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Virtual Pub Quiz: How to Host One That Your Mates Would Approve

02/07/2020 in Fun, Protips, Quizzes

Vincent Pham

Software Engineer. Educator. Public Speaker.

The year is 2020. The Coronavirus ravages through the globe, forces countries on lockdown, and takes away the cornerstone of our modern civilisation: the pubs. No more cheeky pints, no more banters with your mates. But one thing still remains to keep our souls intact during this morbid time – the pub quiz. Well, the virtual pub quiz, at least.

People everywhere have begun to bring their favourite pub activity to the internet. As more of us are working remotely through Zoom, some have utilised the video conferencing platform to host online pub quiz. A search on Instagram would fill you with images of gangs of mates staring at their phones for hours on end for a trivia game. Almost 190,000 people clicked ‘attending’ on a virtual pub quiz on Facebook.

How to Host a Virtual Pub Quiz?

You’d think that the complete lack of the ‘pub’ in virtual pub quiz would take away much of the appeal. However, a sense of community and of belonging is very real and is much needed, especially at the minute. Online pub quiz provides just as much – and is now attracting a global audience.

But how do you host a proper virtual pub quiz that your mates would approve? Stick to this guide and you are settled.

Select a Theme

The first thing to do is to pick out a few themes for your questions list. Be specific; you can do better than ‘sport’ and ‘countries’. Aim for 60’s rock music, the apocalypse, top 100 IMDB movies, beer brewing techniques, or even prehistoric multicellular animals and early jet plane engineering. The choice is yours.

A set of themes is crucial for your virtual pub quiz
A set of themes is crucial to prepare for your questions list

Prepare Your Questions

Preparing the list of questions is undoubtedly the toughest part of being a quizmaster. But it is also a chance for you to be creative. Lean on your themes if you get stuck, and keep your quiz to 90 minutes mark for optimal fun.

Quick tip: the best questions tend to be simple ones. Also, make sure your questions only has one answer. Trust me, it’s easier said than done.

Spend a decent amount of time for your questions list. Your participants expect good questions from your online pub quiz.
Spend a decent amount of time for your questions list. Your participants are serious and so should you.

As the lads at Esquire has suggested, here’s a round you can steal: dig through your mates’ Facebook posts from the old days, pick the most hilarious, and let them guess who wrote those posts in the first place.

If you still need some inspiration for your question lists, consult these links for free pub quiz questions:

Let Your Computer Take Care of the Paperwork

If you want to dazzle your quiz takers and act like a computer wizard in front of mates, use an online interactive quiz maker for your virtual pub quiz. When you create your quiz on one of these platforms, your participants can join in and play with a smartphone, which is honestly quite brilliant.

There a quite a few out there, but a popular one is AhaSlides.

The app makes your job as a quizmaster as smooth and seamless as a dolphin’s skin.

Ahaslides' quiz feature demo for online pub quiz
A demo of AhaSlides’ Quiz feature

All the admin tasks are taken care of. Those papers that you are about to print to keep track of the teams? Save those for good use; AhaSlides will do that for you. The quiz is time-based, so you don’t have to worry about cheating. And points are calculated automatically based on how fast players answer, which make chasing for points even more dramatic.

Creating a quiz on AhaSlides is intuitive and easy. You can host up to 7 participants using the free plan, and pro plans starts cheaper than a pint at your local pub. It will definitely make your life so much easier. Try a Harry Potter quiz template created by our team below.

Choose Your Streaming Platform

You will also need a video chat and screen sharing platform for your virtual pub quiz, and there are many 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. So you can do a speed run and host your pub quiz for less than 40 minutes, or upgrade to the pro plan for £11.99 a month.

There are also Skype and Microsoft Teams, which are a great alternative 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 the other platform that’s seen a sudden surge since the lockdown. It is reliable and easy to use but only hosts 8 people if you are aiming for a small party.

A professional live streaming setup for online pub quiz
A more professional setup for live streaming

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.

Stock up on the Snack

The whole enterprise will be unfinished without snacks. Crisps are the standard, but could substitute for popcorns. Fancier chaps could opt for a plate of olives and mixed nuts with jamón. Coupled with a pint of fresh cold beer (wine is forgivable) and you now are ready to host a proper virtual pub quiz.

Snacks is an inseparable part of of a good virtual pub quiz
Honestly, scotch eggs are also quite solid for this situation

Success Stories

Due to the coronavirus, Airliners Live, a community of aviation enthusiasts based in Manchester, UK, began to migrate their pub quiz online, empowered by AhaSlides’s quiz maker feature and Facebook live streaming service. Their latest event attracted 80 players all over the internet competing for the quarantine quiz championship title.

Similarly, Giordano Moro and his team at Job Wherever decided to host their pub quiz nights online. The first event in their Quarantime Quiz series became viral and attracted almost a thousand people on Facebook all over Europe. They even raised money for the Covid-19 pandemic as it spreads around the world.

A mad lad of a trailer for the Quarantine Quiz

Another massive success with online pub quiz is BeerBod and their weekly BeerBods Arms Pub Quiz. The beer club hosts the killer combo of online beer tasting and virtual pub quiz for a staggering 500 participants every Tuesday for the past 2 weeks, and the number keeps rising. I mean, c’mon, it is beer and pub quiz, what else do you ask for?

Have a beer and your smartphone ready for the BeerBods Arms Pub Quiz

Ready to Be a Quizmaster?

Have you gone completely mad for pub quizzes since the lockdown? Let’s get down and make one for you and your mates. You might even make a few friends over the internet easily this way. For the real prize is the friends we made along the way. There’s no way you’re picking any prizes for the next three months anyway.

Whenever you are ready, give AhaSlides a shot. The online interactive quiz maker is intuitive and easy to use. And it sure will make your life a lot easier.

Use this ref code when you pay: AHASPRING

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