How to Run a Bingo Night
Are you thinking about organising a fun bingo night? Whether you are looking to do this with friends and family or for a charity bingo night, these events provide an evening of fun for everyone involved. There is quite a lot to do if you want to organise a successful bingo night, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be stressful.
Below, we have detailed for you everything you need to know about running a bingo night and how you can make it an event no one will forget. Plus, you could potentially make a lot of money fundraising for charity.
Steps to Running a Fun Bingo Night
While it may appear easy to run a successful bingo night, there is a lot of work to be put in and it is definitely not as easy as it looks! If you are in need of some inspiration how to create a fabulous bingo night follow our step by step guide and you cannot go wrong.
- Choose a Charity – If you are organising a bingo night for charity, then the first thing to do is decide what charity you want to support. This is a great way to give back and give people a fun night at the same time. To get as many players as possible taking part in your bingo night, make sure you are up to date with the charity’s work so you can sell it to potential players and they know that their money is going towards a good cause. People will always spend more money when they can see where their money is going!
- Choose a Venue – the next stage is to choose a venue. You’ll need to have a rough idea of numbers for this step as you don’t want to get somewhere too small for everyone to fit or somewhere too large that the event feels empty. Good places to start include town halls, churches and school halls. Remember, you’ll need to think about how many chairs and tables will need to fit in your hall and the venue should be able to give you an idea of the numbers that they can fit without violating any fire regulations. Always make sure to keep track of how many tickets you have sold, so as to not overcrowd the venue.
- Choose Food & Drinks – Not every event will offer food and drink, but you may choose to depending on the type of night that you are hosting. This could be party food, snacks or even a meal. If you are running the event for charity, a great idea to make some extra money is to have a bake sale. Remember, if you want to sell alcohol at your event, this requires a license, but to get around the problem, you could allow guests to bring their own alcohol or make ticket prices higher but include the price of a bar in it.
- Choose Your Bingo Variation – We would recommend keeping things simple with a game of 90 ball or 75 ball bingo as these are easy to play and most people will understand the rules when playing bingo games like these. If you have some beginners playing, it would be wise to have them read our how to play bingo guide so they are familiar with the game rules.
Lastly, you will need to get all your bingo supplies ready for the game. Find out below the full list of bingo items you need to put together a great event.
Bingo Event Supplies
After you have the logistics of your bingo event sorted, you’ll need to get together the bingo supplies for the event and try to keep costs low. What you’ll need includes:
- Bingo Cards – You can easily make your own bingo cards online or download them from a variety of websites. Create personalised designs and you may want to put the charity logo or name on the card too if it’s a fundraising event.
- Pens – Your players will need a pen to mark off their bingo card numbers as, chances are, they won’t have brought one themselves! Pen multipacks will do the job just fine.
- Bingo Machine – If you want to put on a sleek and very professional night, then you may want to opt for a bingo machine and bingo balls. However, unless you are going to be using it regularly, this may not be a good use of your cash. Instead, you can simply use a random number generator of which there are plenty to use online or free apps that you can download. These are easy and quick to use and, best of all, free!
- Bingo Caller – One person will need to call out the bingo numbers from the random number generator or machine. This should be someone engaging, can entertain the crowd and knows the bingo lingo. If you at a large hall, they may need a microphone too.
- Bingo Prizes – At any bingo event, you need to have prizes! This could be a cash prize or if you are fundraising, then opting for tangible prizes may be better. It’s good to add in a range of different prizes including some joke prizes, family-friendly prizes and then some big prizes towards the end of the game. For bingo fundraiser events, some businesses may also donate prizes for free if it gives them good promotion which is also worth trying as it keeps your costs down obtaining prizes.
Do You Need a License to Run a Bingo Night?
Most people will not require a license to run a bingo night, but it depends on the purpose of your organised event. Licensing and regulation say that no license is needed if the event is non-commercial and for a good cause such as a charity. However, if you are looking to run regular, commercial bingo nights for private gain, then yes, you will need a license.
If you are running a bingo night for charity, there are still some rules to be followed which are laid out on the official UK Gambling Commission website. This includes a maximum of £8 charge per player and the prize has to be below £600. You can view the full list of rules on their website.
Remember, once this is all set up, advertise your bingo event on sites such as Facebook to generate as much interest as possible. Follow these steps to have a guaranteed awesome night playing bingo!