Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Thinking about attending the World Balloon Convention in New Orleans 2016? Here are some great reasons why you should!

The excitement and anticipation for the 2016 World Balloon Convention (WBC) is growing by the day! I suppose if you have never been to WBC, it is hard to understand exactly what all the fuss is about?

I have often mentioned in my blogs how attending my first convention, which was the European Balloon Symposium in Paris in 1996, a Qualatex® event, helped me to turn my business around and set me on the road to success!

So why are so many people so passionate about spending a week with fellow balloon professionals from all over the world?

Joette Giardina, CBA and Garlis Bolivar, CBA "jamming."
Photograph courtesy of Jani Blocker.

Networking: One of the overriding reasons that many people attend WBC is for the camaraderie. I can honestly say that so many of us have made life-long friends and buddies from around the world. People who share the same passion for balloons and balloon art. New friends that we can communicate with long after the convention is over. Building a network of friends gives us the help and support when we need it. 

I love when I return to WBC, it is like one fantastic family reunion! I love seeing all the friends that I have met over the years. I also love to meet and make lots of new friends too! You will never feel lonely or left out at this event!

Edward Muñoz, CBA.
Photograph courtesy of Jani Blocker

Sara Harris, CBA & Mike Harris, CBA with Mari Forret, CBA.
working on their Large Sculpture.
Photograph courtesy of Jani Blocker.
Competitions: The competitions for me, are probably one of the most exciting features of WBC! Colin Myles, CBA. Told me that the inspiration he gets from seeing the competition entries alone is enough to justify the journey!
Earlier in my career, I would take every opportunity to compete. I loved it! 

Entering competitions really helped me to develop my creativity and design skills. But for me, just seeing first hand some of the most incredible balloon artistry imaginable is so inspiring! Even after 25 years of working in this awesome industry, I get completely blown away by some of the amazing designs and techniques that are displayed in the competition room at WBC.
If you arrive a few days early, there are so many opportunities for you to help some of the most talented balloon artists from around the world, and they are always looking for volunteers to help them with their competitions... an opportunity not to be missed!

The US Team, working on their Large Sculpture.
Photograph courtesy of Jani Blocker.

José Luthman, CBA
Photograph courtesy of
Jani Blocker.
José Luthman, CBA
Photograph courtesy of
Jani Blocker.
Learning: Today, there are many channels to learning, and I suppose it would be easy to think that you can find everything that you want to know via the Internet, or by attending a class locally.  So why is WBC any different or better? We all like to learn in different ways. Some people like to watch, others like to learn through hands-on opportunities. At WBC, you have so many different opportunities to learn the way that suits you best! There are 55 amazing, different classes to choose from, taught by an incredible group of talented instructors from around the world! Everyone is catered to, with classes ranging from basic to advanced for retailers, decorators, and entertainers. There are so many different classes on offer that I think it would be easier if I added a link to the WBC 2016 Class Descriptions, so you can view them all yourself! Click HERE.

In addition to the classes, you also have some incredible opportunities to work on some of the awesome party decor, of which there are two! What an amazing opportunity to work with renowned, world-class event decorators and learn some of their fantastic skills that you can take back with you and incorporate into your own business!

Final Night Gala, decor designed by Akane Shibata, CBA

The Investment: I have always considered attending an event such as WBC as an investment in my business and its future success!  I proved that when I attended my first balloon convention almost 20 years ago. I quickly learnt that although at the time it seemed to be a big financial commitment, I soon recouped the costs and a great deal more in the months on my return! Today, there are opportunities to save on costs, if you register before January 15th 2016 you will benefit from the early-bird discount of $100! If you are a QBN Member or CBA there are more savings available, making this event very affordable!
In many countries, the cost of attending an industry convention can be tax deductible. Some attendees use schemes that are offered in their regions that offer sponsorship opportunities to help them grow and develop their business! 

Since the first WBC in 2010, we’ve shared the excitement, optimism, and passion for the future of the balloon industry. Now we’re preparing to celebrate the fourth WBC in New Orleans, April 6th-10th 2016 as well as the 100-year anniversary of Pioneer Balloon Company. 
The "World of Balloons" is getting together at WBC, and we would love you to be part of this truly magical event!
A huge thank you to Jani Blocker, CBA for the great photographs and to my fellow instructors who kindly helped me to compile this blog.

Happy Ballooning!



Unknown said...

Sue, is there a way I can get paired up with a roommate or two, to save money on the hotel cost?
Dorothy Vander Wyst
Little Chute, WI

Slow Marks said...
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