Saturday, April 21, 2018

Did You Know that There Are Elves At The World Balloon Convention?

There are so many "Wow!" moments at WBC, and of course, one of those is the incredible decor designed by a line-up of extremely talented balloon artists from around the world! WBC 2018 was no exception, and I can honestly say that there were many "Wow!" moments.

Welcome Event Decor
Designer Stuart Davies, CBA.
Photograph by Nicci Rene.

I would like to start by acknowledging the designers who created all the fabulous decor.
Lobby Decor Designer - Lily Tan, Singapore.
Welcome Event Decor Designer - Stuart Davies, CBA, UK.
Costume Party Event Decor Designer -Federico Onida, CBA, Italy.
Grand Gala Event Decor Designer - Olga Baranova, CBA, Russia.
Grand Gala After Party Event Decor Designer - Chris Adamo, CBA, Australia.

You might be surprised to learn that this post is not about the designers. It is about the amazing crew of people who tirelessly work to make sure that each of the designer's dreams are realised, and that the decor looks as fabulous as it should.

As I have mentioned before, there are many reasons why people attend WBC, and one of those is to be part of the awesome production team — for me, the "Elves of WBC!"  One of my favourite childhood books was a very old story called, "The Elves and the Shoemaker." This story is about a poor shoemaker who receives much-needed help from elves, hence the reason I have given this wonderful group of people the name "elves"! 

The Production Crew Team. 

First-Time WBC Production Crew Members:

Sara and Mike Harris, both CBAs of For Every Occasion in Rhyl, UK., have attended every WBC in varying capacities: as delegates, competitors, and also as a sponsor. This would be the first time that they worked as part of the production crew.

Mike Harris, CBA.
The production crew are all unsung heroes, the elves of WBC who make dreams reality. Do you agree with that statement? 
"Absolutely, 100%. I knew from the other events I had attended that the amazing event decor had to be built, but until this year, I did not realise who did it or how much hard work was involved. Most days started for the team at either 7 or 7:30 a.m. and would go on until up to midnight. One day we worked until 3:00 a.m. 
It was great to work as part of this fantastic team who all have their own strengths and specialities. They accepted us straight into the team from day one, and I know I have made some great friends for life," Sara added "I always knew these ‘elves’ worked hard, but can honestly say I really had no idea just how hard! The hours they put in are immense."

Sara Harris, CBA.

What do you think you gained from being part of the crew?

"Apart from a great bunch of new friends, I think the experience of working as part of a large crew on gigantic projects. It was also reassuring to see that other artists work in the same way that we do on projects. Not only from a design point of view, but also the way the team worked on the designs." Sara also felt that they gained more experience working on big decor.

What were your WBC 2018 highlights?
"Working with a hard-working, great fun team. Seeing each of the designs come to life and the final night awards dinner when we knew we had finished and could finally relax." For Sara, "I loved the beach party, but my highlight was the welcome decor - absolutely loved it!"

Was there anything that you did not enjoy about your role?  "There was nothing that we did not enjoy. It is hard work, long hours, but very rewarding to see the results. In conclusion, WBC 2018 was a whirlwind of thousands of balloons, more than I have ever worked with on one project. We worked hard. We didn’t have time to play hard, but we made some great friends for life. I only hope we get to do it all again sometime in the future. I would like to say a big thank you to LaDonna Belcher and her team for welcoming us in, and trusting us as part of this first-class crew." 

Barry Revell, CBA, of Lightitup Balloons in Perth, Australia, also joined the production crew for the first time this year.

Barry Revell, CBA.
Barry's first WBC was in 2016 in New Orleans, and although a delegate, he found himself volunteering to help the production crew with inflating balloons and knew that this would be the perfect WBC role for him.

The production crew are all unsung heroes, the elves of WBC who make dreams reality. Do you agree with that statement?  
"100%, yes! Without the production crews help, it would be so hard for the designers to achieve their designs and the mass numbers of balloons that the decor requires."

What do you think that you gained from being part of the crew? 
"I learned many new skills from working on the large scale decor projects. I also enjoyed working together with others crew members. It was great that we were able to combine our skills. I also gained many more balloon artist friends from around the world."

What were your WBC 2018 highlights?
"There were many highlights. Seeing how the designers became overcome with emotion once their event decor had been turned from a design on paper into reality. Also, working alongside nineteen other amazing and talented balloon artists."

What did you least enjoy about your role? "That the whole experience finished too quickly."

LaDonna Belcher, CBA with Barry Revell and
Olga Samoilova, CBA.

This year's fabulous production team members were:
Greg Arrigoni, Garrett Gruberman, Mark Toomey, Sue Boone, Ines Lambert, Cheryl Skoric, Alexandra Ventura, Bonnie Fisher, Lisa Talip, Chase Nelson, Evan Nelson, Tara Silva, Debi Leidel, Cindy Rasmusson, Ray Wilson, Mike Harris, Sara Harris, Barry Revell, Sandy Pressley, Fathi Boheme, and JR (Huvaldo) Magnia. 
This amazing team was led by the fabulous LaDonna Belcher, CBA, who was awarded the Golden Light Award at this years WBC in honour of the wonderful late Linda Bruce. LaDonna had this to say about her team. "They work with a pure heart as if each event was their very own, and we are all in one accord to help the designer achieve their dream."  

A huge thank you to Mike, Sara, and Barry for sharing their WBC first-time experience working on the production crew team!

Happy Ballooning!


1 comment:

Unknown said...

Every year I attend WBC I am amazed by the amount of hours put in by the WBC Crew - they are amazing! Thank you to each and every one of you for taking time away from running your business and family to create the wonderful decor that sets the atmosphere for the event.