All across the United States motivated and ambitious comedians are booking and producing their own independent comedy shows. Live comedy is not offered exclusively at comedy clubs. Bars, restaurants, banquet rooms, bowling alleys, hotels, theaters, cafes and performance spaces are all prime locations to see great live comedy. I started booking and producing my own shows four years ago as a way to gain stage time, develop as a comedian, and grow a local comedy scene in my city which is still too small for a full time comedy club. My shows, and the comedy scene in general, saw a huge boom in attendance and excitement when I started adding trivia nights into the mix. Hopefully you’re producing quality comedy shows (if you’re not sure check out my blog 10 Reasons Your Show Sucks for all the answers). Now here are some reasons why you should be running a trivia night in conjunction with your comedy shows:
1. The Perfect Cross Promotion
If you run a monthly comedy show and a weekly trivia night at the same venue you create the perfect 1-2 promotional punch. You’ll have a trivia night every week to live mention and build excitement for the upcoming comedy show. The crowd that comes to trivia night already knows the exact location and frequents the venue. This is a place they already like to hang out and drink at. If they’re having a fun time at your trivia night they’re 100% more likely to come check out a comedy show here as well. During the show you’ll have recognizable faces and fans in the audience. You’ll also be able to drive anyone at the monthly show to come check out the weekly trivia nights.
2. Give Away Tickets
Every trivia night offers prizes, usually in the form of a free pitcher of beer and a gift certificate or bar tab for the winner. You now have even more value because you can include a limited number of ticket giveaways as part of your prize package. This serves two purposes: 1. it adds value to your trivia night because there are more prizes to win, and 2. it helps fill up your comedy show. No venue or comedian wants empty seats at a show and offering a couple pairs of tickets throughout trivia night is a great way to fill up those would-be empty seats with “comps”. It’s a win-win proposition because a team of 8 trivia players that win a pair of tickets may very well convince the entire team to come out to the show. If you run trivia for 4 weeks and give away 3 pairs of tickets at each night that’s 24 free tickets floating around out there. That’s 24 more people that might come out to your show and bring some friends along.
3. Give Them A Preview
Your comedy themed trivia night is the perfect platform to display what you do. Engage your audience, chat with them, get to know them by name. Your personality and crowd work are on display weekly. If they like what you do they’ll want to see your stand up and other acts that you’re associated with.
4. Earn More Money
It’s no big secret that making money on a comedy show can be really difficult. The margins are razor thin if you’re relying entirely on ticket revenue to pay your comics and cover additional expenses like printing, advertising, and equipment. A trivia night gives you weekly, reliable income leading up to your show. You’re essentially being paid to advertise your upcoming show while entertaining an audience for a couple hours. This is a big deal.
5. It’s Smart for the Venue
If the venue wants to have a successful comedy event (of course they do!) and a successful trivia night (of course they do!) it only makes sense to have the two running in conjunction. It’s growing a recognizable in-house brand of entertainment and it’s built in advertising for both nights.
Let’s look at some projected numbers:
You might charge a venue $150 per trivia night, at 4 weeks that’s $600 per month.
Then you might charge a $500 guarantee and agree to split all ticket revenue 50/50 with the venue.
(There are a numerous ways to charge for producing a comedy show and this is just one example.)
Businesses care about the bottom line and their ROI.
(ROI stands for “Return On Investment” and it refers to the amount of money you will earn compared to the amount of money you will spend on a particular product, service or advertising. In this case, it refers to entertainment and events and the ROI can be very good.)
This arrangement for them is going to cost them $1100 per month and they are going to have one weeknight of entertainment booked all month long, plus one big weekend comedy show with the potential to earn back some of that through ticket revenue. Here’s a simple example: If a show does well and you sell 100 tickets at $10 bringing in $1000 in revenue which you split 50/50 with the venue. They’ve just completely covered the cost of that comedy show. That means for just $600 for the month they’ve gotten 5 live events plus all the food and drink revenue from each of those nights. Any business would be very happy with those numbers.
How To Do It
Stage Time Trivia does the work for you by providing an original, comedy-themed trivia night at a very affordable price. The content is created by comedians and made to entertain your audience.
Pricing is super affordable at just $100 per month. That means if you’re hosting your own trivia night you can get all of your content and all of the hard work done for just $25 per game.
Step 2: Download the game.
As a member, you’ll gain access to a brand new game every Sunday. Simply log in, download the game in a convenient .zip file, and print it out. You now have everything you need to run a great night of trivia, including easy step-by-step instructions on how to run each round of the game. We make it simple! If you’d like a more in-depth explanation on running your night please read my blog: Run a Trivia Night in 7 Steps
Step 3: Run a great trivia night!
Now is your time to shine! Show up and host a fun, entertaining night of trivia. This is your event and you are the star! The questions and content will give you plenty of ammunition and talking points so be sure to riff with the crowd and discuss the game as you play. Promote your upcoming comedy show, drink specials, menu items, and anything else you’d like.