Quiz nights are a familiar sight on the fundraising scene, but if you're running this event for the first time, our tip and tricks will help make it the best it can be.
- Two months before: Choose a date and time for your event, and book a venue. Confirm the format for your quiz – how long will it last, how many rounds do you want, and what themes will these have? In two hours, you can probably run about six to eight rounds, with ten questions in each. Decide whether your quiz will be for adults, children, or families, and agree how many people will be in each team – six to ten should be enough. Recruit volunteers to help compose the quiz and promote the event. You will also need a witty, confident quizmaster and a few assistants to oversee scores and arbitrate any disputes on the night!
- Six to seven weeks before: Get a microphone or PA system, and a CD player if necessary, and confirm that you can borrow tables and chairs from the school. Approach local businesses about sponsoring rounds and ask whether they can also donate prizes. If running a raffle or auction, seek prizes for these, too. Decide whether you will serve food, and if this will be prepared by you or delivered by a local restaurant. If serving food, include this in the ticket price and invite people to pre-order, noting any dietary requirements. Alternatively, ask guests to bring their own food and provide extra rubbish bags.
- Four to five weeks before: Spread the word using posters, flyers, letters and social media. Sell tickets for £3-5 each, and up to £10 if providing food. Encourage year or class reps to seek out teammates. Find a scoreboard so that everyone can see who's in the lead after each round – this should help maintain excitement and encourage some competitive spirit!
- Two to three weeks before: Prepare quiz sheets and source pencils – if you think you can get away with it, charge teams 50p for these! Finalise which refreshments will be provided and who will be in charge of buying this and serving it on the night. Remember that any sale or supply of alcohol, even if included in the ticket price, will require a TEN. Submit an application to your local council at least 10 working days before your event.
- On the day: Arrive early to set up your venue. If running a raffle or auction, encourage guests to buy tickets or place bids as they arrive, then announce winners at the end. Run interval games to boost profits, and encourage teams to complete a table quiz between rounds, with the incentive of earning extra points.
- After the event: Have a post-event debrief with your team to discuss what worked well and what might need tweaking. Cultivate relationships with sponsors by sending them thank you letters detailing how much the event raised and how this has contributed towards your fundraising goal.
Download a print-friendly PDF version of our step-by-step guide to quiz nights
Quiz night tips and advice
- Licensing: If selling or supplying alcohol at your event, you will need a TEN (England and Wales). Allow at least ten working days between submitting your request and your event date. If you plan to play music and your event is held on school premises, your PTA will not require a separate music licence, as you will be covered by the school's licences.
- Quiz questions: Tailor your quiz to suit your audience. If running a family quiz, ensure that each round has a few questions that children can answer. Be imaginative when selecting topics – as well as the usual sport, history and geography, include spelling tests and a famous faces picture round. Run a table quiz, and give teams the chance to play a joker that will allow them to earn double points for the round in question. There are numerous sites offering quiz questions, such as quiz-zone.co.uk. Make sure you're confident of your facts and avoid any questions which may be open to interpretation! And remember to prepare a tie-break question.
- Boost profits: Increase revenue by serving food such as fish and chips or pizzas that can be pre-ordered and delivered. Interval games are also popular – not only will they provide a cash benefit, but should offer lots of laughs, too. Seek sponsorship for each round by relevant local businesses – a travel agent might sponsor the geography round for example. Encourage guests to take part in a game of 'heads or tails', and run a £50 grid. Find ideas for interval games here.
For more information
- There are several issues to consider relating to insurance, licences, etc. See our Event Planning Checklist for more details.
- Check out or licensing guide for a breakdown of the most common licences PTAs need.
- Read our at-a-glance guide to Temporary Event Notices.
The above is intended as guidance only. We recommend that you contact the relevant organisations with specific reference to insurance, legal, health and safety and child protection requirements. Community Inspired Ltd cannot be held responsible for any decisions or actions taken by a PTA, based on the guidance provided.