General Knowledge Quiz
Warren Moore Radio
©2004, Warren Moore
Trivia quiz nights can be a great way to fund raise for your charity or club, but proper organisation is very important. Here are some suggestions based on experience of running fund raising events to make your night hassle free and lucrative.
Included are some of the basic pitfalls which are not always obvious if you haven't hosted a trivia night before and there are also some ideas for entertaining between rounds which can help you get extra revenue, in fact activities between rounds can often earn more than the entry fees you collect.
Combined with the free questions contained on this page, you should be well and truly on your way!
By addressing a few issues at the start of the night you can do a lot towards make the event run smoothly. The following points are important:
Please note: These suggestions are aimed at community style events, not professional pub trivia.
How many rounds?
- Explain the rules thoroughly before beginning your quiz and ensure you make it clear that the organisers decision on correct answers and scores is final. That way there is less room for dispute, which by the way is much more likely from our experience if alcohol is available during the event. By explaining the rules also make it clear about how lenient you will be on spelling e.t.c. Some people are very lenient, some give half points if the intention is clear and some just mark incorrect if spelling isn't exact. You will also need to make it clear about whether you may give half points for last names if a person is the answer.
- Ensure at the start, and at the end of every round, that teams names must be written exactly as they were originally entered into the competition on all answer forms. If may sound obvious but believe me, if it is not done it can create havoc, particularly if you have a large number of teams.
- We would suggest if you are supplying writing implements you use pencils because they are often easier to read if an answer is amended and they are less likely to be stolen. However, also remember to have a few pencil sharpeners on hand.
- Remind contestants to keep the answers to themselves. You would be surprised how our instinct to brag about knowing something can lead to a loud exclamation of the correct answer which everyone can hear. This is even worse if they are wrong!
We recommend five rounds of ten questions which based on our experience will last a couple of hours.
The night will run longer than many think by the time you have registration and the distribution of answer sheets, a break at the end of each round for marking and score updates plus the prize presentation at the end of the trivia competition. Therefore the free trivia questions on this page should be enough for one night.
Fillers and extra fund raisers
Organising activities between your trivia rounds is important because it provides a better all-round entertainment experience, particularly if you are fund raising and some of those who have come along to support the event are not true trivia buffs. These activities will also give the chance to earn extra money.
We have tried these activities at many trivia nights and continue to use them because they are easy to organise and are appropriate for people of all ages.
Toss a coin.
This idea is no more complicated than having a prize which will go to the person who tosses a coin closest to the item. You of course keep the money for whatever cause you are raising funds for.We have found a bottle of whiskey works a treat for getting people to play, although if that is not appropriate expensive confectionary is another idea.Just setup a line from which people must stand behind to toss their coin and place the prize at a designated distance. Make sure you clarify rules including whether the coin must land in front of the prize to count and whether it is allowed to deflect off furniture or walls. To avoid confusion it is also recommended you remove all but the closest coin during the game to make it easier to track who is winning and to avoid money going missing.
Heads or Tails
There is nothing new about this game which you may have played at a family get together or party, but it does work very well as a fund-raiser at a trivia night.
All you do is gather an entry fee from those who want to play the game. They then must nominated heads (by putting both hands on their heads), tails (both hands on their backsides) or one of each. Flip two coins and all of those who have not chosen the right combination must sit down. Repeat until there is one winner.
Paper Plane Flying
Another very simple idea which involves you getting an entry fee from those who want to play and giving them a sheet of paper
Give players a designated time period to make their plane and have a fly-off to see whose goes the furthest and is declared the winer. Similar to the Toss the Coin game, if you don't want any disputes clarify whether the plane is allowed to deflect of any object.
A variation which works will if you a playing as teams and want to maintain that rivalry between rounds is to have a fly off during one break where the best plane from each team is selected, and then have the winning repesentative from each team fly off against the other teams later in the night