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CONTACT US
QuizMaster Productions
9845 Bankside Drive, Suite 1100,
Roswell, GA 30076
Phone: (770) 664-0648 2master@quizmaster.com

 


 

 
Jim Seltzer has been in the business world for the better part of his life, but he has not always been the Quizmaster. As an Eastern Pennsylvania native, he went to college in Western Pennsylvania, followed by a career in the military as an Air Force pilot. In 1973, Jim went to Proctor & Gambell in Los Angeles as a sales representative in the detergent sales division. After another three years Jim moved up to Johnson & Johnson as an area and then region manager in Los Angeles, Kansas City and New England. "Johnson & Johnson decided to close one of there divisions and there were about 1500 of us looking for jobs. After a couple more years at various corporate locales I wound up being national sales manager for Cheeseborough Ponds. It was during this period of time that I looked around and saw that the people who were presenting the critical goods for Christmas sales and things like that were not using some of the skills and materials we as a company spent thousands of dollars to provide for them at their national sales meetings. When I got the opportunity to be the national sales director, I knew we had to crack down and train people so they would know what they needed to do their jobs better. That is when I came up with the idea of doing a knowledge bowl as a poll for employees rather than just doing a twenty question test on a sheet of paper."

This program was a TV style game show that Jim and his team put together, centering the questions to be asked around important parts and vital information revolving around the business. "That was extremely successful and everybody loved that type of learning. We found the next year people were actively presenting their products in a much more cohesive, fluent and professional manner. We knew we had something going there."

Jim and his team did the same thing the next year, expanding the concept to include a recently added division and had even greater success. "Ultimately the concept was so well accepted at Cheeseborough that we wound up doing twenty three different shows just for the various divisions of the company. Every one of them was well received and produced great results. Everything was going great on that end, but unfortunately shortly thereafter Cheeseborough was sold to Unilever and I decided once again to go out on my own as a consultant in training, development and management. We got a couple of very good early clients like Casual Corner Stores, Black & Decker and Nabisco and each one of them ultimately decided doing a game show for their national meetings was a good idea. So we brought the concept with us. That is how Quizmaster got into the game show business, from humble beginnings way back in 1979. We went commercial with them in 1983 and Quizmaster was officially started as a company in 1986. It had previously just been a branch of our parent company, Intermark Inc. We then opened a separate identity for the company as it started getting more and more clients and it is now completely self sufficient."

One of the key ingredients to the success of Quizmaster's games is the level of versatility all of their programs have. "The customization capability of our game shows and quiz competitions is very high. That is kind of a prerequisite because each company has its own different operating environment, it has its own customer base and it has its own methodology. In fact, each company and/or industry will even have its own jargon. The terms, abbreviations, acronyms, and the other things they use within the business are very unique to each particular industry. Each of these things works perfectly well for one business or set of businesses, but would not work at all for others, so when we work with a client we have to deal with those situations as being part of the show. Now, we also customize the look and feel of the show. If a company has say red or blue as their primary colors, a lot of the coloration of the show is going to be conducive to their particular set up. We can customize the look and feel depending on what it is they are looking for. We can also completely customize according to the type of game, the number of people and even the type of people that are going to be at the show. If we have an entry level sales group, the questions will be written at one level, whereas if we were working with a group of technical operators then the questions will be written in an entirely different dimension. Each of these elements of the show has to be brought together into one cohesive package for the client."

Quizmaster also does all of the production for their shows including (but not limited to) writing all the questions, doing all the sets and backgrounds and providing all of their own equipment. "We bring the electronics, the scoreboards, the response mechanisms, the timers, lockout buttons, bells and whistles, flashing lights, custom graphics, logos and anything and everything else the client might need. All of these things are done specifically for each show, although there are certainly some spillovers from one show to the other, which helps the shows not only look better, but it enables us to bring the price down somewhat for some particular situations. This is completely left to the discretion of each client."

Aside from the visual and technical preferences of the client, Quizmaster has a plethora of formats available. "We have a number of different shows that we do. There is a total of nine different formats and I would be remiss if I didn't tell you the majority of our clients are interested in the Knowledge Bowl. It is set up very much like the old GE College Bowl. We also have a large number of companies that are interested in what we call Bonus Board Challenge, which is similar to Jeopardy! It is a little bit faster, a little bit more intense than Jeopardy, but the questions are usually centered around a specific area of information that the contestants are familiar with. We also have Circle of Fortune, which is akin to Wheel of Fortune."

