Most of the time, setting up for a quiz is very straightforward. My dream venue is a convex hexahedron with a modern, well-kept PA system built in, and a screen or screen and projector with easy connection to our laptop. When we are not confident that this sort of kit is available, we bring our own PA system, and it’s usually an easy job to pop a couple of speakers in sensible places. We are most comfortable standing behind a table with our laptop on it, presenting to a room of teams with ample space to move around and light to quiz by.
From time to time, something isn’t quite right at the venue despite our requests for space and furniture, and we have to work round a slightly tricky situation.
I’m reminded of a restaurant function room in Bristol, where Jack and I ran a corporate quiz night about 15 years ago, and in which space was so limited (they’d tried to squeeze too many teams in) that we didn’t have a table, or anywhere to sit, and poor Jack had to run the quiz with his laptop on the seat of a chair whilst he stood between two round tables of teams and I crouched at his feet, perilously close to the participants’ shuffling chair legs, to mark the teams’ answer sheets.
David Brewis and I once ran a corporate quiz in a smart London hotel where, on arrival, we were informed by an apologetic staff member that there wasn’t a single table left in the entire building. We found a table frame and some cardboard in a cupboard and made a table for ourselves using the gaffer tape we always carry.
We very often run quizzes in clubs and bars with atmospheric lighting which can be frustrating for not only the quiz master but also the teams peering at their answer sheets in the gloom. As I’ve got older, I’ve found myself buying more and more torches and reading lights to put in my kit bag!
It’s important to book a private room, otherwise teams struggle to hear the quiz master against the noise in the bar/restaurant, and the other customers are either annoyed by our quiz, or sit down and try to join in!
We will always do our best to make things work, whatever the room, marquee, boat, atrium or Routemaster bus (true story) is like.
We’re very happy to advise on venues, and can usually recommend somewhere that’s worked well for us in the past. We’ve hosted thousands of quizzes all over the UK and beyond, so please contact us if you need a hand finding the perfect convex hexahedron.