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Be Prepared for Anything – A Trivia Hosts Survival Guide

Be Prepared for Anything – A Trivia Hosts Survival Guide

Its Trivia night….you have a room full of players who are settled ready for the quiz to begin. Everything should usually run smoothly if you have prepared correctly and more often than not your trivia night will be able to run without worry or incident. But sometimes, things could occur which could require you to be that extra bit more vigilant and that little bit over-prepared. Whether you are hosting your first trivia night or your 10000th then this should help you in some ways.

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Be prepared at least 2 weeks ahead

I hear tales every month of trivia hosts you have broken printers, illness or unexpected incidents. My tip to avoid this is to have your quizzes fully ready and printed perhaps 2-3 weeks in advance. If you are using trivia software, make sure your custom questions are entered in advance and play a quick game to double check for misspelled words, wrong answers, grammar errors, and so forth.  I always have at least 2 weeks worth of trivia nights ready just in case anything happens and it has saved my skin many times in the past. Printer failures are common and I used to be in the bad habit of putting my trivia into my software games or printing my quiz at 6pm on the evening of the event! Never again. Now I simply devote time each Sunday to writing a full quiz meaning I have 2 weeks ahead at all times (obviously the first week you do this will require 3 trivia nights written).

 

Print more than is required

Don’t be tight on printing. Nothing is worse than turning up to a trivia night and having to share resources such as picture rounds. IF you usually get 15 teams, print 20. If new players turn up they are going to be more impressed with having their own hand outs rather than waiting for them to be passed round. IF costs worry you, then use a generic answer sheet and go to the local printer and ask for batches of 1000 a time. This will cost very little and every time you drop below 200, get more!

 

Questions back up

It has happened to myself and other trivia hosts I know many times…..for some reason you end up short of questions or have questions you cannot use. It may be a case of the questions has gone out of date since you wrote it, it may be that you have mis numbered and have questions too short or maybe the person you are asking about has been in the news for something negative. There could be a million and one reasons why a question that was perfectly good last week is not a good one this week. What you need to do therefore is have back up. On my ipad I have a back up document with 100 questions split over the 10 subjects I ask about. If I ever need to use one I replace it so that I always have the back up when I need it.

 

You may also want to have prepared a separate paper based, exam style quiz on hand just in case there are major technical failures that mean you cannot be heard. Not ideal, but if the option is written trivia or no trivia, then I imagine of your players will choose the former.

 

Music round failures

It has been the case on trivia nights I have been to where the music round, planned and prepared, has failed to materialise as either the devices have ran out of charge, the hook ups aren’t working or for one reason or another the music cannot be heard. Rather than “miss out” an entire round have a quick little music quiz ready…maybe guessing album covers, music trivia questions or lyrics based questions. Either way having a substitute music round is better than having a music round that doesn’t happen.

 

Battery failures

It is horrible and embarrassing to have batteries fail on a wireless buzzer game or microphone.  I never do a game without charging up any and all batteries, and even some extra rechargeable batteries.  Putting freshly charged batteries into my devices PRIOR to the start of the show is routine for every setup I do.  I just do it.  I don’t even think about it.  There is nothing worse than losing a $300, or more, booking over a stupid battery!  That’s the worst case scenario, but remember we are talking about being prepared for anything.  At the very least you may lose some credibility and ultimately respect as a trivia host.  Having a good quality set of rechargeable batteries is insanely less expensive in the long run than buying new ones every time.  For $60 you can purchase 10 rechargeable batteries with station to charge it.  Heck, it will cost you that much just to buy 20 regular batteries.

 

All in all, preparation gives confidence and if you control the situations that arise well you are players will stay. Remember, you are paid and hired to get people into bars and venues and to ensure they stay there and if they start to think you haven’t got a handle on a situation or if the problems cause massive delays then they are simply going to leave your trivia night never to return. By far and away the most successful and best trivia hosts are the ones who have problems, deal with them and the players never even realise there was a problem in the first place. That all comes from thinking ahead, planning and preparing and following the steps above will help ensure you are one of the successful ones.

 

 

2 Responses to Be Prepared for Anything – A Trivia Hosts Survival Guide

  1. […] Being prepared for anything is also vital to creating the ultimate first impression. […]

  2. […] I’ve considered in the past but have never had to actually use…..but it is good to be prepared for anything  just in case.  If there is some venue where you just simply cannot keep the players from […]

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