Asking the right questions: International Quiz Night with Julinka van Keulen

Saturday night is global online quiz

Think of a number between 41 and 43. Did you get #42? You just got the answer to the meaning of life. So says Douglas Adams in the book ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’. Did we get the tech population of Eindhoven sitting up at this? Read on for the behind the scenes of the International Quiz Night hosted by team #42 as we chat with Julinka van Keulen. Ever wondered why quizzes are one of the most popular television shows? We all love good trivia, don’t we? It brings out the curious and competitive best in us.  After all, it is pure unadulterated fun! A conversation with Julinka was just the same and left me feeling energised and so wanting to join the next International Quiz Night event.

How it all began…

Julinka was born in the Czech Republic and grew up in Eindhoven. She studied Graphic Design and has always been a pub quiz enthusiast. One of the first quizzes she hosted was for a bar in Eindhoven, and there was no looking back. Julinka was in touch with the Hub, and they wanted to do an event to connect the internationals (old and new) in Eindhoven. Thus the International Quiz Night was born. The Carrousel was chosen as the venue to host loads of people and a nice ambience. The first Thursday saw 30 participants, and very soon there were 100-200 people turning up every week! The rest, as they say, is history.

Down memory lane…

Julinka and the team have run the International Quiz Night for more than a decade now. It helps that there is a big group of volunteers who help host the event in person. They come over and take the mike from time to time. Her favourite part of the quiz night is the mix-n-match area for newcomers to Eindhoven. Hearing from friends or having read online, they turn up at the event to meet people. They get put into a team with 3-4 others and start with a nice soft introduction topic and then, of course on to quizzing. What a great way to have fun and make new friends. In fact, the quiz night is enjoyed by the locals as much as the internationals.

Thursday night is International Quiz Night…Picture courtesy: Julinka

Eyes on the prize…

What about the winning team? Julinka and her team have a  lovely sponsorship program going with several cultural institutions like Muziekgebouw, the Effenaar and Parktheater. Tickets were sponsored for a bunch of events throughout the year. Very soon, the same teams ended up winning regularly. So a lucky number was drawn every week and whoever ended up in that position walked away with the prizes. Not bad at all if you end up 15th and yet win the tickets, right? And, of course, a round of drinks for the winners.

International quiz night goes global…

Then there was corona. The Thursday night events could not go on. Julinka and team #42 had to find an innovative way to continue the event. The quiz night was transformed into an online and global affair. Now every alternate Saturday, the teams from Eindhoven quiz with people from all corners of the world – Brazil, South Africa, Iceland, Canada, to name a few. Once there was even a team joining in from a research station in Antarctica!  The event is free, and participants can just chip in with a contribution. It is a wonder to see 100-200 teams across the globe joining from the comfort of their homes and enjoying the quiz night. The teams are made up of friends and family or colleagues, and it is a few hours of pure entertainment. The pets join in as mascots too!

#42 Crew

At the studio…

It takes vision, skill, dedication and a brilliant team to make an event the success that it is. In the studio, there are four #42 team members running the whole show. The quality of a quiz event depends a lot on the questions. Repeat questions are a strict NO with so many repeat participants.  Julinka works on this with three of her team members. In fact, you could always spot her carrying a notepad around, jotting down whatever she finds interesting. It takes a lot of creativity to ensure the questions are based on fun facts. They need to be challenging yet not feel like an exam. With the quiz going global, the topics have to be of a variety that works for anyone joining in from anywhere. Julinka also gets help from freelancers and avid quizzers (internationals). There is usually a picture round, an audio round and of course, the regular question round. With 60-70 questions per quiz, hats off to team #42.

It is all about quizzing…

As if the team at #42 did not have their hands full, they have also held many such quizzes for public events and organisations. A lot of science outreach events are hosted throughout the Netherlands. The Science & Technology quiz  – adults and kids versions – at the Dutch Technology Week and a King’s Day Quiz are the recently hosted events. Theirs is the only global online quiz in the whole world. How is that for trivia?

Julinka, hosting a mass participation quiz…

No Monday blues at #42…

With such stimulating work, no wonder Julinka and her team are even working over the weekends. They are enjoying it. With the global online event turning into such a huge success, there have been requests from all over the world to keep it going even when the restrictions are lifted. After the summer, they will happen every 1st and 3rd Saturday until the end of 2021. #42 hopes that more bars and pubs all over the globe join in by showing the quiz live. Julinka and her team have their fingers crossed that the trivia night Thursdays at Eindhoven can restart after summer.

Are you joining next Saturday?

Did we leave you eager to join the following Global online quiz? Find all the details here. You can watch previous editions on their YouTube channel.

Picture courtesy: Julinka van Keulen

For Eindhoven News: Muktha Kartik Iyer

Muktha is a Process Consultant by profession and is passionate about books, languages and animals. She is working on her dream of publishing a rack full of books of her own.

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