Article by James Reinard
Christmas trivia quizzes are popular with large numbers of pubs, bars, clubs, associations and even churches, so what is the attraction of a Christmas quiz that such venues will hold a trivia quiz at Christmas and New Year but not at any other time? Mainly because people will go out and do things at Christmas that they wouldn’t normally do and also because they can’t afford to go out much for the rest of the year – but at Christmas…
Here are some tips on setting a great Christmas quiz that everybody will enjoy. It won’t help you this year by producing a fabulous quiz, but it will next year when the word has got around that your quizzes are the best in the district. I shall split this up into organization, the questions themselves and advertising, because all three of these factors are involved in a good quiz.
Organization of Your Christmas Quiz
A Christmas trivia quiz is no different to any other when discussing organization. Most will be held in bars over Christmas and New Year, and you could even hold a combined Christmas quiz and New Year quiz sometime between Christmas and New Year. Here are some tips on organizing a quiz of any kind:
a) Make sure that there enough seats available for your expected participants. Tables should preferably be separated to prevent cheating, but if you expect a lot of people you will have to make best use of the space you have and trust to honesty.
b) Provide paper for the answers – you could design an answer sheet using Excel and photocopy enough for each team. If possible also provide pens, but even if you can’t, you should have a few spare pens for those that don’t realize they will need one for a Christmas Quiz!
c) Set the rules regarding numbers per team. I have run quizzes that have a maximum of 4, 5 or 6 or even no maximum. It makes sense for any team over 7 to split into two, although you can make your own decision on that and advertise it on your posters.
d) State the rules before the start: No cheating (penalize 5 points), no visits to the toilet with mobile phones during a round, your answers are ALWAYS correct (even if they are not): deduct points for arguing (even if they are right).
e) Time limits for questions are difficult to enforce, so give half a minute or so depending on the question. Once everybody seems to have answered it carry on to the next. If they are taking too long for a specific question give them 10 more seconds and then go on to the next.
f) When marking a Christmas quiz it is easiest if each team passes their paper round to the team next to them in a clockwise direction – or to the team nearest them. You shouldn’t mark all the papers yourself or the quiz will take too long.
g) I should have made this one of the first tips: make sure all participants know the prizes. Maybe the bar can put up a bottle of wine, but it’s generally better if the winning team gets a free drink or two each, or something that can be shared. Also offer a booby prize such as small box of chocolates or something similar.
One pub I regularly set quizzes for offers four good prizes – a bottle of spirits, a bottle of wine, free drink for each team member and a box of Quality Street or Roses. Winners, 2nd and 3rd get their choice in that order, and the team coming last gets the prize left. That gives even the poorer teams a positive interest.
Christmas Trivia Quiz Questions
Your Christmas quiz questions or answers should all have a connection with Christmas, and each round should be different. My typical Christmas trivia quizzes are structured in that way, and an example would be: One round on Christmas trivia, where either the question or the answer has a Christmas connection, for example which actress received an Oscar for her performance as best actress in ‘The Piano’. The answer is Holly Hunter, with holly being the connection.Another type of round could be Christmas music: questions on Christmas No 1 hits, or with a seasonal connection in the title.
Another could be Christmas movies or TV shows – I am sure you can think of different types of quiz questions that are connected with Christmas. Nor need they all be connected with Christmas, and if you are struggling for questions make you quiz be connected with the time of year: winter, or Christmas and New Year.
You could also have a 50/50 round: true or false or a guess between one of two answers. Always have some supplementary questions you can add into the quiz if needed such as for a tie break. I usually include 10 extra questions that can be used in place of regular questions in the quiz or as tie breaks.
Advertising Your Christmas Quiz
There’s no point in running a Christmas quiz that nobody knows about. You can advertise in a number of ways:
a) Inside the premises – pub, club or wherever it is to be held.
b) Design posters and put them in places where people congregate – sports clubs, fitness centers, church halls, and anywhere else appropriate to your town.
c) Advertise in the local press or even local radio: if your quiz is for charity they may offer you a slot free.
d) Word of mouth – tell everybody about your fabulous Christmas quiz and the wonderful prizes the can win.
e) Ask for donations for prizes in return for the business or individual getting their name printed on the poster. You may be surprised at what you get. You can then change the posters to reflect the prizes and make your Christmas trivia quizzes even more irresistible. No doubt you will have your own ideas, but that’s the way I do it and I am generally very successful.
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