The History Of How Trivia Became A Thing

Mike Oberman

by Mike Oberman · Updated June 12th, 2023

All of us here at TriviaNerd are trivia lovers committed to spreading this love to our clients and website visitors.

And while we usually do this through sharing our popular trivia collections, today, we want to do so by exploring how trivia became a thing in the first place. We’ll touch upon the history of trivia, the etymology and modern usage of the word trivia, how trivia became popular on TV, and answer the most frequently asked questions about everything trivia-related.

So, without further ado, let’s get to it.

The History of Trivia

The History of Trivia

While it may be somewhat difficult to trace the exact origins of trivia, it helps to know that one of the first ever forms of what we perceive today to be a trivia game debuted on the radio program “Take it or Leave It” back in the 40s. Then, in 1964, one of America’s most popular and iconic quiz shows “Jeopardy!” appeared, which was also embraced by millions of Americans at the time.

The 60s are important for some of the first “written mentions” of trivia, too. One such instance can be found in a 1965 The Columbia Spectator article (Columbia University’s school newspaper).

In it, the article’s author, Edwin Goodgold, wrote that “trivia is a game played by countless young adults who, on the one hand, realize that they have misspent their youth and yet, on the other hand, do not want to let go of it.”

He further explained that trivia is a combination of “Information Please”, the American radio quiz show, and psychoanalysis.

Also, in 1965 at an informal game among college students, one asked a question from popular culture (What was Donald Duck’s address?”, and every person tried to be the first to give an answer. As it was suggested:

Nobody really wins in this game which concentrates on sports, comics and television. Everyone knows that Amos's wife on the "Amos 'n' Andy Show" is Ruby, but who knows that she is from Marietta, Georgia? Trivia players do. They also know the fourth man in the infield of Tinker-to-Evers-to-Chance, the Canadian who shot down Baron Von Richtofen, and can name ten Hardy Boy books. — [Princeton Alumni Weekly, Nov. 9, 1965]

In general, in the 60s, trivia nights were a thing across college campuses all over America. Then, in the 70s, pub quizzes emerged in the UK. One of the main reasons why such trivia events were so popular among the younger generations was because they combined socializing, competition, and a beer or two. And they still do in a way.

To illustrate this growing popularity of trivia among college students, we have to mention the Great Midwest Trivia Contest, or the Midwest Trivia Contest, still held annually in Appleton, Wisconsin, and broadcast over Lawrence University's radio station. The Great Midwest Trivia Contest is said to be the oldest college-based radio trivia contest in America.

National Trivia Day

Robert L Birch, an American librarian, is credited with founding National Trivia Day. The holiday was celebrated in 1980 for the first time, and since then, each year, on January 4, this celebration is observed.

But how exactly is National Trivia Day celebrated?

There are many ways you can go about celebrating this day. You can challenge people to a trivia contest, attend a virtual trivia game, attend a quiz night at a local bar, or host a trivia game yourself. If you want to celebrate it with colleagues or other employees, you can host a trivia event in your office.

What makes such events great is the competitive spirit felt all throughout the game. Arguments about who’s next, who gave the right answer, or who answered first are always fierce, but they’re especially wild toward the end of the trivia game when everyone’s trying to win!

You don’t have to engage in a formal trivia event to celebrate this day, however. You can do something as simple as opening your encyclopedia at home and learning new information and contemplating obscure facts, which will prepare you for the next trivia game you plan to attend.

But where does the word trivia come from?

The Etymology of the Word Trivia

The Etymology of the Word Trivia

The word “trivia” has Latin origins. It’s the plural form of the word “trivium”, which means “place where three roads meet”, “in transferred use”, and “an open place, a public place”. “Trivialis”, the adjectival form, means “public”, hence the explanation above.

The adjective trivial was adopted in Early Modern English, however, the actual word “trivia” didn’t quite get there right away. In fact, in 1716 it was still the name of a book about crossroads and streets.

Nowadays, dictionaries define trivia as unimportant pieces of information. Take a look at the following dictionary entries:

  • “details or information that are not important” [Cambridge Dictionary(];
  • “unimportant matters: trivial facts or details” Merriam-Webster Dictionary;
  • “unimportant facts or details that are considered to be amusing rather than serious or useful” Collins Dictionary;
  • “matters or things that are very unimportant, inconsequential, or nonessential; trifles; trivialities”;
  • “details, considerations, or pieces of information of little importance or value”, and so on.

