Wednesday, April 28, 2021

It's Time to Bee Creative!

"Mother to Bee"
Design by Cam Woody, CBA, Pioneer Balloon, Wichita,  KS, USA.

With an ever-brightening spotlight shining on sustainability, bees have become a symbol for the devastating effects of climate change and it’s impact upon our ecosystems. Consumers’ concern for the declining bee population is a factor as to why there has been an increased popularity of our buzzy friends, and the bee theme, as well as bee-friendly products, have been on the rise. 

Sweet as Honey!
Birthday bees just buzzin' by especially for you!
Designer name: Eve Antonello, CBA, Pioneer Balloon Company, Wichita, KS, USA

Qualatex has recently introduced a range of NEW Bee-themed balloons, which can be used for so many kinds of occasions! Over the past few months, I have seen some truly stunning  creations  using these innovative new designs.

The NEW Qualatex Bee theme balloons, click HERE for a direct link to this page.

I love the work of Hyun-Gu Park (aka Beating), of Party & Balloon Korea in Seoul, South Korea! Beatings designs are always enchanting and appear uncomplicated to the eye, though they are not necessarily simple to make! His Bee Candy Cup topper is super fun and would be perfect for a Bee-themed event! 

Beatific Bumble Bee Candy Cup
You can see what all the BUZZ is about with this candy cup.
Designer name: Hyun-Gu Park (aka Beating), Party & Balloon Korea, Seoul, South Korea

Did you see the recent Qualatex Webinar featuring Federico Onida, CBA, of Balloon Express Shop in Cagliari, Italy? During the class, Federico demonstrates a range of designs for Mother's Day, however, all designs can be easily adapted to suit any occasion by simply changing the message balloons! Federico demonstrates a beautiful Bee design that has so many great techniques that you will be able to use multiple times, easily adding value to all your designs! For a direct link to the video's click HERE.

I am very excited to start working on a few of my own "Bee-utiful" designs! Watch this space, I will bee 😁 posting my creations soon! 

Happy Ballooning!

Follow me @Suebowler

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Even More Tips and Tricks of the Trade: How to Make 11" Confetti Balloons, How to Make a Chain of Bubbles From a 260Q, and the Benefits of Using Decor Menus!

We all have our own ways of doing things when it comes to working with balloons. We learn in different ways and develop our own technique along the way. Over the past 30 years, I have learned many great techniques and some fabulous tips and tricks that have made my life much easier and my balloon designs look even better. But as I always say, I am still learning, and I love it when I see something exciting and new!

Today, I would like to share with you a few more tips and tricks that may help you develop your own techniques!

Our first trick is from Tina Giunta of Shivoo Balloons in Melbourne, Australia. In the video below, Tina shares her own technique for making 11" confetti-filled balloons. If I am honest, I have always been very wary of making confetti balloons using 11" balloons; however Tina's amazing home
made applicator makes it so very quick and easy! 

Every day, I see more and more dećor that incorporate chains of precision bubbles within the design, such as this baby design shown on the right, with the bubbles wrapped around the pole. Adding small details to a design can really increase its value, but the cost to you can be minimal. 

Decor Menus - Streamline sales with a decor menu. 

Decor menus are a helpful, multi-use tool allows customers to see your most popular and profitable balloon offerings in one place. 

Ideal for websites, Decor Menus can also help weed out price shoppers (customers who are looking for the lowest price), leaving you more time to spend with serious clients.
More importantly, a Decor Menu can help to streamline your sales process by letting you feature the designs you want your customers to see. The visual aspect for decor menus cannot be understated. Customers can look at your menus and see the designs they want and the correct name for it. If you take the guesswork out of the buying process, customers can tell you exactly what they want to know, and they will know what they are getting.

Just because Decor Menus display standardised designs, it does not mean your creativity is limited. In fact, designs on your menu can be shown in conjunction with your project galleries and create multiple variations of decor your customers like.

A huge thank you to David Mahoney from Balloons Everyday in Dallas, Texas, USA., for sharing two of his pricing guides.

If this is something that you are unsure how to make, then you will be pleased to know that Rachel Porter, CBA, of Balloon Clip Art, of Balloon Splendor in Bothell, Washington, USA., has created many templates that you can purchase for a nominal fee from her Etsy shop. There are five different styles to choose from and many variations with each style! 

To check out Rachel's complete range, click HERE or visit

Rachel also has a Facebook Group - This is a closed group, so you will need to apply to join, you just have to show evidence of your Ballooning Facebook Page or Instagram account to verify that you are an authentic balloon company.

