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Pub Quiz Checklist

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7 things to get your pub quiz off to flying start!

You don't need to wait to all the lights are green before you head to town, but there are some things that you should have in place before you start.

Quiz area
Quiz area -- You need to allocate some space. As a quiz night is often used to fill a quieter night, space is probably already available. If you have plenty of custom already and you are just adding to your entertainment card you will have to think a bit more about where the host will be situated and where you'll sit or stand your patrons.

Quiz Host
Quiz Host -- Who will you get to host and run the night? There are several options; you can run the night yourself, you can get a patron or "a friend of the bar" or you can employ a professional host. Whichever option you choose make sure you give your host clear instructions about how you want the night run. You may want to consider a microphone for the host, especially if there will be more than half a dozen teams. Towards the end of the night after the patrons have had a few drinks the volume goes up as everyone gets more boisterous.

Quiz Components
Quiz Components -- To start you will need a list of Questions and Answers. You should consider 50+ questions. This is enough to get the night going. Later you may want to add some extra components to the night to make it more appealing and entertaining, categorized questions, picture rounds, interactive rounds and audio rounds. Other components to make sure customers keep coming back week after week such as bonus rounds, Jackpot questions, brainteasers and bafflers.

Patrons- You will need to advertise the night. In house posters along with personal invitations are the best and most cost effective way of advertising and building your night. As a trivia night grows virally, on the recommendation of other patrons, you need to seed the first night. To do this, you and your staff have to invite your patrons. There is a right approach and a wrong approach to this invitation.

The wrong way is to say "Do you want to come to a trivia quiz night, next Tuesday at 7:30 pm?"

If you ask the question this way, the wrong way, nine out of ten patrons will reply noncommittally of with a flat "No" followed by some excuse for not attending.
"I'll think about it" which is a polite way of saying "No", or
"No, I'm busy that night"

The reason is, that people that don't go to trivia quiz night already, don't know they like them. They just assume they don't. They are thinking to themselves that while at school they didn't like the pop quiz, why would this be any different? There are a lot of reasons why it's different that I won't go into here, but this is what they're thinking. So here is how you should place the invitation.

Host- "Joe, I'm wondering if you could do me a favor"

Joe- "It depends, what's the favor"

Host- "We're going to start a trivia night, I know it may not be your thing, but we're going to give it a go and we want to make sure there are a few teams for the kick-off. I was wondering if you could help me out by coming along with a few friends to make up a team? If you do come, I'll make sure the first drinks are on me."

If you ask the question this way, then nine out of ten times the customer will say "I'll help you out."

If you target key customers in this way you will very quickly hit the ground running. You'll be surprised how many of these people who were only helping you out for the night (because they didn't consider themselves quiz people) become regulars.

Co-lateral material
Co-lateral material -- You will need a scoresheet to tally the results, answer booklets or at least paper for the teams to write their answers on and some pens.

Prizing -- It is accepted that there should be some prizing and there are many ways this can be done. In the first instance the easiest to implement is in the form of bar tabs. I encourage venues to put a 'use-by date' on the bar tab to avoid teams collecting too many before they use them.

Ongoing considerations

Scoreboards- Once you are up and running you can look at improving the night. You can add a whiteboard to display scores on an ongoing basis. Or if you have inhouse TV's you can put the scores on the screen via a computer.

Remember you don't have to have every aspect of the night sorted out before you start the first quiz. Just do it!

Pub Quiz Checklist
Have you got what you need to start the night?
Area set aside for the quiz
Host or Quizmaster
A good set of Question and Answers
Answer books / Sheets
Scoresheet / Scoreboard
Posters / inhouse advertising
Personal Invitation to 5 Key Patrons
Prizing / Bar tabs

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