Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Qualatex Event... a few magical memories!

Wow, I cannot believe that the Qualatex Event has been and gone! Months of preparation and logistics are now a mere memory, but as with all balloon conventions, these are memories that will stay with us for a very long time!

Firstly, I would like say a huge thank you to Lia Palka and the Brazilian team for sharing all their amazing photographs with me, I have used a selection of these to create The Qualatex Event Competition and The Qualatex Event dvds which I will add to the end of this blog!

Decor by Luc Bertrand CBA

I am not sure if Heythrop Park, an 18th Century country house now hotel, has ever seen anything quite like it, balloons absolutely everywhere!
The event started with a flurry of activity, competitors from Belgium, Denmark, Romania, Slovenia, Russia, Spain, Italy, Brazil and the UK in full swing building 8 large and 5 medium balloon sculptures and instructors building event decor both inside & outside the hotel!

Decor by Sue Bowler CBA

When I first arrive at an event I love to meet up with all the friends that I have made over the years, it's like the best reunion ever! Then I like to get my bearings... I think after the 4 days I finally found my way around the hotel... "anyone know where the Enstone is"??

Along with the start of the competitions, Qualatex distributor's from across Europe were invited to the annual distributors meeting and dinner and both myself and the lovely Robbie Furman were charged with creating the evenings decor. The theme for this event was 'The Future' and I used this theme to create my 'Out of this World' decor! Robbie created a fantastic Space Rocket that greeted the guests on their arrival!

Friday evening, myself and Carol Dack - CBA Coordinator from Pioneer Europe met up with an extremely nervous group of  delegates who where bravely taking the final part of their CBA assessment on Saturday morning... I am not sure if they slept that night, but we hoped that we had managed to re-assure them a little!!!!
The hotel remained a constant hive of activity with the competitions and instructors preparations continuing throughout the night.

Saturday saw most of the event delegates arrive, in total over 370 delegates from more than 26 countries... the CBA Exam started at 9am prompt and the sculpture competitors had a few more hours to complete their designs! I would like to say a little bit about the CBA Exam. Firstly a huge thank you to Carol Dack who ensured that the day worked like clock-work, with so many candidates (29) we needed 3 teams to complete the 15 minute Panel Interviews. Carol was determined that we would have everyone's results but 5pm that evening so they could relax and enjoy the event! Our dedicated teams continued after the exam, working to mark each and every design created by the candidates. After several hours we were down to the very last few designs and it started to dawn on us that at that point everyone so far had passed, excitement grew within the room as we reached the very last candidate... and YES... they had passed too! 29 new CBA's at The Qualatex Event!

Entrance Decor created by Ian Herd
Mad Hatter Alberto Nava CBA... with his Queen of Hearts!
Saturday evening started with the official opening ceremony in the Heythorp's grand lobby, swiftly followed by the Disney Party beautifully decorated by Colin Myles, Vanessa Lever, Shirley Ray and Alex Arroyo and the many volunteer helpers! Plus I was delighted to see Ian Herd, who wowed us all with his awesome Mickey & Minnie Mouse balloon wall!
It was so great seeing all the amazing costumes, so many people had dressed up!

Both Sunday & Monday were action packed filled with classes delivered by 19 of our industries best instructors. Beautiful designs adorned every nook and cranny of the hotel and it's lecture rooms!
Dee White CBA in action

Now it only seemed like yesterday that we were dancing and having fun at the Disney Party and now it's time to get dressed up for the Final Night Gala.. once again we were absolutely wowed with the stunning decor created by Jodie Norris (White) and Dee White and their amazing team of helpers. The evening was filled with awards (I have posted all the results on the Competition DVD below) and entertainment from the great 'Rafael' and dancing into the wee small hours with music from a great live band, a perfect opportunity for John and I to put our wonderful new  dancing hobby into practice!

The 4 days passed by so very quickly, I wish like always that I had more opportunity to catch-up with everyone and seeing everything that was going on, but looking through 1600 photographs was wonderful... and it appears from the photo's that everyone had a great time and it has been great reading some of the fantastic comments posted on the Qualatex Group and The Qualatex Event Facebook page... keep them coming, we love feedback!

I think that I will allow the photographs to do the talking now, I think that every picture speaks a 1000 words! The first DVD is a complete overview of the Qualatex Event and the second DVD is all the competitions... I hope you enjoy watching these as much as I did making them.

If you missed the Qualatex Event, then do not despair as you can experience all this and more by attending The World Balloon Convention in Dallas, Texas, USA March 21-25 2012

See you there!


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