Some trivia enthusiasts believe that you don’t need prizes. The glory of winning a fast-paced trivia match should be enough right? Apparently this isn’t always the case.
In reality, some people need a goal or motivation to be engaged in multiple rounds of trivia. Especially with the distraction of technology, having some prizes for winning trivia at the end of your trivia journey will surely be enough to keep your players in the game!
The question is, what kinds of good prizes for trivia night are appropriate, how many should you give out and what kinds of things can you do to make your players’ win meaningful and memorable? Here are some tips:
Consider Your Theme
Giving out a themed prize at your themed trivia night will make for quite the memorable evening. Imagine playing an intense game of Harry Potter trivia and prevailing with a chocolate Golden Snitch or a genuine replica of the Sorting Hat! The great thing about theme nights is that you can bet the players are superfans of the said theme. So giving out a themed prize will no doubt garner an enthusiastic response from your winner and equal excitement from the other players.
Rank Your Prizes
By ranking your prizes 1st, 2nd, 3rd, you’re giving your players more chances of taking home something memorable and fun from your night. Giving out one prize may cause some unwanted tension, but 2 or 3 creates more of a sense of community. You can reduce the prize’s value too, for example a Grand Prize for a Harry Potter trivia night could be a Golden Snitch replica statue, a second prize could be a Gryffindor scarf and a 3rd prize could be a chocolate frog. The order of presenting your prizes at the end of the night is up to you, but most hosts present last to first place.
Trivia is mostly a team sport. This means that sometimes prizes are shared amongst one team. This is always quite the let down because sharing one Gryffindor scarf always does not always go over well. To avoid this, if you know in advance that you will have big teams, try to choose a prize such as a gift certificate, or individual chocolate bars, which are much easier to share and will result in less tension and awkward moments at the end of the night.
You can use spotlights whether you’re at a pub or on Zoom. Spotlights make the moment more exciting when you’re announcing the grand prize winner. If you’re a lighting and sound whiz, consider adding some sound effects and fanfare. On Zoom, there are emojis and different applications to highlight a window. This just makes your winner’s moment all that more special.
To Prize or Not to Prize
Not every host decides to give out prizes for winning trivia. It may not be appropriate for the group of friends or the people taking part in your night. In this case, giving a round of applause, a spotlight or a high five to the winner or winning team may suffice.
If you are hosting your trivia night on Zoom, there are a few options for you in terms of prizes. You can easily send gift certificates to the winner via messenger or email. You can also give out magazine subscriptions, trivia app subscriptions, and meal delivery gift certificates. There’s more than you think online when it comes to good prizes for trivia night, you just have to get a bit crafty!
Prize Ideas for Trivia Nights at a Bar
Before you consider what prizes to give, make sure you discuss it with the venue! And if you’re a bar owner yourself, make sure to factor in all the costs and potential profits before sinking too much money into prizes, or giving away too much for free!
Restaurant gift certificates
This is a perfect prize especially if your trivia night is in said restaurant. You most likely will be able to convince the restaurant to provide the gift certificate for free.
Try buying them from gaming stores, board game cafes or arcades. (Make sure it’s enough money to disperse amongst the group if awarded to multiple people). This is a good bet if you don’t know the players but want to give out a prize that will be good for all trivia players.
Trivia people are essentially, let’s face it, big time geeks. It makes sense then to award the winner with her/his own nifty tech gadget they nerd out over.
Food is always welcome in the trivia circuit, as a matter of fact, it’s usually served alongside the game. Food prizes can include chocolate bars, food from the bar, some people have given away entire cakes!
Coffee and Chocolate
When in doubt, everyone loves coffee and chocolate. Depending on your age demographic, you can gift out a bag of Starbucks coffee beans, or some cool gourmet chocolate.
Prize Ideas for Trivia Nights With Friends
These prizes go over well especially with the 30-something demographic. Magazines aren’t outdated yet! Your winner will more than appreciate a magazine delivered to their mailbox every month courtesy of your trivia night.
If you are hosting a movie trivia night, it is always ultra cool to give out movie relics as prizes. This requires a bit of searching, but most movie props and costume look-alikes are readily available on ebay.
The Trivia Crown/Hat
Instead of a material prize, you can grant the winner free admission to the next trivia night and they can wear a crown/special trivia hat or special necklace that they must pass on to the next winner. It’s a fun ritual that people can look forward to every night. The winner of course doesn’t have to attend the next night if they aren’t available.
Prize Ideas for Fundraisers or Corporate Events
The foundation or organization may be providing you with a prize they have already bought. In this case, you are good to go!
When hosting events like fundraisers, people are usually open to funny and silly prizes. Try a real door as a door prize, or a bunch of balloons.
If you want a really cool prize for your night, ask a retailer to donate a prize to the cause, they will most likely oblige because it is a chance for them to advertise their business.
Hopefully these tips have made you think a bit more thoroughly about trivia prizes, which ones to choose and how to award them. Whether you prize or not, trivia just feels a bit more fun when you’re working towards a box of Milk Duds or a Gift Certificate to Olive Garden. Ultimately, they are a fun way to bring to light a fire under the game and make the night just a bit more memorable for everyone, and can really help to take your trivia night to the next level.
As the host, it’s up to you what prizes you want to give out, but either way, remember people are mostly there for the trivia excellence. As long as you bring the questions, your players will be more or less happy to hash out their answers!