Archive for the ‘FAQ’ Category

How to Run a Trivia Night

Posted: July 1, 2012

 

Check out this cool version of how to run your own Catch The Mania night! What’s great about Catch The Mania, besides the audio/visual aspect, is that you can learn to do it yourself!

More tips are available on our video page, found here!

 

How Can I Play The Embedded Music and Videos?

Posted: March 16, 2012

Catch The Mania is a Power Point presentation.  It is designed to play across multiple formats and computers.  However some computers have software that is older or hasn’t been updated and therefore doesn’t play the media files that are embedded in the presentation.  If you have one of these set ups have no fear, there is a dynamic presentation designed specifically for you, read about it here.

If you aren’t able to play music and video files but want to here are some suggestions, each suggestion differs between Mac and PC.

For a PC

You can download a Free Version of Power Point Viewer this will allow you to take advantage of the full range of dynamic media contained in each presentation.  The download is quick, it’s free and you don’t have to have Power Point to use it.

You can upgrade your Power Point to 2010, this costs some money but you get a pretty powerful set of tools including Word, Excel and more included with a fully functioning version of Power Point.

For a Mac

Upgrade to Power Point 2010 for Mac here or  Keynote 2009 here.  Power Point is more costly because you can’t buy it separately but you also get Word and Excel along with it.  Keynote is great because you can buy it on it’s own it’s significantly cheaper and it works great with a Mac.

With Catch The Mania you can present either a Media or Non-Media show for your trivia night.  Both are designed to be dynamic and engaging, of course we Love music so we think you’re getting the full effect of our product when you are able to play the embedded music and video files, but it is not necessary for your success!

What Game File Do I Download From The Member Page?

Posted: March 16, 2012

Catch The Mania is designed to play across a wide range of formats and computer types.  However there are some computers that have older software programs that don’t allow for the playing of media in the presentation.  If you have one of these set ups you will be able to play the slide show but you won’t hear music or see video when those rounds come up.  Have no fear!

Inside the Catch The Mania Member page there are two different types of GAME files, “Media” and “No Media”.  Each file is exactly the same except the “No Media” file is designed with some different questions to replace the music or videos.  The beauty is that the answers to each are the same, you only need one answer sheet.  There are also assorted support and marketing files in the form of PDFs, Jpegs and more.  For this article we are focusing on the Game files

So if you have a computer with software that can play music and video files you download the “Media” files and if you have a computer with software that cannot play music and video files you download the “No Media” files.  Like we said above you only need to download one of the answer sheets because they are the same for each file.

If you want to know what software supports playing music and video files click here.

Converters, Cords and Other stuff

Posted: February 7, 2012

Don’t sweat the small stuff.  Catch The Mania is a great program for building business and for generating income for yourself.  It’s designed to be simple, cost effective and easy to produce but with every great service based product there are a few things that can be done in preparation to ensure your success.  One of these things is making sure you have all the right equipment and part of your equipment are the few adapters and cords that will help you to more easily connect from all types of computers to all types of TVs and projectors.

Take a look at the pictures to get a better feel and read the descriptions to see what each adapter does.

Outputs, Adapters, Converters and Cords For PC users:
PC’s generally have either an HDMI output or a VGA output, and some have both.  This makes PC’s one step and one adapter easier than Macs.  Here’s the difference between the PC outputs

-HDMI Output – this allows you to plug a straight HDMI cord from your PC into any TV or projector that has an HDMI input.  HDMI is where video technology is going but the thing about it is that HDMI and VGA is only a one way connection, meaning that you can convert HDMI to VGA but you can’t convert VGA to HDMI.  This means that having an HDMI output on your PC gives you the most flexibility because most TV’s accept HDMI and those that don’t usually accept VGA so all you need is an HDMI to VGA adapter and you can plug into 95% of the TV’s out there.

-HDMI to VGA Adapter – This allows you to convert any HDMI (digital signal) to VGA (analog signal).  It’s great for making sure you can connect to any VGA TV or projector.

-VGA Output – Some PC’s have this output instead of HDMI, these are generally older PC’s and they work great but the only limitation is the TV or Projector you want to broadcast the presentation to, as long as you are connecting to a VGA input on the TV or Projector it’s a very simple, straightforward connection.  All you need is a straight VGA to VGA cord, plug one end into your computer and the other end into the TV or Projector.  The challenge with VGA comes as TV’s get cheaper and more and more do away with the VGA input in favor of HDMI.  If you were going to buy a new computer today you would want to make sure it has HDMI output.

-VGA to HDMI Converter – If you have a PC with the VGA output but you need to plug into a TV or projector that only takes HDMI you can pick up a number of different converter boxes that will do the trick.  They are relatively inexpensive and with them you will be able to cover 95% of all TV or Projectors.

Once you have the right adapters and converters it’s simply a matter of getting the right cords.  Ideally if you carry a 20 foot HDMI cable and a 20 foot VGA cable you will be ready for anything.

Outputs, Adapters, Converters and Cords For Mac users:
Macs are great for audio/visual presentations but their hardware and software is generally proprietary meaning that if you want to connect to anything Non-Mac you will need some type of adapter.

