Written By Dusty Ramsbottom, August 18th, 2019
I used to spend hours writing my trivia shows each week. That was back in 2002. Holy moly!
It was a Sunday night weekly at Rock Bottom Pub in Windsor, Ontario. Last time I checked, that show was still going!! Obviously, the baton has been passed forth several times since then, but the energy lives on...
2002 was a simpler time, and I hope they are making a few bucks more than I was then. Especially, considering how long it can actually take to create an interactive experience, with just the right difficulty of trivia questions, and ready for a keen host to take control with.
A Good Trivia Show Takes Several Hours To Write. Is It Worth The Time When You Can Purchase Pro Made Games For $15?
Since then, I've kept everything I ever wrote, and those trivia notes have slowly evolved over the years. One day it occurred to me that others would appreciate the work I've put in. I then created Fat Bottom Trivia in Powerpoint format, with notes ready on hand to give to other hosts.
Here's what You'll Need:
1. A computer or tablet with Microsoft Powerpoint installed. This is included with the Microsoft Office package.
Or, you can find an alternative to Powerpoint, though we can't be certain all the functions will work as they should. Some animations or transitions could be affected. Be sure to test any other options out well before your show. Check out https://alternativeto.net/ for recommendations by users.
2. A connection to a TV or projector.
HDMI is our #1 friend, nowadays. Inexpensive and reliable. But you may want to think about wireless options such as Apple Airplay, Chromecast, or Roku, depending on your device model.
3. Download fun trivia games from the Trivia Store
After purchase click the download link in the webpage or email. Click each file you've purchased, and download to your desktop.
4. If your "presenter mode" was turned off, turn it back on to be able to see the next slide, and tips for hosts in the Notes section.
5. Click "Read Only":
6. Go completely through each slide before your show to avoid any surprises, such as locating the "Hidden Side-Games"
7. Use arrow keys or swipe to advance through slides.
8. Clicking on the "Home Screen" and "Question Value".
9. Test The Sound FX. (Right one "mutes")
Have fun with your guests, this is the whole point! Make up Bonus Point opportunities by playing fun music alongside, inviting people to sing and dance, or for extra knowledge.
Every show is different, based on the host, the venue, and the crowd. Bust the Questions & Answers are "Tried & True". If you have an idea to go with the games, it's probably a good one. Go for it! I mean, Just Doo It™.. Haha!
Good luck out there, hosts. Break a leg!
Written by Dusty Ramsbottom, February 4th, 2019
Valentine’s Day can either be a night to remember, or a complete pain in the kaboose. Well, I am here to tell you now, that IT CAN BE BOTH!
Ok, so for those of you reading this who do not really know what we do here, we create game’s nights that kooky entertainers like myself can download and use at parties, weekly trivia nights, or even big event productions. Some are “Team” games like Fat Bottom Trivia, or there are games that are more fun as individuals, such as Music dobOFF or Triv81.
Many of the games were written by myself personally, but some have been written by some of the other experienced hosts within our community. If you ever have suggestions for new games, or special requests, just let me know! -> firstname.lastname@example.org
All the games have been tested in front of real audiences, and I know every game can be a great tool in your repertoire as an entertainer to create fun events, that people will remember and talk about for weeks after the fact. They are pretty much all family-friendly other than the slight innuendo here and there. In-yer-end-o.. Ha!
We now have games prepared for pretty much all the big holidays, and here are my top picks for Valentine’s Day this year!
Game #1 - The Opening Act, “Girls Vs Boys” Music Bingo
Game #2 - Now Let’s Get Them On Their Feet, “Lust & Love” Game Show
Plug your computer into a big-screen, or even use Chromecast or Apple TV to mirror your screen, and you are ready for an interactive Jeopardy!-esque game show. Though these games are more interactive with extra side-games, and a final challenge. You’ll need Powerpoint or an equivalent to run the program.
(Check out Brian and Chris Jones from the Jones Zone Podcast host this game for their friends at Loom Coworking in Fort Mill, South Carolina)
Game #3 - Music Trivia Party - “Turnt Up”
If you want to take it up a notch, finish off with an all-music trivia game. Give bonus points to the teams with high energy, dancing and participation. These games are based on old-school entertaining we used to do at the bars with only 2 cd players and a wireless microphone. We’ve since cleaned up the format and added the questions and side-games on the big-screen. But a good host knows how to work a room with any tools at their disposal.
Don’t forget to follow the music playlist for this game.
