The Four Things You Need to Host the Perfect Trivia Night
April 13, 2014
Over the last four years, our company, Pour House Trivia has expanded from just one location to nearly 80 venues hosting a trivia night with us. In that time, our company has learned a few things about the best way to host a pub trivia night, and we’re going to share those with you! In this five-part series, we’re going to touch on hosting, crafting a game, keeping the night rolling with the perfect music selections and the gear you need to get the job done, which I’ll introduce below. Each of those will get its own more detailed post in the months to come, and we’ll update this one to let you know that’s happened. Make no mistake about it – hosting a pub trivia night can be a daunting task, even as an experienced pub trivia company. There’s venues to secure, advertising to do and perhaps most importantly, a game to create. But even once you do all that, obstacles can – and most certainly will – arise. Luckily for you, we’ve hit just about every type of roadblock imaginable in our four years of hosting, and we’ll share with you the ways we’ve found around, over and sometimes, even under those roadblocks. (Hopefully your roadblocks are smaller!) Want to know the best way to craft your set of questions for your crowd? We’ll help you out. Want some tips on engaging your audience better as a host? We’ll help you out with that too. Want to know some of the most important – and often overlooked! – things to remember when you’re starting your game? You guessed it – we’ll help you out with that, too! Here are the four categories we’ll cover in this series:
Perhaps more important than anything else in a game of trivia – yes, even the questions – is a good host.
There are a number of qualities you need to be a good trivia host, including a good sense of humor, the ability to think on your feet, and the backbone to stand up for your questions, should the need arise. Of course, even if you take great care in writing your questions, sometimes you’ll be wrong. And the ability to own up to that is important, too. Nobody likes a jerk, especially one trying to provide them entertainment! Mediating disputes like that is the most delicate of operations, as you need to have both a firm hand, and a soft touch to get through those sticky situations!
We’ll touch on all of that, and of course, some tips and tricks to help get you on your way to being a great host.
When writing bar trivia questions, your crowd is going to be a huge factor in crafting a game, as you’ll want to include as many types of brains in your game as you can.You will no doubt be stunned by the depth of knowledge some of your players will have on subjects, but that’s a good thing – you want to hit as many types of subjects as you can to keep them interested.
It might help you to have multiple writers for your questions, if you can manage, as it will allow you to spread out the types of questions you ask. We’ll include some sample trivia questions in our post for this game, too! You’ll want to make sure you hit different eras too – a diverse crowd will not only have different subjects they know a lot about, but also be from different eras. Keep this in mind especially when writing pop culture based questions – mixing up eras is a great way to get people involved.
Music might be an afterthought when you’re putting together your perfect pub trivia night, but it’s a vital component to running a successful pub trivia game.There’s going to be some downtime between questions, and time when you’re waiting for your players to turn in their answers to the questions, but it’s vital you not sit there in silence!
You’ll need to craft a perfect playlist for pub trivia, and much like the questions you craft, you’re going to want to hit a multitude of eras so that EVERYONE has a chance to rock out!
Feel your crowd out – are they an older crowd? Maybe skew toward classic rock. Younger group? Be sure to mix in some stuff from this decade as well, lest you turn them off. And of course, you’ll need to add some classics – a good rule of thumb is that if you sing along at the top of your lungs (even after a few beers!) it’s probably a safe choice. Don’t Stop Believing comes to mind!
Your basic pub trivia hosting set up is going to include speakers, a microphone, and a way to keep score.We like to use a computer, because hey, it’s 2014, but anything you want to do will work. You can even rock a tablet and chisel if that’s your thing!
(Probably not the best choice, though). A key thing to remember when selecting your gear, no matter how much you spend on it, is that things are going to stop working – especially things like microphones and cords! The more abuse you put on these things, the tougher it will be, so I recommend NOT doing your best Roger Daltrey mic swing.
Make sure you’ve got backup microphones and cords – just like the Boy Scouts, you need to be prepared!
Your probably don’t need a kilt, though.