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 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.