Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Care Cards - A Great Way To Let Your Customers Know How To Care Of Their Balloons



Giving your customers information on how to care for their balloons can truly help, especially if something goes wrong! I often see posts on Facebook where someone asks for advice on how to deal with a customer who has complained about a bad balloon experience. Maybe some of those situations could be avoided if we supply our clients with a "Care Card" or a "Balloon Fact Sheet" at the time of purchase or when we are installing balloons for a client.

There are many things that we can include on our "Care Cards" or a "Enjoy your Balloons" fact sheet. I would recommend that you choose those that are most relevant to the types of balloons, and or decor that you are supplying.

1. Balloons and Temperature: Please don't leave balloons in a hot car - helium expands in the heat and this could cause your balloons to pop! We recommend that you use air conditioning in your vehicle when transporting balloons on a hot day. If your balloons get rained on and start to droop, don't worry – they'll float again when dry. When helium-filled balloons are taken into the cold, they will temporarily deflate and will re-inflate again when warm.

2. Balloons - Child and Pet Precautions: Balloons are not a toy. Uninflated or burst balloons can present a choking hazard and should never be left with children under the age of eight without supervision. Store balloons away from pets to ensure that they cannot get themselves tangled with balloon ribbons or accidentally ingest popped balloons or their decorative contents such as confetti, feathers, or other materials. If a balloon pops, clear away any broken balloons and it's decorative contents (if applicable) immediately.

3. Balloons and the Environment: At the end of a balloon's life, cut the end of the balloon with scissors to remove any air or balloon gas, then dispose of it in the bin. NEVER release balloons into the environment. ALL released balloons become litter. They can get caught up in trees or power lines. Remember - Don't Let Go & Pin It and Bin It 😊

4. Balloons and Allergies: Most balloons are made of natural rubber latex and may cause allergies. Please look out for symptoms in case of allergies and seek immediate help.

5. Inhalation of helium: Inhaling helium can be dangerous and it is not recommended. It can deprive your body of oxygen and can result in a fatality.

6. Balloons and Ceilings: Lights, paint textures, irregular surfaces and even static can all pop balloons. If you are planning on placing your balloons on a ceiling, ensure that you test it first.

7. Latex balloons and Oxidization: Clear balloons become cloudy quickly when exposed to heat and sunshine. Coloured balloons will take on a velvety, matte appearance.

8. Balloons can Pop: While we use the highest quality balloons and take every precaution necessary with your balloons to ensure they last through your event, once the balloons leave our door or we have left the venue, they are out of our control.


You can certainly go into much greater detail if you plan to publish this information on your website. You could cover more information regarding balloons, different weather conditions, the environment and how to dispose of balloon weights - especially if they are filled with water or sand!

Finally, I just wanted to make you aware of a great website called Party Safe. This is a dedicated party website for consumers, the education sector, retailers, artists, and decorators and is packed with so much great information!

About Party Safe: Partysafe is managed and run by the European Balloon & Party Council (EBPC).
"We provide small products with a big impact that creates memories for life. With over 35 key manufacturers and distributors across Europe, our products span the globe.

This site is dedicated to children, parents, consumers, NGO's and industry providers. Basically - everyone who has ever been involved in parties. It provides an overview for some of our products as well as an education network for schools. If you wish to discover the meanings of some of our warnings, instructions, and labels - please take a deeper look through our site.

The EBPC has members who are technical experts in all aspects of their manufacturing and safety. As well as working within their main roles, some of them also contribute towards improvement of the EN71 - Safety of Toys, the safety standards for toys in Europe. This work, of course, aligns closely with the Toy Safety Directive.

If you would like any more information about the European Balloon & Party Council, please head over to our website at www.ebpcouncil.eu, take a look at our premier league member base and feel free to get in touch.

When it comes to party product information - we're the experts. Rest assured you're in the right hands."

I have really enjoyed working on this blog post. It has made me think about many different situations that can have an impact on balloons and balloon decor. While I have tried to highlight some of the "bigger" issues, I have certainly not covered everything in this post. If you have any suggestions that I can add, please let me know. 


Happy and safe ballooning!

Sue
#suebowler








Wednesday, November 21, 2018

The Power of Videos on Instagram to Enhance Your Marketing Campaigns

Sharing videos on Instagram is one of the best ways to gain new followers. I have been doing a little research to help you to get started, and it's easier than you think!

