As part of our ongoing “Meet the Geeks!” series, it’s time to introduce you to our Private Events Coordinator, Lindsay King Mears.
This amazingly talented woman has been a part of the Geeks Who Drink team since 2013, and it’s all because of a Harry Potter theme quiz. “I was tapped by a friend to join their team for the Harry Potter quiz, because I know way too much about Harry Potter,” she said. “The next one they asked me to play was a [Joss] ‘Whedon-verse’ quiz, which covered Firefly, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and all those things. I played that and was like ‘This is amazing.’”
She became a regular at her local bar’s Geeks quiz, before auditioning to be a Quizmaster, which is basically a gateway drug to becoming a full-time member of the staff. Now, the Austin, Texas native is Geeks Who Drink’s Private Events Coordinator. (If you’re tired of corporate retreats at airport hotels, email Lindsay. She’ll set you up with a custom-designed quiz, which is 1,000 times better than another round of half-assed trust falls with the Accounting department.) We talked to Lindsay this week about being a Quizmaster, about nerdy fan stuff, and about why Geeks Who Drink’s private events rule:
What made you decide to become a Geeks Who Drink Quizmaster? I had been playing the quiz for about a year and a half, when I decided to audition. I was in college and needed a part-time job, and being a Quizmaster served the dual purpose of getting me out of the house and feeding me: you get a bar tab as a Quizmaster. I loved it, and kept it as a part-time job even after I graduated.
What was your best ‘Trivia Moment’ as a Quizmaster? We haven’t brought the program back yet [post-COVID], but we had a program called Quiz for a Cause. Nonprofits will reach out to us and ask us to help them out with fundraising. Essentially, where our quizzes are usually free to play, for this one, we’d ask players to pay to play, and they have the opportunity to win some money, and the rest of the money goes to the fundraiser. That can be a magical thing, having so many people in one place and feeling this kind of pulsing heart of a community, with people working really hard to support each other. It becomes a bigger deal than “just a trivia night,”, and much more important. I’ve also been at quizzes where people got engaged, and I’ve done private events at rehearsal dinners before somebody’s wedding. It’s kind of sappy, but I really do love how different and community-building our quizzes can be.
Wow. How does it feel to be part of someone’s engagement story, or part of their Massive Life Event? I try to make the quizzes about the contestants, and not about me, so I kind of feel like I’m the background music in a lot of people’s lives, and as long as it’s not annoying background music, I’m here for it. Let me be your Parliament Funkadelic playlist.
How did you make the jump from Quizmaster to full-timer? In 2018, I was hired to run special events and handle all of the theme quizzes, and I was always like “I love this so much!” I just love fandoms, their fans, and people who just get really, really excited about the things that they love. And because I’m a giant fangirl too, it made me so excited to help put that on for people. After getting laid off after COVID hit, I was eventually hired back to manage our private events. Now I focus on getting quizzes into everywhere from businesses to birthday parties, so everyone else can just kick back, relax, and bicker about who knows more.
What are your own fave fandoms? Firefly is one of the big ones. My degree is in sociology and I focused a lot on criminology and criminal justice, so I have a penchant for true-crime and mystery shows. Veronica Mars, Sherlock, things like that. I started watching Poirot, like, two weeks ago, and now I’m on season three. I also unrepentantly love the TV show Psych.
Alright, back to the job. What makes Geeks Who Drink’s private events so rad? One of the things we really focus on is curating what we’re doing to each company. If it’s a law firm, some might be like “Ask us weird law questions!” and others will be like “Please, please don’t ask us anything about law.” We make sure that it’s content that everybody is going to enjoy. We want everyone to have a fun game that feels different from the other team-building experiences they’ve had, while making sure that nobody’s going to get fired over it.
So they’re customized for each event? Yes, we can write custom rounds. If someone wants to celebrate an anniversary with the company, they can give us their details and we’ll write around that to really personalize it. When we do weddings, we can do a custom visual round that involves the couple’s pictures. They can keep that forever and it makes a cute keepsake. We’ve even been hired to make custom video rounds about product launches. So yeah, whatever you have in mind, let us know because we’ll figure out a way to make it happen.
We’re kind of the best at it, huh? To me, the flexibility and the offerings that we have are unmatched. I haven’t seen anybody else who can support the number of players that we can, who have the flexibility that we do on scheduling — yes, we’ll get a Quizmaster out of bed at 4 a.m. to host a virtual event in Singapore — and we have a team of highly skilled writers who put this together. You’re not just going to be asked questions from a box of Trivial Pursuit cards, that’s for sure.