Yet we tend to think otherwise. We believe trivia is meaningful, and it’s everything but insignificant.

Modern Usage of the Word Trivia

Modern Usage of the Word Trivia

It wasn’t until 1902 that the word trivia started denoting “fun facts” (this was heavily influenced by Logan Pearsall Smith’s book publication).

Namely, the first book ever published based on trivia was written by Logan Pearsall Smith, a British aphorist, and was called Trivialities Bits of Information of Little Consequence (1902). The book didn’t become popular until 1918.

Also, it’s worth noting that if in the past, trivia revolved around in-person gatherings and a bit more individualized approach (one person competing against another). Over the past few decades, however, it got transformed into “a social experience”. This contributed to the word being perceived as a social activity as well.

And let’s not forget that the popularity of bar trivia events paved the way for trivia companies to emerge.

Therefore, the word trivia was very often associated with pub quiz nights, bar trivia, or simply pub quizzes. This concept of trivia nights was initially established in the 70s in the UK and became part of British culture. However, things don't end with in-person trivia nights.

Namely, global events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, allowed for the creation of virtual trivia events to take place, as well as companies who provide such games (like we do).

Finally, when it comes to the modern usage of the word trivia, we believe it’s not so much about the way people use the word but more about how they apply the concept in their everyday lives; how they use it, approach it, and perceive it.

As Ken Jennings put it in his Brainiac: Adventures in the Curious, Competitive, Compulsive World of Trivia Buffs:

“So maybe we never would have realized we were so compatible if we hadn't been trading song lyrics and movie dialogue. That's textbook trivia right there." Mindy looks unconvinced. "But that's how everybody gets together. They find some dumb thing they both know a little about that they can talk about until the waiter brings dinner. According to you, there probably isn't a marriage or a relationship or a friendship anywhere today that wasn't jump-started by trivia." "I think that's exactly right," I agree. "To trivia.”

Trivia on TV in the 1950s

Trivia on TV in the 1950s

The 50s saw a rise in various trivia quiz shows, such as The $64,000 Question, Dotto, and Twenty One. All of them had high ratings and were extremely popular.

With that said, in 1959, [it was revealed that the shows’ producers were, in fact, feeding the contestants with answers.}(

This came to be known as the 1950s Quiz Show Scandals. The public felt deceived, as they believed these trivia quizzes were transparent and fair competitions. It was later suggested that these producers did that because of several reasons, like trying to improve the show’s rating, greed, lack of suitable regulations prohibiting such behavior in game shows, and so on.

It’s important to note that this trivia issue also affected how TV was perceived. Namely, this was also the period when television was emerging as a medium, and it wasn’t as established as it was later on. Therefore, losing trust in the television as a medium went hand in hand with losing interest in such trivia shows.

This led to the cancellation of many popular shows (the years in brackets denote the last-air dates), such as:

  • Dotto (August 15, 1958);
  • The $64,000 Challenge (September 7);
  • Twenty-One (October 16);
  • The $64,000 Question (November 2);
  • Tic-Tac-Dough, primetime edition (December 29);
  • and For Love or Money (January 30, 1959).

Interestingly enough, TV audiences weren’t keen to learn new trivia-related information and facts. They wanted to learn what the trivia contestants had to say about these frauds. For instance, one of the contestants, Charles Van Doren, stated that he had deceived his friends although he initially asked to be part of the program without getting any extra help.

However, he was told he didn’t stand a chance against Stempel because “he was too knowledgeable”. Plus, he was told that the show was just a source of entertainment and doing such things was common practice. Moreover, he got convinced that by going on national TV he would be practically doing a service to teachers and the educational sector in general. With that said, he believed he did quite the opposite by doing what he had done and that he “deeply regret[ed] this”.

Yet, this scandal in the 50s didn’t mean trivia, in general, was permanently dead. In fact, even after trivia quizzes went off the air during the late 50s, trivia still remained very popular as a concept. For instance, Dan Carlinsky and Ed Goodgold were the first organizers of the quiz bowl competitions at Columbia University. Later on, they published the best-selling book Trivia.

