Tuesday, September 12, 2023

"The evolution of the balloon industry alongside the rise of influencers."

"My Italian genes just LOVED working on this project with @philipcarrevent"
Design by Chris Adamo, CBA, Owner at Balloonpro.co and Balloons Online and Owner at The Balloon Crew - Balloons.net.au

The balloon industry shares similarities with the fashion world as it undergoes continuous transformation and development. I have witnessed many of trends emerge and fadeover the last three decades. This includes the introduction of novel and creative balloon-related products, as well as the emergence of a fabulous array of exciting balloon colours. Among the memorable moments, one that stands out vividly is the introduction of the organic style of balloon decor. This revolutionary approach offered a liberating form of balloon arrangement, breaking away from the constraints and conventions of traditional Classic Balloon Decor. 

Some within the industry held the belief that this new trend would have a brief existence, echoing sentiments such as "it requires an excessive number of balloons," "it demands too much time," and "people won't be willing to pay extra for the additional balloons and time." However, this prediction couldn't have been more off-base. Amidst the pandemic, when numerous balloon enterprises faced a sense of hopelessness, a contrary phenomenon was unfolding. In places where contactless deliveries were sanctioned, a fresh surge of balloon artists emerged along with the evolution of “ballooning influencers.”

The balloon industry has consistently featured a key group of influential figures—balloon artists who have conducted workshops and sessions at prominent global events. I can certainly identify myself as belonging to this category. However,  a new wave of influencers has had a notable impact on the balloon market since the pandemic in several ways:

So, what exactly is an influencer, and how do they influence the ballooning community?

Promotion and Visibility: Influencers showcase balloon decor in their content, whether it's home decorations, party setups, or event displays. This increased visibility has brought attention to balloon decor, encouraging individuals to try it themselves or hire professionals.

Organic Display using Qualatex Chrome Balloons by
Blow it with Bex

Trends and Inspiration: Influencers introduce new trends and creative ideas. Their unique designs and innovative concepts inspire consumers and professionals to explore different styles and themes in balloon decorations.

Halloween Decor by Bubble Hustle Balloons in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Consumer Engagement: Many influencers engage directly with their followers through Q&A sessions, tutorials, and live demonstrations. This interaction has educated and encouraged people to experiment with balloon art, especially during lockdowns when DIY projects gained popularity.

Business Collaboration: Some balloon manufacturers and suppliers collaborate with influencers to promote their services or products. This partnership can boost brand recognition and reach new audiences. Influencers often share their positive experiences with balloon businesses, leading to referrals and recommendations.

Photo by @Sarah_lit with @Northstarballoons

Community Building: Influencers have fostered a sense of community within the balloon industry. They connect enthusiasts, artists, and businesses, creating a supportive network for sharing ideas, techniques, and resources.

Market Expansion: The pandemic prompted many individuals to explore home-based businesses, including balloon decor. Influencers played a role in guiding newcomers through tutorials, business advice, and product recommendations, contributing to market growth.

In summary, influencers have contributed to the resilience and evolution of the balloon market during the pandemic and beyond by promoting creativity, inspiring trends, and fostering a sense of community. They've helped balloon decor remain relevant and adaptable to changing circumstances.

The balloon industry is not unique; influencers can practically be found in every industry, from book reviewing to fashion blogging, and their knowledge and understanding of their niche places them in a position of power and authority within the digital realm.

Here are a few balloon-related accounts that have substantial followings. I am sure there are many more, but these are the companies that I follow. 

The Event Collective @theventcollectivex, with a jaw-dropping 994K followers:

The Event Collective, established in 2018 and based in Austrailia, is a directory and convenient place to find anything and everything party or event-related. The Event Collective shares the work of balloon artists and event companies from around the world.

Balloon Designers ♡Genesis Nieves & Iravid Nieves

Decolovers @decolovers: with 926K followers

Qualatex @qualatex: With 176K followers, Qualatex is a major balloon manufacturer and educator known for providing high-quality balloons and educational resources. They have a significant following due to their global presence and educational content.

Dream Higher Events @dreamhigherevents:

Boasting an impressive 205K followers, Debbie Boxall of Dream Higher Events has experienced remarkable growth in just a few years. Debbie's fine art and fashion design background undeniably influence her distinctive style and boundless creativity. Her balloon journey narrative is truly compelling; I wholeheartedly recommend exploring her story on her Instagram page.

Bubblegum Balloons @Bubblegumballoons:

Founded in 2013 by sisters Laura & Sally and their best friend Megan, they began the Bubblegum business in their family home. Surrounded by endless amounts of confetti, feathers, helium, and ribbon, the Bubblegum dream was born. With a vision to create a beautiful personalised gift for every special occasion, the business has grown into a team of Balloon Ninjas who travel worldwide to deliver the Bubblegum Balloons magic! Today, Bubblegum Balloons still boasts a magnificent 194K followers. 


