Planning and Prep
Not doing any type of planning is one of the first mistakes people make when doing a 24 hour stream. While some streamers will randomly decide to do a stream like this out of the blue, I would not recommend it.
The first thing you want to plan is what you’re actually going to do during the 24 hour stream. If you’re a speedrunner, maybe you want to play through a lot games that you know how to speedrun. If you’re a casual/variety streamer, maybe you want to marathon through one whole game in a day, or play through a bunch of new games that came out recently! Whatever you decide to do, make sure that it’s actually something that you WANT to do for 24 hours. People forget how easy it is to get bored of playing the same game for 24 hours straight! Don’t make that mistake!
You’ll also want to plan when you’ll play each game. The last thing you want to do is play a game that requires a lot of thinking like a puzzle game at the end of the stream when you’re extremely tired. Playing games with viewers/subs for the last few hours is always a safe plan if you’re just looking for something relaxing to finish out the marathon.
Once you’ve decided on what you’re going to do and when you’re going to do it, you’ll want to start letting your viewers/followers know when the stream is happening. Putting a little blurb in your stream title or in your actual stream that tells your viewers when it’s going to happen is important. If you give your viewers plenty of time to know it’s happening, they can plan to show up and participate. You’ll also want to tweet about the stream at least a week in advance. Some streamers like to do small giveaways throughout the stream to keep people staying around, but this is definitely not necessary.
Staying Awake During the Stream
So now that you’ve started the stream, you now have to stay awake. What you eat/drink during this marathon will have a huge effect on your chances of surviving. A mistake I see a lot of streamers make is that they binge out on energy drinks really early into the marathon. This is setting yourself up for a huge crash that will keep you from finishing. What I normally suggest is that you drink a lot of water, and eat a lot of fruit. The natural sugar from the fruit will keep you sustained and energized without filling your body with a lot of bad sugar. I would say that drinking an energy drink during the stream is okay, but be sure to use it as a last resort. Also stay away from heavy food. If you eat a huge meal in the middle of the stream, you’ll get extremely tired really fast.
So you’ve advertised for this awesome stream and you’re 18 hours in with only 6 hours left to go. Your chat is pushing you to finish but you’re feeling really lightheaded and not yourself. You have to keep pushing and finish what you’ve started right? Wrong. While the goal of these marathons is to finish them, if you’re feeling sick or nausea, you need to stop. Your health is way more important than finishing an arbitrary time challenge. Know when your body has hit its limit, don’t let the pressure from your chat to finish affect you.
One area streamers overlook is how cranky and angry they can get when they have been streaming for an amount of time they aren’t use to. Comments that viewers make in chat that would normally not bother you will now tick you off and get you agitated. This is the danger of a 24 hour marathon. From one angle, a 24 hour marathon is a great way to attract new viewers to your stream, but they also create an opportunity to scare off new viewers if you get cranky because you aren’t used to streaming for a long time.
If you’ve never done a marathon like this before I highly recommend you shoot for a much shorter stream. In my opinion, 12 hour marathons are going to be a lot more manageable and will have the same effect at a much smaller risk than a 24 hour stream. 12 hours allows you to do a fun long stream, without the pressures of going for a full day. It’s also a great way to find out if you are even capable of going longer.