Looking for a fun activity with your friends?
At Mirthy, we’ve found that quizzes are particularly popular within our community of retirees, whose wealth of life experience often make them the ultimate Masterminds!
Quizzes are a wonderful way to cultivate good-natured competition and stretch the brain, while also bringing people together.
They are perfect for small groups, bigger meetups and even fundraisers for local causes and charities.
So let’s look at how you can find, join and hopefully win a local quiz!
Finding a Quiz
Finding a good quiz depends on the type of event you’re looking for.
At Mirthy, we specialise in facilitating social clubs for those in later life, so our meetups are designed around particular activities and hobbies for a certain demographic.
Therefore, if you’re a retiree and want to find a quiz for like-minded attendees, with questions that skip the latest Love Island gossip, you’re in the right place!
You can either search for quizzes and other events here or alternatively, Google can be a great source of information.
Although you might have to sift through some results, you should be able to discover an appropriate event.
That might be a weekly pub quiz or night at your local community centre.
Creating a Quiz
If there are no quizzes near you that tick the boxes, perhaps you can create one of your own!
After all, if you haven’t been able to find anything appealing, it’s likely that other locals might be interested in attending a quiz night nearby.
There’s a bit of an art to organising a good quiz though, so let’s dive into the nuts and bolts of a successful meetup.
It’s important to gauge your audience when arranging the event. If you already have a group of friends or locals, it can simply be a matter of asking a few preliminary questions:
- What are they interested in?
- What’s their level of general knowledge?
- Do they want to play teams or pairs?
- How long do they want to play for?
This information allows you to pitch your event appropriately.
If you don’t already know your attendees, it might be a process of gathering feedback after each meetup and tweaking your quiz to ensure your audience are happy.
That might involve shortening the rounds if people are getting bored, or scheduling more breaks for social time and drinks.
Once you have a group going, you may be able to rotate organisers to provide a fresh approach and ensure that everyone gets to join in.
Most quizzes are broad in scope, covering a range of general knowledge, with certain rounds appealing to those with specialist knowledge.
After all, not everyone’s a 1920’s aviation expert!
Also, if you’ve ever been to a quiz where every question is like being on University Challenge, you’ll know it’s a pretty depressing experience…
Ideally, you should aim to make your quiz questions challenging but not impossible, pitching the questions at a level where teams answer 50-60% of the questions correctly and with relative ease.
Therefore, not only does everyone feel good about their performance and stand of chance of winning, but you can also reserve a few harder questions for the real contenders.
By remaining broad in your approach, you can make the event as inclusive as possible and engage all attendees.
You can still create sections of the quiz to appeal to the more enthusiastic quiz goer or throw in random questions that test the teams.
Here are some examples of different quiz rounds to include:
- Current affairs
- Food and drink
- Famous people
The rounds can be simple question and answer, cryptic clues or even multiple-choice, with variety being the name of the game.
Probably the most important rule for all teams to remember is that the quizmaster is always right!
Other rules of the event should be reasonably straightforward.
For example, a no mobile phone policy ensures that none of your more competitive members has an unfair advantage!
Most quizzes are played in good spirit, but if there are any issues, the organiser’s word should always be final.
The way you structure your teams really depends on the size of your social event.
If you have enough participants, it’s always better to play in groups to increase social interaction and enjoyment, especially if some members are self-conscious about their level of general knowledge.
For those with lots of attendees, quiz masters often allow teams organise themselves, with particular friendship groups sticking together.
As an organiser, you may have to set a maximum group size, as bigger teams might have an unfair advantage over their smaller counterparts.
When organising a smaller, regular event, you might also want to have more say in creating the teams so the quiz isn’t dominated by the same eggheads every week!
A good way to distribute knowledge evenly from week to week is to have rotation among your participants.
Not only will this make the meetup more competitive, but also allow attendees to get to know one another while welcoming newcomers who want to make new friends.
A simple way to do this could be drawing participants names from a hat and assigning them randomly to various teams.
So next up comes scoring and deciding how you want to mark your quiz.
Will you give each question equal weighting or reward harder questions with extra points?
Perhaps you’ll organise a bonus round at the end of the quiz to make the finale more exciting.
As part of the quiz instructions, you can also decide whether to let teams mark their own sheets or have them swap to avoid the addition of sneaky points!
Alternatively, if you have the time or a bigger prize on offer, you can always collect the sheets and mark them yourself as the quiz master.
So what happens at the end of the quiz if there’s a draw?
Well, often it’s good practice to have fallback questions just in case.
There are a few options here including:
- A full sudden-death round
- A quick-fire question for a volunteer from each team
- A closest guess style question (e.g. what’s the distance in miles between London and Paris)?
The closest guess question tends to be a perennial favourite and perhaps a fairer way for the teams battle it out for the ultimate win.
Although some organisers prefer all the bells and whistles, on the whole, quizzes are low maintenance and easy to set up.
If you have lots of teams in a big space, a microphone may be useful so as not to lose your voice at the end of the event!
Additional equipment will largely depend on how you’ve structured your questions. If you have a music round, for example, will you have access to a sound system to play songs?
If you’ve created a film round, do you need a TV to show movie snippets?
Another option, if you don’t have access to these aids, is to simply create photocopies for each team, with questions and pictures.
While the options for an interactive quiz are endless, they’re not necessary to run a successful local event, with many organisers simply choosing to ask their questions aloud.
In this case, it’s just important to ensure that you have pens and paper for each team, with enough tables and chairs set out (spaced appropriately to avoid mixing of teams and answers).
Many quizzes offer prizes to their winning teams, which can be anything from cash prizes to a bottle of wine or pack of biscuits!
One thing to note is that if the event is for charity, you might want to limit the prizes so the majority of entry fees go towards the chosen cause.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that the bigger the prize, the more the competition, which can sometimes detract from the overall experience.
Much of the time, rewards aren’t necessary, as many people simply enjoy the activity itself.
In the absence of prizes, if you have a quiz with regular teams, you could create a league table to keep track of winners.
It’s very rare to have any real disputes during a quiz, especially when teams swap their sheets during marking.
Perhaps the only complaints you might encounter are where some of the questions and answers are contested, especially if they haven’t been fact-checked.
However, this is usually resolved fairly easily, and most attendees can be appeased with an extra point if they feel hard done by.
The great thing about these types of social clubs and groups is that they can be organised anywhere.
Though if you want the option to serve food and drink, that might influence your options.
At Mirthy, we run many of our events in retirement living communal spaces, where residents and members of the local community can come together in a dedicated room.
However, if you’d like to organise your own quiz in a separate location, perhaps you can speak to your local pub or community centre who might be willing to provide the space.
Promoting the Quiz
You can have the best quiz questions in the world, but it won’t mean much if no-one turns up to the event!
Getting the community interested will help you get off to a good start. You can do this by putting up leaflets and flyers in community spaces and noticeboards.
You can also talk to local magazines and papers for extra publicity.
Also, contact us at Mirthy and we may be able to list the event on our website to help with engagement.
The Final Round
Quizzes are a wonderful activity to engage attendees, providing an interactive experience that everyone can look forward to as a regular community event.
Start by searching here to see if there are any events in your local area.
If you can’t find anything of interest and would like to volunteer as an organiser, contact us here and we may be able to help.
Alternatively, to learn about other social clubs and groups, click here for more information.