Thanks for sticking through this read. If you want some more information on how to host your own kick-ass parties, here’s a secret code for a free download of the Host Handbook from the trivia store: host100
I like to give bonuses for those of us who focus and can see things through until the end. :)
Quick Tips on How to Make Your Bar and Restaurant More Revenue in 2019 and Save Money on Entertainment
Anybody who has been in the bar industry long enough knows it takes some tricks to maximizing bar tabs which will in turn maximize tips and overall revenue. Those can be easy (upselling, promoting shifts). The real trick is to maximize revenue while minimizing costs. One thing I’ve noticed over the years is that bar owners are spending WAY too much money on live entertainment. I was managing a beach bar in Southern California for years and day after day we are forking out hundreds if not thousands of dollars to bring in local bands. Add in the bands comp tabs, discounted food, is it really worth it? Is it paying off? I understand that maybe that's your shtick but for the rest of us where live music is a novelty or perhaps there just isn’t enough space in the venue, we need affordable alternatives.
There are lots of ways to cut costs around the bar but there’s no need to start seperating two ply into one ply just yet (for all you Dunder Mifflin fans out there). One of the quickest and cheapest ways of getting people in the door is trivia. It might sound simple but nowadays it's more popular than ever. Hosts are no longer that half-interested guy in the corner with a mic that sounds like an adult from Charlie Brown. People are teaming up all week long to find the best shows around, I have seen first hand the effects of a well put together trivia night and the volume of patrons it can attract. This, coupled with some drink specials and prize giveaways (you’d be surprised how many people will show up for free koozies) and you’re on your way to a full bar with an end of the night payout of less than 100 bucks.
4 Ways you can advertise and incentivise customers to come to your establishment, and be a part of your community.
(photo of Ryan Henderson, Fat City Host)
In every bar there is someone that is looking for a bit of fun & fast cash, start with offering $25 cash and a $25 bar tab for a few hours of work. That cook in the kitchen who is always singing and dancing or the barback that is overly friendly would be the perfect candidate to host. All you would have to do is buy some ready to go trivia games and a mic and start promoting. There are tons of trivia groups for you to join on FB and reddit. Look up trivia groups in the area and start pushing your “Tricky Tuesday Trivia”. Everybody loves a good band but let’s remind people of how fun it is to get drunk and play games with your friends!
This is Aly! if you have any additional tips and tricks feel free to leave them in the comments! :)
How To Utilize Music Bingo Cards Or Game Show Presentations To Entertain Guests And Draw New Customers. Plus, An Example Of A Weekly Entertainment Budget Of Less Than $150.
Hey trivia fans, music fans, fellow entrepreneurs, and entertainers!
I’ve spoken quite a bit in this blog about how to use music bingo cards and game show presentations easily by downloading and presenting in front of live audiences wherever and whenever you choose. Now I’d like to speak more about the strategy behind such and event, and some reasons why you might find that a games night might be right for your group.
Music Bingo & Game Show Trivia For Bars & Restaurant
My background is most prominently as a Restaurant Manager for a variety of different venues. One was a corporate franchise restaurant with over 70 locations across Canada. One a local’s type pool bar complete with foosball, darts, games, wing night, and the whole enchilada.
Another was a tiki-bar in Costa Rica straight out of the Tom Cruise movie “Cocktail”, with not-so-coincidental similarities. I fact, I spent 20 years in the Food & Beverage industry before I really separated and focuses mainly on the Entertainment aspects, which I have grown to love so dear.
The business strategies for each of these places were vastly different, but the one constant that travelled with me from location to location was a need for community, and a hole that could only be fed with Live Entertainment. My greatest moments at each of these venues was no doubt on nights when the ambiance was set perfectly, the kitchen staff were on their A-game, and the entertainment was running point.
These nights were the whole motivation behind creating an easy-to-use line of Music dobOFF bingo cards, and Fat Bottom Trivia download-and-present game shows.
There is more to successful entertainment than just having the right games on hand.
People like playing pool and darts. This doesn’t mean that buy purchasing and installing a dart board or pool table means you will undoubtedly become a success. You must create an flow for your customers to know about your new additions, know about it ahead of time, plan for it, and then enjoy it fully. Then you want to ensure the nest event is already planned out, so they can continue the flow right into the next night.
You don’t want to fatigue your guests either. Too many events of too much intensity will not be received as well with your loyal regulars, so spacing nights out appropriately can be important too.
