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Quiz Night Games

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COVID-19 UPDATE

In the absence of traditional trivia nights our lives do not have to be completely trivia-less. Check out QuizNightHQ's guide to Isolation Trivia + Games. It contains plenty of ideas to get your friends, family and workplaces engaged in an online quiz night or online video fun.

Creating Fun on the Night

Throughout a Quiz Night it is good to mix up the trivia question / answer process with some fun and interactive games. It gets people into a different head space and allows for a little more host-crowd and crowd-crowd interaction. Plenty of opportunities for participants to win a prize throughout the night will keep guests wanting more and returning to the next exciting Quiz Night put on by your club or organisation.

Please note: A number of these games suggest prizes. The prizes should be relatively small compared to the ones that are within the fundraising games. This will encourage people to dig deep to win a better prize while still incentivising participation in these smaller 'all-in' games.

Also: Some of these games' prizes are points for the table. Try to keep this to small numbers. Even a 3, 2, 1 process for points can change the results of the final quiz tally. Some seriously competitive tables can get quite agitated if a winning table has made most of their points from lucky dips or winning points and not knowing questions.

Contents:

  1. Text Me Now
  2. Heads or Tails
  3. Sit Down If
  4. Paper Plane Competition
  5. Door Prize
  6. Table Prize
  7. Chair Prize
  8. 4 Corners
  9. 'What's in the Bag?' Scavenger Hunt
  10. Team Representative Competition
  11. Paper Plane Competition
  12. Newspaper Towers
  13. Newspaper Fashion
  14. Winning Table Prize

Text Me Now

5-10 minutes

A fun, interactive game that gets people submitting their answers in a different way. Anyone in the room with a phone can play - all at once.

INSTRUCTIONS

The QuizMaster needs to display a phone number on the screen for the participants to enter in their phone. Ask a question - can be audio, video or spoken. When a participant knows the answer they need to text it to the QuizMaster. First correct answer received wins. This is a highly enjoyable game for the QuizMaster.

Variations of questions:

  • Play recording of a song: Name title / artist / album
  • Give clues to an event / year / person
  • Ask general knowledge question
  • Who Am I?

Suggestion:
Promote it from the start as 'the one time in the night you can use your phone within a round'. This game is very fun for the host as it gives them a chance to interact with the crowd. Often the crowd will take this opportunity to have a bit of fun too. Don’t be surprised, as the host, if you receive photos, emojis or ‘encouraging’ (jokingly abusive) texts. Take it in a light-hearted way and read out the funny ones for a good laugh. It can be the most enjoyable part of the night as you get to connect directly with the crowd.

It also doubles as a great marketing strategy if you’re wanting to put yourself out there as someone who runs Quiz Nights. Everyone who is at the event now has your phone number and can go back and contact you anytime to run a Quiz Night for their organisation.

Heads or Tails

5 minutes

A quick game that finds a single winner but gets everyone on their feet and actively involved.

INSTRUCTIONS

Flip a coin. Participants in the crowd stand up at their seats and put their hands on their head or their backside to identify which side of the coin they think it will land. If they are correct they stay standing. Those that don’t match the face-up side of the coin sit down and are out of the game.

This can be fun as an individual game for a prize or added incentive for a table point. This mean there’s an individual and team element to the game. Those that are out are still cheering their teammates on. May even be worth offering a table point plus a prize to the winner and just a token prize to the runner up.

It’s sometimes fun to bring the last couple of participants up the front if you need to fill some extra time and add an element of drama to the game.

See the Ultimate Fundraising Guide for details on the added element of buying back in to the game.

Sit Down If ...

5 minutes

Similar to head or tails (and a good alternative), Sit Down If ... is a quick, fun and interactive game that gets everyone involved.

INSTRUCTIONS

Using a list of criteria, the QuizMaster reads out: ‘Sit Down If …’ followed by the criteria. If a person from the crowd meets that criteria they have to sit down and they are out of the game. The last person standing wins a prize e.g. point for their table plus wine / chocolate / voucher etc.

This is a really fun one for the QuizMaster to come up with creative and interactive criteria. It could be as simple as ‘Sit down if ... you are wearing green’ or get the crowd active with ‘Sit down if you can’t curl your tongue’. You can also make the criteria highly personal or vague depending on your crowd. Check out the FREE Sit Down If ... TEMPLATE in QuizNightHQ's Marketplace for some criteria that you can use and easily add to.

