9+1 Killjoys That Will Ruin Your Competition

Imagine this. Your big show is coming up. It might be one of the first interactive events you organize – it might be the umpteenth one. Nevertheless, as the organizer you’re a bit nervous. Everything has to go smoothly, that event must be perfect. You are wondering: what could possibly go wrong? Here are 9+1 killjoys that will ruin your competition for sure!

#1 Overly Complicated Rules

KISS and YAGNI. “Keep it simple stupid” and “You aren’t gonna need it”. When designing your game show rules, always keep those two in mind. Your audience will have a limited time to understand, process and learn your rules. As a rule of thumb: any rule set that needs more than a minute of explanation is likely to be too complicated to apprehend on site. Experienced organizers use a few tricks if they wish to teach their audience a more complicated game:

  • Use something they are most likely already familiar with. It can be a well-known TV game show like Family Feud, a board or card game etc.
  • Play a practice round. Have a few volunteers join the host on stage and let them play one or two rounds “free of charge”. They will learn by doing, the audience will learn by seeing.
  • If none of the above if possible: make rule cards in advance and distribute them among the event participants.

#2 Too Much Linearity

Complicated rules kill the fun. So does dull predictability. Add a few twists and unexpected turns to your game. Include a round that can turn the scoreboard upside down. Make the players bet on each other’s performance or have them choose the next topic from a table like the one in Jeopardy.

#3 Take Extreme Care in Calculating Points?

The second most annoying thing to happen in a game show is when a team starts complaining about the scores. The most annoying thing is when it turns out: they were right to complain. Do everything you can to avoid it. Have at least two people count the points independently of each other and double-check their work. Or use Duelbox that automatically compiles the leaderboard.

#4 A Terrible Event Host Doing Terrible Job

With hundreds of game shows behind us we can surely say: the success of your event depends largely on the caliber of your host. The host is the one who contacts your audience, the host is in front of your guest – everything you do channels through him or her. Make sure to get him up to speed!

  • Spent a great deal of time and energy on finding the perfect host (if you don’t already have one). One that has an outgoing personality, who can create a light and entertaining atmosphere and makes the guests feel relaxed and welcome.
  • Have a detailed timeline available and talk it over with your host
  • Give him/her the chance to see every vital info: the answers, next question, name of the players (if available), etc.

#5 A Booooring Game Show?

If a good host is one of the most important ‘secrets’ of a successful game show – the presentation of the game show itself must be the second. With the use of Duelbox you can make sure the visuals, presentation will be outstanding, but we have a few pointers to enhance your game further:

  • Don’t just stick to one: use multiple types of games (guessing, trivia, wheel of fortune, etc)
  • Don’t spend too much time on one question. A fast and funky game show will help keep up the attention.
  • Also try to avoid what we call a “fractured game” – too many tasks in a short period of time. Spend just enough time on every question and game: find a good rhythm for the show.

#6 Use the Best of Two Worlds

Mix offline and online games. How can you do that? In Duelbox you can have offline events that are scored by a jury. Mix that with interactive game show elements like a poll or a quiz. The system will automatically add up the points.

#7 Your Game Show Is Only for the Participants

Your event has viewers, but your game show only deals with the players on stage? That might be a serious mistake! One way to involve your audience is to have your host call out to them. Another – even better – way is to have them participate in the event and get them playing. You can create a game show in Duelbox for thousands to play simultaneously. Make one or two rounds for everybody – then have the best players join the host on stage for an ultimate, all-out battle!

#8 Create the Ultimate Atmosphere!

If you go for the ultimate experience (and why wouldn’t you do that) you cannot miss out on using ambient light and great sound effects – preferably with the help of a technician. Light helps influence the perception of the participants and lets them immerse in the experience – so does good quality sound effects.

#9 Don’t Forget About the Announcement of Results and Prize Giving ?

So, the show is over. It was a huge success, everyone loved it. You have a winner and the participants had their fun – hopefully so did you. You might consider the event to be over. But don’t be so hasty! While your job is almost done the grand finale is still yet to come. The players will need to know who the winner is – and if you were considerate enough to offer prizes, well, those prizes won’t hand themselves out.

You really should do a big fuss over the prize giving ceremony. After all, this is the crown and highlight of your event – the big moment for the winners (and a perfect place to make your brand really shine). Create oversized, novelty versions/images of the grand prizes that everyone can see. Celebrate the winners, comfort the contestants so that everyone leaves with a smile!

+1 Oh no! No, no, no, no, no: When Things Go Unplanned… ?

The most horrific nightmare, the utmost killjoy, the worst fear of every event organizer and game host. It might be something technical: the laptop crashes or the internet connection dies. Something personal might come up – we’ve seen more than a couple of times the event host getting stuck in the traffic and arriving late. Long story short: prepare for the worst case and always have a contingency plan. Here are a few important scenarios you really need to prepare in advance for:

  • The computer crashes. Always have at least one backup laptop/tablet on site that you can instantaneously switch should anything go unplanned. Open the same sites, have the game show fired up and keep it at a close distance. If TEOTWAWKI you have to you switch within a matter of seconds.
  • Connection dies. Have a backup internet connection ready, preferably from a different ISP as your main connection. Ask for a wifi access in the neighborhood, prepare a mobile AP or setup tethering on your phone. It is also important to add all these connections to the laptop you’re running the game show from – so that you can switch connections with just two clicks.
  • Your host is running late. Be prepared to be able to start the game show without your event host. Anything might come up – bad traffic, and accident, sudden illness, etc. You cannot let your guests be waiting for more than a couple of minutes – they’ll get bored and leave. If that is necessary, you should be able to start the show on your own, or have a little ice-breaker or warm up game.
  • Have everything in printing – and keep the papers near the host. Even in television where everything is super high-tech today, news presenters still receive all the stories in printing too. Not only does it serve as a contingency plan – it also gives the presenter a peace of mind.

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