These are just a few of the choices Quizmaster offers. There are a number of others that can be used according to what the event producer is looking for. The game show specialists also often have requests to mix and match some of the different games. "We might have one element say of, Memory Masters, which might find its way into a show that is predominately Bonus Board Challenge. This aids us in keeping the show moving and keeping it very fast so that we can keep the audience guessing as to what is coming next. We are definitely not just a one trick pony up there doing questions and answers."

While Quizmaster will never have two shows the same, Jim explains there is a common thread within every show they do. "All of our productions are theme oriented and individual contestant oriented. For example, if we had three hundred customers or clients out in the audience, they might be divided into three teams of one hundred each. You might have a red team, a white team and a blue team. Within those teams there will be a team captain who will select the people who will come on stage. They will not come on as single individuals, they will come on as maybe five people for each team behind a podium that represents their team. We will play the game for ten to fifteen minutes and then sit those people down and bring up another whole crew to represent the team again. We can do this as many as six to eight times during any given game without the stage seeming like Grand Central Station. This gives us the opportunity to use a lot of different personalities, a lot of experience and to get different individuals up there, all of whom have the capability to change the game at any given moment according to their own knowledge base and their own experience. We find that the experienced people like the show just as much as the younger and less experienced people because it ties directly into what they are doing and things they know."

Quizmaster not only is able to customize the appearance and mechanics of each show, but the content and subject matter of the game itself is completely adaptable to any and all corporate situations. "Product launches, sales meetings and national sales initiatives are the dominant part of our business. We can certainly tie into any type of product. If you were to use a Jeopardy! format as an example, we might put up one of the category heads to contain product attributes. Another heading might have to do with the jargon that is used within that particular company or industry. We call this alphabet soup and this alone can provide nearly unlimited subject matter in particular fields. We can have something else that has to do with the competition. All of the questions and answers are written around the things that are important for the business and for people to know and understand. Of course, if there is an opportunity for us to do any of this graphically as part of the set we will do that as well. Everyone is aware of how much visual aids can enhance an experience and memory retention, so we utilize this technique. A good example is a show we call Power Pyramid. Each one of the elements of the pyramid has separate connotations as it relates to the product. It can be very targeted and very focused upon the business at hand. It is all a lot of fun and keeps us guessing about what will be or could be next."

Since 1986, Quizmaster has evolved in many ways, including technology, but details on that will come later. The process in which Quizmaster operates and has grown have much more impact on the outcome of the show than the bells and whistles. It comes down to the nuts and bolts of how to make a fairly large and elaborate operation run smoothly at any event, regardless of size, content or style. "When we first started in this business, we would have been happy doing one show a quarter. Now, at the peak of our business, we have been able to do as many as two hundred shows a year. They can vary in size from small shows for fifty people, up to what we call mega shows that can include as many as a few thousand. I believe the largest show we have ever done involved slightly over nine thousand participants. They start becoming like rock concerts. Obviously the level of equipment we will use at any given show will vary greatly depending on the number of people who are involved and the size of the room we are working in. It can also vary on the stage, lighting and many other technical attributes of the space we are given to work in. We have done shows with very large video projectors so people in the back can see what is happening. Then there are smaller shows that are very easy and accessible for anyone there. They might be only ten to twelve feet from the stage. The average show we do is probably in the range of two hundred to four hundred people. That show is the center of our business.

"We get a tremendous response with these shows because everyone in the audience is tied in with what is going on up on stage because it is just like they were there. We are talking about their business and how their business relates to many different activities and issues. Because it is specifically customized and tailored to them, they are extremely focused on what is going on. When we call another group of people up, they don't just glumly walk up on stage. They are jumping and shouting and high-fiving everyone because they are excited for themselves and their team and that energy is contagious."

Jim explains this is applicable not only for the people coming on and off the stage, but their peers in the audience.

Quizmaster has the leading edge in technology and a wide range of various devices available to any given client. "We can do just about anything that anyone in national television can do and in some cases a lot more. Our equipment has been custom designed specifically for game shows. It has a lot of flexibility. There are all sorts of things that can be done as far as presentation goes, but the base of the business is having electronic scoring, timing and first response lock out systems. Our systems will handle up to one hundred twenty eight people. We have never had to use that many people and I don't think we ever will but it has multiple redundancies built into it. It also has the capability to give immediate information back to the audience so they know instantaneously who has pressed their button and it locks out everyone else on th deus. We have the capability to do immediate scoring or delay scoring so that the teams might not be able to see their score until the end of a period of play. There is a myriad of things we can do with the technology available to us. I could go on for hours about just that, but these are excellent examples of the kinds of things we have access to."

Quizmaster is leading the way in game show design, technology and execution. For a completely customizable show that can be catered to your organization's specific taste in appearance, format, pace, audience interaction and even content, contact the specialists at Quizmaster at (770) 664-0648.
 

 

 

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