I sat down at my desk recently, and decided to do some competitive research for the first time in a little while. Pretending I was a prospective client, I plunked some relevant keywords into the Google search bar, just to see what came up.
Needless to say, I was quite taken aback.
Given my decidedly niche area producing corporate trivia events, I’m used to seeing TrivWorks at or near the top of the organic search engine results page for relevant terms. However, this wasn’t the case. Instead, I saw row after row of sponsored content by other quiz companies, who no doubt paid handsomely for the privilege of popping up first.
Maybe the search engines changed their algorithm, maybe these other guys are spending gazillions of dollars on paid search – who knows. What I DO know is that when I started clicking through to see the Websites of these competitor companies, let’s just say what I saw was…underwhelming.
Now, I’m the type of guy who can admit when I need to up my game, to adapt and adjust as needed when the other guy is doing it better than me. But what I saw online through the eyes of my prospective clients, seeking the exact specialized services I provide, was shocking.
I found “professional” trivia companies with:
- “Thousands” of clients, even though they were only 1-2 years old
- Cobbled-together, amateur hour Websites my elementary school-aged kids could’ve made
- Hand-sketched logos—including one of a guy in sunglasses riding a microphone like a motorcycle, overflowing mug of beer in his outstretched hand
I could go on. Bottom line, there is a tremendous professionalism gap here between what the potential client sees at the top of their online search (presumably the most-relevant results), and the likelihood that they are dealing with a credible, reputable vendor who can deliver what they’re seeking for their company’s event.
As a business owner, this of course frustrates me. I’ve been at this for over 15 years, servicing corporate groups of all kinds nationwide; I work regularly with some of the biggest Fortune 500 companies in the world, have been written up in national trade & consumer press, have partnerships with celebrity emcees—basically, I have the reputation to back up my claim of being the industry leader in what I do (here’s another article on how I got here).
But that’s not what this blog post is about. What I’m more frustrated about is the experience of the client (you), and what being served up to vendors such as this says about the state of the corporate event entertainment and company team building industry in general.
Granted, the bar for entry doing this type of work is low. There are no licensing, certification or degree requirements to become a professional corporate trivia host, no formal training process, no professional society or guild. All you need is – well, trivia questions, a microphone, and someone who’s willing to pay you to do it (the exception is trivia apps, which require a HUGE investment in time and money to develop, let alone get up and running – for the sake of this post, I’m just gonna focus on live, in-person or virtual corporate games).
During the pandemic, the bar got even lower – seemingly every pub quiz host on the planet found themselves a Webcam and a ring light, threw a Website up on the Internet, and was happily willing to host any and all virtual trivia events.
The thing is, as with anything else, you get what you pay for. If you want to spend as little as possible on your event, and don’t care what it looks like or how it will be received, then there are plenty of vendors out there who would love to work with you. Like the one I found with a literal swear word in the company name, for example? Or perhaps the one whose logo is in the shape of a naked woman drinking a beer?
The point I’m trying to make here is that if you’ve discovered TrivWorks, if you’re on my blog right now reading these very words, it’s probably because you are specifically looking for a high-quality, professional team trivia night experience for your company. You are either someone whom the boss has asked to “find a guy that does this,” or you’re the boss yourself. You know the stakes are high, that whichever vendor you ultimately bring onboard for your event will reflect on your company/department, management, and you, personally.
I’ve spent the past 15 years building a brand that clients such as you can trust to do just that with total confidence. You know that once you bring TrivWorks aboard, it’ll be smooth sailing from start to finish; you’ll receive professional, turnkey service, and a high-quality product.
How confident can you be in the vendor whose Website is full of grammatical errors, whose event pics look like they were taken with a flip-phone, whose emcee roster includes people in flip-flops? Will you be hiring the guy whose entire schtick seems to be centered around beer, drinking and drunkenness to get in front of your co-workers? You’re really taking a chance here with these kinds of folks, regardless of whatever rate they’re charging.
Am I the only premium trivia hosting vendor out there? Probably not. Am I the cheapest? Definitely not. But again: you get what you pay for. Don’t take an unnecessary risk when it comes to entertaining a group/event as important as this one is. It could wind up being the worst company party ever!