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Prize and Bonus Questions – What to give away? Where to get it?

Prize and Bonus Questions – What to give away? Where to get it?

“More ideas on prize rounds, where to get prizes and how to make sure you give them away to a range of people”


Welcome back to the blog. I hope you have had a great weekend and the trivia hosting bookings are full for next week. Today I am going to combine a few subjects that I have covered on here, and certainly a few subjects which I am asked about time and time again, and that is the subject of prizes. If I added up all the questions I have been asked about over the years then the idea about prizes and bonus questions is one that comes up very very often indeed. I am going to combine the two in this post that is going to be a sort of mish mash of different areas. Let us just see where we end up.


The first thing I am going to mention I about where you are getting the prizes from. Now, we all know that prizes are good at luring general players into the quiz. What they can win and how often can make a difference in whether some players come each week. Yes, granted, the people who enjoy the trivia itself will always always want to come back and play but it’s the market of casual players you need to keep coming back and back and prizes is one way of ensuring that.


Whether you are a pen and paper trivia host or you use wireless buzzers in your games, careful consideration should be given to the reward your winners are expecting.


There are two regular and common sources of prizes that everyone uses and that should always be used. One for the players themselves. The simple way is to collect $1 per player and then use that as the prize for the winner. It doesn’t cost you anything or the bar. But it can mean the prize is sometimes lower and there is no guarantee of big money if there is a big sports event that night or it rains and people don’t show. So when looking for prizes and looking for something to add to your bonus round then the first port of call should always be the bar. They will be making a lot of profit, even after paying you, so they could stump up some cash for the total. Keep in mind that most states, if not all of them, have certain laws regarding pay-to-play games so be sure to check with your local state laws to make sure that you don’t get fined for incorporating the concept in this paragraph.  One way around it is that $1 from each purchase of a shot or beer goes into the ‘pot’ and then the player’s name is written on a card that goes into another pot.  The more a person buys the more chances they have to win.  A name is drawn from the second pot who wins all the money in the first pot.


If we are looking at the idea of combining prizes into the bonus rounds then what I make sure I do, as well as having the $40-$60 for the overall prize pool from the bar is get them to give me 10-15 beer tokens. Now, remember bars make huge profits on drinks so they aren’t costing themselves a great deal by giving you these vouchers. But it means you can make your quiz so much better as you can give out several prizes, prizes to teams who don’t usually win, prizes every round and have unique bonus rounds and questions where the beer token prizes are the main attraction.


But sometimes you will be in a position where you have to root out your own prizes and this is where it can get a little harder. For example, the bar itself may only make a small amount of profit on your night as its their slowest night of the week and it helps keep the business ticking over but they cannot afford to shell out for you, the prize and more. There are several places to look.


Local business are usually keen to get involved. You can do this several ways….some will be happy to provide a $50 dollar prize as long as you mentioned their name, some will want their logo on your materials etc. I have several deals set up and some range for cash prize boosts for one mention to small payments for a logo on the picture round. Its all going to come down to the business itself.


In fact, as we are linking prizes with bonus rounds I have some set ups with other companies…..One company provided me with a $100 prize but said they wanted a 5 question quiz on their own company. So I had to find fun questions to be tied to a obscure company….the players enjoyed it but it would be hard to do this on a regular basis.


I worked with on brewery who offered a $100 prize for a mention and they said I could what I wanted. So what I did was make a bonus question. It was a “nearest the pin question” and winner takes all. I thought that I would style the question around the brewery…I asked the manager for some stats and asked a question “How many bottles of XXX are sold in XXX each year?”. The benefit here? No one is going to know so it means the $100 is anyone’s as the nearest guess wins!


So there we have it, as you can see I have covered a few varied topics and I am sorry if you feel I have jumped around a lot in the article but reading it back it does seem to flow…kind of. The main points I tried to get across are all there and it covers an issue I get asked about a lot so hopefully this will help new hosts and experienced hosts alike. All in all, its an area worth spending your time on as prizes can really really attract new waves of players and keep them there.


What we have coming up for you in the next post is the next in our series looking at how you can make rounds exciting and we are going to be taking a look at how you can make the TV/Film Rounds a little more exciting with ideas on how you can use audio, visual clues and all kinds of rounds to spice up the obvious format.


Until next time, happy trivia hosting and remember that whenever you need tips, hints or advice on the world of trivia hosting just ask and we will do our very best to get your issues dealt with quickly and extensively.

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