I’ve guest hosted trivia night a few times at a local bar here. Each time there are 3 categories with 10 questions each. Since I’ve only done it a few times, it’s fairly easy to come up with 3 categories I know 10 things about and I have a good time. But does anyone here host pub trivia on a regular basis? How do you come up with questions every week?
I’ve never done it, but if I had to, I think I would just scour some Trivial Pursuit question cards until I had enough to fill the category.
I have about 15 editions of the game, so that makes it relatively easy.
A quizmaster I used to know told me he subscribed to a quiz question supplier. He was doing, or employing people to do, maybe a dozen quizes a week, so it was worth his while.
I think the only round he made up his own questions for was the music round.
I host about four quiz evenings a year - typically 8 rounds of 10 questions, but I’m just the quizmaster - the questions are usually researched by someone else. There are loads of ‘pub trivia’ books available to help with this (at least there are here in the UK, and I would expect elsewhere is the same).
Picking the categories first often helps - we usually have:
General knowledge (just 10 random facts pulled out of the encyclopaedia)
Music (10 music intros, cut off just before the start of the lyrics). 1 point each for artist and title
People (a photocopied sheet with pictures of 10 famous people - but not necessarily recent photos, and sometimes, cherry picked when they’re not exactly looking like themselves)
Taste (10 varieties of cheese, or flavours of jelly bean, or pieces of ten different cut-up candy bars, etc) - teams have to identify them
Current Affairs (pick out some stuff from the week’s newspapers)
Wipeout (ten quite easy general knowledge/factual/math questions - a team can leave any number unanswered with impunity, but if they answer one wrong, they score zero for the round)
Dead or Alive (10 famous people - teams have to answer whether they’re still living or have died - check the ‘alive’ ones are still alive just before the quiz)
Identify (photocopied sheet with pictures representing ten familiar objects from angles - or cropped - to make their identities obscure)
I know this thread is a few months old, but I figured I’d contribute. I’ve been running bar trivia for almost two years. These days I do it twice a week in two different bars. I do 5 rounds of ten questions each (same round both nights - there’s no overlap in players).
I would feel like I was ripping them off if I just swiped the questions from games or books. People know when you dial it in like that, and they quit going. My nights basically break down as:
1st round: Picture pages. One sheet with ten photos to be identified. Name the Tool, Wrestling Stars, 90s Cartoons, Snack Foods, Actors in Drag, that kind of thing. This lets people show up a few minutes late, finish getting drinks, and get settled in and not upset play or get left out.
2nd round: Current events. I just hit up Google News, Yahoo News, and CNN and dip into the headlines. I usually include at least one or two odd news stories (I like the ones about dinosaur discoveries or strip clubs), maybe something local. I try to avoid large scale death. It’s a downer.
3rd round: is the nerd round. That means stuff you might have learned in school - science, math, lit, this week I did musician vocabulary.
Then I have a halftime break for smokers and so people can mingle. I tally scores and ranks so folks know how they’re doing so far.
4th round: Pop Culture. Bands with colors in the name, directors who did commercials, when animals attack celebrities, songs about monsters, bad science in science fiction, dead rock stars. This week I did Dance Crazes and people loved it.
5th round: oddball catchall. Children’s Games, Airport Codes, Newspapers. If it is near a holiday, I might do something about that here.
Anyway, that’s my style. Some leaders do theirs in similar fashion, some are completely different. My nights are very nerdish/hipsterish, so I almost never do sports. When I do - maybe twice a year - I get howls of protest. I make up all the questions myself every week, within reason. By which I mean there isn’t much “making up” involved in airport codes, and sometimes I like to do classic riddles and so on. I use the internet to pull them together, and I do double check everything (hint: never use those “interesting facts” lists, because they are 99% bullshit), because people will catch you out if you’re wrong.
It takes me between 4 and 6 hours every week to put together my rounds, usually while watching a movie or two or enjoying a few beers. I have a reputation for doing good trivia and my nights are fairly popular. I’m a fact nerd anyway, so it’s a great gig for me.
Hey, have we had a Ask The Guy Who Leads Bar Trivia thread?