Monday, April 20, 2015

Big is Beautiful Especially When it Comes to Using Giant Balloons

Breathtaking, spectacular, magnificent, and awe-inspiring are just a few words that I feel when I see decor created with Giant Cloudbusterand 3' balloons! The impact that they make in a large space is simply stunning! And if I feel like that as a professional balloon artist who works with balloon 24/7, imagine how our customers are going to react!


Heythrop Park Hotel - Balloon Decor by Luc Betrand CBA

I have an amazing souvenir I’d like to share with you first. Luc Bertand, CBA, of WAW Balloons Belgium was tasked with creating entrance decor with 'wow' factor for the Qualatex® Event at Heythrop Park in the UK in 2011. He did not disappoint! When delegates arrived at this beautiful country house hotel they were greeted by this breathtaking display of balloons! Luc used 3' latex and the 4', 5.5' and 8' Cloudbusters to create the awesome display!


Heythrop Park Hotel - Balloon Decor by Luc Betrand CBA

And by night with the venue lit up and the addition of two helium-filled arches using 3' latex balloons, Luc created a truly fabulous visual effect!












To assist me with this blog, I asked balloon professionals Colin Stewart, CBA of STEWART'S Baskets and Balloons, Toronto, Canada; Laura Vernis of Penguins Decoraci√≤ , Barcelona, Spain; and Rocky Toomey, CBA & Terry Mulryan Toome of Future Affairs Productions, Rhode Island, USA, who all regularly work with 3' and Cloudbuster™ balloons to share a little of their personal experience working with these amazing balloons.


Balloon Decor by Colin Stewart CBA
Why do you enjoy working with giant balloons?

Colin: I love to work with giant size balloons. The enthusiasm from my customers is overwhelming. It provides a decor package that 80% of the general public has never seen! Giant balloons in a room fills it with so much colour and so fast! Customers are not used to seeing anything like this.














Balloon Decor by Laura Vernis



Laura: When we started our company 20 years ago, we used other kinds of materials in our decorations. When we started working with balloons we did not like to work with the small sizes. We find working with giant balloons super easy and so much fun!





Balloon Decor by Laura Vernis



The giant ones give the customer more WOW effect. Bearing in mind that most of our clients are events companies. They always want innovative and contemporary decorations.

So with the giant balloons, it is easy for us to work the aerial and sculptural volume especially when we work with outdoor areas and high ceilings.

Balloon Decor by Laura Vernis

Our clients are always surprised with our techniques with the balloons. We keep abreast with trends that we see on Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and other social media channels. We also try to be very purists with the colours and make many of our own by using the double stuffing technique.

















Rocky: At Future Affairs Productions we have incorporated all the large balloons into our designs for many years.  When we do large concerts, these are something we insist on using during their balloon drops.  We save the large balloons for the finale after all the others balloons have dropped. They have such a great impact for the audience.

Does a giant balloon have a giant pop?

Rocky: Working with the large balloons can seem intimidating to a new person.  Surprisingly though, the large balloons are quite hardy and are less likely to burst. They don’t make the loud “POP’; they are actually quite uneventful when they do pop! On one of my events, I had hundreds of the 5 and 8 ft balloons tethered down on a lawn area behind a festival stage for over an hour prior to throwing them over the fence to the crowd with very few casualties.  


Balloons by Colin Stewart CBA
Do you use helium or air when working with big balloons?

Colin:We fill Cloudbuster and 3' balloons with both helium and air.  We helium fill Cloudbuster balloons for outdoor events, secured to a heavy nylon pennant tether line and fly them 100ft in the air, these are great for car dealerships, sales, promotions and much more!

When we work in-doors we use both helium and air-filled Cloudbuster and 3' balloons. When helium filled, it gives us the opportunity to fill massive high level spaces that we could never normally fill. We often use a rig-line system that allows us to fill big spaces with both helium and air-filled balloons. 


