A Great Summer for TrivWorks “Special Talent” Hosts!

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Seven years ago this month, I founded TrivWorks as a side business. I had a full-time job in the events industry, and was hosting bar trivia nights in Manhattan twice a week. The effects of the global economic crisis were freshly evident everywhere, and I was really just seeking a way to provide companies with a fun and novel means of rewarding hard-working staff.

I never in a million years imagined where this would take me, and yet, look what’s become of this little side venture! I’ve since taken the company full-time, serviced over 100 clients, gotten written up in prestigious media, brought on highly qualified professional event emcees, and started the largest public trivia night series in New York – I even relocated to Southern California to expand our reach to the West Coast and nationally! But perhaps the most striking thing for me when looking at how my trivia company has evolved over the years, what I’m most proud of, are the partnerships I’ve been fortunate to have established with “special talent hosts.”

As a provider of corporate entertainment and team building activities, NYC and beyond, it’s critical to offer clients a breadth and depth of different options to choose from. When I was starting out, this quite frankly wasn’t the case. I was churning out a quality product, no doubt, and felt extremely comfortable and confident that I could produce and host trivia contests for corporate groups. However, I was limited to my own skill set. Yes, I was a good quizmaster, I could keep the sharp wit and laughs coming, the material fun and relevant. I could provide excellent service from beginning to end, and use my background as an events professional to ensure everything went perfectly. But that’s really all I had to give.

They say that necessity is the mother of invention, and I definitely felt an urgent need to be able to give corporate audiences new experiences, which I myself couldn’t provide. This required putting on my thinking cap, but also identifying and trusting my brand – and reputation – in the hands of others. The result has been some unbelievable collaborations which I am so incredibly proud of, and feel truly blessed to have! This past summer in particular has been amazing, because so many of these special partnerships have been given a chance to shine.

Pat Kiernan

Pat was the first “special host” I had the honor of working with, and also the luckiest thing to have happened to me since founding my company. Not long after establishing TrivWorks, Pat reached out to me via Twitter, and expressed his interest in teaming up somehow. He was not only the longtime anchor on NY1, but also an established TV game show host, having recently come off a 2-season stint hosting VH1’s The World Series of Pop Culture. Pat thought the idea of live trivia for corporate audiences was a good fit, and I couldn’t have been more excited to establish an alliance! The result has been 5 years of collaborative events and counting, including corporate trivia parties, online trivia contests, and launching the biggest trivia nights in NYC at The Bell House in Brooklyn. This past summer alone we had three corporate gigs, each one a tremendous success. Pat is an amazing emcee, a fantastic business partner, a valued mentor and, I am honored to say, a true friend, (Click here for more on Pat).

Christian Finnegan

I first saw Christian perform in the late 2000s at an underground NYC comedy series called Moonwork. He was fantastic – so much so that a few years later, when Pat Kiernan and I were putting together a trivia benefit for Hurricane Sandy victims, he’s the first comic I thought of to warm up the crowd. I soon found out Christian is also a trivia fanatic, who actually won a car on a game show! This, along with his affable personality and recognizable face from years on TV (VH1’s Best Week Ever & I Love the 2000s, Comedy Central, and an iconic episode of Chappelle’s Show) made him the perfect addition as a TrivWorks “Special Host.” The result has been incredible: groups as small as fifteen to as large as 300 have laughed from beginning to end with Christian hosting fully-customized trivia contests, several of which kicked off with a brief standup comedy set. He emceed one such event last week for Turner Broadcasting, and it was an absolute blast! (Follow this link for more on Christian).

Ryan Oakes

Ryan is the Real Deal, as I often say. I’ve known him since high school, and he (unsurprisingly) went on to become one of the most sought-after professional magicians working the corporate event circuit today. He is SO talented, SO charismatic and just so skilled his craft, it seemed only natural for he and I to team up to offer something truly unique. Since establishing a formal partnership almost two years ago, we have enthralled audiences of all types with a one-of-a-kind offering: a fully-customized team trivia competition, interspersed with mind-boggling illusions and mentalism. The result? Highly memorable and engaging group bonding experiences, which audiences still talk about long, LONG after the event is over! Ryan hosted on such event with us a couple of weeks ago, and of course, the client thought he was phenomenal. (Read more about Ryan).

Broadway’s Next Hit Musical

In addition to a “game show” feel, celebrity buzz, comedy and magic, I wanted to be able to offer corporate audiences some form of interactive theatrical experience. Seeing one performance of Broadway’s Next Hit Musical, an award-winning musical improv comedy troupe, was all it took for me to realize I had found it. In probably the most dazzling display of raw creativity I’ve ever seen, master improvisers took fictional song titles taken directly from the audience, and spontaneously turned those into actual songs, on the spot! I immediately saw the potential for corporate team building: customizing the experience towards specific groups and goals, we could combine trivia with this unique form of group entertainment to create a positive experience like no other for audiences to share. Last month, a troupe from BNHM including a corporate event emcee, master improvisers, and a professional pianist went down to South Carolina and delivered the most engaging, hysterical event imaginable for a company’s “team day,” and it was a rip-roaring success! (Learn more about events with BNHM).

I am thrilled to be working with so much extraordinary talent. Our “Special Hosts” are proven to enhance the experience we already provide through our trivia events, and I love telling prospective clients about the incredible range of offerings we can deliver via these very special partnerships!

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