Also, in 1982, Merv Griffin thought of reintroducing Jeopardy!, so people could yet again watch a trivia quiz show on their televisions. After reintroducing Jeopardy! was a huge success, other such game shows started appearing, such as Win Ben Stein’s Money and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.

Trivia in the Workplace

Trivia in the Workplace

You can use trivia in the workplace in numerous ways. First and foremost, trivia questions can be used during icebreaker sessions, office breaks, or any sort of informal office gathering.

Next, trivia can be used for team-building purposes (both in-person and virtual).

You can also use trivia in contexts where other activities are the main thing. In other words, you can host a brief trivia game as a warm-up activity before you move to the main part of the event.

For instance, if you’re hosting an escape room game or a murder mystery party, you can open the event by allowing your attendees (employees) to engage in a brief trivia game.

Keep in mind, however, that the trivia questions should be placed in a relevant context. It’d make no sense for you to host a Star Wars trivia quiz on a night when you’ve prepared a Christmas murder mystery party (opt for Christmas trivia questions instead).

Benefits of using trivia in the workplace

This section wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t explain the benefits of introducing trivia in the workplace. If someone doesn’t understand what trivia quizzes can do for their employees, why would they consider including them in the first place?

Let’s analyze the benefits in greater detail.

1) They help employees relax.

Trivia games help employees unwind after a hard day at work, get to know their peers better, or simply take a break during work hours.

They’re fun and enjoyable, hence, helping your workforce destress. It may sound surprising, but even a brief trivia game can help lift your team’s spirits.

2) They’re a great social tool.

Trivia quizzes are a great way for employees to catch up with coworkers, meet new hires, interact with interns, reconnect with peers from other departments they haven’t had the chance to talk to for some time, and so on.

This is so because trivia games come with the thrill of guessing, answering, giving suggestions, partnering up with peers, cheering your teammates, working closely as a team, and even comforting those who may lose. In essence, trivia games are exciting and cause attendees to get immersed in them quite easily.

All these stages and aspects of the trivia process are meaningful and have their place in the office, regardless of whether you host a virtual trivia quiz or an in-person one.

3) They help boost your employees’ decision-making skills.

Apart from allowing employees to interact and catch up with one another, trivia quizzes help boost your team’s decision-making skills.

Team members are required to discuss questions, come up with answers, share their knowledge with the rest of the group, and approach challenging trivia questions in a unified manner.

They need to calculate the time they have at their disposal, the number of questions they need to answer, and plan how they’ll go about the trivia answering process.

Boosting employees’ skills in this manner helps them with their everyday work-related tasks as well. So it’s a win-win situation!

4) They enhance your employees’ memory.

Trivia games are a great workout for your employees’ minds. Therefore, engaging in trivia quizzes improves your team’s cognitive function and problem-solving abilities.

Doing socially and mentally stimulating activities, like trivia, helps people recall old bits of information, memorize new ones with greater ease, and have their brains function at the most optimal level possible.

5) They help employees expand their knowledge.

It goes without saying that trivia quizzes require people to use their knowledge to help them come up with the right answers. But another important benefit of such quizzes is that it helps trivia players learn new pieces of information and expand their knowledge further.

What’s more, the more employees engage in trivia quizzes, the better they’ll get at it. They’ll want to soak up new information so they perform better during their next trivia event, provide better assistance to their peers, and score more points.

6) They’re an affordable activity.

Hosting trivia games is fairly affordable. Of course, it does come with its expenses (such as paying for a Zoom premium plan if you’re doing a virtual trivia quiz, for instance), but which team-building activity doesn’t?

With that said, sometimes you can take advantage of most of the tools you use on a daily basis with your employees and simply modify them for trivia purposes. For instance, if you’re hosting an online trivia game and you already have a paid Zoom account (or any other paid account on a video conferencing platform), you can use that one.

If you’re doing an in-person trivia event and you feel like organizing such an event at a bar will cost your company a lot more than what you’re able to afford, feel free to host the game in the office.

