So it's been 5 years now that I have been officially hosting quizzes as a business. If I were to add on the years spent before that hosting quizzes on the side whilst holding down a full time job, I guess you could say I've been doing it 18 years in total.
I hosted my first quiz when I was 18 years old, I had just started going to the pub with my parents and they took me along to the quiz night that they frequented at the top of our road. I remember not knowing what to expect at all and being worried that someone was going to pick on me to ask for an answer. I had only seen Gameshows on TV before and that was all I had to compare it to.
Obviously at that time it was just a pen and paper quiz, we were no where near the technological marvel of Smartphones and if you really did want to cheat you would have to slink off to the toilet to phone your mate, imagine doing that for every question?
The guy running the quiz had put out a flyer at each table asking if there was anyone in the pub that wanted to earn a bit of extra cash DJing and hosting quizzes for him. I didn't think twice about it, I knew it was something I wanted to have a go at so I went up and asked him. We chatted and he agreed to give me a go hosting at a pub not far from where I lived.
I remember being super nervous but I also remember that after 5 minutes of doing the quiz, I was loving it and had so much fun. I went on to host more and more quizzes for him in loads of different pubs with different crowds who all ranged in different levels of knowledge.
Unfortunately as I was young then, there were lots of things that got in the way of my carrying that on. I went through my 20s occasionally hosting the odd quiz for family and friends but mostly I carried on being a kid in his 20s. When I hit 30, I started to think about how much I enjoyed doing it and wanted to find somewhere that I could make my own and do it all again.
We lived in the Jewellery Quarter at the time (myself and my then girlfriend, now wife) and we lived round the corner from one of Birminghams most famous nightlife pubs, The Actress and Bishop. They had never put on a quiz night before but I really wanted to do one and make it work. We did, and even though it took a while to grow, it grew and became a hugely popular night. In the early days the quiz night would turn into a bit of a game night afterwards and would involve things like Giant Jenga, Poker and even retro video games.
Eventually, I came across the folks I work with now at SpeedQuizzing, this was through a tenuous link of receiving a flyer for a questions writing company and then spotting an advert for SpeedQuizzing on their own website. Curiously I clicked on the link and decided to purchase all the equipment necessary to make it work. I ran the first one at the Actress and Bishop and everyone loved it. It became more and more popular due to the software and it became a product that I pretty much introduced to the Midlands.
I remember that at one point I had a meeting with Alan from SpeedQuizzing and over a few chats it appeared that we had the same sort of attitude towards how quizzes should be run. Before I knew it, SpeedQuizzing were asking me to assist with their questions and generally running the existing customer side of the business.
Eventually I left working in Insurance (sorry did I fail to mention that previously, I can't for the life of me think of why I chose to leave that out - yawn) and became a full time DJ and quiz host. After 2 years, I started to realise that the DJing was just propping up the quiz side of my business as that got bigger and bigger and then eventually I ditched DJing altogether soI could focus fully on becoming a fulltime quizmaster. That's right, have you ever heard such an absurd job title?
So now, I work for SpeedQuizzing whilst also working a bit for myself. I host quizzes 3 nights a week on a regular basis and I host many corporate events each month too. I range from hosting an event for 30 people in a small office somewhere to having 500 people at a huge black tie event. You know what the best thing is? I never, get tired of going to work, ever quiz is just as exciting to me as the last one. Officially, it has been 5 years and I'm now looking forward to what the next 5 years will hold too. There are some ideas for new things we can set up in association with quizzes, there are some ideas for themed nights that have been floating around too. The best thing is, there is no limit to what can be done and trying out new ideas is always an exciting new challenge.