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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011

    any trivia night hosts?

    Hey just wondering if anybody here hosts any type of trivia nights and if so what type of setup you use and if you have much success with it. I'm looking for something to fill my calendar up during the week and didn't know if this would be much of a profitable investment or not. I'm not having much luck finding info online. I keep getting directed to the site and their products are a little more than I'm looking to invest. I did see one or two places I can buy game show buzzers but they don't come with any kind or software or anything. Any advice? Reason I got to thinking about this is because I was out one night and there was a company hosting a trivia night and it was amateur if that. Lots of dead space, fumbles and equipment failures...kind of felt bad for a guy. Professional setup but didn't really seem to know what he was doing or how to work the equipment. I was able to find out how much they paid him to host the night....then I just felt bad for the bar! I could offer a much more professional/entertaining experience for a much better price. Is this something I should venture into??

  2. #2
    I would contact other companies who do it that wouldn't be any competition to you (obviously)

    I personally don't know much about it but just thought I'd try to point you in some type of direction... hope it helps...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Atlanta, Ga.
    My buddy Milo runs over 525 trivia shows a week.

    In order for it to be profitable, you have to run a bunch of them. If you're running 2 or 3, then it's not worth the time to gather questions. If you use a trivia question service, it's too expensive to use them for only one or two shows.

    He sends his guys out with a radio shack mixer and a mic.

    They use their own laptop, and tie into the in house p.a. at the venue.

    He charges $150 per 3 hour show, and he pays the host $50.

    He has 10 employees who do nothing but make questions, and fact check them. Questions are delivered to the hosts via e-mail the night before, and all shows start at roughly the same time. Questions can only be used on a given day, then they're trashed, so that someone cannot go to a trivia show on monday, then show up tuesday at another location with all the answers.

    He's got itlocked down around here. I've tried to run trivia shows in the past, but it's too much damn work, and the services that sell questions are too damn expensive.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    I participate in a weekly team trivia. It is quite popular here. The only real investment would be in getting the questions lined up. This method would be much better than the game show type trivia, as it gets the entire crowd involved for 2 hours. The bar I play at hosts the show from 7-9 pm on Wednesdays. Before trivia on that time slot, the bar was dead. A few stragglers at best. Now, there are 10-12 teams of 4-6 people in them every week. I believe the bar is paying $100 to the host, who only has to show up and ask the questions and keep score.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Millersville, MD
    I've done a bunch but most have been OLDIES (50's & 60's) trivia shows because I'm one of the "more mature" DJs around here. Since becoming a sextogenerian, I've had to rebrand my business target audience away from weddings and more toward functions attended by the "Baby Boomers" and "Generation X'ers".
    Nick Burke (aka DJ NickyB)
    Gear Board Co-Moderator
    Ex USAF Electronics Tech
    Pro Musician (bass & keyboards) '65-'87 / DJ since '87
    40+ yrs Sr Computer Systems Programmer at NASA/GSFC

  6. #6
    I did some sub-contractor work for a trivia company back in 2004-5. It was easy Monday night money. I got paid $50 to walk in and host the show for about 2 hours. The owner just had a big book of questions he'd use though. Plus he'd toss in music and movie clips. This guy self-admittedly had no MC skills whatsoever so he would find DJs to host his show.

    Then a DJ buddy and I did a Name That Tune show at a couple bars in 2007-9. This was a ton of fun at one bar but a pain at the other. One bar was a nice place, friendly people that had a good knowledge of music. It was the easiest money I ever made because we were basically getting paid to party with people. We even let people buy us drinks for extra points (and the hardcore players would actually do it to gain an edge, LOL). But, as many bars do, they changed owners and the new owner didn't want live entertainment. A lot of people quit hanging out there because he got rid of us. He lasted about 9 months before going out of business.

    The other bar was a white trash hole-in-the-wall where you'd have to play 2/3 of the song for anyone to be even able to render a guess. I think it was the last bar an alcoholic would hang out at before their liver failed. Big time drunks, and some of them were really mean. Why the owner kept us there for 2 years is beyond me. Winter gig though so it was hard to turn down.

    I would really do my homework before venturing into it. If you think getting undercut on weddings, etc. is bad the bar scene is even worse. Some of the owners will go with the absolute cheapest person no matter how bad they are. Also, a bar owner is about the lowest life form there is next to the used car salesman (most of them anyway). A lot of shadiness in that business. Glad I don't have to do bars anymore.

    You could always offer to do a free night to see if they like you or not and go from there.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Loveland, CO.
    I was doing a Friday night trivia party at a Buffalo Wild Wing and was getting $150 for a 3 hour game. I used Powerpoint and built a custom briefcase rig with powerstrip,laptop,DJ battle board and a VGA to VGA/Composite/S-video converter to tap into the house video system. (they also had an audio drop for my music and announcing feed.)
    Biggest headache was tracking down questions and building a game with enough variety to keep young and old interest enough to hang out for all 3 rounds. On average, it took me 30 hours of research and 2 hours or so to plug in the questions in Powerpoint once I had my template for the game laid out.
    It started out with only maybe 3 teams the first night but after a month...we had 12 to 15 4 to 8 member teams. We set up the rules so one single team couldn't bring 30 people and out trivia say a 4 person team. Tried to at least make it winnable by anyone. It went great for about 6 months until a new manager came in and hated trivia games so he "fired" us. Didn't care that the "regulars" rip him a new one and never returned. Never heard whether he's still there or not.'s tough if you are just a single. Tracking down questions is the killer.
    Scott McKinney
    McKinney Entertainment
    Loveland, CO.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Thanks for the input. I really do appreciate it and the people on this message board. It's not something I'm going to jump right into. Maybe looking to be ready by the fall if I decide to get into it. In the meantime I can at least start working on the trivia. Do/did you guys use the podiums for the people playing to stand behind and if so did you make them yourself or buy them from a company. I'm thinking I would be able to make professional looking ones on my own for a fraction of the cost. The guy I saw a while ago didn't use anything. He gave buzzers to people at their seats and you had to yell your answers across the bar. Needless to say, there was a lot of "What was that?" coming from his mic.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Des Moines, IA
    Ryan and I are local affiliates here in Des Moines for DJ Trivia. Great System run by excellent guys. I myself host two trivia games per week.

    By the way we started doing trivia for one group of bars two years ago-that group now does around 50k in business with us per year (trivia and production). Not bad for one client.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Central Illinois
    I just do sound and video support for what ever group is willing to pay to have it done professionally. If it's a fund raiser I will lower my normal sound support price and provide the projector and screen for free. It's not something I do alot but I've seen the alternative and there's a huge difference.
    Member of the
    American Disc Jockey Association
    and Springfield Local Favorites


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