December 30, 2013

2013: The year in trivial review


With scant hours remaining in 2013, let's take a moment to look back on what was a humdinger of a year for the Big Quiz Thing. (Entirely different from our look back on the non-BQT year at our 2013 Flashback Trivia-O-Rama, but you could've guessed that, smarty-pants) The BQT reached its 11th birthday in '13, and if you want my honest thought, it was a year of grueling, ceaseless toil. Sure, it was fun work—I am fortunate enough to love what I do, it's a beautiful life—but we absolutely busted our asses in 2013, with the goal of stepping up the Big Quiz Thing game. And did we succeed? Well, that's a matter of interpretation, and a matter of degrees; there is undoubtedly much further to go, and we will keep working (and game-stepping-up) in 2014. But let's view the highlight reel…


—Undoubtedly the year's biggest development was the Big Quiz Thing TV show. Still running on NYC Life, plus all seven episodes are on our website. Tremendous, tremendous work; tremendous, tremendous fun, and it was indeed a huge step forward in the ongoing crusade to expand the BQT to global dominance. What's next for #BQTonTV? Hard to say. We're still juicing our TV connections in the effort to take it to a bigger stage, and while nothing is exactly boiling at the moment—I swear, TV people check out for the year, like, Halloween week; a New Year's resolution is to knock on every door again—hope springs in our trivial hearts. We might also do a second season with NYC Media (your tax dollars at work), but that is a giant wild card. With the twilight of the Bloomberg era, many of the folks at NYC Media who made our show a reality have moved on to greener pastures, and the answer is in the hands of the incoming film commissioner…whoever that might be. (BDB has yet to make an announcement; c'mon, Billy, who cares who the police commissioner is going to be?) Regardless, in 2013, we did it: We created the world's first bar trivia TV show. We're ready for more; bring it on, galaxy.


—The public live-show business—the backbone of the Big Quiz Thing—continues, as it inexorably must (next shows: Monday 1/6 in Boston, Tuesday 1/7 in New York). At home in NYC, we continued to break new ground, introducing fresh quiz concepts like the Big Family Quiz Thing (next edition Sunday, January 26, at SubCulture), the Big Oscars Quiz Thing (announcement of the '14 edition is imminent, but save the date: Sunday, March 2), our ridiculously fun collaborations with live karaoke bands (prepare for a very special evening at Littlefield on Tuesday, April 1), the Spooktastical Halloween Trivia-tacular, and the aforementioned year-end Flashback. We also partnered with perhaps the country's greatest movie-theater chain, the Alamo Drafthouse, for a sold-out night of Multimedia Movie Trivia at its Yonkers redoubt; more of that Thursday, January 23 (and some more big news on that coming soonish). Not every idea popped the way we anticipated, but we achieved our goal of keeping fans on their toes, and maintaining our dominance as NYC's premier live-trivia company. Your feedback always welcome.


—Out of town: Sadly, both our Chicago and Los Angeles operations went on hiatus this year (one quizmaster got too busy, one left town), but both will perhaps reanimate in '14. Those were a lot of work, and perhaps not the payoff we demanded, but they conferred a sense of legitimacy on the BQT that you can't buy in any store. (Actually, not sure about that, but whatever.) To compensate, we're making another go of Philadelphia; following a knockout show in November at World Cafe Live, we're back in March. Meanwhile, in Boston we continue to pelt the masses with knowledge and fun, though on a personal note, I lost my Mass. crash pad (Mom and Dad sold their apartment), so now I'm having fun spending 12 hours in town before turning right around. Good thing my aunt gave me a travel pillow for Hanukkah.


—One major positive upshot of the TV show was inspiring a spike in corporate and private event business. We added a lot of new names to our client roster this year, among them Wells Fargo Securities, Chabad, Francisco Partners, the Actors Fund, Edelman, Pfizer, Deloitte, PWC, and many more, not to mention doing our first non-harrowing bat mitzvah (I learned a lot about One Direction). And 2014 looks to continue the upward trajectory: The biggest name on our January schedule is AOL, with more already booked for the first few months. Private parties are hard work, but c'mon, that's where the money is. Don't waste time adding your organization/group of pals to the list.

And thus, we launch into 2014, (say it again with me) the year the Big Quiz Thing achieves world domination! Breathe deep. But if you know me at all, you'd know that I would have it no other way—I will never stop working hard, at least until I'm food for worms, and even then I'll probably volunteer to stack chairs in Heaven's bingo hall. Such is my philosophy: Diligence is the path to achievement. Could I work more efficiently/smarter? Of course; that's another of my New Year's resolutions. But regardless, the battle rages on. Prepare to reap the benefits, quiz fans.

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