L-r Brothers and SpeedQuizzing founders Alan and John Leach

York-based quiz tech company SpeedQuizzing experienced record demand for its virtual quizzing software in November, selling 3,102 activations – an increase of 308% on the previous month, when it sold 760.

December has also started well for the company, with SpeedQuizzing achieving its strongest weekly sales to date, with 1,088 activations of its virtual quizzing software, SpeedQuizzing Live, in the week ending 6th December.

The company is attributing the surge in demand over November to hospitality operators and entertainment professionals switching to hosting online quizzes as a result of the forced closure of pubs, bars and other entertainment venues in England during the second lockdown.

It’s hoping to build on this good momentum in December, with the company forecasting strong sales over the festive period as people look to host virtual quizzes to entertain friends, family and work colleagues.

Its SpeedQuizzing Live app and online hosting platform, which enable users to remotely host and play fast-paced, interactive virtual pub quizzes for up to 250 players, has proven a huge success since it was first piloted at the start of lockdown one in March.

Since then, SpeedQuizzing Live has been used by thousands of hospitality operators and entertainment professionals to generate much-needed income through hosting ticketed gameshow-style virtual quizzes while pubs, bars and entertainment venues have been closed. The demand for such quizzes amongst Brits is high, with Google Trends data showing a significant spike in search traffic for the term ‘virtual quiz’ in November, coinciding with the national lockdown.

Commenting on the growth, SpeedQuizzing co-founder John Leach said: “We developed and launched the pilot version of SpeedQuizzing Live over a two-week period, rushing it through to make sure it was available for hospitality operators at the start of the first lockdown, when they were faced with the awful prospect of losing most, if not all, of their income.

“Since then, it has really taken off, with demand fuelled not just by the thousands of hospitality operators and entertainment professionals who use it every week, but also by the general public who have gone quiz mad over the course of 2020.”

Over the course of the year, the company has made a number of significant improvements to both the app and hosting platform, responding to feedback from enthusiastic hosts and hospitality operators who have praised SpeedQuizzing Live as a vital ‘lifeline’ during challenging times for the industry.

Sam Robinson, owner of 1331 Bar and Restaurant in York, said: “2020 has been a really tough year for us and the entire hospitality sector, with the industry forced to close its doors on multiple occasions for a prolonged period of time. We’re well-known for our entertainment programme and SpeedQuizzing Live has meant that we’ve been able to continue to bring people together and remain at the heart of the community even when we’ve been closed, which has been a real boost for us and our loyal customers.”

Stockport-based entertainment professional Tony Murphy said: “I used to DJ and host in-venue pub quizzes on a regular basis but all of that stopped when the first lockdown was introduced, and with that I faced the very real prospect of having to leave the sector and look for another job. SpeedQuizzing Live has been a real lifeline, enabling hosts like me to continue to do the thing we love, albeit remotely, earning a living by entertaining people and bringing them together, virtually, for some much-needed fun.”

New features added to improve the hosting and game-play experience include personalised buzzer sounds and a grouping feature which means that players in different locations can play as part of the same team.