Established in 1988, in Auckland, Believe It or Not Quiz Nights are New Zealand's largest provider of trivia, quiz questions, weekly pub quizzes and quiz nights to the corporate sector.
We reckon we make the best general knowledge quiz in the whole world! So much so, that we now also entertain folks in both Australia and Canada with our quiz nights.
Suitable for footy players and ballet dancers, our Believe It or Not weekly quiz nights are run at over 250 pubs, bars and clubs nationwide from Kerikeri in the north to Invercargill in the south. Some of these weekly events have around 200 people!
If you've never taken part before, it's an ideal time to gather friends, workmates and family together over a quiet drink and a meal, and take on the brains of your local community every week. It's free to enter, and you can win fantastic prizes.
The majority of our quiz nights are now interactive, incorporating a venue's entertainment system to run the entire night through big screen projectors or plasma televisions. Needless to say, the quiz host is still an integral part of any quiz night, and is trained accordingly.
Each week the quiz contains eight rounds of ten questions, plus a 'Last Man Standing' competition, 'Ponderous Puzzle' and 'The List', and lasts approximately two hours. The categories change every week, to ensure a wide variety of subjects are covered, not just every week, but all the time. Often there is also an optional jackpot round of questions at the end of the quiz which provides a chance for your team to take home extra prizes if you're good enough!
Want to test yourself out?
It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. In this case, perhaps ten thousand! Immediately below you can see a demo of our multimedia quiz, and below that, an example of a topic sheet, answer booklet, scoreboard and point-of-sale.
Imagine this magnified on to your entertainment system!
Weekly Cryptic Clues
This Week's Cryptic Clues: Who was my appearance based on? New Zealand's, starting in 1967. The traits that make you what you are.
The power of social media is no more evident than in this handy little marketing tool – not just for us – but for you! Every Monday morning at 9am on our Facebook page, we release clues regarding three questions in the quizzes that week.
Those three questions are often more difficult than others and appear in all six quiz streams. This encourages quiz punters to check in each week for fear of missing out, tagging their friends and team mates, reposting on their own Facebook page and even printing the clues out and distributing them around their workplace. Imagine if they hadn't checked in and then lost by a solitary point to a team who knew the answers thanks to those clues!
We encourage you to repost these on your Facebook page too, then your punters have something to talk about on your Facebook page instead of ours! Best of all, it's free, takes just a minute or two, and people are then doing the marketing on your behalf whilst you get on with the important stuff – like running your venue! We recommend you set an alert each week to remind yourself to do this.
What's in the Quiz
The quiz is made up of several different components. Each is explained below:
8 rounds of questions
The topics change every week, and will feature both recent and historical content.
Choose two rounds before you start for which your points will be doubled. A team's success is pivotal to choosing which rounds are their strongest suits. The best way to determine this is to pass around the topic sheet, with each team member selecting their favourite rounds. The two most 'ticked' topics are where you should play your Jokers!
An ongoing problem where a clue is given at the end of each round. It could be a famous person, year, country, object, movie, book or band. The clues get progressively easier, with teams receiving points dependent on how quickly they solve it. The quicker they solve it, the more points they get.
Last Man Standing
A 'heads or tails' style individual competition run in 'quiz' style. Usually run as an ice-breaker to start the night, you have a sheet of ten questions. Everyone stands up. Ask the first question, and give the two answer options. If a person thinks the first answer is correct, they put their hands on their head. If they think the second answer is spot on, they'll put their hands on their bottom. Announce the answer and anyone who gets it wrong must sit down. Carry on in this fashion until one person remains. They win a prize!
This takes place halfway through the quiz when you take a drinks break. Read out the category for The List. Teams write down ten items relating to the category, taking care to write down their 'dead certs' first on The List, and their hunches last. This is because once they get one wrong they break the chain, and stop scoring points. For instance, if they get number 5 wrong, yet get numbers 6 - 10 right, they only score 4 points, as the chain of correct answers was broken at number 5.
Three difficult questions on a handout sheet, which are distributed to teams at the end of the quiz. Placed upside down on the table, teams are then asked to turn it over and given one or two minutes in which to record their answers. Once 'time' is called, answers are collected and checked and prizes awarded - although this happens VERY rarely.
Frequently Asked Questions
Club managers and bar owners alike ask us all sorts of questions about how to run a pub quiz. Here are a few common queries we get, along with some answers that may help you out:
Why should I run a regular pub quiz night?
Pub quiz nights attract a very loyal following of people on an otherwise quiet night of the week for your business. Once established, the night runs itself, as punters know that they will turn up, week after week, and the quiz will be running. It's a highly addictive hobby! Cost-wise, it's also very effective, as the turnover far exceeds the outlay. Many of our clients have been running the quiz weekly now for over 10 years, and our longest a whopping 18 years!
How often should I run a pub quiz?
99% of our clients pick one night every week and devote it to 'quiz night'. Weekly is best - providing you have a catchment area that can service a regular crowd. The odd small town runs a fortnightly or monthly quiz, but by far the majority find the popularity of the night, along with the minimal costs involved lends well to a weekly event.
Who do the questions cater for?
The questions are aimed at a wide audience - men and women, young and old, and are designed to cater for as many people's interests as possible. They're also not aimed at rocket scientists - rather, everyday people. We want teams to get more right than they get wrong, or they'll not come back the following week!
Is it a team event or is it done as individuals?
It's done as a team. All the answers are written, so maximum participation is guaranteed, and no-one is put on the spot, by having to call out answers.
How long does the quiz take?
