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How to Make a Good Trivia Night a GREAT Trivia Night

Written by

Adam Johnston

Give me a bottle of bourbon and half a chicken, and I’ll conquer the world! My job is to make sure that everyone else does their job, which has to be the easiest job in the world considering the brilliant, hard-working people we have in our Flock. My ultimate goal is to run a company that people are proud to work for. I’m an avid statesman, adventurer, Burner, Broadway aficionado, athlete, and I wear my Cole Haans as often as my cowboy boots. It’s a wonderful life.All Posts

So you think you have a good trivia night? Sure, maybe you do. However,  now it’s time to take the next step and make your trivia night unforgettably, amazingly, can’t-miss-it, GREAT!


Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of talking with hundreds of bar owners, trivia teams, and trivia hosts, who have shared the best parts of trivia for bars. I will now divulge the top 3 best ways to turn a good trivia night into a great trivia night. Shh! Don’t tell anyone!


1.  Think outside the box.

Do something different and unexpected. Offer jello shots to the team closest on the bonus question. Give away a free dessert, appetizer, or round of drinks if a team guesses the bonus answer exactly right. Have a dance contest or costume contest. Have your own mini-league in house. Have “minute to win it” contests during halftime. In other words, set yourselves apart from other bars. Teams will love it  and come back to see what you’re doing next.


It’s that easy! Staff involvement, great prizes, and thinking outside the box will give you the edge and transform your trivia night.


2. Give away GREAT prizes.

I know it may seem like an unneeded expense, but giving away gift cards as prizes is actually pretty genius. Giving away gift cards encourages the winning teams to return to your venue, whether next week for trivia or at another time, establishing repeat clientele, and eventually regulars. Additionally, venues that give out bar swag, t-shirts, and candy are at the risk of losing teams to a venue that gives away more desired prizes. Don’t be cheap when it comes to prizes.


3. Get the staff involved.

Consider having a “house team” made up of servers, bartenders, and other staff.  If the house team places in the top 3, their gift card prize can roll over and be added onto the next week’s first-place prize.  This not only creates a fun competition between bar staff and patrons but also creates a fun, new twist on the games. Plus, the staff will have fun, talk about it to their friends and other patrons, and build even more business.