How to host a banging online quiz

Since lockdown began in mid-March, many of us have been trying to find virtual ways of going about our daily lives, such as livestreaming concerts, watching esports games, and one writer even managed to recreate their local pub in VR!

One of the most popular past times at the moment is an online quiz, where a venue isn’t required and you can still see all your mates while arguing over whether or not Sydney is the capital of Australia. If you fancy doing this with your friends or family but don’t know where to start, we’ve got you covered!

Choose the right video platform

There’s loads of video-calling apps and websites out there, and each has its own benefits. Skype is a familiar favourite for millions of people, while Zoom has a lot of fun add-ons such as customisable backgrounds (here’s one of our staff members, Josh, casually hanging out with SU President Tuna).

If you’re looking for something a little more widely accessible, Google Hangouts might be best because you don’t need any software or apps downloaded. Conversely, Microsoft Teams has a more professional feel and is much more like a traditional conference call.

You can also host video or voice calls in private messages on Discord, which has the added benefit of being able to create your own chatroom for any topic you like.

Alternatively you could simply stream your quiz on YouTube, Twitch, or another video site, enabling people to join remotely even if they’re not comfortable being on camera/microphone themselves.

Decide how people will answer your questions

Do you trust your quizzers?! If you’re optimistic/naïve enough (delete as appropriate) to believe that people are fundamentally good and can be trusted implicitly, then by all means let people fill their answers in on paper and mark their own sheets!

But if you have your suspicions, then consider getting participants to submit answers via an online form – Google and Microsoft both have good online forms, or you could even use questionnaire sites like SurveyMonkey.

There’s also more interactive websites like Kahoot and Slido that we’ve used in our training sessions before, and these can be used on participants’ phones to interact with your quiz and answer all your questions.

Put together your questions!

Now’s your opportunity to be the quizmaster you’ve always wanted to be! Decide on if you’ll have one theme or multiple rounds with different topics and get writing.

Generally you shouldn’t look at making the quiz too hard – presumably there’s no actual prize, so it’s best to not make people feel like they’re in an exam! A healthy mix of general knowledge, popular culture, and a few niche topics scattered around are good. You can also throw in quiz standards like a maths question, an anagram round, or questions that are worth bonus points.

There’s also options for a music round where you can play something off your phone or via a screen/audio sharing function on your video call, or picture rounds such as identifying celebrities in their school photos, naming tube stations from emoji clues (see below), or a good old fashioned ‘spot the difference’.

Keep it to around five questions per round, and be mindful of the time questions might take, and whether you want to keep your quiz brief or not.

Make it a big occasion for everyone!

Bearing in mind the fact that lots of people are staying indoors right now, give your participants an excuse to dress up, line up their snacks, and decorate their room. You can award bonus points for best team name, most glamourous outfit, silliest video background, and loads more.

The key is to make people feel included and excited. Pick a date for everyone and make sure they get it in their diaries and give them a reminder as the date approaches. Remember to share it on your social media with anyone that you want involved, and maybe try to get everyone to invite a friend of their own – we’re all locked down and we’re all missing regular social events, so it might be the highlight of someone’s week to take part and have a laugh.

Establish your prizes

We touched on it earlier, but for most people bragging rights and the knowledge of a job well done are all they need. However, if you’re feeling flush then you could maybe have some e-vouchers for the winners, do a doorstep drop if they live nearby, or even let the winner be the host of the next quiz. Something like that can keep the tradition going and give you something extra to look forward to.

Enjoy!

You’re all set! You’ve got your video, your questions, your points to give out, and a bunch of people all vying to be the smartest person you know! Just don’t forget that the capital of Australia is actually Canberra…

 

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