My birthday treat this year was to spend the weekend in London, attending the BritMums Live blogging conference along with over 700 other bloggers. The chance to mingle and chat with grown-ups without having to break off to provide food or clothing, or tidy up mess, bliss!
The best bit about it was definitely getting to catch up with some old friends and familiar faces, and the chance to meet some bloggers I've chatted with online 'in real life (IRL)'. The worst bit was probably not getting enough time to have long chats with many of them, and only being able to manage a fleeting 'hello' to some lovely ladies who I'd rather have sat down over a bottle of wine with. On top of that, there were so many other new faces there that I just didn't get chance to blink at - I still think my idea of a Blogger Speed Dating session should have been taken up by the wonderful (but busy) organisers!
As it was, we got to know some better than others by breaking an official Guinness World Record together on the Friday evening. I am now the proud owner of a record breaking medal, yay! One of life's ambitions ticked off and extra impressed points donated to me by eldest daughter. We wrapped 51 mummies (lots of toilet roll, all recycled) in the space of 3 minutes, aren't we clever?! The previous record was 50, and we had 18 mummies disallowed due to gaps which were too wide... I personally made sure there were no gaps on our mummy, who was the rather gorgeous Ella of Deliciously Ella fame.
(I'm sure I learnt in one conference session that photos should be landscape and that it's better to use no photo than a bad one. I just love to break the rules....)
Another highlight of a conference like this is the chance to talk to a variety of brands about blogger interaction. Some companies are very switched on to blogging and realise that word of mouth is one of the best and most lucrative forms of marketing, and this year I was enthused by the great guys on the RealTimes stand who were promoting a new app.
Their app 'automatically creates beautiful and engaging visual stories from your photos and videos, helping you capture and share life's adventures with no effort'. In other words, in a flash you can create a heart-warming mini movie from a group of photos on your phone or mobile device. Definitely a winner for me, I'm all about photos and videos (even if I haven't quite had the time to learn the skills properly yet!).
I was shown an example and it looked so easy that I downloaded the app there and then. The app selects 'happy moments' based on a groups of photos from a certain timescale and merges them into a mini movie. You can then customise your story by adding more photos or changing the music etc. It is SO easy, I promise, try it out! At the end of the conference I came up with this little movie after just 10 minutes of altering the first suggestion put together for me by the app:
One of the great features of this app is that it converts your videos straight to the necessary format for sharing, whether that is Twitter, Facebook or blog post. They've thought of everything!
RealTimes are currently running a competition to win a VIP family experience for 8 to stay overnight in Port Lympne's Animal Reserve. All you have to do is download the RealTimes app from the App Store, Google Play or at www.real.com, then create a shareable video montage of your 'Ultimate Family Moment' using this app. Finally, share it to @realtimes on Twitter, quoting #RealTimes. Entries must be received before 20.07.15 and full terms and conditions are at uk.real.com/britmums
Of course I couldn't resist the chance to enter this competition too, and would like to share with you our recent 'Ultimate Family Moment' - my mum's 70th birthday party. Please do let me know what you think of these little clips in the comments below - and Good Luck with the competition!
Disclaimer: I have not been paid or specifically asked to write this post; these are my own opinions and I honestly love this new app!