Themed Bar Trivia
*Update: My Google Alerts just notified me Brother’s Bar and Grill in Chicago is starting a month of Harry Potter Themed Bar Trivia.*
The only crowd more fanatical and loyal than a bar trivia crowd is a themed bar trivia crowd. There’s a reason that J.K. Rowland is the world’s first and only billionaire author and that Disney practically stole Star Wars and all of Lucasfilm for a paltry $4 billion. Without getting all Jungian on you, it’s because people dig shared experiences and fantastic tales. A themed bar trivia night gives people a chance to come together as a community.
You’re A Wizard Harry
Speaking as a nerd myself, I can say with certainty that the only thing we enjoy more than experiencing our favorite movies, books, etc. is showing off how much we know about them. Don’t believe me? Claddagh’s in Columbus started a Harry Potter bar trivia night not long ago and had to start selling tickets to manage the crowd. This is in addition to their regular weekly bar trivia night.
*Update: Claddagh’s in Pittsburgh just had their first Harry Potter themed bar trivia night and had nearly 300 people show up.*
Outside Looking In
When I was a kid I had the complete technical schematics to The U.S.S Enterprise 1701-D on my bed stand and a Next Generation science officer’s uniform in my closet, complete with communicator badge, phaser, and medical tricorder. Suffice it to say, my phone wasn’t exactly ringing off the hook with party invitations, and experience wasn’t unique. As a result of this shared pubescent solitude hardcore fans often tend to feel like outsiders. It’s why events like Comic-Con and Star Trek Conventions exist. You can believe me when I tell you that if you give nerds a chance to have an evening out surrounded by others who are just as obsessed, they will flock to your establishment like a herd of wild bantha fleeing from a krayt dragon while waving around money like a drunken Hutt at a podrace.
3D Event – How to Capitalize
A 3D event is one that engages your patrons on multiple levels. With a little forward thinking and creativity, you can maximize your investment in a themed bar trivia night with minimum, or no capital investment by creating theme specific verticals or by simply rebranding . To set the appropriate mood start the evening with a brief costume contest. Show fans that you appreciate them and they’ll spend a premium on a round of Darth Vaders. If Star Wars isn’t your thing, do a month of Harry Potter trivia. There are literally dozens of Butterbeer recipes floating around the internet that use ingredients that many bars already have in stock. Rebrand your biggest steak as a Dothraki Steak medium mare (see what I did there? No? Then start watching Game of Thrones immediately). Do an extra large burger and call is The Hagrid. The possibilities are endless.
But Everyone’s Doing it
It’s true that bar trivia has been steadily gaining in popularity in the United States for the past several years, and many establishments either have it, or have had it in the past. So, how can you differentiate yourself from everyone else? I mean anyone can just ask a bunch of topic specific trivia questions and encourage people to put on costumes.
The trick is twofold. First, be authentic instead of pandering. The moment that you or any of your staff snicker at the nerd in full Voldemort makeup, you’re done. Second, and most important, hire the right bar trivia company. There are a bunch to choose from and most are playing the same pencil and paper game that’s been around since forever. If you are going to stick with tradition, then do your due diligence and find a host that will make a difference. Find someone who will make your guests feel like he/she is their friend.
One Bar Trivia Company’s Doing Something Completely Different
If you are looking to add regular or themed bar trivia at your establishment, do yourself a favor and call Fun and Game Show, a bar trivia company out of Steubenville, OH., (a small city centrally located between Pittsburgh, PA., Akron / Canton, OH., Wheeling, WV., and Youngstown, OH.) With the exception of it taking place in a bar and there being trivia questions asked, their game and host are like nothing I’ve seen. They’ve done away with paper and pencil and instead have a system that connects to teams’ phones via a free app and have transformed bar trivia into an interactive multimedia experience. Their host is funny and engaging and is sure to keep your patrons coming back week after week. I can’t recommend them highly enough. Click here to learn more about their game and company.
Let me know what you think in the comments below.