Finding a venue, writing questions, preparing a presentation, hosting… organizing a trivia night can be tough, and I haven’t even listed everything you need to do! Luckily, you can reallocate some of these responsibilities to other companies and individuals. Welcome to bar trivia systems!
You can find a company that will sell you the whole organizational package, or just parts of it. You can also choose to outsource certain aspects of your trivia night, like question writing or making packets for the rounds. However, finding a venue and advertising your event will usually fall on your shoulders, anyway. (Unless, of course, you already own a venue–in which case, you’ll want to take a look at this article about the costs of running a trivia night.) If you’re not ready to take on these responsibilities, you can arrange it with your trivia night company.
If you’re on a tight budget and can’t afford to splurge on a bar trivia system, you can make your own, but more on that later. For now, let’s find out what is in a bar trivia system.
What’s in a Bar Trivia System?
A bar trivia system will usually include everything you need to run a successful trivia night… well, almost everything. There will be everything pertaining to the actual trivia, including:
- Questions (including audio and visual rounds, if agreed upon)
- A presentation, or a way in which you can display your questions and rounds to the players
- A way for players to answer, be it traditional pen and paper, or a tablet/smartphone
- Hardware, like buzzers for speed rounds (if needed)
- A host or quizmaster
The trivia night company should take care of any other needs you may have, such as locating a projector and speakers. Usually, those come with the venue if the venue is equipped for trivia nights (think any pub with a stage, or a conference room). If the venue doesn’t have those things, you can arrange that with the trivia company as well.
Hosts and equipment are not a must at any trivia night, though. If you’d rather host the trivia night yourself and write your own questions, you can! You can rent all the necessary equipment separately and only purchase certain services from your trivia night provider. All you have to do is agree on the package that provides the most value to you.
Where Can You Get a Bar Trivia System?
The easiest way to go about organizing a trivia night is through an “all-in-one system.” Such a system takes care of most of the tasks you need to do regarding the trivia night, like preparing the venue and hosting. Here are some excellent trivia night software companies that can help you. If you’d like to know more about these apps, check out our article about bar trivia software.
Buzztime Trivia is a popular company that provides trivia on demand for any audience. They have trivia games for any interest, theme, or format. The brand promises to create an unforgettable game that your visitors will want to come back to, time and again.
You can start with a single event to test that theory or subscribe to the service for regular events. Buzztime Trivia has an extensive collection of trivia questions that are updated regularly, so you’ll never run out of trivia! Introduce a game with tablets or mobile devices for greater interactivity.
Buzztime offers two programs: Streaming and Elite. While Streaming only costs $50/week and requires no installation fee, Elite is a bit more complex. The price is $129/week, plus an installation fee. The latter includes tablets and charging racks, daily trivia and live trivia, and other games, such as poker.
Buzztime Trivia / NTN Trivia was formerly known as NTN Network. The network broadcasts trivia games in North America. If you’re interested in playing a game of trivia at home, you can purchase a NTN Home Trivia System on Amazon. The set comprises a game console that comes with 750 trivia questions from Buzztime, and two wireless game controllers.
- Plug-n-play console allows up to two players or teams to compete at one time
- 750 official Buzztime trivia questions
- Trivia questions from a variety of subject matter
- On-screen scoring
- Challenging questions, fast-paced game play
Kahoot! is a popular option for students and teachers, but its capabilities span far beyond that. You can download the Kahoot! mobile app on your phone or tablet, or simply use the web version on your device. The software allows you to create your own trivia quiz, share the code with your friends, and play!
If you’re using Kahoot! for your trivia night, you can send out the code to all teams so they can answer the questions on their devices, and put the game up on the big screen.
Houseparty is a great alternative for a smaller trivia night with friends when you can’t see each other. The app comes with some trivia questions, but you will need to pay for the full version for more features, or write some questions yourself. Unfortunately, this app is not usable for big trivia nights outside of home, hence the name Houseparty.
Trivia Maker is a software that can help you prepare for your trivia night. If you’re having an in-person trivia night, you can show the app on the big screen, so that everyone can see the questions. If you’re having a virtual trivia night, share your screen with the players.
Trivia Maker allows you to personalize your game by adding your logo, music, animation, and so on. There is some trivia that comes with the software, but you’ll have to come up with more questions.
TriviaHub Live is the perfect virtual trivia night maker. The platform will take care of all of your virtual trivia needs. In some ways, virtual trivia is easier to organize. You don’t have to worry about the space and can just focus on the questions.
TriviaHub Live provides everything, including the questions and categories. The system will keep track of the score automatically. All you need to do is host, though TriviaHub Live can provide a host for you too!
Venue Trivia is a web-based trivia software application. The app helps you prepare for your trivia night using templates, though you still have to prepare your own questions. On the plus side, you can use your own audio and visual props to create a better presentation. You can customize your logo, decide how much time players get per round, and so on.
Besides the software, Venue Trivia released its own hardware in the form of buzzers. Those are great for speed rounds, when teams need to buzz in their answers. The buzzers only work with Venue Trivia software and you need to download a desktop app to use them.
How to Make Your Own “System”
If you’re on a tight budget, you can DIY your trivia night! A trivia night that you organize yourself can be just as fun and even more personalized. Before you start on your to-do list, figure out what you need. Here are some suggestions:
You can find questions online, buy them from a trivia company, or hire a freelancer to write them for you. Alternatively, you can write your own questions. Just know that it’s a time-consuming process. If you don’t know where to look, check out these trivia categories!
If you’re going to hire a host, you can get the total package and find someone who will also create the trivia game for you. If you already have the questions and just need someone to host the event, you can hire a freelance quizmaster.
A little tip for saving money is to avoid hiring an expensive host. You can pay as much as hundreds of dollars for someone to read out the questions. Though there is no doubt that an awesome trivia host can make the night much better, it is something you can go without if you’re on a tight budget. If that’s your case, host the night yourself or ask someone from your team to do it. It might be even more fun that way!
This is purely optional and depends on the type of event you’re having. If your trivia night will take place at a bar, you can probably borrow the bar’s projector and speakers. If not, you can always rent them elsewhere. Speakers are only needed for musical rounds.
If you want to have a quiz with tablets, you’re better off ordering the whole quiz with the equipment from a trivia night company. Unless you have five-to-ten tablets just lying around, it will be hard to find some. Even if you find a rental, you’ll have to install trivia software on them, which can take a while.
A great alternative is asking players to use their smartphones, which is fitting if you’re playing with Kahoot! Playing with smartphones makes it easier to cheat, so you must trust your audience. At the end of the day, pen and paper are still a viable option! That will save you lots of money; all you need to do is print out answer sheets and bring pens.
A System For Any Quiz
Hosting a trivia night is no walk in the park. There are things you need to take care of, like choosing the venue, writing the questions, arranging the equipment, and hosting the event. To make your life a little easier, you can outsource some of these responsibilities to someone more experienced and equipped to run a trivia night. You won’t be able to reallocate all the responsibilities, it’s your trivia night after all, but you can get help!
Bar trivia quiz systems offer to take care of a sizeable chunk of the planning and organizing. At the very least, they can take care of the quiz itself, while you focus on the marketing and arranging the venue. Don’t hesitate to work with a trivia night company! You won’t be giving up much control, as everything will still be exactly as you want it to be.
If you’re looking for a more low-cost alternative to pub trivia systems, create your own system! It won’t be hard as long as you have a dedicated team of people to work with. Good luck and tell us how it went!