The two main outputs are as follows (there are others but these two are the main outputs)

Mac Book (the white notebooks) – This is what a Mini-DVI (digital video) Out looks like on the white Macbooks.
Mac Book Pro (the silver notebooks) – This is what a Mini-Display Out looks like on the silver Macbook Pro.  Notice the slot is smaller and in a different location from the white Macbook.

**NOTE**  There is a difference between the older white Macbooks and the newer silver Macbook Pro’s.  The older white laptops have what is called Mini-DVI adapters.  The silver Pro’s have what is called Mini-Display Port.  Check this link to really see the difference well explained.

Depending on which computer you have you will get the correct sized adapter.  From there it’s a matter of just covering your bases, the same way as with a PC.  Each Mac Mini DV Out has multiple ends to connect VGA, DVI, HDMI and more.  If you want to cover 95% of your TV’s and Projectors simply get a Mini to VGA and a Mini to HDMI remember that depending on your Mac you will need the appropriate adapter, the Macbook White laptops are older and have bigger outputs and Macbook Pro Silver laptops have outputs that are smaller (See pics above).  From there just plug the mini adapter into your Mac and then the VGA or HDMI cord into the adapter and run the other end to your TV or Projector.  Click this link to see what adapters you need for your computer and to order.

The cables are no different for Mac or for PC.

What Kind of Computer do I Need

Posted: February 7, 2012

Catch The Mania is a Microsoft Power Point based presentation that is designed to play on any computer with the right software.  What’s most important about the computer that you choose is reliability and the ability to play media files, like music or movie clips.  If your computer can easily play music and movie clips, meaning they don’t skip or distort when you play them, you should be fine.

As far as other things to consider about your computer is the audio and video outputs.  CTM is designed to be presented on a TV or Projector and therefore you need the ability to broadcast it from your computer to whatever devices you will be showing it on.  The way to accomplish this is to check your computer for the following:

1.    VGA output
2.    HDMI output
3.    Mini Output (Mac)

VGA output is most common on PC’s.  You will see, either on the side or the back of your PC a port that looks like this.  HDMI is the same, most common with PC’s you can look for a port that looks like this.  With Macs it’s a little different.  Most Macs have a Mini-Digital Out port and some are different than others.  This is what a white Mac Book mini-DVI out looks like and this is what a silver Mac Book Pro mini-Display Port out looks like.

With the Macs you will need to get an adapter that will then connect you to the proper cord and proper input to the TV or projector

You can check the links in this article for more particulars but really what you need is the ability to play music and video and some kind of video output port.  That’s it!

Media VS Non-Media Downloads

Posted: February 7, 2012

Catch The Mania is a highly effective business building too.  It has been designed to work across many formats and operating systems and in almost any environment.  One of the greatest aspects of CTM is that it plays on the TV screens at each location.  This projection allows your customers to see as well as hear the questions which is a major difference from many other trivia programs.  Another great aspect of CTM is that we offer media files embedded in the presentation that allow you to play music, videos or both enhancing the experience of the game.  However, as demonstrated by so many trivia nights that don’t broadcast on screens at all, having embedded media is not necessary to having a successful night.

If you don’t have the requisite software or licenses to allow audio/visual playback, have no fear, we have a presentation that will fit your current needs without sacrificing your success and when you begin to see how successful CTM can be, you can upgrade and begin using the media based presentation.

What is Non-Media based CTM?
Non-Media Based CTM is a presentation exactly like Media Based CTM with the exception that the media (audio/visual) files have been removed.  However the questions are all pretty much the same and the answers are definitely the same as in the Media Based model.  For example if you download the Non-Media Based CTM model you will find that the music round (typically embedded with songs) will have written lyrics or written questions about the song title and the artist instead of having a media file of that song.  The answer will be the same, the question will be different.

What is Media Based CTM?
This is the full media package where you will actually hear songs and see videos and then have questions to answer about each.  The answers in this version are the same as the answers in the Non-Media Based version, it’s the questions that are different.

How do I know which one to use?

The simplest way to know is to download the media version and see if the media (songs, videos, sound clips) plays on your computer.  If it does, that’s the one you want.  If it doesn’t you can check a few things like what software you have and if you can’t or don’t want to remedy the situation, choose the Non-Media Based version.  Both versions will give you high quality, fun questions broadcast on the TV screens of the locations.

What hardware do I need?

Posted: January 6, 2012

What hardware do I need to be a CTM host?

We’ve designed Catch The Mania Trivia to be simple and easily accesible.  Like with every great service base product there is an initial investment of time and money but you don’t need much; if you want to be able to a Catch The Mania Trivia night anywhere that has a TV you will need the following equipment.

Generic List

  • Self Powered Speaker
  • 3 Channel Mixer (1 mic and 2 line inputs)
  • Microphone and Cable
  • Assorted patch cords
  • HDMI cable or VGA cable
  • Computer
  • Adapters for your computer
  • Mp3 player, iPod or iPhone (if you aren’t going to use your computer to play music)
  • Bag for your computer, mixer, cords, pens, score sheets ++
  • Bag for speaker
  • Tripod to mount speaker

Check out this gallery with all the equipment I use (as listed above).  For a larger picture, click on the image.

