Organise a quiz night

Find out our top tips and tricks for planning your very own quiz night.

Things to think about before you start

  • Venue – a school hall is ideal, not too big to lose the atmosphere but big enough to fit about 150 people comfortably around tables, leaving enough room to get up and move around. Also allow tables for the quiz master table and the raffle prizes. A second room for food distribution is ideal too.
  • Decide how many people will be in each group – ideally eight to ten people round each table. This way if you have 150 people in groups of ten – you only need to sell 15 tables and they bring their friends.
  • How are you going to feed them? You could arrange for a fish & chip shop to deliver halfway through the evening, which involves minimal preparation and clearing up. You can offer a limited choice, fish, sausage or vegeburger for example, but charge everyone the same, or you could ask people to bring picnics. If you decide to provide food please be aware of rules and regulations outlined by the Food Standards Agency.
  • Decide on the ticket price, which should cover all costs including supper and hall hire. Try to aim for about £5 per person, or sell tables at £50 per table.
  • Does the venue hold a liquor licence? If not, a temporary licence can be obtained from your local magistrates court or your local pub may do a mobile bar, but there will be cost implications for this. You could operate a ‘bring your own’ policy - people who aren’t paying for drinks will sometimes spend more on auctions/raffles.
  • Are you going to have a raffle? Start asking for prizes; you usually have more luck using personal contacts rather than ‘cold mailing’. If you have a really good first prize, consider getting a licence from your Community Fundraiser to sell the tickets prior to the event. You would then need to get tickets printed and ask friends and supporters to sell them for you.
  • Quiz questions – have you been to a quiz recently? The organisers may consider letting you use their questions for a new group of people. The CF Trust do have volunteers throughout the country who organise quizzes, so your Community Fundraiser will be able to source some questions for you. Alternatively there is a minefield of information and quiz night sources on the internet.

Preparation before the Event

  • Produce a flyer – include details of the event – date, time, venue, what’s included in the price. Have a tear off slip at the bottom for booking tickets and requesting type of food. Advertise an arrival time at least half an hour before the event is due to begin – leave space for the stragglers.
  • Contact your local press to promote the event.
  • Contact your RFM to advertise the event via their web page.
  • Produce tickets – entry by ticket only means you will know exactly how much food is required. Contact your RFM for the CF Trust logo and charity number.
  • Book food – include some extra, just in case.
  • Produce table numbers and a rough plan of the room, it’s vital to know what capacity you have for tables.
  • Ask friends to help – you will be far too busy making sure everyone is having a good time. Key volunteers include a quiz master and at least two people to mark the sheets; also volunteers to organise the catering.
  • Plan your quiz, the different rounds could include:
    • Music – play short music snippets for people to guess the title, artist or year
    • Art – pictures – who was the artist? What is the painting’s name? What style is the painting in?
    • Science – botanical names for plants, official names for parts of the body, chemical symbols, physics equations.
    • Old news and current affairs
    • Films – photos of film stars in character, play the title tracks, famous quotes
    • Geography – flags, rivers, capital cities
    • History – battles, kings etc.
    • Sport
    • Spellings, riddles, dingbats
    • Children’s questions – current programmes, old TV titles, kids’ films
    • Maths
  • Try to vary the questions, some easy, some hard, some tricky – not everyone will be a member of mensa!
  • Produce answer sheets for the markers
  • Some of the rounds can run throughout the evening – a page of flags or photos for example.
  • Try not to make the quiz too long, around four rounds before and four rounds after dinner is often ideal.
  • Create a scoreboard to record results after each round.

On the Day

  • Arrive early; the hall will need to be laid out. Arrange the tables so that there is plenty of room to move around. You will need a table for the raffle prizes.
  • Each table must have pens, answer sheets and any quiz sheets for rounds that run throughout the evening. 
  • Put the table numbers on each table and a plan outside so people can look before they come in, alternatively people can pick a table as they arrive. 
  • Make sure the room is well signposted.
  • Before the event begins, decide if you or someone else is going to make the announcements. The evening will have to be introduced, keep everything brief – people are there for a good time. They will want to know what the event is raising money for, what time dinner is arriving and where they collect it from, where the toilets are and who is selling raffle tickets.  
  • If you’re using a PA system, which is advisable, do a sound check so you know how the equipment works. 
  • Ensure the cash handling procedure puts no one at risk.

After the event

  • Immediately – you will probably have to pay the hall owner and the food supplier on the night.
  • Write to any companies who supplied donations or prizes to thank them and let them know how much was raised.
  • Thank all volunteers.
  • Deliver any raffle prizes to those who couldn’t make the event.
  • Book up for next year!

Optional Extras/ Additional Ideas

  • Prizes for first and last
  •  Prizes for best team names – someone impartial to judge
  •  Give each team a joker – they must decide before the quiz starts which round they will play their joker on and they get double points for that round.
  •  Have an optional game of Heads or Tails during the evening to raise a bit more money. Entry is £1. The quiz master tosses a coin and everyone playing must stand up and choose heads (hands on their heads) or tails (hands on their bottom). Everyone who guesses incorrectly sits down, and the quiz master throws again for the remaining players. This continues until you have one winner – you will need a prize for the winner.

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