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Run a quiz night

Quiz nights are popular, providing lots of fun (and funds) for very little effort. The options are endless, so whether you want to run one as an adults only, kids only or family event, it's easy to organise and a great way to bring people together.

Sarah Summers, St Edward's Prep School, Berkshire: 'We run our curry and quiz night in the school hall for about 60 parents, usually in teams of six to eight. One of our other parents writes and compères the quiz. There are six rounds with the usual topics, including sport, music and a picture round, and we have the curry half way through. We mark answers as we go along by swapping sheets with other teams, and each member of the winning team wins a prize. The ticket price of £10 includes the price of the curry (£5-£6), and we sell drinks and raffle tickets on the night, making us approximately £500 profit. The curry is either brought to the school by a local restaurant, or a member of the PTA collects it.

1. Pick a date and time, and book a venue which can both accommodate your teams, and provide the necessary catering facilities.

2. Appoint a witty, confident quizmaster, with a few assistants to oversee the scoring. You will also need a microphone or PA system and a CD/MP3 player. Keep a scoreboard - could be a flip-chart or whiteboard, for example - so that everyone can see who's in the lead after each round.

3. Agree how many people will be in each team, and offer a discount for those who buy multiple tickets. Decide whether to offer food and whether this will be prepared on the premises or delivered by a local restaurant. Alternatively, guests could bring their own, but provide extra rubbish bags. Set your ticket price accordingly.

4. Confirm the quiz format - how many rounds? What themes will you have? Tailor the quiz to suit your audience, making it inclusive for those families from different cultural backgrounds. If you're running a family quiz, ensure that each round has a few questions that the children can answer. There are numerous sites offering quiz questions - try quiz-zone.co.uk or brainboxquizzes.co.uk. And remember to prepare a tie-break question. Give teams the chance to play a joker, earning double points for the round in question.

5. Publicise the event as much as you can in the lead in up to it. Order quiz night posters from Charity Print Shop and receive 10 A3 posters for only £9.95. Put them up in shops and  businesses around your area, as well as on your own notice boards.

Tips and advice

Interpretation: Make sure you're confident of your facts - avoid questions which may be open to interpretation to reduce the risk of heated debates!
Sponsorship: Approach local businesses about sponsoring each round and ask if they can donate prizes for quiz winners and for raffle prizes.
Rounds: Be imaginative when selecting topics for each round. As well as the usual sport, history and geography, include spelling tests and a 'famous faces' picture round. Have a table-top round that runs throughout the quiz - this could be naming kids' TV characters from the 1980s or providing a list of lyrics and asking for the band/artist.
Timings: Assuming your quiz lasts about two hours, you can run about six to eight rounds, with ten questions each.


The above is intended as guidance only. We recommend that you contact the relevant organisations with specific reference to insurance, legal, health and safety and child protection requirements. Community Inspired Ltd cannot be held responsible for any decisions or actions taken by a PTA, based on the guidance provided. 


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