Check out the pics to get a detailed feel for what the equipment looks like.  As with all technology you can really spend as much as you want on things but you also don’t have to spend a lot to be up and running.  In fact for a basic system (not including the computer) you can be up and running for between $500 and $750.  With one Catch The Mania gig paying you can be paid back in less than 8 weeks!

Keep in mind that you may want to start small and simple while you are getting your feet wet.  Once you get the feel for the program and people begin asking you to do Catch The Mania for them you will have time to upgrade your system.  One of the things I’ve found very useful is as I upgrade I sell my used and well taken care of equipment to the hosts I am training.

Also you are essentially purchasing the ability to play amplified and mixed music and there are other opportunities to make money with a set up like that.  For that reason some people like to invest a little more upfront and get a more solid system.  For between $1,000 and $1,500 you can be well equipped to handle just about any small event.

To see what Software you need, click here.

Have fun with this an as always if you have any questions let us know.

Preparing for The First Show

Posted: December 30, 2011

You’ve done the work, you’ve invested the money, you have the equipment…you’ve got your FIRST SHOW coming up.  How do you prepare?

The first show, in fact the first 12 shows are very important to the success of your Catch The Mania night.  As with every great service product it takes some time to build up a base but once you do it’s yours forever.  Here are some tips for preparing for your first show:

  • Do a dry run before the show at your house to make sure everything works
  • Run through the entire presentation with your mic plugged in, your music playing and your computer hooked up to a TV screen
  • Gather all your support material like score sheets, pens and your score sheet
  • Work on your Scripts live on the mic
  • Make a playlist that lasts at least 2.5 hours (this gives you time in case you run late or start early)
  • Show up to the gig at least an hour early, plug everything in and run the presentation LIVE before people arrive – this can also be a great way to introduce yourself and Catch The Mania to people who are there early
  • Make sure you get your prizes lined up before you start
  • Get the names of all the servers and bartenders who are working so you can give them shout outs and encourage tipping
  • Lay out all your score sheets and pens
  • Greet people at their table even if they are not there for Trivia, encourage them to play
  • Start on time

Preparation is a very important aspect of any successful venture.  Remember if you get this gig going it’s going to provide consistent, reliable income for years so invest the small amount of time necessary to make sure you are ready to go when it’s start time.

 

Equipment, What do I need?

Posted: December 30, 2011

 

Catch the Mania (CTM) is a very simple for such a high tech presentation.  You don’t need much but there are a few things:

1-A reliable computer:  The computer doesn’t have to be fancy or loaded with features or memory or anything.  It needs to be able to connect to the internet, play short videos and connect to an external monitor

2-TV’s:  CTM is an audio/visual experience.  All the questions are designed to be presented on a television or projector screen.  Ideally your TV or projector is new enough to receive a VGA or HDMI input but if not you can still make it work.

3-Microphone (Mic):  You need to be able to present the show on a mic.  You will also need a mic cable.

4-A Speaker (s):  Many times you can plug directly into the locations sound system and you should look for this when evaluating a location however it’s nice to be mobile and being mobile also increases your ability to make money in other venues that don’t have inhouse speakers.  Generally all you need is one speaker and it doesn’t have to be a big one.  We use QSC K8 self powered speakers (it’s top of the line but well worth it) but you can use any powered or unpowered speaker (if you use an unpowered speaker you will need some type of amp).

5-MP3 player or Music player:  If you have a computer with iTunes that’s all you need.  Some people like to use another player or their phone. 

6-A few cords and adapters:  You need a cord to go from your computer to the speaker, click here for different options, a cord to go from your computer to the TV, click here for options, a cord to go from your MP3 player or phone to the speaker

7-Mixer:  This is a more advanced piece of equipment but a great thing to have and you can get small, very affordable mixers almost anywhere – click here.

8-Some type of camera to document the fun

 

How Do Hints Help

Posted: December 3, 2011

Some people use hints and others don’t.  To me hints are an important part of creating friendly, inclusive vibe, especially if you are in a smaller venue – say with less than 10 teams (40 people).

The reason I think hints are great is because our questions are challenging and, especially in the beginning while you’re getting started, it can be important give new players a chance to really feel their way into the game by offering hints as a way to engage more people.  After all if more people know the answer, more people will want to play, at least until they realize how much fun it is whether they know the answer or not.

Be generous but not gluttonous with your hints, especially when starting, remember you are creating a VIBE of inclusion and fun and if people get frustrated because they don’t get any answers right, that’s not very inclusive.

One of the best things about Catch The Mania Trivia is that our questions are real and challenging.  People love that about us and it’s one of the reasons they keep coming back, but sometimes you need to give a little to get a little and it makes sense to offer a few hints if people want them in order to engage them in the fun of the product!

Think the kind of hint you give makes a difference?  It does…read how to give the best hints here.