Pillaring Your Week Of Entertainment And Food & Drink Specials
One of my favorite new projects when consulting a new entertainment venue is appropriately “pillaring” the week’s events. This may be a new concept for you, so if I don’t explain it well enough here, please leave a comment below, or even shoot me an email, and we can discuss it further, and use direct examples from your business. I’m always available for our readers at email@example.com.
Example 1: (Low entertainment budget)
This is a pretty basic style of entertainment pillaring with a budget that permits 3 nights of entertainment. You’ll notice that instead of going heavy on Thursday through Saturday, I have split the events up, and I’ll now explain a few of the reasons why…
First, customer fatigue. Give your regulars some time to decompress, and discuss the next event at the water cooler before shoving another event at them. Loyal customers want to be a part of all the major events, and there is no reason they would have to stay away on nights that nothing is happening in between. On the contrary, I believe you will find heightened sales on nights such as Wednesdays and Fridays between events as well, when guests come back to reminisce about past events, pick up leftover vehicles (don’t drink and drive, people), and come back for the food and drink specials they noticed when they were at your last show.
Here, I’d like to actually use fun game examples to your weekly calendar that would work in almost any bar, restaurant, or other live entertainment venue. I’ll also add up the full expenses afterwards, but I will work with the assumption you are going to host the games yourself, or have one of your staff members host the games, that are already on paid salary. This will save you up to $300 per night in paying a local trivia company to host your games instead.
Game 1: “Body Parts” ($9.99)
Game 2: “TV Theme Songs” ($9.99)
These games are both classics. They can probably be used once a month and people will still love them!
Game: Fat Bottom Trivia “Wild Wild West” ($24.99)
This is a consistently overlooked error for many up-and-coming restaurants… They think “oh it’s Friday, people want to go out anyways, so let’s make the maximum amount per customer.
Unfortunately, this is a short-lived philosophy. People will get fatigued quickly by over-paying on Fridays. My motto is: “Give the people what they want!” They will respect you for it, and become loyal on other days of the week. There is plenty of competition in town. Give your #1 on Fridays when you have maximum exposure to clients.
Game: Music Trivia Party - “Boy Bands & Divas” ($24.99)
Ok, so considering you were already running these food & drink specials, the games themselves only add up to less than $70 for the week. This gives you plenty of room to buy prizes for the top teams at 5 Below. And remember, when you buy these games, you can definitely use them more than once! Come back to them in a few months, and your entertainment budget will be even less. Of course, we’ll have some new games out by then, that we’ve tested in front of real audiences, as we do for all our games :) And I’m sure you’ll love them too.
Thanks for listening! Please reach out and let me know what’s new in your area for entertainment, and how it’s working out with Music dobOFF bingo cards, and Fat Bottom Trivia!
Fat City Entertainment
How to Create a Phone Controlled LED Podium for a Game Show Host or for the Players at your Trivia Night Show
I am always looking for new ways to improve the production value at my events, and with such great and easy apps, I thought a great next step would be to have light up podiums. They turned out to be quite a bit easier to make than I had anticipated, so I wanted to share the steps below, and the links to all the items you will need on Amazon.
The total cost for each podium (minus the microphones, as I already had them) was $104.17.
Step 1: Order all the items you will require.
B) Extra connectors for the RGB strips. I had some already and didn’t buy these, but these help connect the wires together, especially if you aren’t confortable using a soldering iron.
C) Microphone Stand. Pretty straight forward. You can’t beat this price from Neewer.
D) XLR Mic cords. Again, this is something I already had, but you can never have to many of these audio cords. They snap together too, to lengthen your reach.
Step 2: Put it all together.
Build your podium using the included instructions, You’ll notice the wheels with brakes, and that it compacts nicely. These come in very handy at my shows, and I’m sure you’ll like them too.
Cut the LED strips on the cut lines with enough length to go completely around the front of your podium on the top and bottom edge. They already have 3M tape on the back, so this is pretty easy. I put extra staples at the end to give extra security (See photo). Use your connecters and extra wire to connect the top strip to the bottom strip. Leave the wifi attachment on the base somewhere where you can point the remote at it. I stapled it tucked away and fed the power cord to it.
Step 3: Download the phone app to control the lights and set-up scenes.
Here is the link to the mobile app on Google Play. Though it should come with your LED strip too, along with further instructions
Have fun playing with the features on the app. There is music control, it connects with Spotify too I believe. There is a color wheel, and you can create scenes with ease. I made some fun color strobes when people chose the hidden side-games from our Fat Bottom Trivia - Game Show Presentations. And it worked wonders. I even had the kids up at my booth playing with my phone, and coming back for more once they realized I controlled all the stage lights.