Archive for December, 2011

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 8-or-so shows are very important to the success of your Catch The Mania night.  As with any consistent night, 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:

  • Watch the tutorial videos.  Even if you think you can do everything you need to do, back that knowledge up by watching the short, informational videos.  They are all available within our Quick Start Guide.
  • 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 scoresheets, pens and your Q&A answer key
  • Work on your Scripts live on the mic
  • Make a music playlist that lasts at least 2.5 hours (this gives you time in case you run late or start early).  Having a good playlist will enhance the night, creating the atmosphere that you want.
  • Show up to the gig at least an hour early, plug everything in and test the presentation 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 scoresheets and pens
  • Greet people at their table even if they are not there for Trivia, encourage them to play (if they’re hesitant, a good strategy is to just leave a set of answer sheets with them…let them know it’s free to play, and they can join in if they’d like.  Many teams end up playing when the answer sheets are available.)
  • 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) has a very simple setup, with the right equipment.  Although every situation may be a bit different, here are some of the main components:

  1. A reliable computer:  The computer doesn’t have to be fancy or loaded with features or memory.  It needs to be able to connect to the internet, and connect to an external monitor (TV / projector).  Having PowerPoint (or a compatible program) installed is necessary.
  2. TVs:  CTM is an audio/visual experience.  All the questions are designed to be presented on a television or projector screen. The signal from the computer can be hardwired (VGA, HDMI cables) or through a wireless process (Chromecast, Apple TV, etc.)
  3. Microphone (Mic):  You need to be able to present the show on a mic.  (You will also need a mic cable, if the microphone is not wireless).
  4. Speaker(s):  Some locations may have their own sound system, while others may require a portable speaker.  Many speakers are self-contained (plug & play).  See our list of suggestions in the link below.
  5. Ability to play background music. If you have a computer with iTunes or Windows Media Player, that may be easiest, while others may find that using a phone is just as easy.
  6. A few cords and adapters:  You need a cord to go from your computer to the speaker, a cord to go from your computer to the TV, and potentially a cord to go from your phone to the speaker.
  7. Mixer:  This is a more advanced piece of equipment, and not necessary, but a great thing to have.  There are many small, very affordable mixers.

Click here for our operating guide, with equipment suggestions.

How Do Hints Help

Posted: December 3, 2011

Finding that trivia is too difficult for some teams, or smaller teams?  Some hosts use hints and others don’t.  Something to consider…trivia is meant as entertainment, and hints are an important part of creating friendly, inclusive vibe (especially if you are in a smaller venue).

Our questions are challenging.  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.

As a host, 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.  Entertainment value is the goal.

So why don’t we make the questions easier? Well, there are some trivia enthusiasts out there who want a challenging night…it’s a lot easier for the host to give hints to make a question easier, than to try to make an easy presentation harder!  One of the best things about Catch The Mania Trivia is that our questions are real and challenging…some locations have 200+ people in attendance, and giving hints to teams of 10 might not make sense.

After a few nights of running trivia, the host will get a sense of what works at each specific night!