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Lancashire Times
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4:00 AM 20th December 2021
business

10 in 10: Pete Martini

Pete Martini, head of content at York-based quiz tech company SpeedQuizzing, is the latest regional business professional in the hot seat as we give him just 10 minutes to answer our 10 burning questions.

What does a typical working day for you involve?

As head of content at SpeedQuizzing, my job basically revolves around creating and reviewing hundreds of quiz questions every day.

I manage a team of question writers, producing up to 1,500 quiz questions every month to meet the growing demand for SpeedQuizzing’s digital question packs, which are currently used to host over 1,500 in-venue and online quizzes every week.

It’s a job I really enjoy and, as a former journalist of 20 years, it plays to my natural inquisitiveness, allowing me to continue to indulge in my passion for writing and asking questions – albeit in a slightly different capacity to what I was used to.

My typical working day begins at home at around 9am, when I’ll make the short commute from the kitchen to the spare room where I’ve set up a mini-office (in other words, plugged in the computer). If I’m not working from home, I’ll be at SpeedQuizzing’s office at Heworth, which is a short 25-minute bike ride for me from one side of the city to the other.

On any given day, I’ll divide my time between a number of areas: fact-checking and editing the new quiz questions submitted by the team; reviewing and culling existing questions in our database, weeding out any that have expired or are no longer relevant; checking our bank of over 130,000 questions to ensure each of our 61 categories are full; answering question-queries from hosts; and, of course, writing trivia questions. I’ll occasionally dip into social media work every now and then too.

After a day spent writing and checking quiz questions, you might think that I’d want to switch off from all things trivia – but the opposite is true. I host regular – and I’m pleased to say increasingly popular - quizzes at both Brew York’s Bavarian-style Beer Hall and the Moxy Hotel in York and, occasionally, I’ll also fill in for hosts at other venues across the city.

What makes your company special?

Without doubt, it’s our team. We live and breathe quizzing and we’re 100% committed to creating the best possible quiz experience both for our customers who use our tech to host them, and for the thousands of quizzers across the UK and all over the world who play SpeedQuizzing every week either in pubs or online.

Like me, most of the team run their own quizzes and if we’re not running a quiz, it’s quite possible we’ll be attending one. This gives us a really good understanding of what hosts and players are looking for – and our team is constantly innovating to create new products and features.

I like to think our question content is unrivalled. As well as all your quality trivia in our quiz packs - which can be tailored for different age groups and quiz experience - we also throw in one or two comedy questions to add to the entertainment on any given SpeedQuizzing night. If it makes us laugh in the office, chances are it'll go down well at a quiz. The way our software format works allows us to include the occasional red herring as well, which usually adds to the fun.

On that note, our tech is also a real point of difference. SpeedQuizzing is the original pioneer of the smartphone quiz and while a lot of quiz companies have tried to copy our tech, none have been able to successfully emulate it.

Instead of using a pen and paper, players answer questions through their smartphones using our app, with scoring managed by our software. It’s the ultimate, hassle-free quiz experience, with multi-game formats, coupled with a fastest-finger first mechanism and fun-buzzer sounds, ensuring games are interactive, fast-paced and, most importantly, a lot of fun.

Do you have any business rules that you swear by?

SpeedQuizzing was built on the ethos of always going the extra mile for our customers and it’s a business rule that I really buy into and follow.

There are over 1,000 active SpeedQuizzing hosts all over the world who know that we’ll do whatever we can to help them to deliver the best possible quiz, every time. Nothing is ever too much trouble and our commitment to delivering brilliant customer service is another reason why so many of our hosts have been with us for so many years.

Do you dress up or down for work?

In keeping with the rest of the team, I dress casually for work; jeans and a t-shirt is pretty much my standard attire. The only exception is if I’m hosting a quiz for a corporate client – then I’ll always smarten myself up if need be.

What piece of advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

Work hard, try not to get too distracted by women and alcohol, and have a back-up plan just in case the dream of playing football for Italy fails to materialise.

What's your favourite Yorkshire venue for an event or team away day?

We’ve had some brilliant away days over the years, go-karting and doing other fun things, but one of my favourite venues is probably 1331 in York. It’s a quirky, independent bar and restaurant that’s become a regular haunt for the SpeedQuizzing team, thanks to its great atmosphere. We recently held an event there for SpeedQuizzing hosts from across the UK, and it went down well. A place called The Crescent should also get a mention seeing as it's the only medium-sized independent venue in York where you can see live bands these days.

How do you prefer to travel for business?

On foot, typically from my kitchen to my spare room where I have my office setup. Seriously though, a 25-minute cycle to the office is generally about as far as I have to travel.

What's your favourite place in Yorkshire to relax?

I’m a big fan of some of York’s pubs, particularly Brew York and the Ackhorne. And if I’m not relaxing with friends in a good pub, I find a long walk in the countryside is the perfect way to switch off.

What is your favourite place to eat in Yorkshire, and what dish do you recommend?

Unsurprisingly perhaps, given my Italian heritage, I’d have to go with two Italian restaurants, Il Paradiso Del Cibo and Delrio’s. Both serve genuinely authentic Italian dishes and the atmosphere is always lively and welcoming. I have my fill of pasta at home, so if I’m eating at either restaurant I’ll tend to go for the steak, which is exceptional.

What do you miss most about Yorkshire when you're
away?

The people and the picturesque countryside.