Wednesday, January 27, 2016

New Year’s Eve Party – Go Formal with Foils!

I too was busy this NYE, and like Matthew Lewis mentions in his blog 'Tips for a smooth New Year's Eve', I was able to start my preparations earlier in the week. Pre-inflating over 1000 - 5" balloons along with other small jobs that all take valuable time. Six hours of preparing sand weights, attaching fixing points to stars as well as many other little tasks! We were also able to start working on our NYE decor at the venue on the 30th of December which was such a bonus. Another six precious hours that we did not need to work on the day! Our job was in London, England; it was a repeat of the job that we did last year. Exactly the same decor, but in different colours so that made it very easy for us and a great opportunity to make some changes and improvements, making the job even quicker than last year!

Sue's Top Tips

1. Understand your customer’s needs and requirements. Space is a premium and most venues like to maximise their seating capacity to maximise their revenue, therefore they have limited space available for balloon decor. Design your decor to fit the available space. We love to work with Qualatex® Starpoint Microfoil® Balloons as we can create these elegant walls that fit neatly against the walls in the ballroom.

2. Check for magnet fixing points. Knowing your venue is very important, and I would always recommend a site visit. Finding fixing points for magnets is also very helpful. We used Click-Click™ ClickMagnets to keep our walls perfectly in position. 

3. Allow time for repairs or changes. If you get the opportunity to start early, you still need to ensure that your decor looks perfect on the day. Occasionally a balloon will go down overnight, so ensure that you allow enough time to make any repairs or changes. In many cases, the event manager will want to walk around the venue with you once you have finished to confirm that they are happy with everything that you have done. It must look absolutely perfect!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Adding a touch of "Glitz" to your balloon decor. January 2016

Last year I created a class called "Elegant Decor for Black Tie Affairs," that I taught in four cities around the U.S. as part of the Qualatex® U.S. Tour. The first stop on my leg of the tour was a visit to burton® + BURTON in Bogart, GA. It is always a wonderful treat when I get the opportunity to visit a wholesaler. Seeing all the gorgeous products that a wholesaler sells alongside balloons is inspiring, especially for me as I am based in the U.K. and visiting a U.S. distributor is such a bonus!  It was during this tour stop that I was introduced to an amazing product called "Diamond Mesh" by the lovely Peggy Williams, who is the education coordinator at burton® + BURTON. Diamond Mesh or "Rhinestone Ribbon" as I have also seen it called, was a totally new product for me. With a little creative help from Peggy, I soon had some lovely ideas that I felt would really add a little glitz to our designs and also adds greater perceived value to our work!

Diamond Mesh Ribbon

Love You Red Ribbon 18" Microfoil® Balloon - #21647

One of my favourite Valentine's balloons is the Qualatex®  "Love You Red Ribbon". As much as it is a Valentine's balloon, I can also see it being used at other times such as anniversaries or to simply say "I love you" at any time of the year!

I created two designs using this balloon and added the "glitz" to each of the designs using satin and Diamond Mesh ribbons.

The first design is quite simple. You will see that I have cut a single strip* from the ribbon and used it to highlight the edge of the ribbon line that is featured on the balloon. I also made a simple bow from satin ribbon and trimmed the bow with a little of the Diamond Mesh ribbon.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Valentine's Shopping mall decor with Romana Kolenc, CBA, of Baloni Romana in Šoštanj, Slovenia. - 13th January 2016

I am always in awe of the wonderful photographs posted on the Qualatex® Facebook groups from balloon artists around the world. Last year Romana Kolenc, CBA, of Baloni Romana in Šoštanj, Slovenia, posted some stunning photographs of decor that she had created for a shopping mall in Slovenia for its Valentine's campaign.

Romana Kolenc, CBA.

Romana first started working with balloons 16 years ago in 2000. With a creative background, and after a few years of searching for the "right job," Romana spotted an article featuring Niko Fric, CBA, in the newspaper. Three days later, she met up with Niko and bought her first balloon pump and some balloons!

With Niko's help, Romana launched into the world of balloon decor very quickly, decorating a disco party within the first month of starting her balloon business! One month later, she made a large stork for her niece's newborn baby. In March 2000, she got her first big job, decorating for prom night at the local secondary school and has decorated it every year since!

Last year, Romana embarked on one of her biggest jobs to date, decorating a shopping mall for Valentine's Day. Although this was not the first time she has worked at the shopping mall, it was the first time working with a new agency who organise all the decor for the mall.

"I started communications with the agency and the mall in December 2014. I was presented with their ideas, wishes, and photographs that they had found on the internet to give me an idea of what they were looking for. 
At our first meeting we discussed the places where they wanted to have balloons, and what exactly their wishes were for the final appearance. Their main focus was on elegance. We had big ideas for the decoration, but in the end everything was connected with the budget. It really did take a lot of emails and meetings before we finally found the best solutions for everyone."

1. Big Display Window
"The main focus was on a big display window; the idea was to make something that would invite people into the mall. They sent me a picture of a big heart made of small paper hearts. I got the idea to make a heart 3 x 3 meters out of 9˝ Microfoil® Hearts. The whole appearance was very spectacular.
Because the display window was set with one big and two smaller parts, we decided to decorate the smaller windows with five 36˝ foil hearts."

Friday, January 8, 2016

Tips or a Smooth New Year’s Eve – Exploding Balloons and Balloon Drops

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 No Ordinary Balloon Company 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.