Think about the demographic and group of people for whom the Quiz Night is for to guide you on your criteria. E.g. Local sports club ‘Sit down if… you played ‘insert sport’ today’/...lost a game of ‘insert sport’ today’. For a private school fundraiser you might ask 'Sit Down If... you drive 'insert expensive car brand'' compared to a community club where you may state 'Sit down if you drive a 'more reasonably priced car brand''.

Please comment on this guide below, for additional criteria that you have found to be useful or fun.

See also, the Ultimate Fundraising Guide for details on the added element of buying back in to the game.

Here's that link again to the very handy and FREE Template.

Door Prize

2 minutes

Everyone that attends the night receives a ticket / number when they enter or when they purchase their ticket. At some stage in the night, it can even be early on to get people excited, draw a ticket number out of a hat (or similar) and that ticket holder wins a prize. The prize should be relatively small, simple but still desirable as it’s a free game; chocolate / food item / wine will suffice. Save the bigger prizes for games people have to pay to participate - generally the goal is to raise money.

Maybe even a table point for the winner to get the team a small head start could be fun. But keep the points giveaway to a minimum. People want to win on their knowledge and often dislike seeing a team win because they were awarded lucky points throughout the quiz.

Table Prize

1 minute

If promoted prior to the night, it can be fun to have the element of a theme. Tables can decorate their space in line with a chosen theme for the night or their own theme. The host can award a prize to that table at the start of the night to:

  • the most creative
  • detailed
  • organised
  • enthusiastic theme.

For example, if you are running a Music Quiz Night each table may choose a:

  • band
  • decade
  • style

to dress up and decorate their table.

Chair Prize

1 minute

Before the arrival of guests stick a cardboard star (or something similar) on the underside of one of the chairs in the room. At some point in the night get everyone to check their chairs for the chair prize. If you have enough prizes it could be fun to award a chair from each table with a prize.

4 Corners

5-10 minutes

This fun game gets everyone in the room up and moving. It's perfect for participants getting restless.

INSTRUCTIONS

Start by displaying a large printout of the four playing card suits (hearts, diamonds, clubs and spades) in each corner of the room. Download a FREE template of the Suits in QuizNightHQ's Marketplace.

  1. Every member of the crowd needs to get up out of their seat and stand in a corner of the room of their choice.
  2. Draw a card from a deck of standard playing cards and announce the suit of that card.
  3. Whoever is in that particular corner is then out of the game and must return to their seat at their table.
  4. Give participants a countdown to then move to another corner of the room if they so decide.
  5. Each round consists of drawing a card, announcing the suit and the people in that corner going out.
  6. Continue until there is only one person in a corner.
  7. Last person standing wins.

Once again, individual and team prizes can help with engagement for the game. Perhaps a point for the winner's table and chocolate for them as an individual.

Suggestions:
It can also be worth using the projector to display the drawing of the cards. It keeps it visual and engaging for those that are out already. This website is a cool little random card generator. However, it can take away from the showiness of the game in that it's quickly revealed on the screen. Reading out the cards yourself gives you freedom to draw it out or speed it up as necessary. For example, once you draw a card: "It's a red card ... it's a ... diamond! Bad luck diamonds."

What's in the Bag?

5-10 minutes

This game is a great one to get teams moving and interacting with each other. It's essentially a scavenger hunt.

Instruct everyone in the room to find a list of items to present for team points. These items need to be found in team members' handbags, pockets, wallets and purses. Decide prior to the game whether you are comfortable with people retrieving things out of their car ... some people get very competitive.

It's worth showing a list on the screen for everyone to see. Handing out a list so teams can mark off items that they have found will help too.

After a time limit teams send a representative to the QuizMaster or Host to 'submit' their items. This may be run by someone not involved in the trivia marking or other activities occurring as it can take time to check each team has all the items.

Alternatively, get teams to send a photo of their collected items to the Host's phone number by a certain time. This will give them time to add up points. If you choose the digital submission option, having an items checklist sheet that teams fill in can be handy to reference when looking at the photos. Ensure teams send the photo with their team name.

Suggestions for items to find in 'What's in the Bag?' scavenger hunt. You want to have a mix of obscure and plausible items too. It's encouraged to include some fun / silly items to keep people entertained and engaged.

  • paperclip
  • $6.35 in change
  • receipt for something over $100
  • proof of someone born in a certain month (e.g. August or January)
  • HB pencil
  • analogue / digital watch
  • can of Coke / Pepsi etc
  • particular type of sweet (e.g. mint, Tic-Tacs)
  • red pen
  • comb / hairbrush
  • deodorant
  • lipstick (perhaps of a particular colour e.g. black)
  • nail polish
  • black wallet
  • certain coin from a certain year

Please comment below for other ideas you have that could be added to this list.