Moreover, while other team-building activities, such as escape rooms or murder mysteries, usually require you to pay for the game (unless you’re looking for free ones), trivia games are completely free if you compile the questions yourself. Of course, you can pay a trivia company to organize the event for you, but you always have the option to Google the questions, or consult our ever-expanding trivia library.

Finally, trivia quizzes are a neat break from the corporate norm. Whenever your employees have been working on an exhausting product launch, lengthy project, or have engaged in difficult client meetings, why not ease things with a neat trivia quiz?

This won’t just help your employees have fun and take a break, but it will also motivate them to do their job even better when they get back to their workload.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the story behind Trivial Pursuit?

Trivial Pursuit is a board game where the winner is determined by the player’s capacity to answer questions from popular culture and general knowledge. The players need to move their pieces around a board, and the squares they land on decide the question’s subject.

The questions are divided into six categories, and each category has its own color. For instance, in the classic Trivial Pursuit version, Entertainment was pink, Geography was blue, History was yellow, Science and Nature was green, Arts and Literature was brown (later it was changed to purple), and Sports and Leisure was orange. The game came with playing pieces, a box, a board, question cards, small plastic wedges you should place into the playing pieces, and a dice.

Giving the right answer to a question allows the player to continue playing the game.

More specifically, a correct answer in one of the six categories earns the player a plastic wedge, which then gets slotted into the player’s playing piece. The point of the game is to collect all six wedges from every category, go back to the “hub space”, and answer a question in a category the rest of the players get to select.

The game was created by Scott Abbott, a sports editor for The Canadian Press, and Chris Haney, a photo editor for The Gazette. Their story is very simple: upon discovering pieces of their Scrabble game were missing, Abbott and Haney decided to invent their own game.

The game was officially released in 1981, and was more successful than they could have ever imagined.

Since the game’s initial release, a plethora of themed editions have come out. Certain game sets have been created for younger generations, others have been designed for a specific period; however, one thing’s certain - this game managed to deepen the love and appreciation people had for trivia as a concept.

The Worth Lawsuit and the Wall Lawsuit

With that said, it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows with Trivial Pursuit. Namely, there were two lawsuits against the trivia game makers. The first one is the Worth lawsuit and the other one is known as the Wall lawsuit.

Let’s cover the Worth lawsuit first.

Back in 1984, Fred Worth, the author of The Trivia Encyclopedia, Super Trivia, and Super Trivia II, initiated a $300 million lawsuit against the Trivial Pursuit distributors, claiming they copied more than a quarter of the trivia questions from his books.

And while his books have indeed been a great source of inspiration, the district court ruled in favor of Trivial Pursuit.

The Wall lawsuit, on the other hand, includes David Wall, who started a lawsuit against the game’s inventors. He claimed they stole his idea, which he allegedly shared on a hike in Nova Scotia back in 1979. In 2007, the Nova Scotia Supreme Court rejected Wall’s claims and ruled against him.

What are some examples of great trivia themes and questions?

Trivia themes and trivia questions go hand in hand. In essence, if you opt for a Halloween trivia theme, you’ll include Halloween trivia questions in your trivia event. In case you want to organize a Friends trivia night, you’ll need Friends trivia questions and think about what you can do to highlight the overall Friends theme (such as costumes, design, equipment, and so on).

You get the point.

With that said, choosing a great trivia theme along with awesome trivia questions requires deeper research and trivia commitment.

For instance, it’d make no sense to just pick a random theme you know nothing about (such as a TV show neither you nor your trivia attendees have seen). The whole point is to go with a trivia theme everyone (or at least the majority) is going to like and enjoy. So, if you’re running a trivia event in your office, consider your employees’ preferences. And if you’re organizing a trivia event with your friends or family members, do check how they feel about what you’ve picked (or you might as well make a decision together).

Apart from choosing a trivia theme your trivia guests resonate with, you need to make sure there’s enough information about that specific theme. Let’s say you choose a random public holiday (such as a St. Valentine’s trivia theme), only to realize that you don’t have enough trivia questions (let alone tiebreakers) and the overall theme maybe isn’t that good.

