Everything a Bar Owner Has Ever Wanted to Know About Sporcle Events (but Was Afraid to Ask)

why sporcle live

Why Sporcle Events?

There are a lot of options out there on where you can invest your money to help improve your bottom line, so why Sporcle Events?  Why not the guy down on the street corner who will host trivia for beer or some other trivia company or form of entertainment?  I’m glad you asked!

At Sporcle, we live and breathe trivia and much like you we have a full-time devotion and dedication to our craft.  This is seen by the 15,000-plus players we entertain on a weekly basis and the 450-plus partnerships we have made with venues like yours.  We provide communities fun through trivia and other events while at the same time helping grow our partners revenue and business.

We do this through the 400-plus events hosts we have by making them employees (not sub-contractors like most other trivia companies) who we incentivize and offer long-term perks.  The more people our hosts get back to your venue on a weekly basis, the more money they can make, giving them a vested interest in seeing your bottom line grow.

We do this because guess what – we also run and operate a bar – the Haymaker Public House in Ann Arbor, MI. Are we crazy? Probably, but you need a little bit of that in every business, especially in the one we both operate in. We’re passionate about what we do and we understand the challenges you face on a daily basis. We felt what better way to truly understand the needs of our partners than going through what they deal with each and every day. Staffing issues with the front of the house, back of the house, getting employees bought in, providing great service, dealing with slower nights, and numerous other challenges you deal with on a daily basis – we get it and live it. But this better equips us as a trivia company to help you navigate your way and turn some of those slower revenue nights into big wins for you and your business.

What is the best night of the week to have a Sporcle event?

While it obviously comes down to specific nights that you have open, the majority of our shows take place on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday night because it breaks up the work week for your players/customers.   We have some great shows on Mondays, but typically they do take longer to build compared to those other nights in the middle of the week.  This holds true for Sundays as well.  We have some great Sunday shows too, but I will add that the revenue ceiling is a bit lower on a Sunday compared to Mon-Thurs shows.  In general, most people would prefer to stay in on a Sunday night or a Monday because it is the end of a weekend/beginning of the work week.  We have shows on Friday and Saturday nights as well, but not as many with these nights typically being already successful nights for most bars.

The other thing when you are considering a week night – the one constant we can look at when getting a quicker return on your investment is picking a night and time where you do have some existing customers to build on.  It’s getting existing customers, who are already fans of your business, to spread the word, spend more money, and bring out more friends or family.  The goal is to increase your revenue as quickly and as much as we can – this includes getting help from existing customers as well as new ones.

What is the best time of night for your event?

It ultimately comes down to your foot traffic and what you see at specific times throughout the week, but most of our shows start at 7:00, 7:30, or 8:00.  With it being a two-hour game and with your players/customers having to work the next morning, we don’t want to end too late in the evening.  We do have successful, later in the evening shows (and some earlier), but it really depends on the venue.

Typically, we don’t want to interfere with a dinner crowd as some patrons want to enjoy their dinner without entertainment happening in the background.  With that being said, it’s always good to get some of those customers to stick around and spend more money on some after dinner drinks, but still have it early enough where trivia players are still ordering food and drinks.

What does the bar/venue have to provide?  Do we need to have sound equipment?

Our events hosts have everything they need to run a successful show – sound equipment, game supplies, and their top-notch entertainment skills.  They will get there early, typically 30-45 minutes before the start of show to get set up and walk around to get people signed up.  We understand you have your business to run, so we want to make this as easy on you as we can!

What should we expect – how long does it take to grow a following?

When we choose a night that takes into consideration what we discussed in picking a day/time, we find that it takes about 12 weeks to really grow that following.  In some cases, it happens more quickly and other situations where it might take a little longer (Sunday or Monday nights for example).  It really takes us, you, and the host working together to make sure we are making the biggest impact and giving you a return on your investment in those 12 weeks.  No matter what type of entertainment you are trying to provide to your customers, I think most venues understand that this doesn’t happen overnight, it’s a process that can have big results for your bottom line if it is given time to grow.

What is our commitment? Is there a contract?

We do have a 12 week service agreement, which relates directly to how long we feel it takes to build a show, but it is just for the first 12 weeks.  After the 12 weeks is up we continue on a ‘handshake” – no additional service agreements or extensions are required.  Based on our experience of 12-plus years, we have found that it takes about 12 weeks to grow and develop your show.  We want to make sure we are all committed – us, you, and the host – to growing your revenue and this agreement hold us all accountable to do just that.

What type of marketing do you provide?

As you may realize from having to market for your venue – there isn’t one magic dart that works from a marketing standpoint.  You have to try many different approaches to maximize your marketing efforts and throw many different darts against the wall to see what sticks.  That is no different with us and we sit down with you to plan out an approach that we feel will suit your business best.

When it comes to brand recognition, Sporcle is widely accepted as the leader in all things trivia.  We do have the distinct advantage over other trivia companies of having the world’s largest trivia related website with over hundreds of thousands of quizzes and games on pretty much any topic you can think of– we see 1,000,000,000 annual web views – yes that is 1 billion!

And guess what?  We can offer free ads for your show on our site in your area, as well as having a free digital answering system for our players, a dedicated page on our website with links to your social media and menus, boosted social media ads, in house promotional print materials as well as graphics for you to use to promote your show on your own social media, as well as a ‘Spotlight Blog’ we do for venues – see one we did here for Haymaker Public House in Ann Arbor, MI.

Lastly, one of our biggest marketing tools that has proven to get people out to our venues on a regular weekly basis is our Globe, which includes a league component.  Like any golf league or bowling league – our free to play league creates some friendly, spirited competition at your venue on a weekly basis.  Teams return week after week for a chance to compete at our biannual Globe Games.  All totaled our Globe league awards over $50k in cash prizes annually.  Again, it encourages repeat business, is 100% managed by us, and is 100% free for the players to join.

How much is it?

Our pricing is one of the more unique things that we provide to our partnered venues.  Instead of charging you an arbitrary flat rate (like most trivia companies) – no matter how many butts they are putting into your seats – Sporcle charges you based on how many people are playing trivia that night.  This means it is more reflective of your sales that night and incentivizes us and the host to work harder to make that impact on your revenue.  We do have a minimum and a ceiling (maximum rate) that you would never go above and would be happy to share the exact numbers in a one-on-one conversation.