As the UK went into full lockdown on 23rd March 2020, BJ’s Bingo asked itself, how can they keep customers entertained and engaged?

With the clubs now closed and key staff working from home, it was Will Darbyshire-Clarke, Membership Manager, who was chosen to manage the brief.

“As our venues closed, I grabbed my laptop, and some pull up banners and headed to my new place of work. The dining room table.”

Will quickly downloaded broadcasting software; honing skills learnt during his 15-year career within the radio industry to learn how to use it.

“Now that we could stream live via Facebook in a professional and slick manner, we had to decide what kind of entertainment we would provide. Quizzes were already proving popular, and we just had to get bingo in there too”.

On Friday 27th March “Quiz Night Live”, hosted by Will was launched on Facebook with each weekly broadcast reaching an audience of over 7,000 people.

“The response from our customers was phenomenal, there was lots of banter in the chat room, It kind of split the week up and gave our customers an escape if only for an hour once a week.”

Each week staff members would pre-record a question of their choice and offer messages of support during the lockdown.

“During the lockdown staff members would upload their video questions via a WhatsApp group and customer loved seeing familiar faces from our clubs each week.”

Customers would comment throughout the quiz with their answers for the chance to win BJ’s Bingo gift vouchers which they could use when the clubs reopened.

BJ’s Bingo invited customers to generate their bingo tickets at home using their mobile telephone number and a game of bingo was played between the quiz questions.

“The games of bingo were played just for fun with customers calling into the home studio to check their claim and the opportunity to shout out to friends and family. I’ve never seen customer’s so excited to win nothing but that chance to speak during the broadcast.”

When the clubs reopened BJ’s Bingo was delighted to welcome back customers who knew they had vouchers waiting for them to spend.

“The weekly broadcast brought people together during the lockdown and I would like to thank all the customers who tuned in and to all the staff who took part and set questions”

Special thanks goes out to David Cooksley, Andrew Tattershall, Lee Rich, Debbie Allen, Sarah George, Steve Lightfoot, Jenny Brocklehurst, Drew Luckman, Lorraine & Ade Smith, Jack & Julie Alden, Simon Cartwright, Paul Sale and Andrew Hudson.