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Are you being paid what you are worth?

Are you being paid what you are worth?

Every trivia host, no matter what the occasion, works hard and takes extreme pride in creating an enjoyable, fun and interactive trivia experience for all involved. The actual trivia night itself may only be a few hours work but the planning, writing, preparation, promotion and constant checking means that each trivia host is doing an awful lot of man hours to produce a trivia night. If doing your job successfully then you should be boosting business, getting customers into venues and pleasing the people who hired you. But if you are the one largely responsible for this increase in business. So you need to ask yourself- Are you being paid what you are worth?


Questions about money and payment dominate my conversations with fellow trivia host.

  • How much are you getting paid?
  • How much should I charge?
  • Should I ask for money?
  • Do you think I am pricing myself out of it?

Regardless of why you are hosting a trivia night it is only fair you get the rewards financially.


Now, prepare to be possibly disappointed. I am not going to give you figures in this article. Why? Because every single situation is different, every trivia host has different needs and every venue has different demands and budgets. I know this is the trickiest part of the whole service and when you are striking that deal, neither party wants to open with the first quote. What I intend to do in this article however is give you an rough idea on how to work out IF you are being paid a fair amount and how to calculate how to pitch your prices?


Initially you have to think about WHY you are in the trivia business. If you are in it purely for the love and source of extra income then you may have a different mindset than if the trivia nights are your main source of income. Both deserve to be paid equally, I am not disputing that, but it will change your mindset when it comes to payments.


I made a few mistakes when I first started out and many trivia hosts do. The first thing you have to do is calculate all your tangible costs. Ignore man hours for now and think about the cost for each individual trivia night you are putting on….printing, other materials, employees, travel to the venue. You should be looking to make way in excess of this but it gives you a good idea to make sure you aren’t loosing money. I knew a pen and paper trivia host who was travelling to a venue over 75 miles, printing way more copies than needed and having to stop on the way home for his supper as he didn’t have time after leaving work….and he wondered why he wasn’t making much money!


My advice to anyone is simple……your main task is to get the gig. The worst thing you can do as a trivia host is to head into negotiations and pitch yourself too high. If you do this only one thing is going to happen….they are going to send you away. Quoting a figure of say $300 for one night will have some venue hosts baulking and looking for the exit. However, if suddenly your trivia night generates $900 income a night they may look at it differently. In those initial negotiations you need to be pitching your level at something that will get you hired. In most cases you need to treat the gig as a trial. Even if the bar owner offers 80% below what you were wanting (as long as costs are covered with a little bit of profit) then go for it. Your task is to prove yourself.


If you can see a rise in business….week 1 gets 9 teams, week 2 gets 16 teams, week 3 gets 23 teams etc strike while the iron is hot. Whatever the initial payment was you deserve more as you are getting more and more players in the bar. Assess how you think you are doing…if you see a 20% rise in people in the bar pitch for a 10% rise …the bar will still be making more profit and you will too. If you are seeing no improvement in numbers and the business isn’t improving massively then maybe you don’t ask for the rise. Be realistic, don’t give too many “take it or leave it demands” and ensure you are sensible and you shouldn’t have a problem getting paid your worth.


I ALWAYS tend to start the deal with the first few trivia nights at a price lower than I was hoping if it means getting the gig and then when I have improved business and the $$$$’s come in I get my share. I get lots of trivia hosts who tell me they are paid per customer and the bar manager will pay $2 a head for every game player to participate. I don’t like these methods as its open to debate and also it means you cannot budget your income if trivia is your main source. I have heard of deals where there is a flat rate paid plus a bonus of $1 per player….this sounds good but above all you want to be getting paid every night a flat rate and if you feel you deserve more you need to ask. Money isn’t gonna come to you!


All in all, ask yourself – Are you getting paid what you are worth? If you feel the answer is “No” then you need to do something about it. Pitch to the venue owner why you deserve more, show how you effect business and make him think that you are essential to his business. Stress the success you have had and pitch new ideas you have to ensure the trivia night remains fresh.  Also, if you use technology in your trivia games, like a wireless buzzer system or game show system, be sure to reach out to your sales representative for advice on how to establish and maintain a fair price. If the answer is “Yes”, then congratulations my friend, you are succeeding in your role and may it continue to flourish!

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