Pub Quiz Tips from Pro Mobile

Here’s an extract from a recent article published in Pro Mobile magazine. We liked it so though we’d give it a share:

Pub Quiz nights have been a regular source of mid-week work for many DJs for many years and, if done right, can be quite lucrative.

If you are thinking of including a few mid-week nights to your weekly list of gigs, or even if you currently host a pub quiz night. Here’s a couple of tips from my 25 years of hosting pub quizzes. For most of you it might seem I’m covering the basics. But if you can pull one little tip from here, job done. Hope it helps. 

FIRST OF ALL Don’t lose sight of what a pub quiz night is all about. It’s about keeping the tills ringing, selling beer/food etc. So a well-structured evening with lots of opportunity for teams to visit the bar is what it’s all about. I’m a firm believer in not over-cooking anything. Two/two and a half hours is about the max to keep an audience’s attention. Anymore and you are stretching it. Three rounds, made up of a 20 question picture quiz or Table Top quiz is a great introduction to your night followed by a general knowledge round and finally a music round. That should fill your night out nicely.

ADVERTISING Posters in the pub, flyers on the tables. You can get A3 or A2 full colour posters on-line for a few quid, same with the flyers. Backed up with social media – Facebook, Twitter, etc. Plus the A board outside the pub to attract passing trade. If you are starting a new night, ask the manager to get staff, family and friends and the regulars to get teams sorted out in advance of the night.

QUIZ QUESTIONS. Don’t waste time writing your own questions and collating pictures /catchphrases, etc. There are companies on the internet where you can instantly download quality pub quiz questions and games for a few quid. Quizsupplies.co.uk is a great place to start.

ANSWER SHEETS You can always design your own or there are a number of different answer sheets ready to download for free from the ‘free quizzes page’ on the quizsupplies.co.uk website.

KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE Don’t just read your questions straight from the question sheet. Look over the questions first. Make sure you can pronounce any unusual words or names and adapt any questions that may be too tough for your crowd. If Questions are too tough or too easy, your teams will lose interest and you will have another empty table.

For example… Barbara Bach, the model that played Bond girl Anya Amasova in ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’, married whom in 1981? RINGO STARR

If you feel the question is too difficult for your crowd, simplify it. Replacing ‘whom’ with ‘which drummer’ or even ‘which Beatle’. Likewise if the question is too easy, make it tougher by leaving some of the information out of the question. Another way is to give multiple choice answers.

RULES Be very clear on the rules. Rule 1, the quizmaster is always right. Rule 2, if the quizmaster is ever wrong, Rule 1 applies. Rule 3, It’s a fun quiz so put your phones away.

TEAM NAMES Table 6, and The Hamilton’s doesn’t give you much to work with. Ask your team to go for elaborate funny team names and read the out to encourage them. Natural Born Losers, Norfolk And Clue, Quizimodo, Universally Challenged, The shy teds, Nice Place To Put Your Face, Beating Chastards, Agatha Quiztie, have been some of my favourites.

SUPPER The Quiz Supper always helps to put bums on seats. Hotpot, chilli or a curry for a £1 if the pub has catering facilities, or free sandwiches if not. 

PRIZES Don’t have to be massive. £20 bar tab for the winners £10 for second. Make the bar tab valid for the following week’s pub quiz. That way you are a guaranteed the repeat business. Design your own bar-tab/vouchers in the form of full colour business cards from vistaprint. Includes boxes on the back that can be filled-in by hand for valid on date, and signature. The front of the bar-tab/voucher is an open invitation to plug your DJing services.

MID WEEK SPORT If the football is on the TV. Don’t cancel the quiz, you potentially have a crowd of new quiz teams. Hand out the Picture Quiz or Tabletop Quiz during the halftime interval and tell teams you are starting straight after the football. Usually they’ll stay and join in.