We’re gearing up tonight for a very big corporate team building activity in Manhattan – nearly 100 law associates & partners from a prestigious firm. We held our customization meeting last week, and all of the trivia’s been researched & written; the group has been divided into teams based on the event’s goals, and our advance walk-through at the venue is complete. All that’s left for us to do is show up!
But what gear should we bring?
One of the reasons I enjoy live trivia over other types of corporate team building activities is that it’s very flexible and accommodating – give us a comfortable private space with ample seating, and we can create a fun, competitive social environment virtually anywhere. That said, we don’t just show up empty-handed.
I’ve written before about the various ways live trivia events utilize technology, but what equipment does a professional trivia host bring with him to an event? Let’s take a peek inside the TrivWorks gear closet, and see what we’ve got at our disposal to bring tonight:
- Pens – Can you imagine if we showed up to a trivia event without pens? When I worked at a scavenger hunt company, they would give us the exact number of pens to take to events as there were teams. I’m a nervous ninny (see “Ipod” above) so there are never fewer than 4,000 pens at a TrivWorks event. Better safe than sorry.
- Answer Sheets / Keys – Depending on how big the event is, we’ll have either a file folder or a printer’s box full of answer packets for the teams, as well as answer keys for our graders. If we’re going to have 1-on-1 “mini games” or a “showdown” grand finale, we’ll also bring along index cards with individual questions/answers on them
- Power Cables, Microphone Cords & Extension Chords – For all of the above technology, there are myriad accompanying cords, cables & extenders – or “lines,” as they’re known in event production.
- 3 Ipods – We almost always incorporate an audio element into our trivia events, be it music, TV theme songs or other fun trivia. I’m a nervous ninny, so in an abundance of caution I always bring 3 Ipods to our events (yes, 3 – 2 separate Ipods, and my Iphone) each of which is pre-loaded with the same music playlist. Not being able to play the audio round due to Ipod failure simply is not an option for me, I won’t accept it.
- Large Audio Speakers / Mixer – I’ve nicknamed this bad boy “The Beast,” and we’ll be bringing it with us tonight. A 2-man operation to move – even with wheels – The Beast is a torpedo-shaped behemoth which awesomely unfolds into 2 DJ-grade speakers on stands, as well as a full professional mixing board with multiple inputs. Perfect for large events of 100 people or more, The Beast is entirely self-contained, and capable of blasting across even the most raucous, high-energy trivia team building event.
- Microphones – I never go to a gig without a professional-grade, handheld vocal microphone in my possession. Never. I don’t care if the venue claims they have one, or even if I’ve taken an advance walk-through and seen it myself. I’ve been to gigs where the house mic is full of static, feeds back, sounds absolutely horrible or craps out completely – if not for my obsession with bringing my own mic, I’d have ended up shouting out the entire event – and that is not going to happen.
- Small Audio Speaker / Mixer – If we’re going to be holding an event in a small space without a built-in sound system, this little guy is coming with us. Portable, powerful and professional-grade, this baby has been in our arsenal for years, and is always up for the job – capable of handling 2 microphones and an iPod at once, to boot!
- Laptop / iPad – For events with 10 or more teams, we use MS Excel to quickly tabulate the scores in between rounds. For very large events like our upcoming “90s vs 00s” Pop Culture Trivia Challenge hosted by Pat Kiernan at The Bell House, where we’re expecting 300 people and up to 80 teams, we’ll transfer the scores onto an Ipad for Pat’s ease of announcing onstage
- Tape – In addition to gaffer’s tape to secure the above lines, we bring scotch tape to secure signage to walls, tablecloths to tables, and anything to anything
- Raffle Bowl – For the drawing to determine who will participate in “mini games” – also good for fund raiser or other events where there are prize raffles throughout the event
- Prizes – Whether it’s an employee team building event like tonight or a massive trivia night blowout like Pat’s event next month, we’re bringing prizes with us. They may be small, like the official TrivWorks lip balm (raspberry flavored, SPF 15) or huge, like the ridiculously massive Dave & Buster’s stuffed gorilla we gave out at one of our Bell House events last year.
There’s a ton of other fun stuff in the TrivWorks gear closet, but by and large this is the main equipment we’ll be bringing to all of our trivia events, be they team building, corporate entertainment, brand engagement or large-scale public trivia nights.