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Think Vlogging Easy? You Can Just Vlog Off

So, in my head I was trying to prepare things I could vlog, things I could casually chat about to my camera in an entertaining and humorous way. I’d then be able to produce the best vlog I’d ever done, probably not the most difficult thing to achieve (don’t worry, I’m self deprecating in a light hearted way!). I’ll just say here, I know it wasn’t going to be easy.
BUT, and it’s a big but (how dare you!) It’s flipping difficult! Since I’ve got back I’ve watched Trev (poshcats camping) effortlessly wander around the NEC vlogging and chatting away as if he’s talking to an old friend. Of course he says he’s just waffling on and in a way he is, but it’s interesting stuff. And BTW it’s not an easy thing to do. The good thing is, we can all learn from others.
My attempt at holding my camera up and looking into it and talking consisted on one attempt. It ended with me saying “that’s rubbish” and of course it was. However, I’ve watched many YouTubers (non caravan as well) grow. A few I’ve watched recently and they are really very good, but, watch some of their earlier videos and something seems to happen. The first, say, 20 videos are almost unwatchable, then, something happens and their voice changes, their mannerisms change and they’re really good at it. It’s just practice, practice, practice. Practicing,of course takes time. Most people have family and work commitments taking their time too, so the time you get to improve is at a premium.

Anyway, back to the NEC. When I arrived and got into one of the halls, I decided to give filming a go. By this time there were queues outside most caravans and really, holding a camera up and chatting to yourself it not easy (have I said that already?). I’ve seen enough people do it in the past though, so all credit to them, but this time, I couldn’t do it. I had a backup plan of course, as I wanted to capture my day at the NEC if, for nothing else, to share with Mandy. It was my first big caravan show and I’m glad I got this one under my belt, so to speak. I didn’t really know what to expect, like many other vloggers I’m not a professional journalist, I do it for the fun of it.

The problem with chatting into the camera is complex. Firstly you have to be comfortable talking to no one, secondly you have to be able to think on the spot and say it out loud and thirdly you need to be able to deal with people looking at you like you’re a lunatic.

During my visit I managed to walk over 6 miles and I did a fair amount of filming, which was me walking around with the camera. I’ve recently purchased and Osmo Pocket, which is a really small camera with a gimbal (like the sort of thing you see on a drone). This is very inconspicuous and makes it really easy to just walk around filming without disturbing anyone else.

Osmo Pocket


You’ll be able to find really good coverage of the show on YouTube, which I encourage you to watch, if you want to see caravans and motorhomes up close. The vlog I ended up publishing is more to get a feel of what’s there and what I saw, and of course my take on the show. I hope it will be useful for people that didn’t get to go.

Here is the footage I did take whilst at the NEC

Meeting Like Minded People

Part of the day was of course filming, but the greater part, was meeting other people, like minded people from the caravan community. Most of these do have YouTube channels and publish content, but it was our interest in caravanning that brought us together. You don’t need a website or YouTube channel of course, it’s not for everyone. Twitter is a great enabler for this type of thing, if you search for caravanning you’ll find a lot of like minded people that love caravans.

The people I met (off the top of my head – links, where applicable, at the bottom of the article) And I’d like to score them out of 10 for their friendliness, I’m joking of course, they are all equally lovely.

Clare and Ian (For the Love of Caravans)
Aaron and Vicky (CaravanChitChat)
Jules and Karina (HereWeTow)
Karla and Stephen
John Cooke
Ray Hodges


All quite possibly the nicest people you’ll ever meet – and I’m not just saying that…

From left. Aaron, Vicky, Clare, Ian, Me!
From left. Jules, Karina, Me, Ian, Clare

Size Does Matter…

OK, vlogging love-in over with….
It’s difficult to convey how big the show is until you’ve been. You can get an idea by watching videos. It’s also difficult to see how busy it gets, people actually queue to get into caravans and motorhomes, which of course makes it difficult to see inside and get a good feel of the caravans and motorhomes.
We went there with the intentions of looking for a caravan to purchase last year, but couldn’t even get enough time to sit down and talk to a salesperson. Quite possibly we went at precisely the wrong time. We ended up buying one about a month later, but of course, we missed out on any show discounts available.
After I’d met the people I wanted to meet and finished any filming I was going to do (although as soon as I got in the hall my plan went out of my head immediately) I headed home.

