How to Host a Remote Trivia Night Using Zoom

by Kevin Evoy 2 Comments

How to Host a Remote Trivia Night Using Zoom

Introduction

Due to the recent Coronavirus outbreak and the social distancing standards that have been adopted as a result, many people have been looking for innovative ways to stay entertained, informed, educated and socialized while being confined to their homes. 

Some people have been using Zoom to stay in touch with co-workers, friends and relatives during this time. One thing that appears to be trending is trivia. Trivia is a fun and entertaining way to keep people engaged. Whether it’s for families and friends who want to connect remotely and spend a couple of fun hours together, co-workers who want to do team building, or quizmasters who want to keep their audiences engaged, people are finding they can host and play live trivia events from remote locations. 

The purpose of this blog is to enable the reader to set up and deliver a great trivia event remotely using Zoom. You can use a ready-made Quizrunners product, or any other quiz, including one you may have written yourself. 

What is Zoom?

Zoom is an easy to set up, reliable platform where people can invite others to participate in audio and video conferencing to collaborate, chat and host webinars from anywhere in the world that has an internet connection.

Downloading and setting up Zoom 

To download Zoom, click here.

You will be presented with the following screen:

Choose the first column, and click "Sign up, it's Free". This option will work well for you in almost every case. The only limitations for this options are:

1. If you have more than 2 people on the call, meetings (events) need to be shorter than 40 minutes.

2. Maximum 100 participants.

Although in most cases, the free option will be fine, if you are looking for more players, or a longer event, then the Pro account would be required.

Simply use your email address to sign up, then you are ready to go! Zoom will send you an email asking you to confirm your email address. After doing this, finish setting up your account by using your first name, last name and password. 

That's it! You are now ready to Zoom!

What is Quizrunners?

When you receive a Quizrunners trivia kit, you get everything you need to run a successful trivia night. However, you don’t need to use a Quizrunners trivia package to run a quiz night, you can always create your own.  

Quizrunners is a leading turnkey trivia provider that specializes in delivering high quality all-original trivia products to bars, restaurants, fundraisers, companies and individuals. A typical trivia package includes:

  • 70 questions in 7 different categories, available in Word, PDF and PowerPoint formats
  • An automated scoring system
  • Handout sheets
  • Step by step guide  

Creating Your Own Trivia

If you’ve decided to come up with your own categories and questions, you are in luck.  We wrote about that in our How to Create a Great Trivia Night Quiz blog. You’ll find some helpful tips for creating your own quiz from scratch.

Hosting Your Event

For advanced trivia night hosting techniques, please visit our blog "How to host a trivia night"

What You Will Need

Laptop/computer

Having a laptop, PC or MAC, with high speed internet are necessary requirements for hosting a trivia night using Zoom.  If you have a second monitor you can attach it to your computer to give you more screen space while hosting.

Trivia 

You will of course need some trivia.  Try to ensure there is a balance of easy/medium/hard questions so that everyone can participate.  If you are writing your own quiz, try to have at least 50 questions at the ready. The amount of trivia you will need depends on how long you and your participants want the trivia event to last.  

Participants

Think of a list of people who would want to attend (remotely of course) your trivia event.  We recommend having a maximum of 8 people, or teams if they’re together while playing. Although it is possible to have more than 8 participants, it can become difficult to manage. 

Starting a Zoom Meeting

Once you are ready to start your event, Login to your zoom account, and click on the "Host a Meeting" option, then "With Video On" located at the top right of your zoom account. 

If this is the first time hosting a Zoom meeting, you may get prompted to install some software. It will be different depending on your operating system (Mac or PC), or Browser Type (Chrome, Firefox etc) but it should look something like this:

After the meeting starts, you may get prompted with a message to "Join With Computer Audio". Click this. Although there are options to join with a phone call, we will not be covering this. 

Sending Out Zoom Invites

Once you are ready to invite your participants, you can click on the "Invite" option at the bottom of the screen.  You will then be prompted to choose your email system (In this case, it was Gmail), then it will open up a new message window:

From this screen, you can either choose the participants from your email, or copy the link provided and send it to your players through another format (facebook, messenger, text etc). If they use that link, they will not need to put in a password or Meeting ID.

Preparing for the Quiz

Whether you are using one of the Quizrunners Packages, or preparing your own questions/categories, there is a certain amount of preparation involved.

Preparing the Handouts/Uploads

The Quizrunners package comes with an entire quiz in Word, and Powerpoint formats. It assumes that you will be hosting an event in a live venue. While hosting, you will be sending groups of questions to the players and you will need to remove the answers from the question sheet.

The best way to do this is to create a single PDF for each category. Open up the Word document of the quiz, and copy 1 category, then paste it into a new blank document. Remove all the answers (They will be in bold), then save the document as a PDF, and name it appropriately (IE: Round 1 - One Word Movie Titles). Repeat for all round but the audio and picture round (There is already a picture round handout).

 

Running the Quiz

There are many different ways you can run the quiz, but we have found this to be the most effective way, which can easily be adapted to suit your own needs and situation.  

