As the world emerges from pandemic—sort of, kind of, hopefully, work with me here—we all like to think we’re stronger for the experience. And in the small corner of the universe that the Big Quiz Thing inhabits—the events business—it is possible to emerge with a sense of optimism. During the pandemic, we at the BQT diversified our skill set, not just in adapting our trivia experience to the virtual sphere, but also in our general ability to work under a wider variety of conditions. (Though we were already pretty used to doing trivia anywhere, everywhere, and everyhow—remind me sometime to tell the story about when the Big Quiz Thing was staged in the back of a U-Haul.) Nimble is the key concept here, and that’s where the idea of hybrid trivia comes (back) in.
It’s easy to say that we can now handle both in-person events and virtual events, but what about something that straddles the line between the two? Some people, of any number, are physically together, others aren’t. (And who exactly “some people” are varies.). It’s become clear to us that a hybrid team-trivia event could involve any of a few different scenarios, including…
- The players are all together in the same room—say, their office—and the quizmaster is piped in via video. This is generally an easy arrangement for a competent tech specialist (Zoom, a big screen, a solid Web camera), and for a quizmaster who knows how to command a virtual crowd, a technique our team mastered during lockdown.
- Most of the players are together in one room, with the host at the front of the room as if it’s a standard in-person event, but a minority of players join in virtually. This is probably the most common hybrid arrangement—and something we had experience with pre-pandemic—but it might also be the trickiest. The needs of in-person and virtual players differ (how best to collaborate? how much time is needed for said collaboration?), so it often takes some fancy formatting footwork to smooth things out.
- Some kind of mash-up of the preceding two scenarios: A hybrid of hybrid, so to speak. Imagine a slider between two poles: All audience in-person at one end, all audience virtual at the other. And then, of course, is the question of where the quizmaster is located. We’ve even done events where the assistant is with the lion’s share of the crowd and the QM is remote. (Keepin’ it nimble…)
- Each team is physically in one place, but no two teams are together. This is actually a format we use for a lot of ostensibly virtual events, especially when it’s family vs. family vs. family.
Whether running corporate events, or hosting trivia, or doing pretty much anything else, it’s a highly unpredictable world we’re inhabiting in 2021. Count on us to stay on top of it.