HOW TO CHOOSE A KICK-ASS TRIVIA NIGHT HOST

by Vern Evoy

Choosing A Quizmaster

Welcome to the Quizrunners How to Host a Trivia Night Blog Series. This part of the series discusses a range of issues with respect to hosting, with a special emphasis on what traits to look for in a good trivia night host.  

If you’re reading this, then you are either running trivia nights already, or you are about to embark on the journey. If you haven’t already chosen a host for your event, or are thinking of making a switch, then you are probably asking yourself these questions:

  • How important is it to choose a good host?
  • What qualities should I look for in a good host?
  • What previous experience should I look for?

There are other questions you should consider as well such as:

  • Do I already know someone who would be a good host?
  • Should I ask an employee, friend or relative to give it a try?
  • Should I do it myself?
  • Should I put out an ad for the position?
  • How much should I pay the host?

We’ll touch on all these issues in this blog, but before deciding on a host, you should try attending some trivia events in your area, to get a feel for what it takes to be a good host. The most obvious sign that a host is doing a good job is if the crowd is having a good time. Good times equal beverage and food consumption which equals more money in your pocket. Plus, it keeps them coming back for more, which translates to a steady source of revenue.

Okay, enough about that, let’s get down to brass tacks. The first area we’ll explore is – what traits to look for in a good host?

Traits to Look for in a Host

We took the liberty of compiling a list of 16 traits that we believe are important in a good host. When making your decision, ask yourself this:

Is your host…

  • Likeable
  • Funny
  • Entertaining
  • Charismatic
  • Reliable
  • Energetic
  • Agreeable
  • Confident
  • Outgoing
  • Creative
  • Knowledgeable
  • Well spoken
  • Friendly
  • Witty
  • Approachable
  • Courteous

If your host has a few or more of these traits, then you are on the right track. If your host has an abundance of these characteristics, then you are definitely on the right track. If they have none of those traits, move on and don’t look back. As the old saying goes, “It hurts to let go, but sometimes it hurts more to hold on”.

Do I already Know Someone Who Would be a Good Host?

When looking for a host, you may not have to look any further than your own backyard. Ask around, see if there are any employees, such as a bartender, hostess or server who might be interested in hosting trivia nights. Maybe you have a charming and witty waiter who loves attention, or a hostess with a keen interest in trivia and entertaining the masses. Or, you may even have a family member who fits the bill nicely, like your wise-cracking Uncle Larry. Ask around and find out who’s interested, and present the idea as a challenge. You may even want to give it a try yourself. You never know, maybe you’re the next Alex Trabek! If you can’t find a host in your own backyard, and your Uncle Larry is an unreliable recluse, don’t worry, there are other ways to find a host.

Hiring Through Ads, Social Media and Websites

There are a lot of people out there who want to host trivia nights; you just need to find them. No problem. In this modern age it is easy to get the word out with a few simple clicks of a button. You should consider using Craigslist or other similar online classified ad platforms. You may want to also utilize Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to see if there are any takers in the social media arena. If you have a web site, post the add there. If you are old school, and still fighting the technological wave, feel free to use the classified ads in your local newspaper, or put up some posters in your establishment. Whatever method you use, you’ll be surprised at the positive response you get and the number of people who will show an interest.  

Once You’ve Hired the Host

Once you think you’ve found a good person for the job, and you’ve negotiated the compensation (discussed later), you should let your new quizmaster present the quiz to you to see how they do. During the practice run, have your host use the same methods and devices that he/she will be using on the night of the quiz. For example, if you plan on using a PA system, then have your host do the practice run using the PA system. If the quiz is being presented in PowerPoint, use that format as well. Once your host has presented the quiz to you, ask yourself the following:

  • Are there any areas of the quiz that need work?
  • Are there any suggestions you can give your host?
  • Did all the equipment work as it should?

Try to clear up any potential issues before the quiz, and be sure to voice any concerns you may have to your host.

How Much Should I Pay my Host?

We get asked this question a lot. It varies, but in general, the pubs who subscribe to our weekly trivia quizzes pay their hosts in the area of $50, and sometimes they’ll kick in a free meal. You could pay less to an inexperienced host, and possibly more to a popular, experienced host. It’ll be worth paying extra money if your host is able to keep your bar filled with beer drinking, wing eating trivia players week after week. If you’re unsure what to pay, ask the host what she/he would like to be paid. You’ll be surprised at the modest response you get. A lot of people truly like to host trivia nights, and the money and free meal is just an added bonus.

Well, we hope these tidbits of information help you in your search for a kick-ass trivia night host. If you are ever in need of any other trivia night help, we have your back. Simply visit www.quizrunners.com - the ultimate trivia night hub.



Vern Evoy
Vern Evoy

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