A quiz can be run in as little as 90 minutes, or as long as 3 hours. Ideally though, you should aim for 15 minutes per round, so around 2 - 2.5 hours for the 8 rounds. This is obviously affected by additional activities, but if you drag the night out to keep teams there longer, they will become discontented, and seek an alternative venue.
How many players are in each team?
The most simple answer to this is to say teams of at least two people. There are two good reasons for not limiting team size. If you limit teams to say, 6 people, and a team of 7 arrives and you try and enforce the 6 per team limit, two things could happen. Firstly, they might all turn around and leave. Terrible result - $200 turnover just walked out the door. Secondly, Jane Doe will tell you she isn't playing and move her chair back a metre. Of course the moment old Jane knows an answer in she'll come – and then you have ten other teams moaning that "they've got 7!" At the end of the day, teams will structure themselves accordingly and economes of scale will kick in – after all, the first prize split between 10 goes nowhere, compared to being split between 4.
Should we charge teams to enter?
We advise against this. If you have 50-120 people in your venue on a night of the week when you'd normally close early, your turnover will far exceed your costs for the night, so charging teams can be both a nuisance in terms of collecting the fee, and may stop some people who happened to be onsite from playing at all. Often, a team who were in the bar just for a drink, can be cajoled into playing if it's free, and often they'll be the last team to leave, despite their protests at the start that they were not "staying for long".
Another venue across town also runs your quiz nights, but the night before ours. Will the questions be the same?
No. We create four streams of questions every week. We take care to ensure that your questions will differ from any other quiz run on a different night to yours.
Are the questions accurate? How do we know everything you ask is correct?
We check each question for accuracy when we make it. Once the quiz has been prepared, we ship it to a couple of trivia-heads who then meticulously check each question. They give us feedback regarding accuracy, ambiguity and whether a round is too easy or too hard. We are only human though, and occasionally something slips through the net. Not often though, 99 times out of 100 it's the bloke in the pub grandstanding with ten beers under his belt who's adamant he's right when actually he's wrong.
Do you supply any bar tabs or prizes?
In short - no. We leave that all up to you.
What should we offer as prizes?
Bar tabs and restaurant vouchers usually do the trick. There's no need to put any cash up for grabs. Teams are there for the pride of winning, but do expect a reasonable prize. Usually first, second and third, plus perhaps a second-to-last prize, with a couple of spot prizes thrown in. Or you can get a sponsor involved and that's taken care of.
Do we organise the quiz host or do you?
We can sometimes recommend a quiz host in your area, however we prefer to leave that side of it to you. Our core business is to make the best product we can, and deliver it to your door every week.
Are the questions New Zealand biased?
Our questions certainly have New Zealand content, but there is enough variety there to keep people from other parts of the world interested. Music, TV, and movies are certainly subjects that are universal all over the world, and most historical content involves countries from all of the world over!
What equipment do we need?
The multimedia quiz is a windows based product. We experimented with a DVD format, but it doesn't work, as you either spend the night dancing in and out of menus, or else we have to pre-program the questions to appear every 30 seconds or so. And you then lose control over the speed of the quiz. A DVD might seem easier to plug in, but in the long run it's more work. You will need a laptop or PC which has a CD- ROM, plus a big screen or plasma/LCD TV which all the teams must be able to see. You will also need a VGA/HDMI/S-Video cable which transfers the pictures to your viewing source, plus an audio cable from your headphone socket to your audio output (usually your venue's sound system, or straight into the TV).
- KVM Switch: If you have access to two laptops/PCs, a simple KVM switch will allow you to quickly switch between the quiz and the scoreboard. It is possible to run both the quiz and the scoreboard on one - however you would then need to stop the quiz to update the scoreboard, and unplug the VGA cable too, so no-one can see you inputting scores. A KVM switch means you can select one laptop or the other at a push of a button.
- Wireless Presenter: Don't be chained to your laptop - plug in the Wireless Presenter and you can be anywhere in the bar and advance the quiz - the presenter acts as the 'down' key. It also pays to get one which has volume control - the Logitech models are awesome.
- PC to TV Converter: This VGA to DVI device allows you to send the quiz to all your TVs by changing the format of the output to a 'media' mode - so that TVs recognise it as a video signal, rather than a computer signal. It will require fine tuning, but once it's installed it's great.
Troubleshooting - What if I cannot get it to work?
- If for any reason the videos will play on your laptop but not the TVs, it's a simple fix – you need to toggle between screens. Hit Function and F5 one more time (it may be F4 or F8 on some laptops – look for a TV symbol). You will probably find the picture disappears from your laptop, but is still present on the screen. This changes the big screen to the 'main' source, and it's not relevant if you cannot see it on your laptop really. If you have Powerpoint on your laptop/PC, you may wish to run it directly from there, by finding the Powerpoint file marked 'Quiz' on the disc. You may also wish to drop the entire contents of the disc on to the desktop and run it directly from there. Often this speeds things up.
Why don't we just make the questions ourselves?
Well in short you can. However, economies of scale means we can charge you a really fair price for an outstanding quiz product. Our multimedia quiz takes approximately 25 hours to make from woe to go. But by duplicating it and sending it across New Zealand and Australia, we ensure you get great value for money. If you're running a far superior quiz to what is on offer down the road, then you can also expect the benefits in feet coming in the door too.
We're bound to have a pub quiz near you. See our Find A Quiz map to check out where and when that will be. The highlight of our weekly quiz night calendar is the annual New Zealand Pub Quiz Championships, which has taken place every November since 2000.
If you are a pub, bar or club, we may be able to drive one of your quieter nights of the week with a regular event which brings people in and is a great deal of fun. See Demo, then contact us for further information.