Monday, February 25, 2008

Trivia Night Ideas

St. Louis is home to trivia nights. Go to California, and they've never even heard of them. Trivia nights are a tried and tested money maker for worthy causes.

Trivia nights have been popular here for more than ten years, and they generally follow a set formula. Ten rounds, ten questions, celebrity emcees, free popcorn, and usually free beer. Not a bad formula.

However, more and more, it seems we are seeing the trivia hounds out in force, sandbagging the competition. They show up with a variety of specialists in an effort to ace each category. Really people, is it supposed to be so serious? Then when they win, the divvy up the $120 or so dollars in prize money to about $12 apiece. How about giving it back?

These are supposed to be fundraisers! Return the prize money. Isn't it enough to win with a score of say 96 out of 100? C'mon, loosen up a little! Okay, so here's a few suggstions to change up the trivia night routine ...

Reduce the number of rounds from 10 to say 5 or 7, max. Bring in a warm up band for the start, and then quit earlier so the band can play for a half hour or so, while everyone helps to clean up.

Create the option for random team selection. Go as a group, or drop your names into a hat and draw names out to form teams. Meet and greet. Mix it up a little.

Okay, I know. St. Louisans hate change. Maybe it's best to leave well enough alone...


John Hendel said...

Gosh, I didn't realize trivia nights in St. Louis were quite so big (or involved free beer, for that matter). I used to do some there back in the day but thought they were relatively isolated (or only as common as anywhere else). I'll have to hit up some trivia when I'm back that way.

The Tin House said...

HI Rick, I was just googling for trivia night ideas, and came across your post. I'm hosting one tonight as a fundraiser for a local cancer care group. Trivia nights are huge in Australia and I'm a big fan.

I liked your idea of names in the hat - what a great way to meet new people. Ours has 8 rounds - with everything from current news and events, to entertainment questions.

The nights I've been to that I've enjoyed the most have had some pretty great prizes for people who come in team gear - everyone on one table might be dressed in pj's - that sort of thing. I also like the idea of a wooden spoon prize.