Sometimes it helps to include broader trivia themes/questions too. For instance, your family members may love animated films and you could decide to prepare a Toy Story trivia game night. While there’s nothing wrong with going for a Toy Story-based trivia night, if you want to make things more versatile and interesting, you might go with a Pixar trivia theme where you would include the Toy Story franchise as well as some other Pixar trivia questions. Broader themes are especially great for trivia nights when you need a lot of questions (helps with tiebreakers too!).

A) Examples of great trivia themes

Below, we share a list of interesting trivia themes to inspire you. We offer both specific and broader theme ideas:

B) Examples of great trivia questions**

American history trivia questions

History trivia questions are great for testing your history knowledge (as well as that of your trivia guests’).

First and foremost, history is such a versatile and wide concept, and that’s what makes it a great trivia theme. You can never run out of questions, there’s always something new to be added, discovered, and explained, and no matter how much an individual knows historical dates, information, facts, and details, they can always be challenged further.

To illustrate how you can approach this, we’ll go with specific history trivia questions (US history), and then we’ll move on to more general history trivia questions (world history).

Let’s start by inviting you to focus on US historical matters, such as the overall American history, the US Constitution, American colonists, US presidents, civil wars, and so on.

Here are the trivia questions:

  1. Trivia question: There are four US presidents on Mount Rushmore - who are they? Answer: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, and Theodore Roosevelt.

  2. Trivia question: Which three US presidents died on July 4 (Independence Day)? Answer: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Monroe.

  3. Trivia question: Which American city used to be the first capital of the United States? Answer: New York City.

  4. Trivia question: The stripes on the American flag represent what? Answer: The 13 original colonies.

  5. Trivia question: Which US president says the following lines and what do they refer to? “Yesterday, December 7, 1941 a date which will live in infamy the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.” Answer: The US president Franklin D. Roosevelt. He addressed the attract on Pearl Harbor.

  6. Trivia question: In the American Revolution, the “shot heard ’round the world” denotes the beginning of which battles? Answer: The Battles of Lexington and Concord.

  7. Trivia question: Can you name several important battles that took place during the American Civil War? Answer: First Battle of Bull Run (July 21, 1861), the Battle of Shiloh (April 6, 1862–April 7, 1862), the Battle of Antietam or the Battle of Sharpsburg (September 17, 1862), the Battle of Gettysburg (July 1, 1863–July 3, 1863), and the Vicksburg Campaign (May 22, 1863–July 4, 1863).

  8. Trivia question: Who was the fourth US president? Answer: James Madison.

  9. Trivia question: What was George H W Bush’s wife called? Answer: Barbara Bush.

  10. Trivia question: Which four sitting US presidents have been assassinated? Answer: Abraham Lincoln (1865, assassinated by John Wilkes Booth), James Garfield (1881, assassinated by Charles J. Guiteau), William McKinley (1901, assassinated by Leon Czolgosz), and finally John F Kennedy (1963, assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald).

World history trivia questions

In this part, we’ll focus on world history trivia questions so that you can compare what it’d mean to host a trivia game with a broad general historical context vs a more specific one. Then, you can make an informed decision depending on what option resonates more with you and your trivia game group.

Here are the trivia questions:

  1. Trivia question: When did the French Revolution start and end? Answer: May 5, 1789 – Nov 9, 1799.

  2. Trivia question: What’s the exact date when the fall of the Berlin Wall happened? Answer: November 9, 1989.

  3. Trivia question: Who was defeated in the Battle of Waterloo? Answer: Napoleon Bonaparte.

  4. Trivia question: Who landed on the Moon first and which country were they from? Answer: Neil Armstrong, the United States.

  5. Trivia question: Which country joined the EU back in 2013? Answer: Croatia.

  6. Trivia question: How many years did the Roman Empire last? Answer: 1000 years.

  7. Trivia question: Who won the first Nobel Peace Prize and what year was it? Answer: The first Nobel Peace Prize was equally divided between Jean Henry Dunant and Frédéric Passy in 1901.

  8. Trivia question: Which country was the first to leave the Soviet Union? Answer: Lithuania.

  9. Trivia question: Which European country was the first one to use paper money and in which year? Answer: Sweden in 1661.

  10. Trivia question: During World War II, what was the code name for the German invasion of the Soviet Union called? Answer: Operation Barbarossa.

How do I host a virtual trivia game for my employees?

