What is an appropriate level of prizing for my quiz night?
Running a pub quiz or trivia night means you'll have to supply prizing.
It is not the most important component of running a quiz night but patrons expect it.
As a bar owner or manager you will need to have prizing in place for your quiz but you don't want to waste your profit levels by having more than you need while you still need to keep your patrons satisfied.
The question of the correct level of prizing has been asked many times by both, people who are already running, and people who are planning to run a quiz night. So below is a rule of thumb that I use. The caveat is that every circumstance is different. Adjustments should be made depending on your patrons expectations. These expectations are set by what prizing you have offered at other events you may have held at your venue, and what other venues in your area are offering for similar events.
The prizing should also reflect the number of patrons you have attending your quiz night. When you start your night you will have fewer patrons than when you have your night established.
I recommend a starting prize of $100 in bar tabs. And as your night grows then you should increase your spot prizing in proportion to the average spend of the patrons at the event.
The amount I recommend for the prize spend, is the total of the average profit of one drink of each patron at your quiz night. So if you have 30 patrons participating and the average profit from each drink is $2.50 then the prize spend should be $75.
Now spend is different to perceived value. For instance the cost of supplying bar tabs to you is less than the value they have to your patrons. The cost to you of $75 in bar tabs should easily be over $100 value to your patrons.
So in the 30 patron example above $100 worth of bar tabs plus spot prizing would be covered by the $75 spend.
When starting your quiz night the prizing may have to be at a level of what you expect or hope the number of patrons to be. A value of $100 in bar tabs is a good level to start at in advertising. However if you have three or less teams then you can reduce the prizing to $50 before the event starts.
As your quiz night grows in popularity rather than increase the advertised prize pool you can just increase the spot (random) prizing. This way you can change the level of prizing up as your night grows without having to reprint advertising. And if there is a seasonal decline you can pull back spending to reflect the lower numbers.
As a bar owner or manager you don't have to change the prize pool weekly, you can advise the host periodically how much he can give away depending on how much you are taking over the bar.
Of course prizing isn't an exact science, every venue is different but I hope this guide gives you a good starting point.