This is a subject I’ve dropped into various posts before, but I don’t think I’ve ever written specifically on it. I’ll keep it brief and to the point.
We try to avoid quiz rounds which are too subject-specific. We get a lot of enquiries where people suggest something like “8 rounds on the usual subjects … History, Geography, Food and Drink, Sport, Entertainment, Science, Roundabouts and can we have a round on X-Factor …?” and we do our best to persuade people, nearly always successfully, that we will include all those subjects (though we might keep Roundabouts to a minimum unless we’re absolutely sure it’ll go down well) but we’ll just spread them out a bit between rounds.
The logic is fairly simple. If a round is on a specific subject and that specific subject is not to someone’s liking, they’re more likely to switch off for its duration. And if lots of people aren’t into a subject, lots of people will switch off, and we don’t want that, obviously. Likewise, if a few people are an expert on a given subject, and lots aren’t, then that’s a bit unfair.
There’s another good reason. We want to fit as many good questions into our quizzes as possible, within well-structured rounds. If we’ve agreed to do a round on, say, Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms of the 7th Century, it may be that they’re aren’t 10 top-class questions on that subject with varying difficulty enough to make a nicely nuanced round.
That reminds me of how we always used to start our quizzes for new clients (not so much now, so i don’t feel like I’m giving away a trade secret). We’d bring up a screen which showed a classical temple, and say “And now, the first round, on Ancient Greek Architecture …” to accompanying groans, before saying “Just kidding” clicking on the screen and the image would be shown to be part of something far more fun and engaging, to general relief and excitement.
The point being that a round on Ancient Greek Architecture would not be a great way to start a quiz, even (mainly) for experts on Ancient Greek Architecture.
We want our quiz rounds to allow for variety, to be intriguing, to get people talking, to be fair to all players. So we’re always coming up with quiz night ideas, tools for our quiz masters to keep the full crowd interested and on their toes. Over the course of our quizzes, we hope that you’ll get some questions on your favourite broad area, whether it’s Geography, History, Language, Drinks, Sport, TV, Film, Books, Art, Music, Politics or Animals, Chemistry, Business, Computers, Food, or whatever. Some of the questions, in fact a lot of them, will incorporate several of those subjects all at once. That’s another thing – good quiz questions can be hard to categorise.
When we used to run a pub quiz, we ran a round in which, week on week, we asked teams to submit topics from which we’d choose 3 to have 5 questions of each the next week. What came back was endlessly inventive – Salty Snacks of the 80s, Kriss Akabusi, Questions that the Bar Staff could answer, Accidental Celebrity Genitalia, Big Feet, Bubbles, Countries that Don’t Exist … you get the idea. But in order to make it work, we had to think laterally. Each sub-topic had to be played with in order not to turn the joke sour and maintain the integrity of the round – and make even obscure specialist subjects accessible to the non-specialist.
If you come to one of our Corporate Quizzes, what you’ll get is a range of well-developed, easy-to-explain, enjoyable rounds which usually cover a bit of everything. Even people praying for a round on Roundabouts don’t end up feeling hard done by (actually they might do, but hopefully they’ll enjoy everything else!).