you begin a successful trivia night. If you need help with your questions and structure, we invite you to take a look at our packs which include 50 questions a week, a picture round, score sheets, answer sheets, and a great game night guide. And, of course, if you have any questions at all send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Typically Pub Quizzes work best on a weeknight because the event will attract a crowd on a night when you are less busy. A good trivia event should last about 2 – 2 1/2 hours, so beginning at 7:30 or 8:00 works well because it is after work and will still give patrons time to hang out after the quiz is over.
At The Quizmasters we find that the ideal format has about 50 questions separated into five categories and a picture round. This format will give you a quiz that will last a comfortable two and a half hours with a break or two. The picture round gives patrons something to do before the event starts and during breaks.
This is by far the most important step when planning your event because if players are not challenged, they don’t have fun. Likewise, if they can’t understand confusing questions, they will not come back.
There is an art to writing good questions. Because you will get an eclectic group of players — from hardcore trivia nerds to regular bar-goers — questions need to be varied. In order to satisfy such a wide range of players, you need to make them feel smart and satisfied with a mix of questions, categories and difficulty levels. For example, having questions about Lynard Skynard and Monet in the same quiz will reach a broader group of players and even out scores.
If you don’t want to go about spending the hours each week writing your own questions, you can subscribe to several services that provide questions on a regular basis. Although we may be biased, we do offer one of the most affordable and time tested weekly trivia which we have perfected over almost ten years of business. Take a look at our shop for more information or for a free sample. We wouldn’t suggest using Trivial Pursuit cards or a book of trivia questions. These are not designed for bars and do not have that magic balance of difficulty and satisfaction that we work tirelessly to perfect.
If writing good questions is the most important step in starting a trivia night, finding a great host is not far behind. Try to choose a host that can be heard clearly, multi-task, speak off the cuff and is charismatic. One great way to pick an MC is to choose a regular or bartender who your customers already know and trust. He will be able to make inside jokes and keep the event moving smoothly. Plus, he may just work for free drinks! Choosing “professional” hosts can sometimes be more of a headache than its worth because they may promote other things and won’t have a vested interest in your bar. It’s vital that the customers like the host, otherwise they will probably move on.
This all depends on the structure and size of your bar. If you have a separate room, this could be ideal, otherwise a corner of the bar works. If your trivia night gets very popular, it may eventually take over the whole bar. This is great! There’s nothing better than a happy, fun crowd. A PA system and mic is vital for people to hear the questions because it will get loud over the course of the evening.
Some bars like to charge a small entrance fee (five or ten bucks) and pay out the pot to the winning team. Or you can make the prize a round of drinks or even half the bar tab. Don’t worry how valuable the prize is — most people play for bragging rights rather than rent money.
Promote your trivia night a few weeks before you begin. Social networking with Facebook can make the event go viral throughout the community. Be sure to set up posters around your bar and maybe even a table tent. Don’t be disappointed if your first event is lighter than expected – much of the advertisement for a trivia night is through word of mouth, and if you have a good event, people will eventually hear about it!
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 may see your bar brimming with patrons on an otherwise quiet tuesday night. The payoff will also be noticed on the weekends when you begin to see new faces from trivia night. Trivia Night is certainly the gift that keeps giving when you have a great bar to boot.
Just because you have a good crowd doesn’t mean you can stop promoting. Begin a blog discussing the events of the last quiz (see our example from our resident bar) and give a hint for next week’s event. Keep promoting on facebook, twitter and other social media outlets. Most importantly, keep talking it up! You will have a core group of regulars before you know it.
Our sample quiz is a full Quizmasters Trivia Packet that includes everything you need to run a successful trivia night at your bar. This includes all answer sheets, score sheets, questions and photo rounds. Once you see how much your customers enjoy it, we will be happy to hook you up with a subscription that will keep your customers guessing, and returning, each week. Bar trivia is on the rise across the country – let us help you join the fun! To receive your sample quiz please fill out the following form below.