Written by Alex Hughes, Shift Momentum.
When I first looked at putting on a 24-hour live stream a year ago, I had never intended for it to be either a charity event or one to support mental health. I had always wanted to ensure the event’s impact was high, but it was going to be more business and marketing focused.
However, with the last year being such a huge challenge for society and the turn of the year being so hard mentally for us all, I just had to activate this idea and make it into something broader and support a charity that reflected those issues.
So, it was decided; we would be doing this Liveathon, and it would be to support CPSL Mind, our chosen charity – but when? Well, what better platform for this event than Blue Monday, not because we wanted to buy into this concept of the “most depressing day of the year”, but to combat the idea and reinvent this day as a positive light for the future instead. Blue Monday itself was a concept first developed by a travel company in 2005 and was a marketing campaign used to sell holidays. Since then, it has become associated with this horrible sense of impending doom – not anymore!
With almost 20,000 views of our live streams combined across the 24 hours, almost £5,000 raised for the charity and the feedback received around how uplifting and impactful it was, we feel we did the right thing here.
What did we learn?
No matter how much you plan before these events; you have to go with the flow of the speakers! With almost 40 guests joining me, I had prepared mentally for what I wanted to talk to them about, but I soon realised by speaker number 4, that the work we had done before to frame the event, had been done for us. They were more than willing to share their stories and did not need too much from me to prompt them. The challenge quickly became much more about managing my own emotion and supporting them through that moment.
Another lesson I picked up from this was sustaining my energy. It quickly became a key focus and what I found worked for me was that in the short 4-minute breaks I had to move, stretch, stick my head out the window and eat little and often. I reached out to the Shifties Community for advice; however, there is always so much conflicting advice regarding diet. For me, it was smoothies, coffee, nuts and a nice care package from Elsie May’s for lunch was superb to snack on throughout the day. Oh don’t forget the Mrs D’s Doughnut for the evening!
The final lesson I learned was more of a reminder. You need to ask if you want people to do something! When I saw momentum slowing on the viewers, I asked and reminded those watching to like, comment, share and do what they could to keep this at the top of the Facebook feed locally. Shortly after getting a result or two with this, I kept pushing hard on this message and then naturally, the donations followed from the value they got when they arrived.
As of 29th January 2021, the stats that matter for the event:
Number of views of the videos – average 5,800 views across the 3 videos (17,500 views total)
Number of #SpeakUp2021 mentions – 2907 Engagements (posts, reactions, comments, reposts)
Total money raised for CPSL Mind – £4590 (ex GiftAid) £5257.25 (inc GiftAid)
My favourite moment?
There were so many unforgettable moments throughout the event, but selfishly it was the 7-hour stint I had from midnight with Dave Duker. I was most nervous about this time as I knew it would test our creativity and energy to maintain momentum into the rest of the day. I must say that our raw conversation about life, our journeys and an entertaining, inspirational quote battle was the perfect setup for the rest of the event. Plus, it allowed for all the technical challenges to be found early in the event whilst we just had the hardcore Shifties tuned in (you were the real favourite’s!)
My biggest takeaway?
The power of positivity and connection has never been so crucial for small business owners. We already know it’s a lonely beast of a journey, but seeing these people in the raw and at their most vulnerable supported the approach we like to take in Shifties – to be ourselves unapologetically. If we can maintain that opportunity to share real stories, personalities, and inspiration through our events in 2021, we will not go far wrong this year.
We saved lives on Monday, 18th January, the money raised, and the links made across communities will ensure that. It is a weird thing to say that we saved lives, but an important reminder to all that have been involved in this campaign and I want to thank every single one of you that have been involved at any level.
You saved lives on Monday 18th January!
We will be back next year, and I am confident it will at least equal the impact of #SpeakUp2021. No more ‘Blue Monday’ we say!
If you want to watch the individual interviews from this year, please head over to www.shifties.co.uk/speakup and don’t forget to follow our social media pages to get involved in the other events planned for the rest of this year.
I want to thank everyone involved this year and do, so I credit them below. When you see your name, please remind yourself of that one big takeaway: you saved lives by speaking up or supporting others speaking up!
Thank you to everyone that generously donated on the JustGiving Page.
Sarah Lovatt-Ellis (who was scheduled to appear but unfortunately had to pull out due to Covid recovery)
The Team @ CPSL Mind
Aina Gomez @ Razzamataz Oxford/Family Momento
Alex Richards @ The Bagel Box
Anne Bailey @ Form the Future
Brett Cooke @ Pure Defiance PT
Cameron Paul @ Spinifex Accounting
Caroline & Tim Richardson @ Art & Soul Cafe
Chris Hughes @ RG Taylor Engineering
Concetta Laquintana @ Conchi The Home Coach
Craig @ Fine Norwich
Dan Jones @ Runesilk
Debbie Richards @ Nature’s Posy – The Flower Farm
Dee Duchemin @ Mrs D’s Doughnuts
James Hume – Your Digital Marketing Ally
Justin Leigh @ Focus4growth
Lauren Burke @ The Mama Collective
Lisa Fensome @ The Pure Skin Clinic
MariaElena Cusick @The Whole You
Mathew Setchell @ MSH Support
Matthew Power Photography
Naomi Rose @ Elsie May’s
Neil Bharadwa @ The Cambridge Fruit Company
Nicola Rata @ Diamond Domestic Cleaning
Paul Pankhurst @ Dylbert Ltd
Russ Edgar @ Velocity Marketing
Sarah Loddick @ Leaders in Flow
Scott Davies @ SD Training
Silvertone Cleaning Company
Som Parkash @ Som’s Salon
The Team @ Bohemia St Neots
The Team @ Claws & Clippers
The Team @ CPSL Mind
The Team @ Smiling Grape
The Team @ St Neots FC
The Team @ Urban&Civic
Victor Sacks @ VS Associates
Wendy Chamberlain @ The Ironing Shop
Zoe Parnham Photography