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Everything you need to know about organising a Quiz Night

If you've been assigned the job of organising your first quiz night you might be a little nervous. Well hopefully the information provided here will give you an overview of what you need to do and put your mind at rest.

If you're an old hand then some of what follows may be familiar to you but I expect even you will find some ideas and tips that you can add to your Quiz Master arsenal.

The main thing to keep in mind at all times is that a quiz night is great fun for all involved and if your quiz night is raising money for a good cause you can pull in some valuable funds at the same time. If you as the quiz organiser lose sight of how fun the quiz night can be so will everyone else. So put a smile on your dial and expect to have a good time.

The basic structure of a Quiz Night

  1. The Organisers arrive at the venue.
    • Distribute pens/pencils to each table.
    • Distribute table games (what is a quiz night table game ?)
    • Make sure scorers have a copy of the questions and answers and a way to record each teams score.
      (you can use a piece of grid paper, MS Excel on a laptop, or software such as Quiz Night Chief)
    • Make sure the MC / announcer / person reading out the questions, has a copy of the script for the night. The script should contain the questions as well as instructions for any sponsor mentions and special announcements to be made.
  2. Participating teams arrive.
    • Someone greets people as they enter and collects their entrance fee. If people have paid in advance the person collecting money from people who are paying on the night will need a list of prepaid teams or people.
    • Each team is asked to provide their team name to the scorers.
  3. The Quiz Begins (Yipee!)
    • The MC / announcer welcomes everyone and makes sure everyone has paid and provided their team name to scorer.
  4. Quiz Round - Repeated for each round of the Quiz Night
    • The MC / announcer reads out the questions for the first round. Pausing for 30 seconds or so between each question so that teams may confer and decide on their answers.
    • After all the questions have been read the MC asks one person from each team to bring their answer sheets to the scorer's table. (Note : you may wish to stagger the handing in of answer sheets, so the answer sheets for round 1 are handed in after round 2, and the answer sheets for round 2 are handed in after round 3 etc).
    • The scorers compare the answers on the answer sheet to the correct answers and total the score for each round for each team. The round score is recorded on a score sheet / Excel / Quiz Night Chief.
    • The MC / announcer may read through the answers from a previous round.
    • The MC / announcer may remind the teams that they need to hand in table game sheets.
    • There MC / announcer may declare a halfway 10-20 minute break so people may stretch their legs.
    • There MC / announcer may read out or show the current standings, how many points each team is on.
  5. The Final Round Ends
    • After the questions for the final round have been read and the answer sheets collected the MC / announcer may declare a short break so that the scorers can calculate the total team scores.
    • The winning team is announced, there may be a prize for the first, second, third and last placed teams.
    • The MC thanks the organisers and asks everyone to drive home safely.

Tips to make your Quiz Night fun for one and all

  • Make sure you provide the opportunity for people to leave their seats and stretch their legs. Perhaps you will have a half time break or include some novelty games that require people to stand up.
  • If you are running a fundraising quiz night allow people who wish to dispute a question answer to challenge for a fee. If they are prepared to pay the challenge fee their dispute will be put to the room and by a show of hands (or calling out) the room will decide if their complaint will be accepted.
  • Not everything has to be as simple as writing on a piece of paper. There are many games you can include in your quiz night that are more creative and tactile than writing answers on paper. For example you can award points to the first team that can bring specific items to the scorer's table. You might ask the teams to bring a comb, a paperclip, a red pen and an American Express credit card to the scorers desk for example. The first team to do will can be awarded bonus points. There are many table game ideas that are more fun than just writing down answers.

Tips on selecting Questions

  • Topical relevant questions are the most interesting.
    Topical questions are related to recent events. You can even throw in a few questions based on news items on the day of the quiz. You can ask questions about films that are currently showing.
    Relevant questions are specific to the context of your quiz. If you are running a quiz night for a local school for examples, make sure you include some questions about the school's buildings, it's history or staff.
  • Multiple choice questions take longer to read through than simple question and answer questions but they are more fun for people who do not know the answer. If I ask you to name the capital of Sierra Leone you quickly know whether you know or not. If on the other hand I ask you to choose between Abuja, Accra and Freetown you can weigh the possibilities and try and rule out options even if you are not sure. Multiple choice questions allow more team discussion, they are more fun, and hence should make up a large number of your questions.

This document is a work in progress. If you think we've missed something here or you have an addition to suggest please email us at feedback@QuizNightChief.com, we would love to hear from you!

Use These Free Posters to Promote Your Quiz Night


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