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The Horrors And Highlights Of Writing And Hosting Your Own Quiz - A Memoir

This week we've got a guest blog from a friend of mine who tells you of the horrors and highlights from her experience writing her own quiz...


Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few weeks (sounds like as good as place as any to be right now), you will probably have been invited to do something online. House party and Zoom invites are flooding social media and are undoubtedly a great way to connect with other people during lock down. In fact, I’ve done so many online quizzes that I have learnt more random facts in the last few weeks than I have in the last few years. Capital of what now? Smashed it. But what about hosting an online quiz yourself?


If like me, you’re a ‘planner’ then you may have thought about hosting something yourself. I did just this a few weeks ago. I work for a small company and we’re a close-knit team. As most of us are on furlough (including myself), I thought it would be nice to have something to do together as a team.

I’d even been on the Social Isolation blog and got some tips on how to make things run smoothly.


HOW DID IT GO?!

Well let me tell you. Hosting an online quiz yourself is not easy!


Firstly, whilst Zoom is brilliant, it isn’t free to host a meeting with loads of people. You get 40 minutes for free, which is no where near long enough to hold a quiz. You can of course, send a few links for different rounds, but in the midst of hosting a quiz, without a careful eye on the clock, this is tough to manage!


Secondly. MARKING. I finally get why teachers have been moaning about marking for so long. This is the hardest bit, and it doesn’t seem to matter how ‘prepared’ you are.


There is more admin than you realise to putting a quiz together. Even when you’ve got your questions and answers and think you’re good to go, there’s more to do. Two computer screens, google form set up and a spreadsheet later…


ROUND ONE!

So you’ve set up your Facebook page and sent out invites. You’ve written a THOROUGH AND COMPREHENSIVE overview of what people need to do. It’s not much really. Let me know if you’re playing. What is your team name?


Of course; you’ll get a few people read properly and follow the rules. Then you log on at the time of quiz, and hey, what a surprise, lots of people that hadn’t signed up! You don’t have their email addresses, you don’t know their team name, and the moment you log on EVERYONE IS TALKING OVER EACH OTHER.


Frantically scramble to mute and unmute.


Your spreadsheet, so lovingly put together earlier that day, is only half filled in! Ask people to chat amongst themselves why you update the new teams to your spreadsheet.


Off you go with your first round of questions, even helpfully typing them into the chat function once you’ve asked them. Of course. ‘WHERE IS THE CHAT FUNCTION?’ Jesus Christ.


First question asked. Forget to mute everyone? Well now everyone knows the answer!


Once the first round of questions have been asked, you copy a link into chat so that everyone can fill in the form. QUE ‘I don’t have access, I need to sign in, I can’t see anything.’


Thinking on the spot, with only minutes to get answers in, you tell people to message you the answers if they can’t fill in the form.


This means that for just round one I had to check the form, as well as my Facebook, Whatsapp and text messages – and then come up with a new way to get them into a spreadsheet.


If like me, you want to have a drink during quiz time, you’ll have to balance your time carefully. If like ALL humans, you need to urinate, well I suggest you get catheterized. Going the loo is precious time you won’t have factored in.


With nerves getting the better of me, I’d drank a full pint and with a bursting bladder, frantically checked my phone, my laptop screen and my tablet for all answers. With my webcam still on, I can only imagine what I looked like hopping around.



THE QUESTIONS

It’s also important to know that you won’t ask the right kind of questions. I know now that multiple choice questions and short answers are the only way to go. LIST TEN THINGS she said naively. Well I had 16 teams listing 10 things. That is 160 things to check through for just one question. What a schoolgirl error.


For each round that passed, things went a little smoother and everyone got into the swing of things.

There will always be that one person. ‘’I think you’ll find that whilst the band may hail from this town, they had a drummer play with them in 93 and he was actually born in Doncaster, so I actually got that one correct’’. Bore off pal.


After all rounds are complete – you’ve then got to (maybe tipsily) add up all the scores. Of course, everyone has been googling the answers as they go and has their own score worked out and no matter how you try and explain that a surname was needed in the answer, or that what they’ve named is a continent rather than a country, they will argue with you.


WOULD I HOST AN ONLINE QUIZ AGAIN?!

My time hosting the quiz was something I look back on fondly, but will I be doing it again. It’s a resounding HELL NO from me.


You want the easiest way to host an online quiz or event? Just get Social Isolation to do it for you.


A Facebook page set up to go with instructions, a link sent out long in advance and none of the admin or hassle with technology. Steph can cope with 50 of you and your mates all doing a quiz and not seem to break a sweat. Each round marked thoroughly, each question well thought out (and not up for debate!)


The best thing I’ve found since using Social Isolation is the personalisation. Maybe your group of friends are into travelling, festivals, live music or cars. No worries. Forget the sports and geography round then!


No technical glitches and I can drink, go for a wee at break time and even smoke until my heart is content. Just a shame I never win these damn things!


The cherry on the top is the fact that you’ll be giving something back. There are prizes for winners and even better, other money raised will go to a good cause! What more can you ask for in a time of such uncertainty?


WHAT ELSE CAN I DO WITH SOCIAL ISOLATION?

If it can be done online, then just about anything! Disco bingo is probably my favourite. Just like regular bingo, you’ll get a bingo card. Instead of numbers, you’ll have song titles! Each night there is a variation of music, so you can get a great playlist of songs that you’ll love. Motown, 60’s and 70’s, party classics and old skool r’n’b – I’ve done them all!


Kids events – if you’re struggling with working from home, looking after the kids, home schooling or just keeping them sane (and yourselves) then this is a great couple of hours tailored to keep your little ones entertained (and quiet at last.)


Special Occassions - they've organised work socials, birthday parties, anniversary events and even baby showers!


Other Games - fancy karaoke, lip sync battle or a game of charades?! Anything can be arranged for you and your group of friends. Just ask! Check out more here


Give Social Isolation a like on Facebook HERE and keep up to date with all the cool events they have coming up.

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