Promotions and Marketing: Host a Bar Trivia Night

bar trivia nightFall is right around the corner, and with it comes the opportunity for festive celebrations and a string of holiday events likely to increase sales, and entertain your guests. Aside from once-a-year events like holiday celebrations, a great way to increase sales and build a following among regulars, who will come back again and again, is to host a trivia or game night event – any time of the year!

Hosting a trivia night, also called a pub trivia night or quiz night at many establishments, is a great way to draw a crowd into your establishment. These events work especially well on slower nights as a way to get people coming back week after week. Patrons are able to enjoy a team-based event, a chance to hang out with friends, show off their knowledge of random facts, and enjoy food and beverage with others in a festive atmosphere. Thinking about hosting a trivia night at your bar? Here are some first steps you can complete to run a successful event:

Determine the best date to host your event. Choose one that you can make a standing date. For example, if your patrons know that every Wednesday is trivia night, there’s no question about the best time to stop in for dinner and drinks! A great strategy is to choose a slower night where increased sales would be a bonus. A busy Friday or Saturday night may not be the best time to add a trivia game to the regular mix, but a slower weekday night might be perfect.

Determine who will be the M.C. Do you have a particularly outgoing or charismatic team member on your staff? They might be perfect for the job to act as “master of ceremonies” for the event.

Determine where you will find your contestants. You’ll need to spread the word among regulars and new guests alike for the best chance at getting an active group to participate. For the biggest buzz, try a multi-pronged approach to advertising your event. As with any other promotional event, make sure to share all of the pertinent details about your event on your establishment’s social media channels. Also make sure you advertise on-site before the event with menu inserts, table tents or other promotional tools. Use word-of-mouth marketing with your regular patrons and staff. You can even ask your staff to help build momentum for your first event by spreading the word among their friends.

Determine what format and theme you should use. Having a theme, where all the questions are based on a specific topic, will help to keep things simple. You can change up the theme once in a while, or if it’s successful, have a recurring theme night each month. Need some inspiration? Sports-themed, movie-themed, and 80’s-themed trivia are always popular with a crowd. Want to cross promote themed-beverages at your bar? Try a cocktail-based trivia night! Refer to our blog post, “Cheers! Tracing the History of Classic Cocktails,” or the article, “Of Rum and Rumor,” from Nightclub & Bar for inspiration and fun facts.

Create a bank of trivia questions. If you’re looking for great questions to use, you can purchase a general trivia question book from a retailer like, or just do the research and create questions on your own. Make sure questions are intriguing enough to keep the mood fun and competitive, but not so difficult as to make it impossible to for anyone other than a complete whiz to answer correctly.

Set the ground rules. Keep it light and fun, but make sure to set the rules before the start of the event, and make sure participants are clear on what will and won’t be accepted. For example, make it clear if there will be time limits, who will act as judge or tiebreaker, and make sure that participants know they shouldn’t be looking up answers on their phones!

Award a prize. Everyone loves to win something! Distributing a prize will keep patrons coming back again and again. It can be something as simple as free appetizers or gift certificates that can be used toward futures purchases in your establishment, or you can create a trophy or other commemorative item that winners can display for “bragging rights” at your next trivia event.

Most importantly, be creative and have fun! As always, make sure that you are not over serving your guests if you are featuring special drinks or holding a special event, and that the atmosphere can remain light and fun for all of your patrons. TAM® of Nevada will train you and your co-workers to provide a great celebration that will keep your patrons safe and willing to come back and participate at your next event.

Have you hosted a trivia or game night at your establishment?


2 thoughts on “Promotions and Marketing: Host a Bar Trivia Night

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s