5 Tips for Starting a Pub Quiz Night that Lasts

[Re-publishing this guest-blogger post by our friend David Jacobson, originally published June 10, 2014.  David is founder of Trivworks, a corporate entertainment and team building company specializing exclusively in live trivia events.]

photo by Super Duper Photographic

photo by Super Duper Photographic

Over the past decade, trivia nights have flourished in bars across America. Like their more established counterparts across the Atlantic – particularly in England and Ireland – the local pub quiz has proven to be an effective means for bars, restaurants and other venues to generate significant traffic and exposure on an otherwise “off” weekday night.  While not too difficult to get started, keeping a bar trivia night going is another matter. Here are 5 useful tips for establishing and maintaining a pub quiz night which will go the distance:


1. Do Your Research – Especially in larger cities, there is likely competition from existing trivia nights nearby. Find out which venues in the area hold pub quiz, and make sure yours will not be overlapping.

2. Know Your Audience – Nobody is as intimately knowledgeable about your patrons as you and your staff. Before announcing a recurring pub quiz, make sure the trivia night you are planning is appropriate, and will appeal to your clientele.

pat-kiernan-trivworks3. Offer Something Unique – Why should people come to your pub quiz, as opposed to the other guy’s? Figure out what it is you could be doing that’s different or special – be it a fun theme, compelling prizes, etc.

4. Find the Right Host – The pub quiz host matters – a lot. You could have the greatest trivia questions, most amazing prizes – but nobody is going to come back if they don’t have a great experience, and the host has an awful lot to do with that.


photo by Super Duper Photographic

5. Nurture, Promote, Repeat – If you’re lucky, your pub quiz will be so well-received from the very start that it develops a strong word-of-mouth reputation. However, especially in the early stages, people need to know about it. Because you’re nurturing a following, you can’t just “set it and forget it” – you’ve got to firmly commit to keeping your existing trivia night patrons happy, while constantly promoting it way you can.
When done correctly, a great pub quiz can turn an otherwise sleepy Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday into one of your busiest nights. Hopefully, the above tips will help get your new event off the ground on the right foot!


David Jacobson is the founder of TrivWorks™, a corporate event entertainment and team building company in New York City specializing in live trivia events. Named one of NYC’s best trivia hosts by Time Out New York, New York Magazine, CBS New York and other media outlets, since 2006 he has launched several successful trivia nights in Manhattan and Brooklyn, including NYC’s largest trivia nights at The Bell House.


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