Things I’ve Learnt

Well, to start with, I need more of a plan of action. I did compile a spreadsheet of who I wanted to visit, however, I wasn’t really sure why I wanted to visit them, other than I’d bought something from them in the past.

Things I’d Do Differently

As mentioned above a more detailed plan. You do need a few days there to do any sort of useful coverage. I’m self employed, which in theory makes me more flexible, however, it also means if I don’t work, I don’t get paid. As CaravanVlogger is 100% funded by us, I can’t justify taking that amount of time away from paid work – at the end of the day, it is a hobby not a job. I could possibly do a Saturday and a Sunday and maybe even take Friday off work to get set up, and this might be the answer.

Sharing The Love…

As mentioned above, here the details of the merry bunch of vloggers I met, some of which are pictured..

For The Love of Caravans
Karla & Stephen’s : Blog
Caravan Chit Chat


Here We Tow

As mentioned above (although unfortunately I didn’t meet them on the day. Trev’s NEC vlog, is the vlog I wish I could have made!).

PoshCats Camping

Conclusions

The show is great, but I need to work a lot on the way I personally vlog. My goal is to be comfortable with the camera and talking into it, whilst in public. I’m ok when me and Mandy are on holiday, not many people around, I can manage it. But in a crowded place like the NEC with thousands of people wondering around. I know that 99% of the people don’t care, they’re busy in their own lives, but it’s not until you actually try it yourself… I know it doesn’t really matter, it’s not something I need to do, it’s more something I want to do, the fact that I wasn’t able to do it at the NEC makes me even more determined. Feel the fear and do it anyway! You might see me walking naked vlogging my way down a high street near you, or is that taking it a bit too far!?

4 COMMENTS

  1. I really enjoyed reading your blog Graham. Your honest appraisal of your own inexperience. But as you said, its practice, practice, practice. If you had managed to apply for a Press Pass then you would have had at least two hours of film time before the public were unleashed upon the show.
    Having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and thank you for the mention. I can honestly say that I enjoyed meeting you and the others very much.
    Cheers John

  2. I good read Graham and very pleasing to hear the enthusiasm you have for caravanning and motorhoming. This community has grown considerably larger over the years and nothing has dampened the friendly and approachable nature of campers. Gone are the days with the cold smelly toilets in sheds in the corner of a muddy field with one tap in the far corner.

    The latest materials and technologies have created a whole new era of camping in the outdoors. Comfort and luxury is available to those that seek it and even working on the move is a possibility. Sites now offer facilities that are warm, clean and very comfortable. And pitched are organised to ensure you don’t fall into someone else’s tent when you step out of your awning.

    This show demonstrated to me that we have a whole new generation of caravanning and motorhoming ahead of us and the crowds really did confirm how popular it has now become.

    For the few that blog and vlog, it is a wonderful opportunity to watch and capture. Thank you for mentioning my YouTube channel. It didn’t really occur to me that I was different to any one else at the show until I got the occasional photo bomb or strange look. But I usually used a friendly smile and as appropriate comment from behind my camera, just small talk, and away I go again. A little edit can put that right later.

    You will see on my vlog that I am aimlessly wandering at some stages but finding the odd bit of something to say along the way, as if I am having a conversation with someone on the phone. I do have ideas but never a fixed plan. Perhaps more a shopping list of scenes I may wish to shoot. The order doesn’t matter and nor does the length. One shot I did 3 times because someone got in the way just at the wrong moment.

    It’s all for fun and the day I start taking myself too seriously, I think I would have to stop. Go with it Graham, nobody is watching you filming, its just that little voice in your head 😁

    I hope we get a chance to meet up and exchange ideas at a future show.

    • Thanks for the comment Trev. I’ve thought about treating it as if I’m talking to someone on the phone, and that’s pretty much what it is. Some great pointers and advice, thanks. I did sort of surprise myself, that one that particular day I wouldn’t do it. Anyway, I’ll get some practice in.
      I’m sure we’ll bump into each other and a show or even a site one day. Would be good to have a chat..
      Graham

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