Dos and Donts of 24 Hour Streams

24 Hour Streams are an event that many Streamers, both experienced and not, do for a variety of reasons. They may do it as a milestone for their channel, to challenge themselves, to fund raise money, or maybe just for fun. I’m actually writing this after my second 24 Hour Stream of the month which was for the Extra Life Fundraiser event that I’m sure many of you saw on Twitch. While the Extra Life Stream was with my friend, my previous 24 Hour Stream was done solo and both streams were incredibly successful in my books.

I think it’s fair to say there are many people who end up doing 24 Hour Streams for their channel that don’t end up going as successfully as mine did. I’ve been there, and I’ve had enough 24 Hour experiences that I thought I would write an article on them because they aren’t easy and your first couple of 24 Hour Streams may not go as hoped. That being said, they can be one of the most fun things you can do for yourself, your channel and  your viewers. You may end up even growing your channel quite a bit!

So let us go through the Do’s and Dont’s of 24 Hour Streams so you can make yours the best that it can be :). This is all from experience and different things/strategies may work better for others!

DO

  • Plan ahead. This isn’t something you can pick up and roll with spur of the moment. Try and picture how you want the stream to go so you can better visualize and plan.
  • Let your viewers know at least a few days to a week in advance so they know how much it means to you to come and support you! This can help in getting the word around as well since that itself can take some time. Maybe even let your local friends know as they may want to come and hang out which can help keep you awake. Just make sure your friends know how your channel/Twitch works if they are unfamiliar to avoid problems on stream. For example, if you have a PG16 channel, you don’t want your friends dropping F-bombs or inappropriate language on your stream. Additionally, notify your moderators ahead of time about your 24hr stream and ask them if they can maybe help out a bit longer than normal. 24 Hour streams bring in quite a few viewers so it can be helpful in doing giveaways and making sure chat is running smoothly.
  • Open up a Word/Text document to keep track of all your games you want to play on stream. Get some larger/popular games to play on your “Definite” list with a bunch of “Possible” games to use to break up things if they get dull, to give yourself a break, or back up games if there are technical difficulties that arise mid-stream. Maybe even include some games you can include your viewers in! Nothing’s worse than running out of stuff to play in the middle of a stream and having unnecessary down time.
  • Get plenty of sleep the day before. 24 Hour Streams are DIFFICULT contrary to what it may look like on stream.
  • Eat/drink properly before and during the stream. Healthy snacks for during and have a good solid meal before the stream starts. Tea/Coffee is good during, but keep a large water bottle near by. Drink LOTS of water as you will be talking quite a bit and getting up to re-fill it is a good excuse for a break. Save that energy drink and those sugary snacks for the home stretch because you’ll need the quick pick-me up near the end rather than crashing in the middle.
  • Test EVERYTHING. Make sure your hardware is operating how you want it to and go through each game that you plan on playing (even the “Possible” ones) and do test streams/local recordings on OBS to make sure things are fine. Check sound/mic levels for each game, proper overlay setups, quality checks, make sure bots are working, etc. Spontaneous problems can happen during a 24 Hour Stream but doing what you can before the event even starts can save you a lot of headache later on. Also, give yourself adequate time to fix problems before the stream.
  • Take breaks. This is something I still need to work on myself but the fact is our bodies are not meant to sit in a chair for 24 hours staring a screen. Get the blood flowing and take proper stretch breaks. I like to take my breaks when I do giveaways since nothing’s really going on while people are entering. Shooting for a break every couple of hours is good.
  • Take other commitments into consideration. If you work in a high physical labour job for example, you don’t want to be endangering yourself and others by being sleep deprived. Make sure you schedule things in a way to give yourself enough time AFTER the 24 Hour Stream to recuperate. You’ll feel the effects of a 24 Hour Stream long after the actual stream is done.
  • Talk as much as you can. This is tough enough in regular streams but doing it for a 24 Hour Stream is even more difficult. However, being entertaining and involving your viewers as much as you can in your stream will help you gain viewers and followers. Talking makes it easier for your new viewers to ease into the channel and start talking rather than trying to say something in dead silence. I’m not saying you have to keep your voice going for the full 24 hours but try your best to talk to people in chat and also commentate on the game. Commentating on what you’re doing and why you’re doing things in-game is my favourite method of keeping my voice going.
  • Keep something nearby to write on whether it’s a piece of paper and a pen; a text/word document; or a white board. Things can get pretty hectic during a 24 Hour Stream and especially by the end when your mind is gone, there may be things you want to remember to do after the stream is over. Writing things down during the stream can make sure you don’t forget important tasks
  • Use giveaways. They don’t have to be expensive because everyone loves free stuff. I like to go and see what deals are on Steam for most of my giveaways. Many great games for only a couple of dollars. They’re a good way to give back to the people sticking around for hours on end and as another excuse to take a break every now and then.
  • Utilize your social media outlets. In the middle of the stream you can make quick Tweets letting people know your progress. This will keep people notified you’re still live through all hours of your stream.
  • HAVE FUN. It’s a challenging event but can be one of the most fun things you can do as a streamer. It’s not very often you play games for 24 Hours straight so make it an event to remember!

DON’T

  • Ignore your body/mind. I’m saying this as the first point because I think it’s an important thing to remember. We’re not meant to be up for 24+ hours straight and your body may tell you near the end to get some sleep and stop forcing yourself awake. Your viewers will understand and I’m sure you wouldn’t want people watching you stream if you aren’t going to be the best you can be on stream. Coming into a stream and seeing a half-asleep person just staring blankly at a screen not talking doesn’t seem much fun to viewers.
  • Start a 24 Hour Stream later in the day. You don’t want to get up at your usual 6-8AM time and stay up a bunch before your 24 Hour Stream at 4PM. I’ve done that once and while it can be done, it makes your total amount of time stayed up 30+ hours which is NOT good for your body. Your streaming for 24 hours so time placement isn’t as important so do yourself a favour and start earlier in the day than sooner.
  • Feel bad if you’re not seeing many viewers. This of course applies to the newer channels but you shouldn’t be doing 24 Hour Streams just for viewers/followers. I’ve stopped 24 Hour Streams in the past because viewer count wasn’t worth it (0 viewers 70% of the time) but do your best. There’s always a down-time during the 24 Hour Stream where the majority of people are asleep and you might not have anyone talking for awhile but by stopping too early your robbing yourself of the chance to maybe get lucky. Also it’s just common sense that if you’re not live, people can’t discover you!
  • Feel bad if you end early. This relates to my previous point but sometimes you just may need to end early for a variety of reasons. If you do, don’t feel bad. The viewers you have will understand, and you can always try again another day.
  • Panic! Sometimes unexpected problems happen during your stream. Just let your viewers know things will be back to normal as soon as possible and keep your cool while you work on things (This is why I like having  a Please Wait/Standby Overlay).
  • 24 Hour Stream if you’re not committed to it. Like I said, it’s a difficult thing to do as a streamer and I believe it’s an event you should truly put work into to make it a great experience for everyone.
  • Go without thanking people! Throughout the stream, thank some of the people that have stuck around for a long time and at the end thank people who helped make the 24 Hour Stream possible (donors, mods, friends, etc.) as well as the viewers you have. Finishing a 24 Hour Stream is worth celebrating so make the ending a celebration.

That’s all I have for this article so I hope you got something out of this and if you’re planning on doing a 24 Hour Stream in the future, good luck and have fun! 🙂