How To Become a Pub Quizmaster

Quiz Question: How can you win the pub quiz every single week?

Quiz Answer: be the quizmaster!

Pub quizzes are a lot of fun and have become very popular in many countries, particularly the UK where around 42,000 pub quizzes take place every week.

Every quiz needs a quizmaster, the person with the microphone in their hand who asks the questions. Someone has to run the show!

Being paid to ask trivia questions is not the first thing that people think of when they're looking for some extra cash and yet it is a job which is exceptionally social, lots of fun and (if you know what you're doing), can be very well paid. Although some quizmasters work for beer, others are paid in excess of £100 for a two-hour weekly gig.

Could quizmastering be for you?

Your fans are always pleased to see you. If you're the sort of person who likes a laugh, quizmastering could be for you.
Your fans are always pleased to see you. If you're the sort of person who likes a laugh, quizmastering could be for you.

Who does quizmastering suit?

If you answer yes to most of the following
questions, then quizmastering may be ideal for you.

  1. Do you like going to the pub?
  2. Are you social; do you like talking to people?
  3. Are you able to show up every week for a two hour gig?
  4. Do you have an interest in trivia?

If you like taking actually taking part in quizzes and if you are not afraid of speaking on the mic then you're probably ideal quizmaster material.

A huge general knowledge is not required. The most successful pub quiz hosts are
primarily friendly and approachable rather than amazingly knowledgeable. After all, if you know what you're doing, you'll have remembered to bring the answer sheet with you!


Plenty of quiz fans turning up every week: that's what it's all about.
Plenty of quiz fans turning up every week: that's what it's all about.

Is There A Market For This?

How do pub quizzes make money for pubs and quizmasters?

Pub Quizzes work for bars and quizmasters on models which vary in the detail but they usually share this underlying strategy:

  1. Holding a pub quiz attracts more people into a bar than would otherwise be there on that night.
  2. In Britain, the busiest night of the week for quizzes is Thursday.
  3. While being entertained by the quiz, the people who turn up spend money at the bar on drinks and food.
  4. So, If the quiz is popular enough, the bar will make enough additional revenue to pay the quizmaster a decent fee.

So, obviously, if you are setting out to make money as a pub quizmaster, you need to ensure that people are going to turn up to your quiz. If there are not enough people showing up, the gig will be cancelled.

Mitchells and Butlers is one of the UK's largest pub companies and they have turned to pub quizzes to boost their numbers on quiet nights. I asked Matthew Deane, their senior marketing manager, what M & B are looking for in a quiz. He told me:

"Bottom line profit is the most important factor. This requires a quiz night to be fun, lively, easy to participate in and structured in a way that lets people talk, socialise and buy drinks. Light users do not like professional quiz players as they kill the fun so quiz leagues with big prizes need to be considered carefully."

A hundred quid for a couple of hours fooling around in the boozer? Result!
A hundred quid for a couple of hours fooling around in the boozer? Result!

How Much Cash Can a Pub Quizmaster Make?

What kind of money are Pub Quizmasters earning? Some quizmasters love their job so much that they work for nothing, or a couple of beers.

It doesn't have to be like that. Good quizmasters get paid good money because pubs can depend on them to generate a full room on what otherwise would be a quiet night.

Just by bringing in 10 or 15 teams on a regular basis you can easily be paid £100 a night (or more).

This section shows the latest quizmaster updates from Dr Paul at DP Quiz.co.uk
This section shows the latest quizmaster updates from Dr Paul at DP Quiz.co.uk
It doesn't cost a lot to get started but the key piece of kit is your microphone. Don't buy a toy!
It doesn't cost a lot to get started but the key piece of kit is your microphone. Don't buy a toy!

Is It An Expensive Business?

The costs involved in becoming a pub quizmaster are reasonable:

  • transport to and from the gig
  • photocopying expenses
  • the cost of a microphone.

Depending on what pub you work at you may also need to purchase a simple music player and a mixer (this can be done for as little as £30 and certainly for less that £100).

Fortunately, the need to buy a full PA system (sound system) can often be avoided these days as many modern pubs are now fitted with excellent "plug and play" sound systems of their own.

How Can I Get Started? Are there Instructions?

Quizmastering is an unusual way to make money. Are there any instructions?

Getting your pub quizmaster career up and running is actually quite simple, but finding out how to go about it the right way is not quite so easy.

How do you sell a quiz to a pub in the first place? How do you format your actual quiz and how do you write quiz questions? How do you round up a crowd? Should you charge an entry fee? Is it best to limit team numbers? How do you deal with cheats? All this requires real-life quizmaster know-how and, as far as I know, there is only one e-book which covers it all.

I decided to write the book How To Make £100 a Night (or More) As A Pub Quizmaster after 12 years of quizmastering in Scotland. In that time I worked out how best to run a successful pub quiz and I've laid down all that real-life expert knowledge into one e-book which explains, from scratch, how you can get started. The book is an eight-module step by step guide and is easy to follow, even if you've never picked up a mic before.

The book costs £17.99 (including VAT) and is delivered immediately (this is an e-book and is available via download only) You can get more detailed information here (my website), or if you've read enough and would like to buy the book now, you can skip straight to Paypal, where you can order the book for immediate electronic delivery.

How To Make £100 a Night (or More) As A Pub Quizmaster is the only book of its kind. There is, to my knowledge, no other starte Pub Quiz guide out there today.

I'd Love to Hear From You

Please share your pub quizmaster stories below, or leave any kind of comment or question. You can email me via the link at the top right of this Hubpage.

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