If there’s one thing that has managed to keep us together during this morbid time, it’s the humble pub quiz. Well, the humble virtual pub quiz, to be exact.
2020 saw everyone’s favourite pub activity enter the online sphere on a mass scale. Workmates, housemates and mate-mates everywhere learned how to attend and even how to host an online pub quiz. One guy, Jay, even went viral and now hosts the most famous virtual pub quiz around.
If you’re looking to host your own super cheap, even possibly free virtual pub quiz, we’ve got your guide right here!
Your Guide to Hosting a Virtual Pub Quiz
How to Host a Virtual Pub Quiz (4 Steps)
You’d think that the complete lack of the ‘pub’ in virtual pub quiz would take away much of the appeal of this long-loved tradition. However, 2020 proved that online pub quizzes provide a much-needed sense of community for people who have had entire lives turned upside down.
Whether you’re looking to start something big, or just wanting to throw something small for your mates, we’ll take you step-by-step through what it takes to become an online quizmaster in 2021.
Step 1: Select Your Rounds
The very first thing to do is to pick out a few rounds on which to base your questions. Here’s a few tips for this…
- Be specific – You can do better than ‘sport’ and ‘countries’. Aim for 60s rock music, the apocalypse, top 100 IMDB movies, beer brewing techniques, or even prehistoric multicellular animals and early jet plane engineering. Nothing’s off the table and the choice is totally yours!
- Be personal – If you know your contestants personally, there’s some serious scope for hilarious rounds that hit close to home. A great one from Esquire is to dig through your mates’ Facebook posts from the old days, pick the most hilarious and let them guess who wrote them!
- Be varied – Stray from the standard ‘multiple choice’ or ‘open-ended’ questions. The potential of a virtual pub quiz is vast – way more vast than one in a traditional setting. Online, you can have image rounds, sound clip, word cloud rounds; the list goes on! (check out the full section down here.)
- Be practical – Including a practical round might not seem, well, practical, in an online setting, but there’s still plenty you can do. Build something out of household items, recreate a movie scene, perform a feat of endurance – it’s all good stuff!
Protip 👊 If you’re looking for some inspiration, we’ve got a whole article on 10 pub quiz round ideas and another on 10 virtual games that you can adapt for a practical round – free templates included!
Step 2: Prepare Your Questions
Preparing the list of questions is undoubtedly the toughest part of being a quizmaster. Yet, it’s also a chance for you to be creative. Here are some tips:
- Keep them simple: The best virtual pub quiz questions tend to be simple ones. By simple, we don’t mean easy; we mean questions that aren’t too wordy and are phrased in an easy-to-understand manner. That way, you’ll avoid confusion and make sure there’s no disputing over the answers.
- Range them from easy to difficult: Having a mix of easy, medium and difficult questions is the formula for any perfect pub quiz. Placing them in order of difficulty is also a good idea to keep players engaged throughout. If you’re not sure what’s considered easy and difficult, try testing your questions beforehand on someone who won’t be playing when it’s quiz time.
There’s no shortage of resources out there to create your question lists. You can consult any of these links for free pub quiz questions:
Step 3: Take it Online
Time for the ‘virtual‘ element of your virtual pub quiz! Nowadays, interactive quizzing software abounds online, helping you to host a super cheap or even free virtual pub quiz from the comfort of your own lazy boy.
These platforms allow you to create your quiz online and for participants to play virtually using their smartphones. Looks like lock down has been good for something, at least!
Below you can see how AhaSlides works. All it takes is a quiz master with a desktop and a free AhaSlides account, and players with a phone each.
Why take it online?
- It’s 100% the cheapest way to host a virtual pub quiz.
- It’s incredibly easy to use, both for hosts and players.
- It’s completely digital – play from anywhere in the world without pen or paper.
- It gives you a chance to make beautiful slides and varied questions.
- There’s an incredible list of free premade quizzes that you can download instantly!
⭐ Still got doubts? Here are two 40-question quizzes you can download, alter, and host to players for free!
- Click either of the banners above to head to the quiz in the AhaSlides editor.
- Change anything you like about the quiz.
- Share the unique room code with your players and host the quiz for them from your desktop!
⭐ Want to create your own virtual pub quiz from scratch? Just click the button below to sign up to AhaSlides for free!
