Thursday, July 25, 2019

Be the Balloon Specialist and not the Balloon Seller - Inspiring Ideas for Party Shops and Retailers.

One of the most difficult things about being a balloon retailer is that almost anyone can inflate a balloon and attach it to a weight. Unfortunately, our biggest competitors do this very well, and even worse, they usually sell them for less than you ever can due to greater buying power, higher turnover, and lower profit margins.

However, many of us, including our competitors, are currently experiencing difficulty obtaining helium, and those who can find it will experience significant price increases. 

This is where we can gain an edge on competitors. We should take this opportunity to be the balloon specialist, and not just the balloon seller. It's important to understand how to take a balloon or two, add value, and make them into something really special - with or without helium! 

Balloon Arrangements and deliveries are a big part of any balloon business and will ensure the long-term success of your business - better perhaps than any other product or service. 

Tropical Toucan Birthday Luxury Design

Balloon Designs without helium

Air-filled designs can range from a relatively simple idea to something much more elaborate!

Some of the best parts about using air-filled arrangements is that they can be made in advance, the balloons will last for a long time, and they are perfect for in-store displays. Customers rarely know what they actually want or request a bespoke or customised design. 

We generally buy what looks best to us and what is within our ‘considered’ price range.

Have a range of designs always made up for a variety of occasions and ‘ready to go’. Don't forget to add a price tag - this takes away the fear of asking the price.

Using a double 4-balloon cluster base like the one shown above is an ideal base for many air-filled designs. The sizing of the base balloons will depend on the balloons that you are featuring. For example, the Toucan Microfoil is quite a large balloon, and when air-filled it becomes relatively heavy; therefore, the base would need to be large enough to allow for stability throughout the design. Based on the photograph, I would estimate that the base cluster is inflated to around 8" and the second cluster to around 6" - but don't be tempted to make the base too big, as it could become out of proportion with the rest of the design. The design will also require a double-stuffed sand or water-weight to be pulled into the centre of the base.

Here is another great example of an air-filled design - Party Narwhal Birthday Luxury Design. An 11" latex base topped with a fun 18" round Microfoil and the Party Narwhal special shape Microfoil creates an impressive, yet simple, design for that customer what wants a bit "more!"

For more design inspiration for air-filled decor using this technique visit Balloon Decor - Inspiration on

I personally love "Balloon Buddies," they're fun, interactive and great for children and adults! 

The "Baby Boy Balloon Buddy" is a number one seller for baby showers and new baby arrivals! 

In a recent blog post I talked about the benefits of developing twisting skills and these designs show why. 

If you missed the post Develop Your Twisting Skills and add Value to you Every Day Designs click on the link HERE. It's packed with great information and a fabulous video by Jackie Ochitwa who demonstrates "Essential Twists for Balloon Artists."

Who could resist this adorable "Cute Clown Balloon Buddy" another great design perfect for children of all ages! 

If you want to take your Balloon Buddies to the next level add a helium-filled balloon or balloons, then use a Qualatex Deco Bubble for the body and fill with mini-balloons for that "How did they do that - wow factor!"

There are so many wonderful and very sellable designs using air-filled balloons which are a little bit different from the norm!

They can be as simple as these "Grab & Go" air-filled displays.

Or how about these adorable "Gentlemen with Flowers", by Vadim Shushkanov from Moscow, Russia. You can learn how to make these by simply clicking HERE.

You could also try your hand at making one of these adorable air-filled arrangements, combining a range of balloons like the "Sweets For My Sweet" design created by Cam Woody, CBA, Pioneer Balloon Company, Wichita, KS, USA.

If you haven't checked out all the amazing designs in the Inspiration Decor section on the Qualatex website, click HERE. If you are a QBN member, you can download each design as a full-sized image that you can use on your own website and social media channels. 

I hope that this blog post has given those of you who are struggling without helium supplies a little bit of inspiration! Let me know what your number one air-filled sellers are!

Happy Ballooning!



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