How (not) to run a trivia night

23 November 2022

trivia night
So, you’ve decided to run a trivia night in your venue? A great one can draw customers on a slow weeknight, give a bar personality and help build a community. Steffan Van Lint has 18 years in the quiz biz as the CEO and co-founder of Australian trivia juggernaut Quiz Meisters, which has used humour and technology to change the game in pub trivia. Here are his key tips for hosting a top night.
Don’t... forget to tell anyone 

It’s the number one mistake venues make. A lot of venues decide to have a quiz and want to get started straight away. We have it written in our contracts that there has to be a minimum of three weeks lead-up promotion to the venue.

Say you run a bar that can hold 80 people, every extra week that you can promote a show before launch will get you 20 people to that event. So, if you advertise for one week, you’ll get 20 people; for two weeks about 40… If you go longer than four weeks, people will forget about it.

But, if you start before three weeks, your numbers will be really low – and we know that the third show will always have a dip. It will then pick back up, but if venues haven’t put in the promotion time, at that dip, they’ll lose faith in the event.

Feed the people

Food is a really good thing for trivia nights. People expect pub-style food. They want something that’s not too expensive, that will fill them up, and that they come and eat every week. Parmas [schnitzels] or burgers are good; something that might not wow you but isn’t going to bore you, and is not too expensive. If a venue doesn’t do food, you’ll see quiz nights fail there pretty quickly.

Prizes aren’t the point

Don’t make the prizes too big – after a few weeks you’ll realise it’s not sustainable and drop it down. As soon as you do that, you’ll lose half your crowd. Start low. People don’t really care about the prizes; better to spread prizes around to teams, rather than get one team loaded up with everything.

Hire Quiz Meisters?

Yeah! Seriously though, don’t do it yourself. People think they can write questions and they’ll get about 10 weeks in and then it gets hard. Once you get through your own bank of knowledge, it’s tough to produce good trivia every week.


Please enjoy our brands responsibly. Do not share this website with anyone under legal drinking age.

Welcome to SIP

Log in to enjoy full access to the SIP platform:

Welcome to SIP

SIP platform is dedicated to the hospitality professionals and is available in multiple countries. Please note the content deployed on SIP is adapted to the selected country. Please select your country:

Forgot your password?

Enter the email address associated with your account and we will email you a link to reset password.

Check your email

If we recognize your account, a link to reset your password has been sent to your email address. If you haven’t received it, please check in your spam folder and add to whitelist.

Create an account

Please provide your details to register.

You must be of legal drinking age to join.
Birthdates are not shared with others.
Your password must include at least one symbol and number and have at least 8 characters.

Check your email

A link to activate your account has been sent to your email address. If you haven’t received it, please check your spam folder and add it to whitelist.