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How to run a successful contest for serious trivia players?

How to run a successful contest for serious trivia players?

“Making sure, that when and if you are called upon, you can produced a challenging and engaging quiz for serious trivia players”

Welcome to the start of another week and I hope you had both a fun and enjoyable weekend. Last week’s posts seem to go down very well and we are hoping to get at least another 5 posts of tips, hints and ideas uploaded this week so keep your eyes peeled to the blog.


We have much in store this week including looking at the ways in which a blog itself (ironic) can help you promote your service, the pitfalls of bar trivia, how to incorporate the use of mobile phones and we will do a full scale recap of the past 20 or so entries so you have all your ideas in one handy place.


To start the week off we are going to look at an area that maybe you have not death with yet but should think about, and that is the trivia for serious players. Believe me when I say, as I am one of them, there are hundreds of thousands of trivia players all over the world who devote every waking minute to learning facts and competing at the highest level. There is quizzing World Championship, people travel all over the world to quiz and dedicated online groups exist.


Here is a basic guide, from first hand experience, of how to successfully run a contest for serious trivia players..

How to run a successful contest for serious trivia players? – The questions are the most important element

In some posts relating to bar trivia I have mentioned time and time again how important the format is and making sure you stand out etc etc, but when it comes to a serious trivia event then the questions themselves take the key stage. For a serious trivia challenge you need to be spending weeks if not months on getting the set just right. These players will have heard most of your questions before so you need to think outside of the box, but together tough questions that even if the players don’t know the answer too they can use there knowledge to work out and avoid things that are too obscure.




It’s a fine balance as you need questions where people will know the answer when they hear it but not questions that will result in a “WTF” moment. A bad set and people simply will not return, a good set and you will find you have earned a customer for life! Quizzers tend to loyal people.

How to run a successful contest for serious trivia players? – Choosing a Venue

The venue is all important…usually if you are running a serious quiz you can charge players more. People all over the world pay $30-$50 an event to compete I things like the World Quizzing Championships and players will pay good money to compete so you don’t necessarily need a bar for this and actually due to the noise serious players probably prefer a quieter community center etc. Usually, these can be booked for free so it saves you money and means you don’t have the pressure of a bar owner wanting more and more.

How to run a successful contest for serious trivia players? – Written Rounds

A lot of the high end trivia events don’t’ even involve any delivery as they tend to be written, exam style questions. Yes, people pay money to sit an exam….dont believe me? Research into the International Quizzing Association and you will soon find out.  If you use wireless buzzers like DigiGames has, you might find that these are best used as a warm up or a fun cool down trivia session, separate from the more serious written rounds.

How to run a successful contest for serious trivia players? – High brow/Low brow

Too many quiz hosts go overboard when it comes to high end questions. Just because the trivia players are serious doesn’t mean they can only answer on Classical Music and Art. Get a nice mix between high and low brow and you will please your players.

How to run a successful contest for serious trivia players? – Avoid Gimmicks

One thing serious trivia players are not keen on are gimmick rounds so keep it to straight up trivia. Picture rounds are okay, music rounds less so, but anything like family feud style rounds or true/false questions will be shunned so make sure to avoid them at all costs. This is serious now.

How to run a successful contest for serious trivia players? – Marketing the quiz

Make sure when you market the quiz that it goes to the right people and that everyone knows it is a serious event. There are many ran each year but not so much so that you shouldn’t be able to find a free day somewhere. Get on facebook and get involved in the online communities and advertise your event. Serious quiz players tend to travel to go to events so target people from outside your own area.

So in essence then when looking at how to run a successful contest for serious quiz players then there are a number of key elements you need to take on board. Namely –


  • Making sure the questions are accurate, interesting and challenging
  • Avoiding “too obscure questions”
  • Mixture of high brow and low brow culture
  • Avoid gimmicks that cheapen the quiz
  • Make sure you market it in the correct ways
  • Use of buzzers and written rounds can help


In essence then, I hope you have gathered from this that to run a successful trivia night for the more serious players then you need to think harder and work harder. There are a few simple rules to follow that will result in you achieving your aims quickly and easily, but try anything too fast and you will fail.


Thanks for reading the entry today and I look forward to your feedback and comments. I hope this has been of help to you and we look at the pitfalls and common problems in bar trivia in the next post which is, I’m sure, something you will find very interesting.


Until then….happy trivia hosting!

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