Customized trivia corporate events
As I write this, I’ve just come off of a marathon session of crafting two team trivia events for corporate groups, before I leave for a long-overdue family vacation. I’m tired and weary from a long day, but I’m also perfectly primed to write about something I haven’t touched upon here on the blog in quite a while: how we customize our events in the first place.
Customization is really the heart of what we do. Yes, using competitive team trivia is a great way to boost morale, foster relations and create a positive social atmosphere, but it’s the tailoring of the material which really makes for a truly lasting, impactful experience. Crafting custom questions for each individual audience – and tailored to every specific goal – ensures that the entire room will be participating; that each and every person present will feel engaged, and that the activity will indeed be highly appropriate and relevant for everyone (for further reading, click here).
But how do we do it? I’ve been at this for a long time, nearly a decade, and have honed down the art and science of customizing company trivia nights to a series of steps which we use each and every time. Let’s examine all of the steps in order, one by one:
Before our customization call – or any call, even – we have a picture of your event in mind, based on your inquiring Email. Our contact form is specifically designed to capture key information, to give us a sense of what the event is, who will be there, what you want the group to get out of it, and the type of experience being sought. With the follow-up exploratory call, we then delve a bit deeper into the nature of the function, the makeup of the audience, and what the overall gig will look like.
Once we have been retained to produce your event, we will then arrange a brief call, in order to tailor the function to your exact group of attendees, as well as the specific goals and objectives the organizers have in mind. Perhaps the most important word in the previous sentence is “brief.” If you are planning this event for your colleagues, employees or clients, you are either A) doing it in addition to your regular workload, which is no doubt overwhelming enough; or B) you’re a professional event planner or in-house events manager, and you’ve already got a dozen other plates spinning with previously planned affairs. The last thing you need is to have to commit hours of time and effort compiling customization information for the professional trivia company!
Your time is valuable, and we absolutely understand and respect that. When I say a “brief” call, I mean it – the aim is for it to be no more than 10-15 minutes, tops. Using the same proven series of questions we’ve been employing for years (with a few minor tweaks along the way), we can get everything we need from you, in the minimal amount of time. I find that starting broad and funneling our way down to the more specifics is the most effective and efficient means of compiling the requisite information. We’ll first want to know the purpose of the event, and clearly identify the main goals and objectives. Next, we will inquire about demographic information: the audience’s age range, male/female ratio, nationality, region/country of origin, whether spouses or significant others will be present, etc. Psychographics come afterwards, where we find out the “type” of people in attendance: competitive, analytical, high-performing, outgoing, introverted, etc.
Once we have a firm understanding of why we are doing the event and who will be in the room, we then move on to the material itself. What specific areas of interest does this group wish for us to focus on? Based on the demographic and psychographic traits, would it be appropriate for us to incorporate a significant amount of pop culture-themed material (TV/movies, literature, pop music, current events, celebrity news, etc.), or should we lean more heavily on “traditional” trivia such as history, geography, science, etc.? We then get more and more specific: are there any key messages we should be reinforcing? How about fun facts, inside jokes, shared experiences from previous events, running gags, or things that ONLY this group would know about?
Just as important as what we want to include, however: is there anything we want to avoid? The material is always appropriate for corporate audiences, and we only work with highly experienced corporate event emcees whom you can trust in front of any and all audiences. You have absolutely no need to worry about any scripted or passing references to anything controversial, political, religious, or otherwise inappropriate or insensitive for what is still a workplace environment. However, is there anything that we simply wouldn’t know coming from the outside about sensitive areas, off-limit topics, taboo subjects, anything particular to the industry, company, or individuals present, items in the news – literally anything which could inadvertently offend or upset someone, which we want to avoid completely? This is critical to ensuring that we produce an experience that remains positive from beginning to end, and is something we take extremely seriously (learn more here).
Finally, we’ll end with some housekeeping items: attire, appropriate onsite contact, any further areas to address or questions which have been otherwise unanswered.
This is a client service habit I learned during my two years of working at global PR firms in Manhattan, which I’ve shamelessly employed at TrivWorks as well. Everything discussed during the customization call is immediately transcribed into a concise, well-organized recap Email, which is then forwarded to the client for their reference by the end of the day. It’s a simple way to create a clear, unambiguous record of the call, to guarantee everybody is on the same page and to provide something which both the client and TrivWorks can refer back easily to as needed.
Review & Revise
Clients trust us to select and craft appropriate trivia questions for their events, however it’s not uncommon for some to request to review and approve the material ahead of time – particularly if it is a very important function, or if there will be partners, executives, or clients participating. We are always happy to do this, and understand it will invariably involve some tweaks, changes and substitutions. All of this is done in the spirit of seeking to make the overall experience as personalized, relevant and appropriate as we possibly can, for the expected audience in attendance.
Another aspect of our service: we are here to assist from the moment you sign on, until the last person has left the party. Having done this for so many years, I know that even after completing a successful customization call – and even a round of revisions or two – there are often still adjustments to be made here or there, a forgotten something to include, a last-minute development we want to be aware of, or similar circumstances. We get it, and we welcome it – right up until the actual event itself. Anything we can do to ensure a fantastic experience for your group, I can assure you we will do!
Follow this link for another helpful article on customizing corporate trivia events.