Tips for Hosting Livestreams to Support Your Creative Work

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As COVID-19 keeps creators indoors, they’re pivoting to livestreams. Here, a few veteran streamers give advice for bringing your own games, music, dance, readings, screenings and more online.

As communities around the world head indoors for COVID-19 quarantine, creators are suddenly so far from the fans who sustain their practices—but can get closer to them in new ways. With people at home, on their phones, hungry for human interaction and entertainment, this can be an opportunity to connect with your audience online.

That’s probably why we’re seeing so many of our favorite creators devoting more time to livestreams—and why so many Kickstarter veterans, expert community builders, understand that interactivity is the magic ingredient.So as your community faces physical separation, here are some ideas from creators for creators on using livestreams to help people feel closer, communicate collectively, and get to know your creative work:

We've been trying to reduce our isolation by live-streaming concerts, interviews, and games and chatting with our fans,” says Laser’s sister and bandmate Aubrey Turner, “it's coincided with the first weeks of our Kickstarter campaign, but that's honestly a coincidence. We just wanted some time to spend with our fans. I encourage people, if they have the emotional and physical space, to use this time to spend time with their communities online. Make art together, communicate, share emotions. This is the kind of connection that's not only a necessary prerequisite for a good crowdfunding campaign; it's also what makes us human.”

In the seven livestream videos they’ve hosted on YouTube since lockdown, the pair say they’ve learned to ask for help and adapted their style to include party games, interviews with authors, and all-request concerts after realizing the fun comes from interactions with fans and friends, not just time spent online.

"We've reached out to people we normally don't get to interact with, because we're all in the same boat. Who would've thought we'd get to interview the authors who have been inspiring our music, or play party games with our favorite cartoonist, Kate Leth? But it's all happening, and we get to share it with our audience."

 

The Doubleclicks with their favorite cartoonist, Kate Leth

So many people are legitimately in need right now, a crowdsourcing project might seem frivolous. But really, it’s not. What you’re doing is needed as an escape from the daily barrage. You just might need to find a new way to get it in front of people. For the past week, I’ve been hosting a daily show on Instagram called Naptime Piano Bar where I bring people in and let them request songs. It’s been a real hit. And by putting myself in the center of it, I have plenty of time to talk about my Kickstarter. By giving people a much needed distraction, you’ll find they want to help you out.”