Friday, December 13, 2013

2013 was it a good year for the balloon industry?

It is when the year is coming to a close we look back and consider how it was for us and our business's?

With many countries in recession and others in the very early stages of recovery, it is always hard to feel optimistic during these periods, however, it has also been proven that in recession people party harder, birthdays and celebrations are still extremely important and although they may not always be on a grand scale they certainly are still looking for balloons and decor to brighten up their events!

Superstition has also played a big role this year with many wedding couples opting not to get married in 2013, some business's have seen their wedding sales drop by more than 30%! 

Helium shortages has also been very challenging, but I believe that many balloon business's have adapted really well, dug deep and found great air-filled solutions, a trend that I believe will grow and grow.

To get a better overview of how 2013 has been for balloon business's around the world, I asked a few of our Qualatex Facebook Group members to help me, I will be posting their responses over the next few days.

I would like to start with Joette's Giardina of Party People Celebration Company.

Party People Celebration Company is a family run business based in Lakeland Florida. Joette  started creating balloon decor for friends, church groups and family in 2000. In December 2003, she expanded her business and became the new owner of Party People Celebration Co., a Special Event and Balloon Decorating Company.
In August 2008 Joette became a Certified Balloon Artist, an internationally recognized certification through Qualatex.

Joette Giardina, Owner Party People Celebration Company
Lakeland, Florida
Joette & Brian Giardina

2013 has been a year of Growth for Party People Celebration Company we were blessed with our continued support of repeat clients and thrilled to gain new Corporate and private clients.

I have had a growth of new Corporate clients for their employee appreciation, Holiday Celebrations and awards banquets.  The photos below are from Christmas parties just completed last weekend and Planes from corporate training and luncheon.

Corporate Event decor by Joette Giardina

Corporate Event decor by Joette Giardina

I feel extremely positive about continued growth in 2014, as my clients continue to book 6 months to a year in advance for Corporate events and private parties.  To assist me with my growth  I have friends in the industry that we help each other problem solve, brainstorm and support each other.  I think this is key in keeping my Passion for Balloon décor growing by spending time with like minded people.    
Christmas Decor by Joette Giardina

I asked Joette to share any tips that she might have for other business's
NO two Balloon Companies are ever going to be the exact same, each owner has different interest, skills and passion.

LOOK at your business…do you like the direction it is going?  Do you have a market that you wish to expand?   If there is an area you wish to grow, attend conventions, classes, study about the needs of that market and make a plan.   You can’t just wish the phone to ring and it will ring.    
  #1   INVEST time and Money into a good website! (I’m in the midst of uploading photos to my new website)   Take a good look at your website…if the Dream client you are searching for goes to your website…do they see quality work of the type of décor they need on your site?   When you create décor…take the time to get good photos, and then post them on your website so your next client will see great things to choose from.

Don’t be afraid to Diversify!  If your balloon business is not making the income that you need it to, or your clients are requesting services you do not currently offer you may wish to look at adding a service that compliments your balloon work.   I had a corporate client that wanted Blue Angel airplanes on the stage (however budget would not allow for a Balloon Plane, so we used Foam core and balloons for the end trail….Paired with lighting from a lighting company.    They needed 60 centerpieces – we used Custom cut foam planes…so rather than saying NO we don’t do that I painted foam and created a look they loved that went along with the Balloon décor on the Stage during the presentation before lunch.
Some people want to be 100% balloons and that is great, however I have found for me that I enjoy creating décor from a variety of mediums including Fabric, Foam and Glassware.
 #2 Network, join Professional organizations in your area and develop relationships with people outside the Balloon industry that will support you and refer you to prospective clients.

Go to Industry Training in 2014!   I’m so excited that my family will be joining me for WBC 2014 in Denver as it is their Spring Break (my husband is a teacher)  And this serves as a Great Trip after Celebrating 10 years in the Balloon Industry. I started going to conferences as soon as I purchased my company December 2003 and I know that the networking with other companies along with learning the Newest Tricks of the Trade have kept me in business.       

  The things I learn most from Conventions is not typically in the classroom (although I enjoy taking classes)…it’s from eating a meal with other professionals and “talking shop” and sharing experiences.  The friendships now serve as a resource when in a situation where I might have a creative block, or know I learned something in a class but forgot a step – I have people to call on and support.

And let’s be honest when you are in the Events industry and feel you work 24/7..and have passion for what you do – often family are not going to have the same excitement about the Brand New Color’s by Qualatex or what you have figured out to do with a Quick link…having those friends for support is key, to keep our industry growing.
Wishing all an amazing 2014!!!
Thank you Joette, it is heart warming to hear that 2013 has been a successful year for your business! All your tips are invaluable, I totally agree that diversification and finding a solution to a customers needs is a great way to grow, yes, it might take a little bit of investment however in the long term you will reap the reward of repeat business!
I love your comment regarding networking at events, this is so true, taking classes is a given and a great way to learn new skills and ideas, however, it's those many hours talking to others that have such a huge impact on your business life as many of your new found friends will become life long friends and a wonderful network of support long after the event!

I have a few more responses from other balloon business's that I will be posting over the next few days, so until then...

Happy Ballooning!


1 comment:

Jacquie said...

Sorry i missed your search for comments. I too had a great year.

Jacquie Sopko-Crolius
Balloon Crew, Inc.