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Game Show Backdrops and Lights – Creating atmosphere

Backdrops and lights – Creating a game show atmosphere

Trivia is a business and like all business there is competition. As a trivia host you are hired by venues and bars to attract customers away from rival establishments and to fill every last seat in the house. Chances are there are several other trivia nights running at the same time you are presenting yours so you need to give yourself the edge.  One way of doing that, which I have found to be very successful over the years, is to use light enhancing effects in conjunction with Backdrops.  Focus on inexpensive LED lights for effects that look expensive but are not…they are safe, easy to install and maintenance free!  Here are a few hints and tips and general guidance, drawing on my years of experience, on the use of backdrops and lights and when they may, or may not, be suitable.


Initially, you are probably wondering what is the point of using backdrops and lights? Well let me say one word to you….professionalism. As a trivia night customer and player, you are looking for a tightly run trivia night from an experienced host who you can rely on to provide you with top quality trivia in an organized and efficient manner. If a player walks in and sees you scrunched over the bar with a few scraggy bits of paper then it does not have the same effect as if they walk in and see a massive backdrop with “Trivia Night” and lights swirling. It gives that all important first impression and it also gives every player more of a sense that they are part of something. Trust me!


One other huge benefit is it advertises the trivia night to people in the bar and passers by. Strategically placed game show backdrop and lights placed in the venue about an hour before the trivia starts could attract passers by who perhaps don’t know the trivia is on. Therefore if you can get just 3-4 customers into the bar, buying drinks, playing games etc then your bar owner is going to be very happy indeed.


And that’s not to mentioned if you are using online marketing the pictures of you in front of your game show backdrop is going to attract a heck of a lot more interest that you in your jeans and t-shirt with a mic!


First off you have to assess the venue. What is the lightning already like? What is the space requirement? Is your host happy for the extra electrical use? Don’t do a silly mistake trivia hosts have done and invest in the lights and backdrop before you secure a gig. Get the gig first, check its sustainable (i.e. do you have enough players each week) and build from there. Yes, you want to make a good first impression but going in all guns blazing will be costly and potentially foolish.


If the venue is well lit, has a lot of outside light of generally would not benefit from the lights then forget it. If you have a stage to yourself, or present trivia from a darkened corner of the bar then maybe a few lights here and there would benefit. Be sensible and don’t just use lights for the sake of it….what is the point of lights if no one notices they are there?


And again think of your customers. If you are in a local members club where the players are the same faces every week then perhaps it is not worth the investment. If you are a city center bar with passing customers every second then it may well be.


What should be included with the game show backdrop and lights setup? Very simply, it has to be simple, clear and appealing. If you are going to spend money on a backdrop, which unless you are a very talented individual you are going to have to, then spend it wisely. A cheap and shabby looking backdrop will have the opposite effect and make you look unprofessional. Something plain, stylish and with the facebook/twitter/website details of your service will do.  There are many online sources for basic high-impact back drops, shimmering curtains, and other sources for LED backdrops.


And guys, one tip….look after the backdrop. It may look stylish and have everything you need on there but if its ripped, torn and looks poorly maintained then you are going to struggle to attract custom.


All in all, it is evident therefore that if you are in the right sort of venue, with the right sort of players and the chance to appeal to a wider audience then the use of backdrops and lights can have a positive effect. By no means essential to a good trivia night (you of course need all the other tools in place as well), but backdrop and lights can be that extra bit of icing on the trivia cake.

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