create.your.own.trivia.night.jpgCreate your own trivia night

I get a lot of the same questions asked…frequently. As such, I’ve long maintained an FAQ page here on my Website, which you can see in the header above. I’ve tried to strike a balance over the years, to make it both a practical resource for prospective clients without being TOO overwhelming – after all, people tend to have a LOT of questions about my trivia team building and corporate event entertainment activities!

But therein lies the benefit of having a blog – I can dive deep into what we might call “less-frequently asked questions.”

Here’s something I may not get ALL the time, but yet with enough frequency to merit its own post: I want to run my own corporate or private trivia party. Can I hire a TrivWorks host to emcee, or to write trivia questions for a company game night or related event? The answer to both questions is “Yes,” however with caveats. Read on!

I offer a variety of professional services and experiences for clients of all types. But when you boil it down, my core competencies – what REALLY sets me apart from other trivia companies, and makes me the industry leader in this niche area of corporate game show production – is:

  • Unparalleled experience & expertise
  • Professional emcees
  • Customization

I established this brand in 2009 in New York City, first as a side hustle, then taking it full-time in 2012. In that time, I’ve produced over 1,000 events for small businesses and startups, right up to some of the most-recognizable and prestigious Fortune 500 companies in the world. I’ve done events from coast to coast, for audiences as small as 4 (yes, literally 4 people) to 1,500. In the process, I’ve become an industry expert in using trivia and games shows for team building, as well as corporate event entertainment, and have appeared in countless national and trade media outlets.

To put it briefly, I know what I’m doing. Certainly there are other trivia and game show suppliers out there, however nobody has my level of expertise or experience consistently putting these events together for professional audiences. If you’re looking for this specific type of vendor, I really am the nation’s go-to guy.

To produce quality events in the volumes we’re talking about, I rely on professional emcees to deliver a fantastic experience for my clients. I will never send an aspiring actor, pub quiz host, or weekend-warrior comedian looking to make a few bucks to lead your event; rather, you will get a seasoned pro with years, even DECADES of experience. Why do I do this? Simple: your event is important, and you should only have someone who can reliably and dependably deliver a clean, professional and flawlessly-executed event. As the vendor, it’s the only way I can know for certain that you will indeed be receiving the high-quality experience I’ve promised, and I cannot – will not – risk either my reputation or yours on an unproven host.

The final piece, customization, is really the heart of what I do. So many prestigious companies hire TrivWorks to produce their team building trivia game shows because the material is tailored to the specific audience, each and every time. The effort is put in to ensure that the questions are not only fun and challenging, but appropriate for EVERYONE in the room: older folks, younger folks, new hires, veteran executives, internationals – everyone. The ability to do this, and to do it well, is a unique skill developed over years and years – and my colleagues and I consistently deliver, every single time.

This is the core package my clients receive when they sign on to have me produce their corporate entertainment or group bonding activities: expertise, customized content and professional hosts. But what if that’s not what the prospect’s event calls for?

Now and then, I’ll get a call from somebody who says, “That all sounds great, David but you know what? We actually have a host lined up for this, and just need some trivia questions but don’t want to use a trivia app,” or perhaps “Our CEO is a trivia lover, and he/she wants to emcee the event personally.” There’s also the would-be client who says, “We can provide ALL the trivia, and just need somebody fun to lead it.” What happens in either of these scenarios – and can I deliver?

Let’s discuss!

Hiring Just an Emcee

So you only want somebody to emcee the event. No material, no customization, just somebody to show up and host a corporate game show. Great! I can definitely help you here. Over the past few years, I’ve identified, recruited and trained a stable of highly experienced and competent emcees, whom I send out to lead my gigs all over the country (learn more here about what I’m looking for when hiring).

More often than not, I will likely put you directly in touch with the emcee whom I think would be most appropriate for your event, after considering things like:

  • Nature and type of event
  • Audience size
  • Gig location

(If you’re interested, you can learn more about how I assign emcees).

There is just one thing which I need to make clear, though. You found this emcee through me: I’ve vetted and trained my emcees, and provided them with unique opportunities to hone and refine their corporate trivia game hosting skills. As such, I can’t just give you their phone number and say, “Good luck!” because that wouldn’t be fair to me (one time several years ago, I had a guy call me up basically requesting I give him my entire store: he wanted me to recommend a venue, a database for pulling online trivia questions, a company to rent AV equipment from, AND give him my emcees’ contact information. Good times – read more about that interesting case study here).

Sometimes the request is for something small, such as casual “roving” trivia entertainment. Similarly, every now and then I get requests for general emcee services: introducing speakers, providing filler, presenting awards, etc. When it’s something like this, where it’s not really “competition” if you will for the full-scale live team trivia contests I produce, then I have no problem connecting the emcee and the client, and have them arrange something directly.

