Trivia.corporate.event.Los.Angeles.jpgTrivia corporate event Los Angeles

Prior to starting TrivWorks, my entertainment and team building company specializing in corporate trivia events in Los Angeles, Southern California, NYC & nationwide, I spent a couple of years freelancing as a scavenger hunt writer.

Now, scavenger hunts have been around for a long, long time, and are very well-established group bonding activities in LA, New York and everywhere in between. There are so many things about them which I enjoy: as a participant, there’s nothing quite like the thrill of running around solving clues, racing against the clock with your teammates to try and finish first with the most amount of points. As a writer and producer, it’s a creative buzz like no other trying to actually come up with those clues, to make them exciting, compelling and fit into the overall “theme” of the experience.

All of that said, however, I found that there were several nagging annoyances about company scavenger hunts which I just couldn’t get past. For one thing, because these events are so physical, not everybody can participate – a major drawback for what is intended to be an event to build camaraderie and boost team engagement. They can also be messy, and even invite injuries; being outside in the hot sun all afternoon takes its toll, as can literally running from clue to clue. Speaking of which, they’re often held outside, meaning participants must also deal with the elements (I’ve produced outdoor team building events on both sweltering, humid summer days, as well as during literal blizzards. Not fun.) It’s also nearly impossible to customize hunts to a specific group or goal; you can tweak a clue here and there, but by and large it’s a one-size-fits-all experience.

But the one thing which I think really pushed me to come up with a new team building and corporate entertainment idea like TrivWorks was the amount of time required to run scavenger hunts. If you’ve never done one before, let me just say this: it’s a LONG time. By the time you’ve gotten your group assembled, divided into teams, passed out materials & T-shirts, conducted orientation and set everybody loose, you’ve already eaten up 20 minutes. Figure at least 90 minutes-2 hours of “hunting time” (sometimes more, depending on the scale of the event), then at least another hour or two gathering everybody back to do the scoring, photo slideshow and awards presentation, and we’re suddenly walking a 3-4 hour event. I’ve done them even longer, 5-6 hours, if the client wants to have everybody eat dinner before revealing the final standings and wrapping the day up.

Like I said, a LONG time.

In order to do one of these events right, companies need to really commit to a half or full day activity. Not only does this mean significant direct expenses – the vendor, venue, food & beverage, possibly transportation – but lost productivity and opportunity costs as well. It’s also exhausting (believe me, I know), and honestly, most of that time attendees will be alone scavenging in their small teams, rather than sharing a group experience.  

When I hung out my own shingle years later as a corporate trivia company in Los Angeles, I wanted to address all of these challenges, and come up with a solution for each (which you can read more about by clicking here). To my mind, team trivia works so much better as a group bonding activity than scavenger hunts because A) it is able to be finely customized for specific groups and goals; B) it can be comfortable held rain or shine, day or night and year-round; and C) everybody can actively participate, safely, because it’s low-impact. And did I mention that trivia is incredibly popular? (follow this link if you don’t believe me). It’s just good, clean fun.

But that timing issue is still a big concern. 3-5 hours is a LONG time to ask of people. Put yourself in the shoes of the attendees who will be participating in this event. On the very conservative side, assume they have just put in a full day of work, and are now being asked to do a company team building event. Do you think they will want to now do an event that takes the equivalent of another half day at the office? In a more extreme example, imagine that you have just arrived on a cross-country flight from NYC to L.A. for a conference, and are now being asked to do the same thing.

Doesn’t sound so great, does it?

Now imagine if there was a shorter corporate event entertainment in Los Angeles option, say a 1-2 hours experience, which could comfortably be slated before, during or after dinner. You step off the plane, head to your hotel, get settled, enjoy dinner with the group, then have a high-impact team trivia event for a corporate group before calling it a night. Doesn’t that sound better?

I really do love the fact that my trivia events only last for two hours, tops. Sure, we could extend it if needs be, usually by offering “roving” trivia by our emcee and event production staff during the cocktail hour before the contest starts. But do we need three, four, five hours? Heck no! it’s just the right amount of time for people to have a fantastic competitive experience, without overdoing it.

The 1-2 hour corporate team building events also works great within a variety of agendas. Whereas planners don’t typically look at their master schedule and see a gaping 5-hour block which needs to be filled, it’s fairly typical to need to fill a shorter window, either as a stand-alone session or immediately before/after a meal, usually dinner. Corporate team trivia is one of those options, as it is extremely adaptable, but never too long – it just fits nicely wherever needed.

In closing, I’d like to reiterate that I truly do love scavenger hunts and other corporate team building activities Los Angeles and other large cities have to offer. There’s definitely a place for them, however when shopping around for company, conference and retreat entertainment ideas, the flexibility and adaptability of a shorter program such as live team trivia for the office can go a long way.

For further reading on professional trivia companies in Los Angeles and Southern California, visit