Team Representative Competition

5-10 minutes

Get a member of each table to come up the front and represent their team in a challenge. This is for the more outgoing groups (would suit an internal workplace Quiz Event). They could compete in a wide variety of challenges. See below for ideas. Please feel free to comment below to suggest your own that you have run or participated in.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Sing the complete lyrics to a song. Some examples include:
      • Fresh Prince of Bel Air
      • The Nanny
      • Eminem song
  • Order the Prime Ministers/Presidents of your country
  • Dance-off
  • Count to a minute in your head
  • Name Olympic hosts cities in order - going backwards from current year
  • Order the previous winners of major sporting events - going backwards (e.g. Superbowl, AFL Grand Final, Melbourne Cup etc.)

These next three games work really well at family-friendly quiz nights. They will get the kids involved. Get the teams started on these games during other rounds so kids and adults are engaged.

Paper Plane Competition

10+ minutes

This family-friendly game is a good one to get everyone involved.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Each person in the room gets an A4 sheet of paper.
  2. Give everyone 5 minutes to create a paper plane. May be worth showing a countdown timer on the projector.
  3. At the end of the countdown get competitors to one side of the room.
  4. Using a starting line, smaller groups at a time of competitors throw their planes.
  5. Once everyone has had a throw identify whose plane was thrown the furthest - they are the winner.

Naming the plane or putting an identifiable mark on it may be a good idea to avoid disputes.

Alternatively, you could run this game as a fundraiser. Perhaps the paper needs to be purchased to play. If you're running this for a family night - it doesn't have to be expensive, maybe even a donation.

Newspaper Tower

15+ minutes

This family-friendly game will get the best engineers actively involved in your event. Also, it requires teamwork - perhaps suiting a workplace or sporting club quiz night.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Give each team a limited amount of newspaper and roll of masking tape/sticky-tape - recommended 1-2 newspapers and 1 roll of tape.
  2. Each team must use the paper and tape to build the highest tower possible. It must be free-standing and use nothing but the tape and newspaper. Ask around your club/organisation prior to your event for some used newspapers - lots of people will have some available.
  3. Display a countdown on the screen of how long each team has to complete the task. 10 minutes should be enough before teams get bored or distracted - you want to keep to moving.
  4. At the end of the countdown use a measuring tape or something similar to identify the highest tower - they are the winner

Newspaper Fashion

15+ minutes

This game will get the creative juices flowing. It's a fun team-building game. The winner needs to be subjectively chosen so it may be worth choosing someone from within your club/organisation who is artsy or works in the arts field to be the judge.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Each team identifies one of their team members who will be the model.
  2. Provide a newspaper or two to each team with a roll of masking tape/sticky-tape.
  3. Using the newspaper and tape each team must create paper fashion on their model. It's worth saying before you start that "...models will need to be able move to do a cat-walk in their outfit so make sure it won't fall apart."
  4. Display a countdown on the screen of how long each team has to complete the task. 10 minutes should be enough before teams get bored or distracted - you want to keep to moving.
  5. At the end of the countdown use a central space to conduct the cat-walk show.
  6. This is when the judge will give a score to each fashion design. You may just give out prizes without giving scores to save disputes.

As previously stated, the winner of this game is subjectively chosen so make sure, above all, the focus of it is the fun.

It can be worth having a number of winners using various criteria:

  • Most creative
  • Most practical
  • Mens
  • Womens
  • Craziest design
  • Cleanest cut design

Winning Table Prizes

Don’t forget people are at the event for the trivia! At the end of the quiz there has to be a winner. It's always worth giving out at least a 1st and 2nd prize for teams. If you only give out 1st prize it can leave the second table who possibly only ‘lost’ by 1/2 points more likely to complain about one of the answers. 3rd prize is an option too but can mean more outlay of funds if you’ve had to buy the prizes. If the prizes are donated then it’s lost revenue from a possible silent auction item. A wooden spoon award is often fun too.

If the event is a recurring one, say annually, it may be worth doing a perpetual trophy. Especially in the case of a workplace Quiz Night, having one group from your business having the bragging rights over the trivia for a year is a great prize! It doesn't have to be something the winners take home - just something to display at your club/organisation. This means it'll be a constant reminder to those who see it about that incredibly fun night that was had.

Suggestion:

Try and use donated items as your winning table prizes to save on money. Otherwise here's some ideas for winning team prizes:

  • wine
  • hampers
  • chocolate
  • movie tickets
  • vouchers
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