How was 2015 New Year’s Eve for you? Did you have the best year yet, or are you still trying to find your way into that market?
New Year’s Eve is such an important occasion. Expectations are high! Everyone wants it to be memorable and the "best night ever!" Venues charge top rates for people to attend a gala or party, and many charge customers to even visit a bar or club that would normally be free. So there is huge importance and responsibility on the event decorator to get it right!
Matthew Lewis, CBA, of Matthew Lewis Displays in Coventry, United Kingdom, is very busy leading up to New Year’s Eve (NYE) and mainly offers special effects to his clients. I asked Matthew if he would share some of his top tips when planning his NYE campaign.
Matthew's Top Tips
Exploding Balloons / Balloon Drops
1. Get repeat orders from the previous years. Keep in touch with your clients. Offer an incentive for early bookings. It does not have to be a discount, but you could offer an upgrade for a few £s more.
2. Know your venue/s. Do your homework. Do not offer something that cannot be achieved. If offering balloon drops or exploding balloons, then make sure the venue has adequate ceiling height and rigging points. If in doubt ,ask for a picture of the area.
3. Preparation. Exploding balloons and drops can be prepped well in advance. Most venues will allow you early access to install and not much happens between Christmas and NYE. I was able to rig from the 28th of December at some of my larger venues. It was just wiring for exploding balloons, but that saves a valuable amount of time on the day. The all new Q Boom* will speed up this process next year so watch this space!
4. Stock. Once an order has been placed and paid for, order the stock and then allocate a storage area. This is essential and helps with your cash flow. Good organisation now eliminates panic later on.
5. Set out a plan of how you are to action your days prior to NYE. Set a route and a time factor for deliveries. It’s always better to under quote and over deliver. NYE is a very important day for both you and your clients. If you let them down you will lose them.Not only for NYE the following year but also for any other event they have in mind.
6. Method Statements and Risk Assessments may be required for special effects. Think ahead and do them at the time of booking. Ask the client or venue what they require. Always a good idea to attach a copy of your public liability insurance to the quotation / proposal.
7. If working onsite to complete décor / effects, remember you may be working along other crews. They have a job to do as well. Be polite and informative. Tell them what you are doing. Nobody wants to fall out.
8. Be professional. Turn up with all your stock and equipment. Create a check-list and allocate crews to specific jobs prior to the day. If everyone knows what they are doing it makes for a much better working environment.
9. Keep your staff motivated. They want to celebrate as well. Try to be as accurate as possible to finishing times on the day in question.10. HAVE FUN. Make money but have fun!
'Note. 99% of my work on NYE is Exploding balloons and Balloon Drops. These can all be prepped well in advance. Preparation is vital and helps to a smooth running NYE. Happy clients are returning clients and some of my repeat customers have been with me for 15 years or more.'
* Matthew Lewis will be making his debut as a WBC Instructor at this years World Balloon Convention in New Orleans in April. Matthews class, "Q" the Boom will focus on how to incorporate exploding balloons into decor. He will be demonstrating the new Q-Boom System. He will be teaching how to make an exploding balloon, and how to rig safely and effectively!
I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy, healthy, and prosperous 2016! And look forward to seeing many of you at the World Balloon Convention in April!