Thursday, November 21, 2013

Is working with balloons a hobby or a career worth investing in?

Attending a convention is a huge investment, and I suppose if you have never been to one it is hard to understand why you even should consider going? 

Taking classes from some of the best instructors, teaching their latest and greatest designs and techniques is just awesome and such a huge learning curve and having the opportunity to learn skills that would take me years to master without the hands-on tuition!


This is a selection of classes from JBAN earlier this year. Classes are action packed with like minded balloon artists having the opportunity to learn different skills such as making balloon dress's, how to create amazing Quick Link designs and decor for Halloween and all in a just a few hours, think what else you can learn in 3 days!











It is easy for us to think that we have gained enough knowledge by going on a variety of one day courses, buying a DVD or that everything is available on the internet through You Tube or Facebook, all of which are great and very very helpful resources!

So I would like to tell you from my own experience how by attending those first few conventions change my balloon career path to where it is today!


When I first started my balloon business, I honestly can say that it was more of a hobby than a job or career. I loved balloons, I loved creating decor and transforming people’s wedding and parties with my ‘amazing’ creations, but my skills were at best basic, my business skills were dire and in my first 4 years I never made any profit, all these points are completely true!
It was at this point that I had to make a decision, balloons jobs took up all my family time and weekends but it was not making me any money, so should I stop or should I invest in myself, and luckily I chose the latter!

Attending my very first convention was everything that I could have hoped for and more, on a scale of 1-10 it was at least a 1000, actually it was off the scale and simply an experience that was out of this World, I don't think that anyone could have told me in words how it would be, I really had to experience it for myself!



Balloon Conventions for me is about meeting so many amazing and inspiring people such as Ted & Betty Vlamis, having so many unique opportunities to build mind blowing party decor, or working as part of a competition team... 
Ted & Betty Vlamis owners of Pioneer Balloon Company.


It completely re-energised me, it filled me with knowledge, skills, confidence and inspiration and on my return after implementing what I had learned it took my balloon business to a whole new level, and for the first time EVER I really started to make a profit and with a couple of conventions and competitions behind me, I knew that I had found an amazing career, one that was worth investing in! Another huge plus was that I also made an unbelievable network of friends, people from around the world, people who shared the same passion as me, people that I am still very much in contact with today and have seen how successfully they have grown their own business too!


For me taking part and winning competitions got me and my work noticed around the world!
Takehero Kai 

The industry has changed a lot since my early days (makes me sound ancient), there was no social media, no Facebook or YouTube (yes we had running water and a TV), but I can still honestly say that the people that I see posting some of the best designs and creations on the internet today are in the main, those people that I have met and seen at conventions around the world, many who have entered competitions or worked on the grand scale parties... who's not in awe of Takehero Kai, pictured above with a hand full of awards for his amazing designs!

If we were in any other business or trade we would need to learn our skills, gain qualifications and invest to grow our business's, and personally I believe that the balloon industry should be in that same league. 

On Monday this week The World Balloon Convention made a great offer to those people who want make the commitment to attend WBC and get the lowest possible price by registering by the 29th November, next Thursday, but only having to put a 50% down payment, with the remainder being paid by March 4th 2014. 

This blog is not a sales pitch, I am writing this because I know that there are so many people who work with balloons who are not really sure what direction they are heading in, how to grow their business  or what a convention as all about, or maybe a little scared that if they attend that they won't make friends, or be out of their depth... I can assure each and everyone of you that as long as you get involved at every opportunity that you will like me have an off the scale experience and one that will really help you to grow you and your business!

Here is a YouTube clip created by Eddie Heyland from Balloon City USA, from the 2012 World Balloon Convention, that captures the spirit of just one part of the convention, the competitions large and medium sculptures, I hope that you enjoy watching it as much as I did, it truly inspires me every time I see the awesome work created by balloon artists from around the world... this could be you, and of course, Eddie makes such a great host as he walks around the competition room talking to the delegates!



I am personally looking forward to being at The World Balloon Convention in Denver next March, meeting up with both old and new friends. I love the challenge of working on my classes to create something new and exciting for those who attend, I love to see what the other amazing instructors are teaching too and wish that I could be in their classes. I love being blown away by the truly amazing competition entries, each and everyone of them as I know what commitment and passion has been given to their designs.I love to see all the new CBA's and their excitement at taking and passing their CBA exam at such a prestigious event... my list could go on and on! 

So, if you are thinking about going to WBC but have yet to sign up, this is the time to do it and take the great discounts that are being offered, but only until next week! I hope I see you there!


Happy Ballooning!
Sue
www.suebowler.com



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