However, if you’re planning to run something very similar to what I’d normally do and essentially are looking for just one component of the package, then we may need to talk a little business. In such a case, will you be working through me at all? Are you seeking my counsel on any other aspect of the event: team breakdown, venue questions, AV questions, formats, etc.? Even if you’re literally just looking for an emcee to show up and read from the script, again: you found these highly trained and experienced emcees through me, and as such you need to book him or her through me.

Just the Questions

You’ve got the emcee already, and now you just need trivia questions? Great! I can work with you here as well. However, please understand it’s not as simple a matter as saying, “Give me 50 pop culture questions” or what have you. Before we do anything, I’ve got a few questions of my own…

For one thing, will this be a co-branded event? As in, will my company’s name be at all associated with it – my logo, a stage announcement, anything? If so, then I need to have approval over the material used.

I’m sorry, but I need to be firm here. As mentioned above, a huge part of my service – and the reputation I’ve built over nearly ten years because of it – is based upon unique experience creating professionally-written material, which is custom-made for each specific audience and goal. Even if it’s not my emcee on stage, or utilizing one of the formats I’ve developed, it’s still my brand on display in form of the questions: their quality, level of difficulty/fun, and appropriateness for the audience.  As such, I need to ensure that the questions are indeed “brand-friendly” (for another article on how we write TrivWorks-style trivia questions, check out www.trivworks.com/2016/07/new-york-city-trivia-host/).

Also, custom questions take a LOT of time to write. If you’re seeking material that’s specific to your event, to do it properly means I have to hold a customization call, or at the very least provide a questionnaire in advance to get a sense of the audience and they type of material being sought. I then need to either arrange for researching/writing original material, or carefully select appropriate questions from my database (likely a combination of the two).

How about if you AREN’T going to mention me in any way – you’re just looking for questions? In that case, it’s a bit more straight-forward. You tell me what you want: number of questions, themes, style/format, level of difficulty, etc., and I will produce them for you. This isn’t as common a request, as people tend to need an emcee more often than they need material – however, if clients DO need professionally written trivia questions for a corporate event, I can accommodate this as well.

Of course, I also have my brand-new TrivWorks DIY offering, which will allow anybody to easily download and produce their own self-hosted trivia contest for corporate or private groups.

In either case, it’s important to note that I want to retain the rights to use the trivia questions. I don’t produce “works for hire,” meaning I won’t relinquish all of my rights to you in exchange for a flat fee; like all of the original questions TrivWorks produces, they will be added to my database for future use (not client-specific questions, mind you – anything related to proprietary information, individual employees, etc. is subject to privacy, and won’t be used again, ever). If this isn’t something you’re comfortable with, I am afraid we might have a problem – but let’s talk about it, and see if we can work something out.

Just Looking for Guidance

Even rarer still (yet not unheard of) are folks who’ve got everything in place already: they’ve cobbled together an emcee, some trivia questions, a venue and an audience, and are simply seeking someone who knows what the heck they’re doing to make sure the whole thing goes off without a hitch. I’ve run into this request a number of times over the years; more often than not the client is trying to keep things as inexpensive as possible, and doesn’t want to incur the additional cost of bringing in a professional trivia game show vendor.

I’ve written about this before, there comes a point where you have to decide whether you really want to self-produce the event, or bring in the pros. If you’re REALLY intent on doing it yourself, if money is a huge concern, then honestly, I’m probably not going to be of much help; I’ll still need to send somebody to your event, be it a producer to facilitate setup/grading, or an emcee to be onstage, to back up your host or hosts and ensure things run smoothly. If your budget is flexible enough to accommodate that, then why not go for the whole package, and let me provide the questions, emcee, AND counsel?

In The End, I’ll Help Any Way I Can

When all is said and done, it’s your event: if all you want just my emcee, my material or my counsel, I can provide that for you. Just know, however, that it won’t be AS GOOD as it can be. If you’ve got a bassist, drummer and singer for your garage band lined up, and want to bring in Eddie Van Halen to round things out, it’ll help – but it’s not going to sound nearly as good as if Alex, Michael Anthony, Sammy Hagar or David Lee Roth is there (this is a terrible example, I know – but you get my point).

When I produce events for clients, I want to give them 100% of what I have to give, and guarantee that I’m doing everything I possibly can to deliver a successful gig. If you only want a portion of that experience, I can accommodate when it makes sense; just realize, however, that each piece of the TrivWorks experience really is built to work in conjunction with the others. My emcee can only go so far with sub-par, generic trivia questions; likewise, perfectly-tailored material in the hands of an amateur emcee won’t deliver the “wow” experience I know it can. And neither emcee nor material are any good without the proper format, team breakdown, run-of-show, and countless other details which, when combined, produce the optimal corporate trivia night.

(Read more about why I added a DIY trivia party option to TrivWorks’ range services).