Teams:

Although each individual can play on their own, we recommend putting the players into teams. It's a lot more engaging and actually makes things easier to host. At the beginning of the game, either assign the players into teams, or ask them if they would like to form their own teams. Also, ask 1 person to be the team "captain" and make sure they have pen and paper to take notes (Not 100% necessary, but recommended)

Breakout Rooms:

There is a great feature in Zoom that enables you to put people into team, then send them to a breakout room, where they can discuss the answers amongst themselves, without worrying about anyone hearing/seeing them.

Unfortunately, this feature is disabled by default and will have to be enabled. There are detailed instructions on the Zoom Website available here:

https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/206476093-Getting-Started-with-Breakout-Rooms

Once enabled, you will see a new icon at the bottom of your zoom meeting:

Once you have determined the teams, Chat icon at the bottom, then choose "file", and upload the first round. Make sure you have "Everyone" Selected in the "To" Field.

Separating Teams into Breakout Rooms

Once all the teams have their files, you can start the quiz and assign the players into teams. Click the "Breakout" Icon, and use the selector to choose the number of rooms (teams), then choose "Manually".

When you are ready, click "Create Breakout Rooms". You will then be asked to assign the players to each team. You will only need to do this once, at the beginning of the game. Once everyone is assigned, you can then click "Open all Rooms". Each team will get a prompt to join their room.

Once joined, they will only see the players on their team, and they can discuss the questions in private.

We suggest setting a 10-minute timer for each round. During the 10 minutes, you can actually join each the breakout rooms temporarily, to see how things are going. We suggest you do this during the first round.

When there is 1 minute remaining, click the "Close Breakout Rooms" and the players will automatically get a 1-minute warning. The players will then return to the main meeting room and you can go through the answers.

Keeping Score

Once all the teams are back in the main meeting room, read all the answers and have 1 player from each team keep score. We suggest allowing 2 points for each correct answer so there is some wiggle room if the answer is almost correct (You could award 1 point).

Quizrunners has an automated scoring system (Excel Based) included with each package, but you can also have your own free copy here:

Automated Scoring System

Automated Scoring System - How-to Guide

After all the answers have been read aloud, players like to know where they stand so this is a good time to share the scoring system. To do this, click on the "Share Screen" option at the bottom of your zoom screen, then choose the scoring system - In this case it's called "Microsoft Excel - Scoresheet"

Ask each team (One at a time) how many points they received. The Quizrunners scoring system will automatically update the position of each team once the scoring is updated. You can share this at the end of each round. You will notice the top 3 teams will be highlighted in different shades of green, and their current position will be at the bottom of the sheet.

Repeat all the steps for the next round. The breakout rooms will be saved, you you won't need to put everyone into the rooms again, it will happen automatically.

Audio Rounds (Optional)

If you are using an audio round, there is something that you will need to do in Zoom. From the share window, click on the "Advanced" tab at the top, then click on "Music or Computer Sound Only" - If you play any music (Audio Round) on your computer, it will now play through the speakers of the players computers.  

For this round, it's OK to keep everyone in the main room, then give them 5 minutes at the end of the round in their breakout room to discuss.

The Final Question and Tie Breaker

Once all the categories are complete, you have the option to use a final question and tie breaker if needed.  If you are using a Quizrunners quiz, please refer to the step-by-step guide for details on how to do this.

Conclusion

Hosting a remote trivia night can be rewarding for you, and your participants. Have you had success hosting a trivia night remotely? We'd love to hear about it - Please share your experience in the comments!

Stay safe, healthy and connected.

The Quizrunners Team 



Kevin Evoy
Kevin Evoy

Author



2 Responses

Larry Jellison
Larry Jellison

March 28, 2020

We just ran our second “Social Distancing” Trivia night tonight, and it went over really well. We used the Powerpoint presentation, which worked really well. I was set up as the host of the night, and I used the screen sharing option in Zoom to share the Powerpoint to the group. For the picture round, we put a separate slide for each picture, and then combined them all together for the answer slide. Each team just marked their own answer sheets, and gave me their total for each round, which I tracked on a spreadsheet.

For the music round, we set up the screen share in Zoom to use the computer audio (took me a while to figure this out) so the teams could hear the song clips and guess their answers. This worked much better than I expected, and I was happy to see everyone swaying to the music clips while wrinkling their faces up trying to recall the songs and artists.

As for the 40 minute time limit for the Zoom meetings, we just played 2 or 3 rounds (until the timer was getting close to the 40 minutes) and then took a short 10-15 minute break. Everyone had a chance to refill their drinks and snacks, take quick bio-break and then I would start up another room in Zoom and we all would join in for the next round. A group text chat helped with getting everyone onto the correct room, as well as some quick troubleshooting at the beginning of the night.

Overall, we were really happy with the way the night went, and we are already planning on hosting another one next week!

Mike Horne
Mike Horne

March 25, 2020

we did this the other night. if you have a license, you can enable breakout rooms – and so you can have people on teams discuss the answers in private and then come back to the main room in between rounds. relying on ‘who is fastest’ doesn’t take into account some lag with people’s connection. it worked out well last monday- hoping for an even smoother time next…

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