SQ Host Interview: Martine Crawford

Name? (and company you operate for if you do)

Martine Crawford, independent quiz presenter.

Where do you live?

Swindon, Wiltshire.

Are you a DJ and if so where do you DJ?

No, not a DJ, just a social butterfly.

How did you find out about SpeedQuizzing?

I was presenting a quiz at a De Vere hotel and was contacted by Unit One as De Vere Hotels were looking into a contract with SpeedQuizzing.  The hotel deal fell through so we approached a local pub and sold the idea to him.  We’ve never looked back.

Which venues do you host quizzes at?

We currently only have the one venue – The Harvester Pub in West Swindon (nothing to do with the Harvester chain of restaurants).  It’s on a Thursday night at 8.30pm.

Whilst I present the quiz, Ian (husband) is the gopher, going out to the teams on the buzzer rounds and getting their answers.

How long have you been hosting quizzes?

In total, we have been presenting pen & paper quizzes and the Speed Quiz for about 12 years.

How long have you been using the SpeedQuizzing software?

2 years.

Favourite Quiz team name?

Don’t have one.  A lot of our teams change their name weekly to something topical, or they stick to the usual innuendo-filled names; ie “Quiz on my Face”

Which of your venues is the most popular?

The only one we have, The Harvester pub.

Which of your venues is the rowdiest / best atmosphere?

As per previous answer.  Also, if the Landlord is in a mischievous mood, he starts shouting random things out or doing silly things like telling jokes to the whole pub, or stirring a cup of tea and sticking the warm spoon on people’s arms when they aren’t expecting it.  It all adds to the atmosphere.

If you could host a quiz anywhere where would it be?

On board one of the Thomson cruise ships.  Maybe the Spirit as that was the first one we went on.  We would be cruising the Med and quizzing.

What’s your favourite thing about SpeedQuizzing?

I like trying to explain the concept to people and them looking confused as to how it works.  You get them to come along to the quiz and suddenly the penny drops at how different the format is and they love it.  I also like the fact that it has significantly reduced the potential to cheat.  The quiz to us is a game show and we love getting the teams involved in the banter.

Do you use any unique rounds / ideas / features of your own or do you just stick to the SpeedQuizzing format?

At the beginning I do a role call and get the teams to give me a cheer so I can map them.  It gives everyone a chance to take the mickey out of the buzzers they have chosen.  It brings the room together so people can see who they are up against.

At the end of the quiz we play a game we call Pop Lolly.  We have a box that contains 20 4-digit combination codes and a black box locked with a 4-digit combination padlock.  Raffle tickets are sold at £1 each or 5 for £3.  One raffle ticket is drawn out and the person comes up and chooses a combination.  If that combination opens the padlock, they win the money.  They popped the lock to win the lolly. If the padlock doesn’t open, the combination they chose gets thrown away and the player gets a Lottery scratch card as a consolation prize.  The following week we start with the left over 19 4-digit combinations.  We continue like this until the jackpot is won.  Before we went on holiday in August, the jackpot was £700 and we got down to 2 combinations left.

The trick is, we only sell the tickets in the break of the quiz.  As the jackpot gets higher, the pub gets busier.  More people take part in the quiz as they need to be there at the right time to buy the raffle tickets and at the end for the actual draw.

Any tips for people wanting to host quizzes?

Be yourself.  Have fun.  Be prepared to laugh at yourself if you mess up a question.  At the end of the day, the more you enjoy it, the more your teams will enjoy it and the more they’ll come back.

If you ever find yourself in Swindon, please come and find us – unless my dream of presenting on the cruise ships comes true.

Tags: Events, Host, Interview, Pub, Pub quiz, Quiz, Quiz host, Smartphone, SpeedQuizzing