Balloon Cloud by Sue Bowler CBA





I used the same rig-line system that Colin recommends a few years ago when I created a 3' balloon installation for a client. My brief was to create a 'Balloon Cloud' and fill space at different floor levels. We were able to secure a rigging line at a halfway point so we could fill the space below with air-filled balloons and above with helium filled balloons, it worked really well! If you want to find out more about this project just click on the Balloon Cloud link above.








Rocky: When inflating the large balloons we use the Conwin Air Force 4 inflator and depending on how we are going to use them we have different ways of sealing them. 

If they are to be used for a drop in an arena or to be tossed to a crowd at a festival we first fold over the long neck of the Cloudbuster and use a standard 8 inch Zip Tie, or Cable Tie and pull it tight to seal the balloon.  We do not cut the remaining length of the cable tie, as this will cause a sharp edge where the tie is cut. Instead, we bend the tie around the neck of the balloon and secure this with gaffers tape. We do this because this balloon will come into contact with many people as they bounce it around the arena.
If we are using the Cloudbuster for a ceiling treatment, we seal it much in the same manner, using the cable tie to secure the neck once the neck is bent over. This time we do cut off the cable tie so it is not visible to anyone looking up at the top of the balloon. Here we do not use gaffe tape to further wrap the neck because once the event is over, we bring the Cloudbusters down and snip the zip tie with a wire cutters and let out the air. As a result, we can get many uses out of the same balloon.

To attach them to the ceiling we use 15 to 30 pound monofilament and use the Click-Click Magnetic Hanging System.  Using the Regular ClikMagnets for the 5 ft balloons and use the Super ClickMagnets for anything above the 5 foot Cloudbuster. This system is fantastic and cuts down tremendously on the rigging times and costs compared to using a lift or a ladder.   Always do a site inspection of your venue and bring this Click-Click system with you on that visit. Test your ceiling to make sure there is metal up there where you want to hang your Cloudbuster for this system to work.  Nothing can be worse than costing out a job that is impossible to do at the price you quoted because you didn’t do a site inspection first!

Is it possible to re-use Cloudbuster balloons?

Colin: If I use the Cloudbuster™ balloons outside, they usually stay there for several days. I tend not to re-use these balloons as they become weathered, they may have been rained or even snowed on so we never re-use these. However, when air-filled and used inside they are usually on display for a much shorter time. When I return to de-rig the job, I will carefully remove the cable tie that I have used to close the balloon and then I can easily deflate the balloons and re-use them on another occasion.

Rocky: Word of caution here.  Never count on reusing old stock for any event. My rule is to treat each job as if you had no used stock of Cloudbuster and always order 10% more then you actual need.  First inflate your old stock on the job, and then use the new stock as replacements. This way if you can use the old stock for the job you have new stock ready for the next job and just replace as needed.  This in turn increases your profit margin on jobs going forward. 


How well do Cloudbuster balloons blend with the Qualatex 3' balloons?

Colin: They are a little different as Cloudbusters are made from a blend of natural and synthetic latex, so they have a slightly different appearance. But to be honest when I am working with like colours, once they are positioned they all blend together really well! 


For more information check out this great flyer! You can either download as a PDF or view by clicking HERE.

There is also a great Cloudbuster™ Balloon Inflation Tips Instruction Sheets that you can download, simply click HERE

 

Once again I would like to thank Colin, Laura and Rocky for their great advice and tips when working with these magnificent balloons.

Happy 'BIG' ballooning!

Sue
www.suebowler.com


2 comments:

benilhalk said...

That’s right! Balloon decorations are always fun and beautiful. I had my birthday in March and my husband planned it for me at one of my favorite venues in Atlanta. Whole decoration was done with balloons and was looking wonderful.

Chris Adamo said...

Great Blog Sue, I love your posts. One little thing to add, we work with cloudbusters allot and have found a easy hands free method for inflation. I created a quick little video on our technique:

https://youtu.be/kbP-aYxx-Kc