Firstly, decide what is the purpose of the video? 


I have been very guilty of posting short video clips on my Instagram account without considering what message I am trying to convey.


Most viewers are watching on a laptop or on a mobile phone, and in most cases with the sound off. Therefore, it is important to add text or captions to ensure that your message reaches your audience. I know that I am more likely to watch a video with text than without!

Almost every video that I have posted to Instagram to date has been without sound or text, so other than showing my audience what I've just made, who is the target of my posts?


I have two main aims:



  • To inspire the ballooning community
  • To promote my balloon decor 


Here's a video that I created using a free app called Apple Clips

"Clips is a mobile video editing software application created by Apple Inc. Apple describes it as an app for 'making and sharing fun videos with text, effects, graphics, and more.' Wikipedia








By simply adding a little text, you are telling your viewers what your decor can do for them, - remember, we sell the emotion that our balloons create and not just balloons! 


I uploaded my edited video to YouTube for the purpose of this blog. It looks better when published to Instagram or Facebook as it keeps its square shape. Square videos are a big hit on social media, and Instagram is no exception. Since it was originally a square-only platform, users gravitate toward a square format on Instagram. 





Make sure that you capture your viewers' attention immediately. Keep your videos short! Your videos should be bright and have movement. 



Another app that I like to use occasionally is KiraKira+. With this app, you can add effects like a cross filter to attach to the camera lens. Light-emitting materials and reflective objects will shine even more, especially decor with metallic confetti!


Be careful with this app as it can make your balloons look beautifully sparkly, and your customers might want you to supply that effect!







You might want to add a note to your posts saying "Sparkles, powered by KiraKira+" or something like that to let people know that it's an effect created through an app, but of course, with the right lighting your balloons can sparkle, so maybe you can sell that effect, too!

Here is a very short video clip that I made using KiraKira+.  I was preparing confetti balloons for a job that I was doing and decided that it might make a great video! It is one of my most viewed posts on Instagram, and it helped to boost my followers considerably! I might repost it in the future, but next time I will definitely add text using the Clips app! 



I hope like me that you are enjoying growing your social media presence and followers. I am really enjoying experimenting and learning more. I hope that some of this information is helpful to you. Please let me know, I would love to get some feedback!

Happy Ballooning!

Sue


Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Organic Balloon and Flower Wall

Sometimes I have to pinch myself! Not only do I get to do what I love every day - writing the Very Best Balloon Blog and being a Qualatex Training Instructor - I also get the opportunity on occasions to work with fabulous clients to create some amazing balloon decor! 

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by a brand development agency who asked me to create a balloon and flower wall for a press event in London. As some who loves working with both balloons and flowers, I jumped at the opportunity! 


Balloon and Flower Wall by Sue Bowler - www.suebowler.com
Pastel Balloon and Flower Wall by Sue Bowler

The Logistics

When building a wall like this, it is important to consider how stable it needs to be. The balloon themselves are not heavy, but when you load it with lots of faux flowers the weight increases considerably. So my first consideration was how was I going to support my balloon wall?

Thinking about what would work best, I came up with the idea of using a grid frame. My next task was to find a grid frame that would be suitable. After a little research, I found the perfect solution!


Adding the balloons to the grid frame.






The Prep

One of the client's criteria was that the balloons needed to be pastel tones to suit the faux flowers that they were supplying for the wall. How excited was I to see that Qualatex had recently published a trending article Custom Pastel Colours and included a fabulous Custom Colour Pastel Colour Chart. I spent a couple of hours during the evening double-stuffing 5" and 11" balloons in preparation for the job the next day - definitely worth doing in advance.




When inflating double-stuffed balloons, make sure that you have an electric air-inflator that is powerful enough to inflate the balloons. I use the Premium Twin-Air inflator. It works perfectly and never over-heats! 
To find out more about this inflator, visit Premium Balloon Accessories.





Here is a really short video that gives a close-up view of the wall.





Summary

I loved making this wall and learned a great deal whilst building it. Although I was really happy with the end result, as was the client, I am already thinking about how I could make it even better! This wall took eight hours to build, including the construction time to build the panels. Tonight, I am heading back to London to take the wall down and recover the framework, poles, and bases so that I can re-use them for my next fabulous balloon wall installation! 

Happy Ballooning!

Sue
www.suebowler.com