How to - Organise a Quiz

This guidance gives advice on the things you should consider when organising an event with a quiz. Click here for general guidance on organising events

  1. Decide on the audience for the quiz.  Is this something just for your group, for LALG or will it be open to the public?
  2. Is this the main event or a part of the meeting?
  3. Decide on the timings for the evening.  How many rounds can you fit in?  Will there be a refreshment break?  Or is it light entertainment in the midst of a meeting? If you are providing hot food, or are having food delivered, make sure the round before the food is due can be delayed until after it if timings go out…and vice versa with the round following it.  Or have a table quiz for the interval which will soak up any timing issues.
  4. Find a volunteer (or team) to manage it.  This may include:
    • Providing the questions:
      • Structure the questions concisely but so they are easy to take in and process.
      • Word questions so you point people towards the correct answer (eg “how much less do you weigh on the moon?” would be better as “you weigh less on the moon – but by what fraction?” so you get a fraction, not a decimal, and not someone’s actual weight loss).
      • Don’t get bogged down in providing context to the question.
      • Make sure the quiz master knows how to pronounce tricky words.
      • Prepare 2 tie-break questions and decide how you will run a tie-break. The first to raise a hand/shout the answer can have the evening finishing on an inconclusive note. 
    • Running the quiz, photocopying of quiz sheets, picture rounds etc.
      • If you’re providing written questions, pictures etc then give out enough copies for all team members to see them properly at the same time.  And be clear how you want the answers submitted.
      • Have spares – teams may split, plus drinks and food get spilled.
    • Marking the answer sheets. Decide who will do this (swap with other teams in the quiz, or pass to a central team) how to present the scores eg flip chart/project a spreadsheet/read them out at half time & the end.
    • Providing prizes (and maybe booby prizes).
  5. Have a policy on expenses, for example photocopying costs and prizes.
  6. For a large event provide a microphone - check there are spare batteries.
  7. Check whether the quiz master will need access to a computer, a screen (for picture rounds) and a sound system (for music rounds), make sure you have these and the power to run them! It saves a lot of repetition if questions are displayed on a screen.
  8. If the quiz will be run for teams, decide how many people in each, whether whole teams will sign up or whether individuals will be combined.  Have a process for linking individuals to teams and do this before the event.  Ask each team to hand in a form with their team name on before the quiz starts to avoid duplication etc.
  9. Make sure you know before the day how many people will be at the event, how many teams there will be and have enough quiz sheets, spare paper and pencils for them.
  10. Make sure you understand the mechanics of running the quiz, marking, compiling scores, keeping a scoreboard and announcing winners.  Decide how many people you need to do this efficiently.
  11. Check and double check and triple check the answers using a reputable source – Wikipedia is not always accurate!  Even check things you are convinced you know – knowledge moves on plus there are many urban myths in circulation. Consider creating answer sheets with answers that are acceptable and answers that are not acceptable.  Have a policy on names (will just surname do?) and on spelling (is phonetic good enough?) as consistent marking is vital. Get friends with a range of interests and the people who will mark the answers to do the questions in advance. Make changes to questions and/or answers as necessary. But make clear that the quiz master’s decision is final.
  12. Have a policy on mobile phone use and make this clear.
  13. Keep an eye on the clock to make sure you finish within the allotted time.
  14. Hand out prizes at the end.
  15. Reimburse expenses.
  16. Thank those who have helped make the event a success.