Hosting virtual trivia games for your teams can be a piece of cake if you follow the right steps and apply them accordingly.

Below, we share them in as much detail as possible. Of course, feel free to expand on them and add others if you think it’s necessary (or skip some if you don’t find them relevant for your current corporate situation).

1) Choose a trivia theme and trivia questions

The first step to organizing your virtual trivia game event is to pick a trivia theme and trivia questions that go with it. We already provided you with some ideas in the previous FAQs, so you should have no problem handling this task.

We’ll just add that you can run a brief survey in the office (or you can do it online) to test the water and see how people feel about specific trivia themes/questions. Then, you can go with what the majority selected.

2) Pick a time and date

This is again something you need to do after consulting your employees.

The best time and date to organize a virtual trivia quiz are the ones that work well for most of your workforce.

So, if you’re running a survey about what theme to go with, you might as well include an extra question about the time and date you can actually do this online trivia quiz.

We suggest that you include at least three timeslots and dates (feel free to include more or less, depending on what works for you) and see which one(s) most of your employees seem to agree with.

3) Invite your employees

After gathering the survey responses, analyzing them properly, and deciding on the time, date, and trivia theme, it’s time to invite your employees.

The easiest way to go about this is to send them an email. Make sure to include a link for the trivia meeting as well.

Also, ensure you do this well before the trivia game event so that there’s enough time for your employees to respond. This gives you enough time to see whether the number of trivia questions you may have chosen corresponds to the number of people attending. For instance, you might need to include several tiebreakers, add a category, or erase one, and so on.

4) Decide on the hosting format

Will you be the one hosting the trivia quiz? Perhaps you’d like to hire a professional moderator? Maybe you can ask someone from your HR team to do it? Or, if you have an employee who isn’t willing to take part in the quiz, will they agree to do it?

These are all questions you need to consider when deciding on the hosting format. And making such decisions is almost always connected to how you expect the event to look, but also your current budget information.

Can your company spend money on a professional host at this point? Or is this an unnecessary expense?

Answering these questions will help you make an informed decision.

5) Form trivia teams

You can always create the trivia teams during the actual event, but doing so in advance not only saves you time, it allows you to consider certain trivia details too.

We’re referring to matters such as team sizes, the exact number of participants, the number of breakout rooms you may need, and so on. Moreover, it allows you to reflect on situations such as someone not showing up or a person who said they couldn’t make it suddenly joining the event.

All these details can more or less be predicted, however, what people usually struggle with is forming teams. This is so because they aren’t quite sure how to approach this team forming.

Should you team up employees who work together on a regular basis? Should you put employees into teams with individuals they’ve never communicated with before (such as employees from different departments)?

Both options have their pros and cons.

For instance, if you opt for the former, you’ll enable your employees to feel comfortable all throughout the trivia game, and they’ll probably be much more open to collaboration. This experience, however, doesn’t challenge employees as much as the latter can.

Namely, if you pick the other option, you’ll allow your employees to socialize with peers they don’t quite have the chance to interact with. They’re forced out of their comfort zones, have to communicate with new individuals, and find their place under the sun within this small “trivia community” for the time being, that is, while the game lasts.

It’s not up to us to tell you what you should do, or which option to pick, but if you asked us, we’d say you should definitely go with the second one.

Finally, you can always just do a random draw without “manually” placing employees into different teams.

6) Get ready for the trivia game

Getting ready for the actual trivia event means you need to consider matters such as how you’re going to welcome your trivia guests; what happens if there are latecomers; how to handle cheating; how to deal with technology issues, and so on.

These are just several important matters you need to take into account while preparing for the trivia game.

Moreover, you need to prepare the trivia game rules too. How many trivia rounds should the guests expect to play? How many points will they get for the right answer? What happens if they give a wrong answer - will they lose a point or remain with the same score? Will trivia participants be allowed to use their phones? How will you check if they’re following the rules? In case someone breaks a game rule, will they continue playing?

Apart from defining the rules so that you’re clear about the game format and structure, you need to ensure your employees are also aware of them at all times. You might send them an email with the game rules a few days before the trivia quiz or perhaps a link in chat once they join the meeting so that everyone can go through the rules at their own pace.

We recommended sending the rules well in advance so your employees may talk to you if they have concerns or issues with some rule(s).