Step 4: Choose Your Streaming Platform
The last thing you’ll need is a video chat and screen sharing platform for your quiz. There are a bunch of options out there…
Zoom is an obvious candidate. It allows up to 100 participants in one meeting. However, the free plan limits meeting time to 40 minutes. Try a speed run to see if you can host your pub quiz in under 40 minutes, then upgrade to the pro plan for $14.99 a month if not.
Read also: Screen sharing your AhaSlides quiz with Zoom
There’s also Skype and Microsoft Teams, which are great alternatives to Zoom. These platforms do not limit your hosting time and allow up to 50 and 250 participants, respectively. However, Skype tends to get unstable as the number of participants gets higher, so be careful which platform you choose.
Houseparty is another platform that emerged in 2020. It’s reliable and easy to use, but only hosts 8 people at a time. Still, perfect for a small-scale virtual pub quiz among friends.
If you are aiming for professional streaming, then you should consider Facebook Live, YouTube Live, and Twitch. These services don’t limit the time or the number of people that can join your quiz, but the setup is also more advanced. If you’re aiming to run your virtual pub quiz long-term, these might be a great shout.
4 Virtual Pub Quiz Success Stories
At AhaSlides, the only thing we love more than beer and trivia is when someone uses our platform to its maximum potential.
Of the thousands that have already hosted their own on our platform, we’ve picked out 3 examples of companies that nailed their hosting duties in their virtual pub quiz.
The overwhelming success of the weekly BeerBods Arms Pub Quiz is really something to marvel at. At the height of the quiz’s popularity, hosts Matt and Joe were looking at a staggering 3,000+ participants per week! Incredible stuff from this UK-based online beer service.
Tip: Like BeerBods, you can host your own virtual beer tasting with a virtual pub quiz element. We’ve actually got a whole article on how to do that!
Airliners Live is a classic example of taking a themed quiz online. They’re a community of aviation enthusiasts based in Manchester, UK, who used AhaSlides along with the Facebook live streaming service to regularly attract 80+ players to their event, the Airliners Live BIG Virtual Pub Quiz.
3. Job Wherever
Giordano Moro and his team at Job Wherever decided to host their pub quiz nights online. Their very first AhaSlides-run event, the Quarantine Quiz, went viral (excuse the pun) and attracted over 1,000 players across Europe. They even raised a bunch of money for the World Health Organisation in the process!
Quizland is a venture led by Peter Bodor, a professional quiz master who runs his virtual pub quizzes with AhaSlides. We wrote a whole case study on how Peter moved his quizzes from the bars of Hungary to the online world, which gained him 4,000+ players in the process!
6 Slides for a Virtual Pub Quiz
As we’ve mentioned already, a top-quality virtual pub quiz is one that’s varied in its question type offerings. It may be tempting to just throw together 4 rounds of the easiest format, but hosting a pub quiz online means that you can do so much more than that.
Check out a few examples here:
1. Multiple Choice Text
The simplest of all the question types. Set out the question, 1 right answer and 3 wrong answers, then let your audience take care of the rest!
Online image questions save a lot of paper! No printing necessary when quiz players can see all images on their phones.
3. Type Answer
1 right answer, infinite wrong answers. Type answer questions are much harder to answer than multiple choice ones.
4. Sound Clip
Upload any MP4 clip to your slides and play the audio either through your speakers or through quiz players’ phones.
5. Word Cloud
Word cloud slides are a little outside of the box, so they’re a fantastic addition to any virtual pub quiz. They work on a similar principle to the British game show, Pointless.
Essentially, you pose a category with many answers, like the one above, and your quizzers put forward the most obscure answer that they can think of.
Word cloud slides showcase the most popular answers centrally in large text, with the more obscure answers flanking in smaller text. Points go to correct answers that were mentioned the least!
6. Spinner Wheel
With the potential to host up to 10,000 entries, the spinner wheel can be a fantastic addition to any virtual pub quiz. It can be a great bonus round, but can also be the full format of your quiz if you’re playing with a smaller group of people.
Like in the example above, you can assign different difficulty questions depending on the amount of money in a wheel segment. When the player spins and lands on a segment, they answer the question to win the amount of money specified.
First to $1 million wins!
Note 👉 A word cloud or spinner wheel aren’t technically ‘quiz’ slides on AhaSlides, meaning that they don’t tally points. It’s best to use these types for a bonus round.
Ready to Host a Virtual Pub Quiz?
They’re all fun and games, of course, but there’s a serious and dire need for quizzes like these at present. We commend you for stepping up!
Click below to try AhaSlides for absolutely free. Check out the software with no barriers before you decide whether or not it’s a good fit for your audience!