5 Companies Trivia Team Building Activities Won’t Work For


Team building trivia events are my passion. I love everything about them, from customizing trivia questions for specific groups to hosting events, to seeing the enjoyment people get out of them and the smiles they beam afterwards. However, as strongly as I feel about this unique form of corporate employee entertainment, I know that live trivia just plain isn’t for everybody.

I’ve been doing this for a long time, and have seen my share of successful events and happy clients; however, you simply cannot please everybody all of the time, and my craft is no different. Below is a list of the 5 types of companies for which, despite the best of intentions, live trivia just isn’t going to be an effective team building activity:

1) The Ultra-Serious Company – I’ve done events for quite a wide variety of companies, and can assure you that serious people can have just as much of a blast playing and competing in a high-energy live trivia party as anybody else. However, there are just some companies which, for whatever reason, simply do not project, encourage or thrive in relaxed & competitive environments. I can’t generalize based on industry, only on a case-by-case basis, but the fact remains: if managers & employees are too stern & solemn to have fun in group setting outside of work, live trivia isn’t for them.

2) The Incredibly Small Company – I dread receiving inquiries from tiny companies, because I hate turning clients away. However, if a company is made up of, like, 4 people, I can’t in good faith guarantee we can deliver a high-energy, impactful event, since you need to have a decent number of people competing against each other to do so (FYI this is a VERY gray area; in general, I don’t recommend trivia unless you can have at least 2 “sizable teams” playing against each other, who can create the type of boisterous environment which will make an event successful).

3) The Failing Company – There’s an old saying I love, which is “putting lipstick on a pig.” Sometimes, even the best of intentions aren’t going to help a losing situation, and with companies which are obviously in trouble, a trivia party simply won’t do much to boost morale and foster teamwork long-term.

4) The “Bad Fit” Company – This past year, I had a humbling experience whereby a prestigious company expressed enthusiastic interest in creating a series of trivia events for their employees; after coming to observe a public event, however, they backed out of the deal. Despite having a great time, loving our format and being impressed overall, they felt that, for their employees, trivia just wouldn’t be a “good fit.” And you know what? I didn’t argue for a second, since I will never know their company’s “feel” as well as they do. If they sense it’s not a good fit, it’s probably not.

5) The Company Which Treats Its Employees Poorly – I’ve luckily not seen many of these, but am including them here anyway. There are some companies out there which place their employees way at the bottom of the priority scale, and it shows: authoritarian managers, unrealistic expectations, hostile workplaces, high turnover. Occasionally, someone from management will decide to throw employees a bone by giving them a trivia party, which is tons of fun and helps create some laughs – for 2 hours. Back at the office, however, all of the lessons, memories and positive messages go right out the window as the staff goes right back to feeling overworked, abused and undervalued.

If it were up to me, I’d obviously love to create trivia team building events for every company in New York City, American and planet Earth. However, it is far more important to me that we are only creating events for the most appropriate companies, in order to ensure that attendees have the best experience possible.

Do you think trivia would or would not work for your company? Please let us know why in the space below!

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