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How to Run A Pub Quiz - 6 Steps to Success

Whether you're planning a fun or "serious" money making pub quiz you'll want to do it right so that people actually turn up to play and if they do you don't look like a complete donkey by way of bad organisation or even worse having out of date questions! It's not that hard when you know how, and after you read thorough the 6 key steps you'll know exactly what to do to make your pub quiz a rip roaring success.

If you just want to run a simple quiz between friends and/or work mates then this is still relevant but you don't need to go into as much detail.

Summary of the 6 steps -
1. Design your quiz structure.
2. Get questions.
3. Teams and entry fees
4. Prizes
5. Rolling jackpots – A great way to get them back again and again.
6. Advertise your quiz

1) Design your Quiz structure:

Most quizzes last 1 to 1 and half hours and have 6-8 rounds (toilet and drink breaks essential!)

>> First - Outline a base structure.

* Basic - Sets of general knowledge trivia questions per round.

* Advanced –
>> Specialist rounds like music or movies.

>> Or a seasonal/event theme, E.g., Xmas, big sports events, national days, Mothers Day etc.

>> Different formats: For example, a picture quiz round or "name that tune!

2) Get Questions:

>> Now slot question groups into the structure.

Questions must be –
* Up to date in the context of the subject they're on

* Answers MUST be correct. Take particular care with any questions where answers change over time, e.g., which team has won the cup the most etc.

* If you have a wrong answer as a quizmaster you'll lose credibility fast and the whole thing will be a nightmare!

Happily the solution is easy.

>> Where to get quiz questions

* Free - Online or with books and newspapers finding questions and answers (good if you like that sort of thing or have lots of time)

Free trivia quiz question packs – Search online and you'll find sets of free questions for download. But DO check answers on any questions where the answer could have changed with time passing.

Pay for questions – There are specialist quiz question companies who supply pre-researched, guaranteed correct questions. Costs vary but are not that high – Plus you know you're getting professional quality.

If you're in a hurry or want to do a themed quiz or one with extras like a picture quiz then this is by far the best way.

3) Teams and Entry fees:

I suggest no limit low or high on team numbers.

Unless it's a mates only closed group quiz then you should have an entry fee. This ensures that all teams are focused and that timewasters are put off. If someone won't pay say £1 then you have to wonder why they're in the pub in the first place. I suggest £1 per player. If you get a really popular quiz going and do big prizes then you might charge more.

The result = No unnecessary restrictions and small teams of 2 or 3 are not discouraged from entering.

4) Prizes:
Big cash prizes are great but you will attract quiz geeks from all over. If that's what you want then that's how to do it!

BUT if you want a full pub for a fun night then things like a keg of beer work great. And people play again as it comes over as fun rather than over serious.

You could even have prizes for different rounds – why not ask your local brewery or other suppliers to donate prizes to the quiz?

5) Rolling Jackpots:
What to do with the entrance fees? You could keep them, pay the quizmaster or (the best idea) have a rollover cash jackpot designed to keep teams coming back.

a) Think of a number between 1 and 1000 and put it in a sealed envelope. Make sure that the person running the quiz knows the number and can be trusted not to sell it or pass it on!

b) At the end of the quiz each team tries to guess the number by handing in written "bid"

c) The number is the same every week and stays in the same envelope until it's guessed.

d) You collect all papers and write on each Higher or Lower depending on the guess. I.e. If the number is 50 and they wrote 142, you write Lower on the paper and return it to the team.

>> The beauty of this is that a lucky team could win the cash at any point and a team that attends every time is guaranteed to get the answer within 10 weeks (Because they keep their weekly guesses) and missing a week could lose a team the jackpot.

6) Advertise your quiz:
Assuming you've got dates set you now need players!

So you need to advertise in some way.

If possible add an extra incentive, for example, free pub snacks like a bowl of cheesy chips per 3 people per team"carrot" like a free drink or pub snack plate for each team.

Highlight the ever-increasing cash rolling jackpot prize.

>> Posters/flyers -
If you know anyone who's good at design you can knock some up. Or see if the brewery have any posters. They know that pub quizzes are great for business on quiet night and so may be able to help. There are also some good free online sources with them free for download and customisation.

Put them up…anywhere and everywhere taking care not to break any laws on bill posting!

>> Word of mouth -
Tell friends, family and workmates. Tell all the pub locals and ask them to tell anyone they think might be interested. Ask the landlord and bar staff to mention it to all and sundry.

>> Local Media -
Papers – Write a brief "PR release" and send to your local papers and radio station. E.g., the "Red Lion" has a new weekly fun pub quiz starting on –date- at –time- with –xyz- as prize. £1 per player, any numbers per team and all welcome. Free bowl of cheesy chips for each team"

>> Online -
Local websites and blogs about your area or town.

Pub quizzes are incredibly popular. If you do a good job on all the steps you'll have a successful quiz evening. If you don't get an amazing turnout first time don't be disheartened, word can take a while to get out. Keep promoting hard and you'll get there.

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About The Author: Nick moved from England to Sweden in 2006 where he lives with fiancé Lena, 2 step daughters & Border Terrier Gunnar. In addition to a busy ebay business and consulting for UK quiz site he runs a quiz resources site - It features online quiz reviews, an Amazon Astore quiz shop, free pub quiz posters and score sheets & 10,000 free trivia quiz questions and answers for download.

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