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Successful Trivia Nights – Referrals

Successful Trivia Nights – Referrals:  Getting others to invite friends to next show

In terms of making a trivia night a success, there is one key factor which a lot of trivia hosts and venues tend to overlook and that is the power of the word of mouth. Now, you have probably spent time and money (or at least the trivia bar owner will have) on getting word out regarding the date, time and nature of the quiz. Maybe you have paid for advertising on local papers and got messages onto community notice boards but once your quiz is up and running there is vital part of the trivia business which needs to start working….word of mouth. A person, team or couple is much more likely to attend an event if it has been recommended personally by a friend rather than by just seeing an advert. This ideal works in all manner of business and let us not forget, trivia is business, so why are you ignoring your greatest advertising tool of all….your current customers!

Here is a short video on word of mouth marketing.  Use the 5 suggestions for how you proceed with incorporating this time-proven method.

Effective Business Cards

The start could be very simple. Business cards. Online and in local vendors you can get around 1,000 cards for a few dollars. Easy, simple and not only that but you don’t have to be technical whiz to get them printed. You can include the name, time, venue and maybe an idea of the quiz itself, some sample questions and a contact number/email/facebook set of details. You could then hand them out as you are giving papers back and encourage people to tell their friends. (You could also leave these cards in local stores, message boards and libraries but that is for another day).

I have seen a few trivia hosts use the idea of free drinks for new players, extra points for new players etc. It is hard to judge as you then need to limit team sizes which can always be a problem (see upcoming blog about if and when a team size should be restricted). I like the idea of a free drink for a new player. It can be hard to remember who is and isn’t new especially if they haven’t been there for a while but you can simply ask the bar owner for 3-4 drinks vouchers and give them out to a select few new players. Advertise the fact and if people are getting a free drink, they might as well try your trivia and if you make the night a memorable experience they will be back next week and your bar owner will be happy.

Successful Trivia Nights:  Using Social Media

There is a key to this that you are probably thinking already yourself and that is social media. You need to build a good social media following, attract your players to it and then their friends will see regardless. Focus on facebook. Twitter can be great to promote trivia services as we have seen elsewhere in this blog, and will see in the coming weeks, but the key to getting this vital word of mouth is get your players to use facebook, either intentionally or not. If you encourage players to add you on facebook (or your business account) then it can open up all sorts of avenues of promotion. Your players can then be invited to the quiz each week and even of 10% accept that means 10% of your players walls will then show they are coming to your trivia night and that’s a heck of a lot of eyes that are going to notice your night. The average person has 200 facebook friends so even if 5 of your players use the invite system then it means 1000 people will see. You can also promote the use of check ins etc.

I will share one key secret with you that I have used to great success in the past….

One GREAT idea is to have spot prize check ins on your facebook page. JUST before the trivia starts and you tell people to out there with phones and give them a few minutes to check in. This means that’s

a) they will need you on their contact list and

b) they will check in and everyone on their friends list will see where they are.

How do you get them to do this? Offer a spot prize. Tell them that everyone who checks in at the venue will be entered into a draw for a beer voucher etc special prize. You can easily sort that out during rounds or at the interval. Here is a great list ideas for prizes that don’t break the bank.


All in all, word of mouth can be a powerful tool for your trivia night, make sure you are using it!


5 Responses to Successful Trivia Nights – Referrals

  1. […] For more information on this topic see the article Getting Referrals and Recommendations and also Successful Trivia Nights – Referrals. […]

  2. […] bar to host in. You have to get people in, it is that simple. Read this discussion on how to have successful trivia nights from referrals.  Forget what you think you know, what you “assume” works or any daft principles or trivia […]

  3. […] venues, focus on how YOUR trivia night and YOUR services can benefit THEM. Get testimonials and referrals from companies you have done annual parties for, and discuss your additional service of […]

  4. […] you will have gained the entire respect from the entire audience. This respect translates into referrals, but they will also do what you say to do.  “Everyone stand up and find such-and-such item […]

  5. […] The first thing to mention is the pace and style of the quiz. Pacing is vital….and I will repeat that as so many Trivia hosts tend to forget this….Pacing is everything! Do not, for one moment think you run the trivia night at the pace you read/mark/work. It won’t function that way. You need an effective plan, a good system and a well structured night otherwise your 2 hour quiz may develop into nothing but a yawn fest! Now, when using technology like a wireless buzzer system or an audience response keypad, this isn’t as much of an issue.  But in the rare instance I do pen and paper trivia there is a greater challenge to keep people from getting distracted with other matters.  For example, I like to structure my quiz so the players hand in sheets every 5 questions. Given them about 10 minutes from start to finish and collect the sheets in. Mark them quickly and dish them back out. Wait 3-4 minutes and resume with round 2. It works a treat as it means that the player always has something to do…answering, discussing answers, discussing marks. Their attention is with the trivia! Bingo!  And when you have their attention then they are having fun.  Players having fun also means you will get more referrals. […]

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