Tuesday, October 24, 2017

How To Inspire Our Clients with Mood Boards and Computer-Generated Decor ideas.

Well, it's that time already, and I am sure that many of you have bookings for Christmas and New Year's Eve parties. Earlier this week I spent the day preparing mood boards and design ideas for a potential client and thought that I would share how I go about the process.

Mood Boards

Mood boards (sometimes called "inspiration boards") are used by a number of creative businesses, such as interior designers, where fabric swatches and paint colour samples are grouped together to show a homeowner what type of atmosphere the new decor will create. I find that I can use mood boards to collect a range of ideas that can offer both me and my clients inspiration.

When a client asks you to propose ideas for their party, we need to establish what style of decor they are looking for. Christmas, for example, can be traditional, contemporary, or have a wintery look. We should never assume the style of decor our clients are looking for, and therefore, we can use mood boards to help to establish this. Here are three Christmas mood boards that I have created using images that I have downloaded from Qualatex.com and then used PicMonkey Collage to create the boards.

It is so easy to download all the different balloon images from the Qualatex website, and they are in a png format, which means that they have a transparent background making it easy for you to drop it into a document or a design! 

PicMonkey makes creative tools for photo editing and graphic design. However, recently they started to charge a small monthly fee. An alternative that I have found that is free is iPiccy.com

Traditional Christmas Board

Contemporary Christmas Board

Wintery Christmas Board

Each one of these Christmas boards offers a different "look," and although these do not show the full product range available within each theme, it will certainly give a client the opportunity to select the style that most suits their needs.

Sometimes we want to show clients other ideas, maybe a trend, accessory, or a design idea of decor that you have never made. Pinterest is a great resource.  our customers use it all the time! Create a Secret Board, add any pins that you want to show your customer, then click on the "+" button that appears in the top right centre. This will allow you to invite people to join your board! Only you and those you have invited can see your board. You can also invite your client to pin ideas that they have seen, giving you both an opportunity to share ideas.

The Design Process

Once we have an idea of the style of decor and the balloons that a client likes, we now have to put our creative skills to work! It might be that you only promote or sell designs that you have readily available to show a customer, and once again, that is where the Qualatex website can really help you! Simply visit the Inspiration page where you can explore Balloon Bouquets and Balloon Decor ideas, and don't forget to use the drop-down menus to refine your search. Once you have found a range of designs that you feel will work for your client, download these and drop the design images into your quote to add visual value - a page of words and numbers is very uninspiring whereas a picture is worth a thousand words and we want to sell the magic of the decor. Using visuals will help to create that magic! 

For me, I like to create my own designs. Rather than pre-make everything with balloons (very timely and expensive) to show my clients, I mock-up my design ideas on my laptop! 

Here is a design that I created.  I have used the wintery theme for this example. I wanted to feature the Qualatex "Snowflakes & Sparkles-A-Round" 3' and 11" balloons and the new 24" "Frosty Snowflakes" Deco Bubbles to create this elegant entrance decor.

I know many of you will say that you do not have the skills to create images like these, but I can assure you that it really is not difficult.

I work on a MacBook in PAGES, which is, I believe, much the same as WORD on a PC. I simply use "Shape" to import the shape that I require for my design, in this instance, a sphere. From there I "build" my decor. You will need to learn how to arrange your shapes - that will allow you to group a number of the shapes together, or send a shape to the back or move forward.

Here is a screenshot of one of the Columns that I made. The pink sphere is the shape that I dropped into my document. I can then alter the shape or colour to suit my design. I then build the style of Column that I want to show to my customer. The 3' Snowflake & Sparkle-A-Round was imported from Qualatex.com

Here is an example of the same style of Column that I designed for a recent Black & White party. This shows the computer image next to the finished result. I think you would agree that this is the perfect way to show customers what you are planning to make for them.

It might seem like a lot of work, but to be honest, I find it so much quicker to do this rather than spend a number of hours face to face with a client trying to work out what they want, and in most cases, they have no idea and are looking to you for inspiration! 

I would love to see how you inspire your customers. Please let me know, and we can feature some of your ideas along with this post! 

Happy Ballooning!



Christine Maentz, CBA said...

This is so timely! I too am a Mac user and I had no idea I could do this in Pages. Thank you for sharing!

This is probably the most difficult part of my decor business. For instance, today I met a client at a small Mall that has a $1000 budget but wants the decor to last from November 4th to December 25th. Obviously only mylar/foil balloons will work but this lady just asked that I provide ideas for her budget. This is so time consuming to research, price and present in a way that appeals to the customer. This is a lady that said, "I don't know the first thing about balloon decor. Show me what you can do for my budget.".

For some this may be the ideal client because she allows for artistic liberties but for me, they are the worst clients because I have nothing to start with!

Thank you for sharing!

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