The Event King - @jesustejadax: - 177k followers

Blow it with Bex @blowitwithbex: -155K followers

Dress your Daydream @dressyourdaydream: - 148K followers

Edward Munoz - @edward_munoz: - 128K followers

Balloon Occasions - @balloonoccasions: - 125K followers

Feathered Fox Designs - @featheredfoxdesigns - 119K followers

With a Twist Balloons - @withatwistballoons: - 112K followers

Are influencers important for the growth of the balloon industry? While influencers can amplify these efforts and reach a broader audience, they are just one piece of the puzzle. The collective actions of professionals, businesses, industry associations, and the broader community all contribute to the continued relevance of balloons in the eyes of the general public.

Happy Ballooning! 



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Friday, August 18, 2023

Balloon Stacks: The Creative Balloon Bouquets

Over the past few years, a new and exciting style of deliverable design has emerged – Balloon Stacks, or Balloon Bouquets.

The Evolution of Balloon Bouquets over Time ⏰🎈 Back in the day (we're talking many years ago 🦕), a balloon bouquet was simply a bunch of helium-filled latex and foil balloons tied together and securely fastened to a weight. Nowadays, balloon bouquets have become much more sophisticated. These stacks are creatively arranged and have a unique blend of colours, techniques and designs that make them a perfect fit for any occasion.

Check out this stunning example of a creative Balloon Bouquet! Designed by Jackie Ochitwa of With a Twist Balloon Creations in Alberta, Canada, this masterpiece showcases the artist's mastery of this style of decor. I usually live by the philosophy of "less is more", but in this case, more is definitely better!

Design by Jackie Ochitwa, CBA

For me, it is all in the detail, and that is what Jackie is especially good at! Jackie's twisting skills really give her the edge when creating these intricate designs. Learning a few twisting techniques definitely elevates any balloon artist's work! 

Jackie has her own YouTube channel 'Jackie O' where you will find a selection of video tutorials that show a number of techniques she uses in her designs.

I have also included below, Jackie's Kawaii class from the Q Corner Balloon convention 2020. This FREE video class is approximately  1 hour and 45 mins long and is packed with some great techniques and twisted design ideas to recreate for your bouquet designs... Happy viewing!

Balloon Number Stacks are also extremely popular, and they make the perfect gift for anyone celebrating a special birthday from 1 to 100! There is definitely no age limit for these fabulous balloon designs! I love this vibrant tropical theme Number Nine design by Debbie Boxhall of Dream Higher Events. Those HOT colours really do 'pop'. 

Balloon Design by Dream Higher Events in Kent. UK

Here are some more great example of creative balloon bouquets.

Love... Covered in Sprinkles!

Any Valentine would swoon over this SWEET concoction of balloon goodness!

Designer name: Eve Antonello, CBA, Pioneer Balloon Company, Wichita, KS, USA

Tutu Cute!

Surprise a little dancer with this ballet themed delivery!

Designer name: Cam Woody, CBA, Pioneer Balloon Company, Wichita, KS, USA

Gold rose is a classic and a favourite regardless of the age. This Number 80 design is by Ventura County Balloons in California, USA

Designer name: Eve Antonello, CBA, Pioneer Balloon Company, Wichita, KS, USA
Please note that the Black numbers have now been discontinued but could be easily replaced with any colour.

Designer name: Zahraa Jawad, CBA of Forever Balloons Boutique in Beruit, Lebanon

There is no limit to the amount of creativity you can use within one of these displays. The only limitation is your ballooning abilities. If you would like to learn more, there are some truly great resources:

1. You can tune into Q Corner's FREE Balloon Show or you can join the Q Corner School of Balloons for a monthly nominal fee where you will get access to lots of video tutorials and extra Q Corner content.

2. You can tune into Happy Hour with Cam & Eve. Simply click on the link to view all the past live streams. Once again, these are all free!

I hope that you have enjoyed this post, thank you for read!

Happy Ballooning!

Follow me @suebowler

Thursday, August 3, 2023

Creative QuickLink Balloon Walls - with Step-by-Step Guide

Balloon Walls are perfect for all occasions and create the perfect theme backdrop. 

QuickLinks are the quickest way to make a Balloon Wall! Creating a QuickLink Balloon Wall is a fun and colourful way to decorate for parties, events, or special occasions. QuickLinks are available in both 12” and 6” sizes.

QuickLink balloons have specially placed tail ends that allow you to easily link/tie them together. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to make a QuickLink Balloon Wall:

Materials you'll need:

  1. QuickLink balloons in desired colours
  2. Balloon pump (electric pump for speed and efficiency)
  3. Poles and bases or Command hooks or other hooks (for hanging the balloon wall)
  4. Scissors

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Plan the design: Decide on the size and shape of your balloon wall. You could create a wall covering an entire backdrop, a small section of a wall, or even a free-standing balloon wall.

