Editor’s Note: This post was written by Seth Wilson, a Private Events Manager for Sporcle Live and a Pub Trivia host. He also happens to be a 12-time Jeopardy! champion, so he knows a thing or two about trivia.
Trivia for Team Building
Q: What is the capital of Laos?
In June of 2016, I was riding the Red Line train from a meeting I’d had in Chinatown to meet my then-girlfriend (and now wife) for dinner. As I was riding, my phone rang; the incoming call was from Culver City, California. “I don’t know anyone from Culver City,” I thought, and I ignored the call. I looked at the phone again, and saw I had a voicemail. That’s when I remembered it: Jeopardy! tapes in Culver City.
Two months before that, I had auditioned for the venerable quiz show in Washington, D.C. As I was taught in “Introduction to Acting” my freshman year, I immediately put the audition out of my mind. Elated, I got off the train four stops early, and called back. I had indeed been invited to be a contestant. I squeaked out a “Thanks!,” had a celebratory dinner with my girlfriend, and then booked a ticket to LA for the next month. Now, I had to figure out how to go from hopeful to contestant, and in a hurry. Then I started studying.
I immediately started watching as many Jeopardy! episodes as I could get my hands on, always with a pen in hand to practice buzzing. I spent hours on Sporcle, taking every quiz that I thought might be useful. (Seriously, I have been telling people what a great resource Sporcle was since before I worked here. If you have to learn a lot of stuff quickly, the website is an invaluable resource. I highly recommend this quiz on world capitals, which was very useful to me). By the time I left Los Angeles, I had become the fifth-winningest contestant in Jeopardy! history, one of only seven ultra-champions.
Before I was on the show, I thought that if I played really well and got really lucky, I might win one game. As I was playing, though, I found that all the studying I had done paid off. When I watched my episodes, there were questions that TV-Seth would get that stumped couch-Seth. The preparation paid off.
Now, there was a tremendous amount of luck involved as well. I could point to ten different things that broke my way that could easily have gone the other way and resulted in a vastly different outcome. But the biggest lesson for me (other than that winning on a game show is awesome) was the value of repetition. Devoting several hours each day to practicing meant that when the time came, I was able to take advantage of the amazing opportunity I’d found.
The Importance of Repetition in Office Team Building
I realize that the value of practice isn’t exactly cutting-edge news. You also might be curious about how this related to Sporcle Live. As you know, we don’t just do bar trivia nights, we also offer Sporcle Live private events. Last week, I discussed how trivia can help office team building. Today, I want to encourage you to think about the benefits of setting up a recurring trivia event for your employees.
As I pointed out last week, certain types of team-building have a less than stellar reputation (here’s some ideas that are particularly egregious offenders). Trivia, however, is a fast-paced activity that allows your employees to work together as a team and gives them something fun to focus on. But why stop at one? After the afternoon of fun, everyone goes back to work, and the team-building benefits eventually recede into the background. With recurring events, though, you can ensure that your team is really getting the most out of the experience. Plus, with more games to play, you can have your people experiment with different team combinations, leading to more interaction and cross-pollination amongst everyone. By getting to work on the same activity multiple times, you’ll be giving your team a chance to get really good at trivia, which will have benefits in all aspects of your business.
Plus, intellectually stimulating activities like trivia can lead to major neurological benefits. So not only will your office get smarter, you’ll also be contributing to their wellness as well! As a final benefit, we’re always happy to offer a discount to groups who book multiple events with us. Any way you slice it, a series with Sporcle Live is a great opportunity.