How to Host a Trivia Night

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Trivia nights are a great way to help fill a pub on a quiet evening.

Trivia events have become increasing popular in recent years. They are a fun, social way to test knowledge across all age ranges and interests. They are also a great way to help fill a pub on what might be a quiet evening.

There are many ways to host a trivia night, but the basic fundamentals are essentially the same. As you start to host your own trivia night, we want to make sure it is as successful as possible.

Read on to see just how that can be achieved!

Creating the Event


Pick a date

When you are deciding to host a trivia night, make sure that you choose a night that doesn’t interfere with any major sporting events or holidays. You may also want to choose a date that is typically slower. 

Pick a time

You usually want to pick a time that will allow your patrons time to get to your venue and settle in. It’s usually best to start your event no later than 7:00 PM. A trivia night should last about 2 hours which will keep the patrons engaged and also allow ample time to clean-up before close.

Get the word out

You can’t have a successful trivia night without patrons showing up, so make sure you get the word out! Tell your regulars about it, post it on your Facebook page, and hang some posters in your venue. You can use one of our poster templates to get started.  

Before the Event


Prepare your questions

You can’t host a trivia night without questions! You’ll also need to make sure that the questions used are of sound quality. If you’re using one of TriviaHub’s Ready-to-Play games, this shouldn’t be an issue as we ensure all of our games are vetted by an editorial staff for accuracy. We also ensure a good balance of question difficulty across all categories.

 If you do write some of your own questions, make sure you think about:

  • Difficulty: Creating a balanced set of questions is important. If they are all too easy, you’ll bore your patrons, too difficult and they will feel stupid.

  • Accuracy: The last thing you want to be doing is disputing answers with your patrons. Ensuring questions are accurate and don’t have multiple answers will help the night go as smooth as possible.

  • Clarity: When asking the question, make sure you are clear about exactly it is that you are looking for (e.g. do you want a President’s first name, last name, both?).

Test your equipment

To host an event, you’ll need some equipment. Typically, this comes in the form of a sound system (mic and speaker) but could also include a laptop for electronic scoring and projector to allow patrons to view the questions on a screen. Whatever you use, make sure to test that all of your equipment is working a few days before your event.

Print all materials

Your patrons will be using paper to answer their questions so make sure you have ample copies of all of your rule sheets, answer sheets and scoresheets printed. You don’t want to run out in the middle of the event. Ten teams is typically a good number to plan for until you understand your average attendance. 

Familiarize yourself with the question set

Knowing the questions and answers well will help ensure that you can flow between questions as seamlessly as possible for your patrons.  

During the Event


Get your prizes ready

Make sure you have three prizes ready to distribute at the end of the night to first place, second place and third place. Typically, t-shirts, swag or gift cards work great.

Check your internet connection

You’ll want to make sure you have a sound internet connection either over Wi-Fi or on a smartphone. This will allow you to check for any answer challenges from players.

Ensure all materials are ready

When patrons start to arrive, make sure to welcome them and pass out the materials each team will need. Each team should get at least a set of answer sheets, a copy of the rulebook and a pen.

Start the event

Start on time and announce to the room that the event is starting. Welcome everyone to the trivia night and only start to read questions after everyone is paying attention. When you read your questions, make sure to read at a steady pace, and in a clear, direct voice. Make sure to read each question twice in case a patron didn’t hear the first time. Each question should take about 1 minute to complete.

End the round

After you’ve gotten through all questions in the round, you will end the round. Instruct your patrons to bring their answer sheets up to you. You will give them a break of 5 minutes in-between rounds. This will give you time to tally the answers and score for each team, and give them time to use the restroom, if necessary.

 At the end of the 5 minutes, announce the correct answers, read off the team names and their total scores. 

End the game

After your final round, collect final answer sheets, mark total scores and then announce the final results, starting from lowest team first. Complete a tiebreak round if required and then hand out the prizes you collected to the first, second and third place winners.

 Thank everyone for coming and remind them when the next trivia event will be. And that’s it, you did it!