If you’re planning a trivia night and trying to create a good schedule, it is VERY important that you keep the trivia moving quickly. If your trivia goes way over time or takes an hour to do two rounds of questions, your organization is in trouble of a majority of your players never returning again. In addition to keeping the event moving, here are some tips to keep your players coming back to your fundraiser over and over again.
Trivia Night Fundraiser Tip 1: Don’t Charge People Anything to Challenge the Judges
Charging your players to challenge your answers is (in my humble opinion) POOR taste. We went to a trivia night where they charged $20 to challenge the judges whether we were right or wrong about the challenge. That left a bad taste in our mouths. And, they seemed greedy. $20? If you do charge people to challenge the judges, make it reasonable (like $5) and have the policy that they get their money back if they were, indeed, correct and that your answer was wrong. Anything else is not fair and is just tacky.
If you are asking questions that are getting challenged often, you don't have good questions. And if that is the case, you should suffer the consequences of challenge after challenge. That is the feedback you are getting from the crowd: your questions are unclear or your research was plain wrong.
Good trivia night questions are simple to understand and are written to only have 1, clear answer. Here's more info on writing good trivia night questions. Or if you want to avoid challenges almost all together, pay someone who knows what they are doing to write your trivia questions – just buy questions from a reliable site like Trivia Packs.
We are a great resource for buying questions in all kinds of categories (see our tons of unique trivia categories HERE). Plus we allow you to make those guaranteed-correct questions into a ready-to-go PowerPoint if you choose that option. It will save you so much time and make your trivia night go more smoothly because there will be little to no challenges. Yay!
Trivia Night Fundraiser Tip 2: How Much To Charge for Mulligans
$10 for 10 mulligans at trivia or $1 for each mulligan is a perfectly fair price for mulligans. It's also what we see most often. $25 for 4 mulligans instantly makes the players think that you are taking advantage of them or that you are being greedy. Charge much more than $1 each for mulligans, even $15 for 10 mulligans, and it rubs your players the wrong way and then you won’t get any of the money because they won’t buy. Bottom line: anything more than $1 per trivia mulligan is unnecessary.
Trivia Night Fundraiser Tip 3: Don’t Make a Bottleneck at the Registration Table
When figuring out how to set up a registration table at your event, keep in mind that the registration should be for one thing only: registration. This first table of entry is NOT for selling mulligans or selling raffle tickets or getting their e-mail address for your mailing list or anything else.
The trivia registration table is the first table that people go to in order to find out the number of their table (if they have already paid) or to pay and find out the number of their table. It is BEST if you have two CLEARLY marked lines with signs letting people know which line they should be in (Already Paid and Need to Pay). If you don’t have signs, having a buffer person asking people when they come in and guiding them to the correct line at your fundraiser can also help this process move more quickly. It’s so annoying to show up to a trivia night to a line of 40 people trying to register but who are being slowed down by lots of questions and upsells.
Do your upsells,like raffles and mulligans and such, somewhere inside the space or at separate tables. You can also have people going around selling raffle tickets, mulligans, etc.
Believe me. Your players will appreciate and remember a smooth, easy, quick registration process as usually people are carrying food, crock pots, etc. and don't want to have to wait in line for 20 minutes not even knowing where they can set their stuff down.
Trivia Night Fundraiser Tip 4: Test Your Audio and Visual Equipment MULTIPLE Times BEFORE the Event
Not being able to hear audio questions or see visual questions at a trivia event can ruin your chances to win. Having music that is so quiet that no one, except the people right next to the speakers, can hear it isn’t fair and is inconvenient for the players that need to get up and go stand by the speakers. It's EXTREMELY frustrating.
So test, test, test. If something is broken, modify or have back ups in place! Play the audio files over the microphone or have visual categories printed off on a piece of paper that you can pass out and have them fill out instead of showing them over the projector.
Trivia Night Fundraiser Tip 5: Don’t Play Too Many Games In Between Rounds
There is nothing wrong with having some games between trivia rounds to increase your funds for your cause, but PLEASE choose ones that move quickly – less than 5 minutes if you are going to do them often. Or, if you’d prefer to do a longer game between trivia rounds, (5-10 minutes) then you can do 1 or two of those longer trivia night games but that should be it. AND, do it during one of your breaks. In other words, if you are doing two 10 minute breaks throughout the night, then do longer games (like "Heads or Tails" or "Dead or Alive") during those breaks and don’t have a long game and then a break = super annoying and time wasting.
You should have no more than 15 minutes of games between rounds throughout the night. So figure out a combination of short and long ones that don’t exceed that.
Check out these very quick (less than 5 minute) games during trivia ideas.
Trivia Night Fundraiser Tip 6: Don’t Take Breaks After Every Round & Keep Moving
Two or three breaks between rounds an evening will suffice. People just need time to get a beer (if you are serving beer) or go to the bathroom. A break (including a game if you’d like) between round 3 and 4 and between round 7 and 8 at your event seem to work really well.
When you are NOT taking an official break, about 1-2 minutes between a round is best. No more time than that is necessary and becomes annoying.
Trivia Night Fundraiser Tip 7: Speaking of Breaks...Don’t Take Breaks Over 10 Minutes
Even your official 2-3 breaks at a trivia night should be 10 minutes AT MOST. Even that is really long. It feels like a ½ hour to your players. Keep the total of your breaks (official and unofficial) through your event to no more than 20 minutes.
Trivia Night Fundraiser Tip 8: Don’t Hold Your Players Hostage at the End
You are MORE than welcome to have raffles. You can raffle off prizes or signed memorabilia or the famous “baskets”. You can raffle over 400 if you feel so inclined, but please, please, please do NOT read all of them off...or if you are going to read them off, don't do it until you have announced who won the trivia night OR read a few off here and there throughout the night.
A great way to make trivia night raffles really easy on everyone, is to have a large sign or screen or poster board with the prize name and winning ticket number written next to it so it's easy to see who won from standing back so many can see it at once. Then they can easily check to see if they won the raffle at your fundraiser. OR, you can have people write their table number on their tickets they put into the pot and just take it to the table on the back to award to the winner with the correct ticket at that table. Easy peasy AND you don’t annoy everyone else by wasting their time reading off numbers.
Trivia Night Fundraiser Tip 9: Don’t Play Music While People Are Still Figuring Out Answers, Especially During Music Rounds
You’d think that anyone who has ever played at a trivia night before would not do this, but just in case – playing loud music makes it harder for people to remember something. It’s very distracting. If you want to play music after a round, at least give the players a minute or so to have a bit of quieter music to conjure up their answers.
Trivia Fundraiser Tip 10: Don’t Have a Jail
We recently attended a trivia night where they had a "jail". It was one of the oddest things I’ve ever seen and I can pretty much guarantee that anyone who was put in that jail was NOT happy because they couldn’t play at all while they were in the jail. Instead you could maybe have a goofy thing that a table has to keep on their table or a crazy hat for them to wear or something like that, but not something that takes people away from being able to play.