With that said, keep in mind that you’ll certainly have to improvise certain things. In other words, no matter how much you plan and prepare for the event, certain moments can’t be anticipated and you may need to act on the spot. But it’s always way easier when you’re prepared rather than to leave things to chance and hope for the best.

7) Do a test run

Our previous point goes hand in hand with the following suggestion: before every event, do a test run.

If you’re using Zoom for the virtual trivia game, for instance, make sure to check if you need to tick anything in the Settings. Also, check the audio system - is there anything you should sync with your laptop/computer? Is the screen sharing option working properly? Also, if you’re sharing the trivia questions, do you have any trouble opening the file and then sharing it?

To check all of this properly, ask someone to simulate a trivia game with you. Send a link to a family member or even close friends and do a mock trivia quiz. That way, you’ll see if someone struggles to join the meeting, can’t seem to get the Zoom password right to join the meeting, or if you can’t put your attendees into breakout rooms the way you want to.

The same applies to any other software you may be using, not just Zoom, especially if you don’t use it that often.

8) Give prizes to the winner(s)

Giving prizes and awards to the winning team(s) is a great way to wrap up the trivia event. You can be secretive about it - for instance, you may not mention anything about giving prizes to the winners and just wait for the quiz to end and then tell the winners what they get for winning.

Or you might let everyone know in advance that there will be prizes at the end.

You don’t have to give out any special prizes, though. They can be something small, but meaningful. The idea is that you took out the time to come up with rewards and give them to the winning teams.

So, you can go for something as simple as a gift card, an Amazon voucher, a goody bag, a free lunch, and so on. You might even grant the winners a free day they can use within the next three months, for instance. Also, if you have remote workers and you find certain things such as a free lunch challenging to organize, stick to the vouchers or the day off option.

Regardless of what you opt for, we guarantee you it’s going to make your employees extra happy and grateful.

9) Have fun

Having fun and enjoying the trivia event isn’t something reserved just for the attendees. You, as an organizer, need to enjoy it too!

But many times employers get overwhelmed by the responsibilities that come with planning such an event and forget they should relax and be present in the moment.

Of course, being professional and providing your employees with the best possible trivia experience is absolutely necessary, but not with you burning out or not enjoying the game yourself.

If you follow all the steps we discussed, take action to arrange things that are in your control, and learn to adapt and improvise whenever that’s necessary, you’ve done your bit. So when the event starts, focus on what needs to be done (such as moderating the event if you’re the one doing it), and try to have as much fun as possible.

10) Ask for trivia feedback

To truly say you’ve organized and hosted a great virtual trivia game, you need to ask for feedback afterward.

First and foremost, you need to see what resonated with your trivia attendees and what didn’t. Sometimes, the things you thought the most about and put in the most effort to organize may not be so memorable for your trivia guests. And those you improvised or did last minute may be the most spectacular and special in the eyes of the others.

Therefore, to do a proper feedback review, send out a survey (like the ones we mentioned in the first steps on our list), and ask the following questions:

  • On a scale of 1-10 (1 being the lowest and 10 the highest), how would you assess the overall trivia event?
  • On a scale of 1-10 (1 being the lowest and 10 the highest), how would you assess the host?
  • On a scale of 1-10 (1 being the lowest and 10 the highest), how would you rate the clarity of the instructions (i.e. was it clear to you at all times what you were supposed to do)?
  • Did you agree with most of the trivia game rules? Which ones do you disagree with (if any)?
  • What did you like the most?
  • What did you like the least?
  • What would you change if you could?
  • Were you happy with your team?
  • What trivia expectations did you have before the event?
  • Did the event live up to them?
  • Did you enjoy the trivia theme?
  • How do you feel about the trivia questions your team got?
  • Would you say the trivia questions were: easy, medium, difficult, or a little bit of everything?

Final Words

All in all, in this article, we provided you with the most important details and information about how trivia became a thing. Of course, there are more trivia games, trivia quizzes, definitions, and details to be shared, but this is enough to get you started.

And if you think you’ve learned enough about the history of trivia and are now ready for an actual game with your trivia gang, make sure to visit our different trivia questions categories and try out the one that catches your attention most.