Recommendations For Charity Stream Management
Test to make sure everything works ahead of time. Test to make sure everything works ahead of time. TEST TO MAKE SURE EVERYTHING WORKS AHEAD OF TIME!
Now that that’s out of the way, most of the advice for managing a charity live stream overlaps with running a regular stream or the advice found in Step 5. However one aspect that’s different is that you need to be reminding everyone why you’re doing the charity stream, who you’re doing it for, and how viewers can donate. In addition to reminding everyone verbally, I’d recommend every 20-30 minutes so new people always get a heads up before too long.
Additionally you should take short breaks at regular intervals, I recommend every hour, to refresh yourself, spread the word on social media, and give your viewers an opportunity to donate or grab a quick snack if they’ve been actively participating.
Finally, don’t be shy about asking people to share the stream during the event. You may have already automated a base level of outreach, but your goal is to raise money so that the charity of your choice can help others who need it. By asking your audience to help spread the word you’re helping to make them a part of the fundraiser and, when you’re raising money for charity, even one person can make a difference. Thus, it’s on you to enable and encourage people to do so.
To make everything easier you should also set up a chat bot if it’s available for your broadcasting host. They’ll save your mods, and yourself if you’re doing a solo broadcast, a lot time by setting up some basic messages. In addition to the basic messages that describe your channel and rules for chat, you’ll also want to have one that explains why you’re doing the charity stream, who you’re doing it for, and how viewers can donate. Yes I did repeat myself from earlier. Yes it’s that important so go back and read all this again. I’ll wait… Good. The reason is because if you’re having a fantastic stream but don’t regularly let your viewers know you’re raising money for charity, then what’s the point?
Here are a few bots you can use for Twitch I was able to find. I’ve used Moobot in the past, but there seems to be good things said for all of them.
- Moobot – http://twitch.moobot.tv/
- Nightbot – http://www.nightbot.tv/
- Xanbot – https://www.reddit.com/r/Twitch/comments/2dkro7/a_detailed_guide_on_howto_configure_and_operate/
- Deepbot – http://deepbot.deep.sg/
For more information on bots in general and the first three on this list I’ve found this overview page helpful: http://twitchtips.com/chat-moderation-bots/
Be Sure To Take Care Of Yourself!
One thing to always keep in mind, whether you’re broadcasting or part of the support, during a stream is to stay aware of your own physical condition. It’s easy to get focused with the game or the stream and neglect essentials of keeping yourself going. Don’t do that! There’s no reason to, especially since you’re probably streaming from the comfort of you’re own home. When you’re in the middle of a broadcast it’s common to feel that you’re letting your viewership down by pausing the stream for a few minutes to go take care of things, especially if you’re doing a solo stream or are the only streamer on shift. However, when you look at it from the other side, would you be overly offended if the person you were watching took a few minutes to run to the bathroom or grab a snack? Probably not. And that’s the beauty of this community, both the broadcasters and the viewers themselves, as well as the medium of live streaming in general.
That being said, here are some basic preparations I’d recommend putting in place based on my own experience and observations to reduce down time while doing a charity stream:
- First and foremost, if there’s ever something seriously wrong, inform your audience that you’re pausing the stream and take care of it. Although all the recommendations below are based around optimizing up time and content throughout the stream if there’s ever something important that requires you attention don’t be afraid to do what you need to do.
- Don’t Panic. No one’s going to think ill of you if you need to squash an emergency, but always let people know if you’re going to go, that way they can inform others who newly join the stream that you’re just on break via the chat. That’s the point of having a community.
- Stream with a friend. Whether they’re physically there with you or just on chat, having someone working with you helps in multiple ways.
- Always have a drink nearby, preferably in a container with a sealed top in case of accidents.
- Regardless of you’re drink of choice, be sure you have a tumbler, or bottle, of water with you. (Especially if you’re a broadcaster.) Chances are you’re going to be doing a lot of talking during the stream and there’s nothing worse than hitting the 5-6 hour mark and having your voice start to give out.
- Have snacks with you while you stream. Your regular fair of salty snacks are okay, remember the water, but also have something of substance too. (Nuts, fruit, granola, etc.) It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon, literally with a 24 hour stream, so you’ll need to make sure you’re fueling yourself up for the long term.
- Prepare your lunch/dinner meals ahead of time, or order out for food, to make sure you eat something substantial without having to take an extended break to prepare it. If you are able to talk with a local restaurant and let them know you need the food for a charity fundraiser you may even be able to get the meal at a discount in exchange for giving them some promotion. A smaller price to pay for the food that keeps you focused on helping non-profits is always a good thing.
- Set a timer and at fixed intervals take short breaks, even if they’re just 2-3 minutes. I’d recommend doing this every hour. Use this time to look away from the screen, stand up, stretch, throw some snacks in your belly, get a drink and run to the bathroom if you feel the need.
- In order to keep the content for the stream going, use these breaks to remind everyone about the cause your raising money for and encourage people to go and donate. Sometimes viewers will be so engaged in the stream that they don’t want to leave because they don’t want to miss anything. By having fixed times where you pause what your doing, you give them the opportunity to donate or run and take a break themselves. Remember, live streams are a community of people coming together for a fun time and no one wants to miss out on the party.
- Go to the bathroom before you start and use the fixed interval break times to run out and use it if it’s been a while. Being distracted by mother nature’s call in the middle of an action packed segment of a game or the middle of a conversation with your fans isn’t fun. You control the pace of the stream. Take advantage of that fact.
- Finally, HAVE FUN! You’re doing something you love in order to raise money to help those in need. If things start to feel like a chore than switch things up play a new game, put on a different song, have a spontaneous Q&A with your viewers, offer up a contest, whatever you feel like. People are watching the stream to see and engage with you, so engage back and enjoy yourself. If you’re not having fun they they won’t be either.