Saying No

During the planning stage of every quiz night we host, we send our client a full questionnaire asking for a range of information on every aspect of the event – we’ve honed it over the years, and we’ve got pretty much everything covered. We want to know as much as possible about who is taking part in our quiz night and why – we want to give every different company/school/charity/party/department/individual exactly the right quiz for them. That’s what we think makes us good at our job.

Another thing that makes us good at our job is that, on any given night, we can adapt. There are way more teams? Fine. You need two extra rounds? Fine. Dinner’s early? No problem. You’ve just told us that there’s a whole team made up of Slovenian tailors? OK, we can make that work.

We can change, we can adapt, our attitude is never “this is the only way we do it and we’ve got to stick to that” or “sorry, that’s more than my job’s worth …”

but …

There is a fine art to saying no … sometimes …

That’s why we have the questionnaire. We, as quiz experts, people who have run thousands of successful quiz nights, want to know what you want from your event, whether its team building, networking, fundraising or just a good drinking session punctuated with a few questions, and we’ll help you to make that as good as we can. Through back and forth before the quiz, we’ll iron out any logistical issues, any ideas that may be impractical, we’ll be set up and ready to go.

And, on the night, we can certainly be flexible, but our quiz masters know that there is a point where it is better to, as politely as possible, say no. If everything is set, there are five minutes to go until the quiz, and someone of uncertain seniority approaches us to tell us that there must be jokers, there must be bonus points for funny answers, anyone suspected of using their phones should be summarily ejected from the venue, they want to take the mic(or indeed take the mick) and run a round on squid, we are prepared to say “I’m sorry, we won’t be doing that. It’s not going to help the quiz run well”. It happens very rarely, that’s why we’ve got the questionnaire, and we really are amenable and flexible to a lot of last-minute requests on the night, but I hope our clients trust us that we have an understanding of what will compromise the quality of a quiz.

So, yes, strange as it may sound, sometimes the very best thing we can do on a quiz night is say no.

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