Sunday, January 1, 2017

So what can we expect in 2017?

Firstly, I would like to wish you all a very happy New Year! 

Qualatex Balloons
New Year's design by Jose Luthman, CBA and Sue Bowler, CBA

2016, saw the fourth fabulous World Balloon Convention and wow, what an amazing convention that was! More than 900 delegates representing 58 countries came together in the fabulous city of New Orleans. The World Balloon Convention is a truly fantastic event offering so many wonderful opportunities to learn new skills and great techniques, share ideas, and make some amazing new friends and contacts. Most importantly, it gives the biggest injection of passion, energy, and excitement that lasts many months after the event and the opportunity to bring new life to your business. Although it might seem early, you have more than a year to start saving for WBC 2018, which will take place March 14 -18 in San Diego, CA, USA. 

WBC - "Mardi Gras" Costume Party
Photograph by Jani Blocker.

So what can we expect in 2017? There will be many exciting opportunities to attend events, classes, and training. I believe that we never stop learning. There is always a great new technique or marketing tip that helps us to significantly increase sales! Even after 26 years, I can honestly say that I am still learning and truly want to learn more! It's very easy to believe that we know enough, but to help us to stand out against our competitors and make us the best, we should make training and learning a big part of our development agenda. Training is not just about learning how to make new designs. It helps you to understand how to price your work for profit and offers some vital business skills, too.

For many, traveling to events can be difficult. With that in mind, the 2017 Qualatex World Tour will be on the road and visiting many locations around the world! This will give balloons artists many opportunities to attend some truly fantastic classes with an all-star line up of instructors teaching an action-packed day filled with fabulous designs, business skills, and much more! To find out all the locations and dates click HERE

To find out what other events, classes, and training will be available in 2017, check out the Shows and Events and the European Balloon Training calendar.

How can we make 2017 a great year? We all start a new year with great intentions. Many of us write a list of resolutions and stick to them maybe for a few weeks and some even longer! I know for me, I need to be more organised. My working space is in a total shambles. I like to call it "organsied chaos," but even I know that it's a complete mess. So, one of my 2017 resolutions is to be better organised and make my working space less cluttered! 

I also would like to improve my social media activity. Social media activity is a huge part of our business life, and we cannot underestimate the power that it holds. We need to learn how to schedule posts to ensure that we keep activite and current using images, blog shares, and business-related activities. Equally, we must also measure the success of our efforts to ensure that what we are doing is working! We also need to ensure that we get actively involved, see who is commenting on your posts and reply and interact with their posts, too. Show the real you! Spending time on social media channels can be a real time sponge, so you need to be disciplined and plan your activity time. Finding an hour once a week to schedule your week's activity and then a few minutes each day to react to posts, comments, and shares should keep your social media presence fresh.

I know for me that 2017 is going to be a very exciting year. Moving home is high on our agenda — that will ensure that I stick to my tidy space resolution!
I am also excited to be teaching in many wonderful locations around the world, giving me the opportunity to meet and make new ballooning friends, starting with the Qualatex Balloon Convention in Gurgaon, India on the 17th & 18th of January! I will also be working with the fabulous Fiona Fisher, CBA, at the International Balloon Art Festival where she will be building the largest balloon sculpture ever made in India at Select CITYWALK, New Delhi. 

I am looking forward to sharing great photos and blogging about both of these awesome events later in January!

I hope that 2017 brings you much happiness, good health, and many opportunities to grow and prosper!

Happy ballooning and a very happy New Year!