    To plan your design, you could use the Balloon Pro Design Tool. This is a great way to experiment, and design your balloon wall and share a concept design with your clients.

    Choose your balloon colours:

  2. Select various colours to create a visually appealing and vibrant balloon wall. Consider the theme of your event or party to pick the appropriate colours.

    Here are a few different examples of QuickLink Balloon Walls. You can easily identify the type of event each wall was for by simply looking at the colours.

    Design by Sue Bowler

    Probably one of my favourite X-Grid Wall designs is by the incredible duo, Avital & Nir Shechter. The fabulous colours and the different sizing of the fillers makes this design fun, exciting and oh so vibrant! 

    Inflate the balloons:

  3. Use a balloon pump to inflate the QuickLink balloons. Make sure to inflate them to the same size for a consistent look.

  4. Create balloon chains: Make multiple balloon chains of varying lengths, depending on your design plan. To create a chain, inflate your balloons to the desired size and tie the balloons end to end, ensuring that the tying connections are tight and cannot stretch.

    QuickLink Vertical/Horizontal Grids This is one of my favourite techniques, and I have used it many times when creating balloon walls at corporate events. The last wall I made before we headed into lockdown was for an event in London where the theme for the party was Great Gatsby! 
  5. Here is an example of a Grid Method QuickLink Balloon Wall. I have colour-coded it to make it a little easier to understand the construction technique.

    Step 1.
    This is the first step to constructing a wall. For this wall I will need to inflate:
    Make 6 chains using 9 balloons in each chain (this is shown in red)
    Make 10 chains using 5 balloons in each chain (this is shown in blue)

    Step 2.
    Once you have inflated your chains, lay them down in the correct sequence. To connect the chains together you will need Duplets, in the example shown above you would need 60 Duplets.

    Step 3.
    To fill in the wall, you will need 'plugs'. A plug is a Duplet that will fit in each of the holes within the wall. I would recommend to inflate the Duplets approximately 1" smaller than the size used to create the actual wall or if you are using smaller QuickLinks approx ½" smaller.

  6. Add support for larger walls: If you're creating a large balloon wall, you need to add support to ensure the balloons stay in place.

  7. Optional: Add embellishments: If desired, add other decorations like foil balloons, paper flowers, banners, or LED lights to enhance the balloon wall further.

I also want to share with you this fabulous wall. Luc Bertrand, CBA of WaW Balloons in Vichte, Belgium created the original design he created this wall as part of the décor for the 100-year celebration of Pioneer Balloon Company on the Qualatex stand at the Nuremberg International Toy Fair in Germany. Luc's design uses the AeröPole System® to create the circular frame, and then Luc used 6" QuickLink balloons to create the central grid system filled with multi-coloured 5" latex balloons. 

100 Year Celebration Balloon Wall by Luc Bertrand
100 Years Celebration Balloon Wall by Luc Bertrand of WaW Balloons, Vichte, Belgium

I re-created Luc's design for the Pioneer Balloon Company's 100th Birthday Celebration Party in Wichita in 2017. The party theme was Black & White, and it was a great opportunity to use a fantastic selection of black & white printed balloons. This wall made the perfect photo backdrop!

QuickLink X Pattern Grids

This is another great technique using QuickLinks to create fabulous wall designs. 

Here are two grids that I have designed on the Balloon Tool to show you examples of how the frame looks with and without the balloon fillers.

Here are some examples of wall designs using the X-Pattern Grid

QuickLInk 'Love' Balloon Wall by Sue Bowler
'Love' X-Grid Wall designed and created by Sue Bowler

It's a Boy! QuickLink Balloon Wall by Sue Bowler
'Welcome Baby' X-Grid Wall Designed and created by Sue Bowler

Nir and Avital Shechter, CBA's of Baloney Nir in Katzrin, Israel
Nir and Avital Shechter, CBA's of Baloney Nir in Katzrin, Israel are all about design especially when they create their fabulous balloon walls! 

Back to School Balloon Wall by Nir and Avital Shechter, CBA's of Baloney Nir in Katzrin, Israel
'Back to School' X-Grid Wall Designed by Avital and Nir  

If you have never tried making a balloon wall, then start with QuickLinks! If you want to practice, you can use 6" QuickLinks wmeaning that your design will be much smaller than if you use 12". You can still make a great backdrop design using 6" QuickLink balloons, so make sure that whatever you make, you use it for a photo opportunity! 

A huge thank you to Nir & Avital Shechter, Alberto Falcone, and Luc Bertrand for sharing their beautiful balloon wall designs with the Very Best Balloon Blog! 

Happy Ballooning! 

Follow me @suebowler