How to Host a Trivia Night in 10 Simple Steps

Trivia nights are handy little ways to bring engagement and fun to any gathering or party. Whether it’s bar owners mounting pub quizzes for existing and new customers on slower nights, families preparing for a get-together, or a manager looking for a good icebreaker, trivia seems to be one of the most popular ways to bring life to an affair.

A trivia night is an event centered on games with questions that deal with fun facts or trivia. These questions bring a challenge, entertainment, and a way to keep teams, friends, or groups lively. It has been a common experience for different teams to enjoy the games because of the themes and because it stirs their curiosity about a specific topic or field. 

Hosting trivia events is not rocket science. Your team, friends or family may even make you as their go-to person to host the next trivia theme nights after successfully facilitating the first one. Here are ten simple steps to host a fun-filled and memorable trivia night.

1. Choose a trivia theme

A theme can be anything under the sun. Your trivia theme is world history, countries, science, culture, people, food, brands, etc. The list is endless. Choosing a specific trivia theme makes it easier to look for trivias and for the participants to ride on with the game. 

You can choose a theme that is trending on the Internet or one that you think most people in the group would be able to relate to. Choose a theme that anyone will enjoy, not just trivia buffs. Some ideas include the following categories:

  • Pop culture;
  • History;
  • Movies;
  • Science;
  • TV Shows;
  • Video Games;
  • TV Celebrities;
  • Art;
  • Religion;
  • Animals;
  • Books;
  • General Knowledge;
  • and so many more.

2. Research the questions

After choosing the theme, make a simple but significant research effort. Online games like trivia nights tend to flop because of a lack of research. The questions and information are not intellectually stimulating enough for the participants. 

Game Shows are backed up by researchers and writers, making them effective and engaging. In the same way, a well-researched set of questions would certainly increase the chances of a well-played trivia night.

3. Determine participants and make teams

While it is true that everything goes in a trivia game, it is still important to determine your trivia players and create teams as you prepare for your trivia night. Determining your participants allows you to come up with topics that would be relevant to them.

Creating teams brings out the competitiveness in every participant instead of choosing “every man for himself”. Making teams increases the bragging rights of the winners and the “better luck next time” to the losers. 

4. Run the event

The tendency for some people who would want to host trivia nights is to run it alone. While it can really be a one-man show, it is still a lot better to have a host to help you out so you can focus on the details of the event. 

For pub owners who want to do this as a weekly gathering, it might be a good idea to hire a trivia game master. It could be one of your staff members or a freelance event host who can bring any crowd alive to ensure you have the best trivia nights in town. Local bars planning weekly trivia nights should be able to pick up some regulars.

5. Award the winners

What is a game without winners and losers? And what is a winner without prizes and awards? Giving out simple tokens to the winners and participants to the one with the most correct answers will surely add to the overall experience of the trivia night. People generally love receiving something, even if it is something simple.

Awards can be anything from items to discount coupons, gift cards, and even a small cash prize. Better yet, you can create an award like a customized medal or trophy to give the person with the best trivia skills bragging rights. 

6. Don’t be afraid to be quirky!

Trivia nights are very flexible and forgiving because it is not a highly formal event. Sometimes when the program is too stiff, it hampers the participants to engage and loosen up. 

Do not be afraid to try new things or to do it in a different way. You can choose any topic under the sun and anything goes with the program. You can have a “guest” to read a question or add a bonus round at the end of every round. In cases where a team’s answers might be something they can act out or perform, like a famous TV show or a song, get them to do a skit or sing along!

7. Use a virtual trivia game software

There are a lot of trivia games available online. Using a virtual trivia game allows you to save time in preparing because you do not have to look for questions manually or even come up with your own rules. It also spares you from thinking about the mechanics of the game since many of them already have a great game play. 

Using a virtual trivia game software also helps you to focus on the other important matters of the program like finding a host, creating teams and thinking about what kind of prizes you can give. 

8. Add good to know facts with every trivia answer.

Good to know facts are information that may not be necessarily useful in life but can “wow” your participants. It adds a tickle to the curious mind. 

An example of this would be something like this:

What is the heaviest land animal?

Answer: African Bush Elephant They can weigh up to 11.1 short tons.

Adding a fun fact in every trivia answer gives them a sense of looking forward to the next question while competing with others. It will also make your quiz night a fun way to learn something new in the process.

9. Create clear rules

Trivia nights consist of questions from anything under the sun and anything goes with the program but when it comes to the rules of the game, you must be very clear because there are players who tend to “work around” the rules in order to win. Working around the rules is fine but not to the point of spoiling the game by making it unfair. 

Rules are important not just for clarity and fairness but also for enjoyment. It usually consists of how to gain a point and what players are not allowed to do.

10. Consider going virtual

Virtual trivia nights are hassle-free and fun. It allows you to connect and have fun at the comforts of your own place. There are a lot of virtual game softwares that would help you achieve your goal without being physically together. 

Going virtual is highly beneficial for remote teams or family members who are far away from each other. While it is ideal to be together physically, it provides the best option to stay connected despite the distance and limitations. 


Play Multiplayer Trivia Games with Your Team

Make your next meeting, team building, get-together, event, or class more fun with trivia games plus other fun and exciting team engagement tools to help build team connection!

Final Words

There’s really no limit to the imagination when mounting trivia nights. The beauty also is you can go on for as long as you’d like. 6 PM, 7 PM, 8 PM, 9 PM, 10 PM, midnight— you can keep going as long as you don’t run out of questions!

The most important thing is to make your trivia night a fun occasion. So, design your trivia nights for ultimate excitement, laughter, and enjoyment. That way, everyone in your company, family, friends circle, or bar will have an amazing time and love you for it!

About the Author

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Tim majored in Humanities with a bachelor in English and Theatre at New York State University. He lectured on entertainment business studies for three years at Plymouth College.

Tim has been a trivia host in his current hometown of Pittsburgh for the past two years. He enjoys hanging out with people who love trivia just as much as he does.

His friends call him the Question Master.