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What to do when Attendance at your Trivia Night Begins to Dwindle

What to do when attendance at your trivia night begins to dwindle….

“A range of hints, tips and ideas of what to do when attendance starts to fall at your trivia night”

Welcome back to the blog and I hope you are having a good week….don’t worry, it is nearly the weekend. All things considered, we have covered a wide range of issues on the blog in the last few weeks and as usual I strive to cover as much ground as I can to suit trivia hosts with no experience and those who have been doing it years. I am of course basing all of this on my own experience as a trivia host and believe me I have faced all manner of things.


Today, I am looking to look at an issue a friend who reads the blog suggested that I cover in a chat we were having. He is having a problem whereby his trivia night has dropped from 16 teams on average, down to 12 teams and now there are some weeks when there are only 5 teams playing, He is in a difficult position and I have been there before myself.  I am sure you will face at some point, if you launch a career in this sector…..what do you do if the trivia attendance starts to fall?


You have done all the preparation, planning and everything seems to be going great but all of a sudden things go from bad to worse. You know your neck is on the line and if you don’t pull things round soon then you are going to be in the awful position of having no gigs and no bookings. Here are a few ideas and some food for thought on how you can look to ensure your trivia night picks back up.


Falling Attendance at your Trivia Night – Reasons Why?

First you have to look at the reasons why the attendance may have dropped and be clear and honest with yourself. There could be so many reasons:

  • Maybe your quiz has become stale and predictable.
  • Are you letting cheats prosper?
  • Is it dragging too much (this is why feedback is always important to try and get from your players)?
  • But the most annoying time is when you are doing the same quiz format that has been working for weeks and suddenly stops working….are you then clashing with a sports event?
  • Is it a period of bad weather?
  • Or more importantly has a local venue started their own trivia occasions that is putting yours out of business? This is more worrying that everything else.


Have a one-on-one chat with the venue owner and express your observations.  Don’t worry, he’s writing the check so he already knows it but perhaps hasn’t said anything just yet.  Don’t wait for him to say something….because the next words out of his mouth will be something like “Don’t call us, we will call you”.

A quick solution will be to work with the players who remain.  Encourage them and reward them for bringing their friends.  This will likely give you a quick boost.  The reward should be simple:  Extra points to start the game with, or a drink ticket at the bar.   Also, a quick solution is to use your social media or emailing lists which I have mentioned is vital to keep. Be sure to read my article How to keep your audience coming back week after week. Try to get to the root of the problem so you know how to fix it ….




Falling Attendance at your Trivia Night – Invest in New Technology

Throwing money at your problems is never a wise thing to do but in this case it may be. Maybe your quiz attendance has started to fall because your quiz has grown tired, is out of touch or just needs a bit of sprucing up. Look at the likes of equipment on hire at DigiGames and see how it can help. All these things matter to your players and even the smallest investment in a piece of technology could lead to retaining those players.


Falling Attendance at your Trivia Night – Night of the Week?

Now this is a key one:

  • Are you quiz nights clashing with major sporting events?
  • Is it game day?
  • Or you choosing a night when other attractions are in town?


Rather than let your night die and wait for the venue owner to tell you that your services are no longer required be proactive about it and ensure that you take the first steps and suggest remedies.


Falling Attendance at your Trivia Night – Jackpot or Multi-Round Event

We have discussed in previous posts good ways of doing Jackpot Rounds that will encourage players to return. One thing I did when the quiz was hit and miss was promise a $1000 must be won jackpot…..but all I said to the players was that the $1000 would be given away in a quiz over the next 12 weeks. Everyone knew what I was doing but the greed kept them coming back and I had full attendances all those 12 weeks. This is not a solution of course long term and you have to make sure they enjoy the weeks so they make it routine.




Have a multi round jackpot. What I often do is to take a large sum of money from the bar owner…say $300 and have a must win jackpot over say 5 weeks. At the end of each quiz I ask 10 new questions…..4 easy, 3 medium, 2 hard and one super hard. The teams play and their score is added up and at the end of the 5 weeks a winner is announced. Keeps players coming back and give them a reason to re-attend week after week.  This is where incorporating tournaments is a must.  Be sure to read my article on tournaments.


Falling Attendance at your Trivia Night – Re-advertise

If attendance is low your social media is not working which we have already said is so vital to your overall aims….get it advertised, revamp your Facebook, update your blog and just get onto as many forums etc as you can and make sure people in the area know where and when its on.


Falling Attendance at your Trivia Night – Be open to criticism

As I mention above, perhaps there is something in your show that is not acceptable to players.  You may not even be aware of it.  People tend to just leave, they won’t always share with you the reasons why.  Here is where your competitor in your local market may come in handy.  If you have previously established a good reputation among the competition in your area, and you work out a referral exchange program with them they will likely be willing to attend one of your trivia shows and share with you their observations.  This will only work if you are already networking with your competition previously.  If you have attempted to drive your competition out of business by offering a same/similar service so as to take their accounts then you have burned this avenue which will bite you later.  Yes it is a free country and you can run your business as you please, but nothing strengthens your business more and increases your credibility and reputation in the community than working with the local competition.  Once you lose your credibility and reputation you have nothing.  Absolutely nothing.  I have seen it time and time again.  Ok, sorry, I am off topic a bit here, but you get the idea.   Use your competition to your advantage…… they might just spot your performance problem and share with you that one little thing that changes everything for you.  Be sure to read my articles about working with the competition.  As a result you just might recover the account before the client who hires you tells you to hit the road Jack.



If after all that your quiz still fails and none of the above situations apply to you then you may simply have to just accept that the venue on that night is not going to work out for you trivia wise and move on to new pastures . Quiz nights will fail… happens. Most trivia venues give it 4-5 weeks and if there aren’t enough people, its done. Take it on the chin, learn as much as you can from the experience and move on. That’s all for today folks and if you ever need hints and tips on this subject again…just let me know.


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