How to Run the Best Trivia Night

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Running a trivia night at your bar can be a lot of fun—both for you and your guests! It can also be a great way to attract new (and even loyal) customers to your establishment. It’s a great way for people to get to know each other and show off their competitive side and are really versatile events that bring together all different kinds of people—from strangers to neighbors.

Trivia nights can even be tailored if you’re hosting a specific group, team or charity event which makes it a really personal way to connect others. This, among a host of other benefits are reasons why a trivia night is necessary but how do you run one? Running a seamless trivia night is easier than you think. Keep reading to learn how to host the best trivia night that will get your guests excited.

1. Get the right equipment

First, you’ll need to figure out what kind of equipment you may need. There are online subscription services that you can use to display questions, answers and even video questions. If this kind of system isn’t in your budget, you can use your normal sound system with the addition of a microphone and simply print questions and their correct answers and read them to guests. There are also plenty of phone apps that deliver trivia questions and answers that you could use as well.

Other equipment that may prove useful—a big screen TV and/or a projector. The visual element takes the event over the edge and can even be a secondary system for any directions or instructions you need to convey to the group. Whatever the equipment you do chose, just make sure you’re prepared to host a trivia night without a hitch.

2. Figure out the prizes

Every great trivia night has prizes. Whether its a certificate, a medal or even a free drink or meal coupon, giving out prizes to the winning team enhances the competitive spirit. If your prizes are really great (like a gift card or free meal) use them as a chance to advertise your event and boast the winnings on your social media accounts. The prizes alone might draw in a crowd and attract new guests.

3. Iron out the details

Aside from the technological piece, there are other important details you’ll want to iron out prior to the event. One such detail—choosing a host. Don’t overthink this piece. Any employee in your bar (or even you!) can do the honors. A rule of thumb? Try to make it someone the customers already know and engage with—it makes the experience more personal. Anyone who feels comfortable enough reading questions to a crowd will do the trick, and someone who loves banter and a bit of humor will really knock it out of the park. 

Make sure you also carve out a little spot in your bar with plenty of space for guests and a generally open format to hold the trivia. Get plenty of chairs and tables, and make sure there's a space for the host to stand or sit. If you have a smaller space, reserve seats at the bar for your guests to participate. Keep these things in mind, and you’ll have a night that hits the mark on all areas.

4. Promote your night

It might be obvious, but make sure you promote your night—especially if it’s something new you’re adding to your schedule. Promote via social media accounts, print collateral and on your digital signage in your bar. Building the excitement with announcing prizes also ups the ante. And make sure you keep your trivia night on the same night each week—this allows for some predictability, planning and gives an opportunity to really create repeat customers. 

5. Keep each night unique

Try to keep things fresh, no matter how long you’ve been doing trivia night. Doing themed nights like history, geography, popular culture or even art will keep things interesting and exciting for your guests. You can even scale the difficulty of the topics by the week which makes it a great challenge for guests and making it a bit challenging will encourage guests to keep coming back and trying again.

6. Have a soundtrack

Just because you’re hosting trivia night and someone’s on the loudspeaker doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still have a killer soundtrack. The right music and playlist can get guests excited and ready to play. Background music can be played between questions and rounds to keep things interesting and keep the competitive spirit up. Better still, the right playlist for the right people at the right time that correlates with their energy level and preferences can make the difference between everyone bailing after a bit of trivia and guests sticking around long after the game is through to enjoy more drinks with friends.

To learn more about how playlists can enhance your trivia night and make your guests stay longer, click the link below to discover more.

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