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How to Host a Trivia Night at Your Reunion

Are you a walking wealth of knowledge? Do you know a lot about a little or a little about a lot? Are your family members or friends the type to watch Trivia game shows, desperately yelling the correct answer to the TV? Then hosting a trivia night sounds like the perfect activity for your family reunion!

Hosting a Trivia Night Everyone will Remember

Anyone can throw a party and call it a good time, but if you want to go above and beyond to provide your family or guests with a grand time, engage everyone in a good ol’ game of Trivia! It’s a golden opportunity to get everyone at your reunion to interact and enjoy each other’s company!

Are you ready to start planning? Grab a notebook and a pen and let’s get started!

Step 1: Recruiting Trivia Players

Headcounts

If you’re in charge of planning the Trivia Night at this year’s reunion, the first thing you need to do is figure out the approximate number of players will be. Even if guests haven’t sent back RSVPs to the reunion yet, it’s possible to estimate your players. Ask the guest committee how many people have been invited so you can get a maximum headcount.

This way, you can begin all of your planning while awaiting official RSVPs to the reunion and scale back your planning if needed. Most people who regularly host events have a good idea of who usually attends planned events and who usually declines, so if this is you, it can help you to determine headcount a little earlier.

Trivia Teams

Usually when it comes to Trivia, there is a minimum and maximum of people allowed on a team. This will depend on the size of your reunion and your their personal preferences.

Selecting teams can be done a few ways.

  • Teams are made up of the individual families at the reunion.
  • Teams are randomly selected ahead of time. (This encourages people to get to know each other if your reunion is particularly big)
  • Players are allowed to pick their own teams.

People are usually pretty good at picking their teams but some people may be shy and need help. If you’re assigning teams, make sure you mix up the introverts and extroverts!

Trivia Team Names

Be sure to allow time for the teams to pick a good name. Encourage each team to try to make the best name and see whose is the most creative!

Help establish even more team spirit by allowing teams to choose a team color and wear matching hats or beads.

Once you have a guest list drafted, it’s time to work on the finer details.

Step 2: Planning Your Trivia Game

When arranging a Trivia Night, it’s important to stay organized and keep all of your details in one convenient place. Designating a notebook and using sticky notes to mark important pages is a practical way to do this on any budget! If you prefer digital documents and organization, that’s up to you. Here’s everything you’ll need in order to plan the game!

Trivia Night Themes

You can host Trivia Night with multiple topics or you can stick with a single topic. Themes can make Trivia even more fun!

Fun Trivia Night Themes

  • “Disney Magic”
  • “At the Movies”
  • “The Office”
  • “Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?”
  • “Around the World”
  • The Bible
  • Family Trivia
  • “Back in My Day” (Trivia about the different decades)

Sample “The Office” Trivia Night

My office once threw a Trivia party for Halloween with one super fun theme, The Office! People were allowed to dress up as their favorite character and all questions were based around knowledge of the show. People won Schrute Bucks for correct answers and for other random Office-Themed challenges throughout the day. The three people with the most Schrute Bucks all won “Dundies”! I wasn’t into The Office yet at the time so I didn’t win, but can you imagine how having a theme would make Trivia Night a million times more memorable?

Questions to Ask

If you’re picking a trivia night theme, then you already know what topics you’ll cover with your questions!

If you are not going with a theme then you might still need to figure out which topics you would like to cover. Consider your party’s interests and don’t be afraid to incorporate a little humor here and there!

And if you’re having trouble thinking of questions, find a trivia question and answer book like this one!

Make sure you print out a few copies of your question/answer list, your Cheatsheet, not only for your night’s emcee, but for the judging panel if you plan on having one. More on that later!

Trivia Night Rules

All rules must be clearly stated and understood before the game begins. Things you’ll want to address:

  • Resources. Are players allowed to use reference materials such as a cellphone or books?
  • Wagers. Will you allow teams to place bets before questions? (It’s fun to play for poker chips and candy!)
  • Time limits. Will it be the first team to buzz in, or 30 seconds to write down the correct answer?
  • Scoring. Are all questions weighted the same or will there be a point difference between easy and hard? Are there penalties for wrong answers?

Step 3: Gathering Trivia Night Supplies

Trivia Game Supplies

Let’s discuss the essentials first – your game supplies.

For Teams Who Call Out Answers:

If you want to call out answers, you’ll need some form of noise maker for each team, whether it’s whistles, mini airhorns, or buzzers!

For Teams Who Write Down Answers:

Regular old copy paper and markers works fine, but getting individual dry erase boards and markers will prevent unnecessary waste and look so much nicer!

Food for Your Trivia Night

Many-a-people would argue that a shindig is only as good as the food that is served, so whether you’re having the night catered, are ordering takeout, or are simply planning to serve hors d’oeuvres and finger sandwiches, be sure to stick with tried-and-true palate pleasers. Never finalize your food list until you have a complete headcount.

Trivia Night Decorations

Depending on where you’re hosting your trivia night, you may want to consider purchasing decorations to match your theme or get everyone in the spirit of trivia time.

Step 4: Overseeing the Game & Awarding Points

The Emcee

Every trivia night needs an actual host, the emcee, to lead the evening’s game. Whether it’s the person who planned the event, or the most charismatic family member of the group, the emcee plays an important role in overseeing the game.

The Emcee is the very life of the party! Personality and wittiness matter here! You want someone who will read the questions clearly and determine when it’s necessary to ask the judges.

The Judges

Let’s say the question is: “Which Disney Princess has red hair?”

Answer: Ariel, of course! But wait……. what about Merida?

There may come a time during the game where a question comes up that could have multiple answers (or could be worded differently) and you didn’t realize it! It’s ok, it happens! This is why having a judging panel can help award points fairly. It’s important that when a question like this arises, to award points to ALL correct answers, even if it wasn’t the answer you had on your cheatsheet.

Step 5: Rewarding the Victors

Prizes for Trivia Night

A brand new car!” Okay, that won’t happen (or maybe it will!) but people like to know what they’re in the running for! Announce what the juicy grand prize is and leave some room in there for a couple of runner-ups if you would like.

Trivia Night Prize Ideas:

  • Gift cards
  • Themed gift baskets
  • Subscription boxes
  • Household items
  • Family fun
  • Gourmet snacks
  • Bottles of wine (If it’s adults only)

Cash prizes are always well-received by winners!

Party Favors

Consider sending every guest home with a little something as a party favor. There is no official etiquette saying you have to give party favors, so if you choose not to, be assured that everyone will still leave with amazing memories and there is nothing greater!

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