How Does TrivWorks Decide Which Clients to Take On? has been written on this blog about who and what TrivWorks should be hired to entertain. I’ve delved into such topics as who my service offerings work for and who they don’t, why people should hire me, and why they shouldn’t.

But I’ve never touched upon this one, which I think is no less important: how do I decide which clients I want to take on?

Now I am by no means implying that I’m a snob, that not everyone out there is privileged enough to be my client – far from it. I am extremely proud of what I do, and truly love entertaining audiences of ALL types and sizes, for a variety of goals and purposes. But much as I love producing and hosting these events, I recognize corporate trivia team building is a niche area, and not for everyone.

With this in mind, I am always cognizant of the fact that not every prospective client who calls me up will be a great fit for what I do. Sure, I could put on my salesman hat and try to convince you otherwise: “Oh, sure this will be amazing, it’s a PERFECT match for your event/audience/budget and your group will no doubt love it!” But I can’t in good conscience sell what I do, if I know in my heart I’m not going to be the right vendor.

So, how do I know when a prospect contacts me if I should agree to take them on as a client? This is by no means an exhaustive list, however here are a few key aspects which I take into consideration.

What Type of Event is This?

I started TrivWorks in 2009 as a direct response to the global financial crises, when companies where I lived in New York City and elsewhere were laying off folks left and right, leaving whomever was left to do additional work for no additional compensation. The mission hasn’t changed since then: I want to help companies boost morale, engagement and connection amongst their colleagues. This mission has only become more crucial with the post-pandemic advent of remote work, when so many people dialing in from home feel more disconnected then ever from the workplace.

If I receive an inquiry and the audience is company employees, with the stated goal of improving SOMETHING — be it communication skills, productivity, morale, connectivity or what have you – then 99% of the time I’m onboard. I know what I offer can help, and want to give you everything I can to make the situation better.

However, if your need for a professional trivia company for a corporate event is for something totally different, I need to take that into consideration before saying “yes.” Of course I produce events like gala/fundraiser entertainment, private trivia parties and other functions which aren’t strictly corporate-related. But each time I take on one of these events which isn’t central to my mission, I need to look carefully and ask myself, honestly, if I am the very best vendor for this particular client.

Are You Seeking Team Trivia, or a Game Show?

To the above point, I’m often confused with being a game show vendor. There are PLENTY of service providers out there who offer corporate game show entertainment. I’m not one of them. I don’t offer bells and buzzers, I don’t seek to recreate the television experience in-person, and I am by no means a game show host in the traditional sense.

What I do is provide a high-energy group bonding experience, using team trivia as a medium. Rather than seeking to create a spectacle with lots of flash, I focus on the attendee experience by providing highly customized content, a professional corporate emcee to keep things moving smoothly and efficiently, and a turnkey platform so it’s as easy as possible to implement.

I’m self-employed, and I assure you I hate turning business away. However, if someone’s really keen on having the game show, there are for sure better options out there than me. I can try to convince you that my format is better for your event, or will be more fun or whatever, but I won’t feel good about it. Better to just be upfront about what it is I do well, and let you, the prospective client, decide if that’s what you want for your function.

Is This a Kids’ Event?

I’ll be honest, if you’re looking to entertain grade school-age kids, I’m probably not your guy. I’ve done it before, successfully even – however, this really isn’t my wheelhouse.

I’ve found that informal “roving” or “stationary” trivia entertainment at a free-flowing party, such as a bar or bat mitzvah, is a fun way to engage mixed-age audiences. However, if you’re looking for a team trivia event for elementary or middle school kids, that’s a tall order in and of itself. Kids just don’t have the patience or focus to sit through a full multi-round team trivia event, and besides, my corporate emcees and I really aren’t looking to do kid events. We’re mainly here to entertain professional audiences.

Don’t be offended, but odds are I will need to pass on this.

What’s Your Budget For Corporate Trivia?

There’s no getting around this, unfortunately. I provide a premium service: professional corporate emcees, customized content, a turnkey platform and ongoing professional counsel. Each of these has an associated cost, be it direct or indirect. I also have to factor in my time, since ANY event I do, big or small, in-person or virtual, requires a significant commitment on my part.

I’m not opposed to doing events at a lower fee if there’s some form of reciprocal compensation: a commitment to multiple events, for instance, or perhaps some “in-kind” promotion for TrivWorks via the client’s various internal/external channels. I’m also happy to work events for charitable causes I’m passionate about, either at a discount or even, at times, for free.

However, if your budget is extremely low, if there’s no real alternative value you can offer me, if I’m not particularly enthusiastic about whatever cause you’re raising funds & awareness for, then it really doesn’t make sense for me to take you on as a client. In the end, it needs to work out from a business standpoint for me as well.

Some Final Thoughts

It’s not always easy as a business owner to know when to say “yes” to a prospective client, and when to politely decline. But as with all things I’ve learned since starting this company 15 years ago, it all comes back to the basics: what do I have to offer? What does it require for me to perform my best work? What do I do well? What don’t I do well?

It’s not always black and white. There are so many different types of event needs out there, and when people find their way to me, I truly want to be able to work with them.

However, I have to be both honest and realistic, not just with prospects but with myself. Would either of us be happy if I said I could do something really well, which I know going in I can’t? If I promised a spectacular experience, knowing at best it would be just OK?

It’s not fun declining someone’s business, however for the sake of my professional and personal integrity, I can’t in good conscience take on clients whom I don’t think I can do my best work for. It can sting a bit at the time, however long-term I know it’s the right move, and most folks appreciate the candor. If I were in my customers’ shoes, I know I would.

For another older yet still highly relevant article, check out How To Decide If A Client Is The Right Fit For Your Business (

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