Hosting a quiz


You have decided to increase your turnover and gain a loyal clientele by hosting a pub quiz. Here’s what you need to know to pull off an exceptional night.

You now have access to a world-class set of questions. Next thing you need is a confident MC, as this will make a huge difference. Choose someone who has experience with public speaking, a finely tuned sense of timing, and some good banter.  

We have compiled a few more tips below, chosen because they will help everything run smoothly


Planning ahead is essential: having your questions, answer sheets, an intro (which you have rehearsed) and a few tried-and-tested one-liners at hand will be your recipe for success. Set up early and test your microphone and lighting if you have some.


Take time to read through all the questions, in case there is something that doesn’t make sense to you or that you simply can’t pronounce. Even if you didn’t write it, you’re running the quiz, so you have to “own” it. You shouldn’t look like you don’t understand the question. Saying: ‘that’s what it says on the page’ doesn’t project much gravitas.

Fair is fair

You set the rules, so you have to adhere to them. The regulations relating to mobiles and disputed answers have to be clearly laid out and respected no matter what. Resolutions have to be fair and consistent, lest other teams feel like they have been treated unjustly.

Read the crowd

Only you know your clients and what tone will resonate with them. Some may prefer a bit of entertaining chat whist others like to talk discretely amongst themselves. As in life, know your audience.

Aim to be Warm, Not Funny

The only thing worse than a bad joke is 2 hours of bad jokes. People are there for a quiz, not a stand-up show. Aim to be friendly, not funny. By all means throw in a few bomb-proof one liners, but do not try to get a laugh at every turn, because if it doesn’t work, you can’t easily run away. But they can.


Give team members a chance to speak to one another. After you have finished reading the question twice, it’s their turn to confer so give them time to do so in silence.


Ultimately, you want this to put money in the till, too, so give players time to go to the bar, order snacks, visit the loo or have a quick chat between rounds.

Be consistent

If you can provide the same outstanding service every week, they will return. Stick with the format and your patrons will stick with you. 

Don’t be tempted to freestyle

Our questions were compiled by experienced researchers and writers. Don’t add clues or hints that don’t feature. This will annoy people who have guessed on their own and probably make it too easy to be fun.

Ask for feedback

After you have read all the questions, try to get feedback from some teams: ask about your presentation, clarity, speed … it will show you care, and it will help you improve. 

The big reveal

This is it: the moment you have all been waiting for … results. Build it up slowly by announcing the winners in reverse order. In case of a tie, have a tie-break question ready. You could even hold a dance-off between the teams, that the crowd could vote upon by applauding, clap-o-meter style.

You might also want to start a rollover quiz question, which will encourage patrons to return for another chance at winning.