Thank you to Tina Giunta, Q Corner, David Mahoney and Rachel Porter for sharing and contributing to this post! 

Happy Ballooning! 

Follow me @suebowler

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Do you use a Tagline or Slogan for your Business?

I just want to start this post off by reiterating how much I gain personally from writing the Very Best Balloon Blog! This post started out in the same way as so many of my posts, where I research and put into words the topics that I feel are most interesting and beneficial to you. Researching for this post in particular has really opened my mind to the many benefits that a company can gain from having a simple tagline! 

Whether or not your business name clearly states that you are in the business of balloons and balloon decor, having a tagline offers every company the opportunity to capture the attention of clients through a few simple, yet alluring words!

So what is a tagline?

A tagline is a memorable motto or phrase that’s designed to serve as a permanent expression of your company’s greater purpose and mission, or in simpler terms, a few words that truly express something about you and or what your company can do. Taglines are intended to be long-lasting, instantly recognisable with your brand and have the goal of both attracting customers & remaining top of mind with your existing audience. 

As the owner of a small business, you need to look for a catchy and attractive tagline/slogan for your business. 

  • A good slogan or tagline can help to attract immediate attention from potential customers
  • Just like the logo and name, it is a part of your business identity
  • It’s an excellent opportunity to make a powerful statement
  • It makes it easier for clients to remember your company’s name
Here are a few famous and memorable taglines... and there are many! 

"The Very Best Balloons" - Qualatex 
"Have It Your Way" - Burger King
"Because Your Worth It" - L'Oréal

So why is having a tagline important for your business?
Simply because a tagline or slogan can set you apart from your competition and make your products or service more memorable.

Keep it Simple:
Most tagline's are 3-8 words long,: make sure that you don't try to say too much! 

"We Create, You Celebrate" 

"Bringing Dreams to Life"

Explain your Offering:
A tagline should explain your product or service to potential customers or capture what it is that makes your business different from your competitors' businesses. 

"A Fun Place Worth Remembering"
"Our Business is about Making Memories"
"We're in the Business of Making Memories"

Where do you use your tagline?
Think business cards, email signatures, your website, social media profiles, and any printed marketing material. 

How do you create a tagline?
The first thing that you need to do is list all the creative words that you believe represent you, your business and what makes you stand out from your competition. Here are a few to get you started.


It is really important to use words that are positive, upbeat, and empowering.

Now it is time to start playing with some of your words and putting them together to create your perfect tagline! I actually did this with my husband last weekend whilst walking our dog! We both threw different words into the mix that describes the business we wanted a tagline for and spent the duration of our walk creatively putting words together until we found the words that we felt best described our business and what the business can do for our customers! 

Here are a few tagline ideas ideas for ballooning that I have come up with since I started writing this post! 

Fun is what we do best
We build smiles
The magic of balloons!
We don’t just create balloon decor – we create memories!
Creative solutions for all your ballooning needs
This Towns (insert your town) favourite balloon company! 
We love making magical memorable events

Now it's your turn! If you struggle, please feel free to use any that I have suggested or maybe add your own twist to one of them!

Happy Ballooning! 

Follow @suebowler

Friday, April 9, 2021

What Inspires us to take part in a Balloon Competition?

Happy Birthday Bear by
Sue Bowler, CBA

I have always enjoyed entering competitions! There's a lot of reasons why, but I do know that without doubt I love the challenge! Competition is definitely something I very much enjoyed doing both at the start of and throughout my balloon career, and to be honest I believe it very much helped to define me as the balloon artist that I am today! 

I remember my first competition vividly! I attended a Qualatex balloon convention in Paris in 1996 - known then as the European Balloon Symposium (EBS). I decided that if I was going to travel to Paris to attend a training event, that I should push myself a little more and enter a competition or two as well! I actually entered three competitions!  I had an amazing time working on a large sculpture of a desert island with a palm tree, a skeleton and a treasure chest! I also made a centrepiece and a delivery design too! Sadly, I don't have any photos of these designs, as it was pre-digital and I lost the prints. I remember having a ton of fun and laughing a lot, and it was there that I met some amazing ballooning friends, who I am still in contact with today. Most of all, I learned so much! I was under no illusion that I would win anything, but I had a feeling that it would be a good start to my ballooning journey! 

One year later I went to IBAC, International Balloon Art Convention in Chicago. I entered three competitions once again, and this time I won first place in the centrepiece competition with the Happy Birthday Bear, which is shown on the left. This truly was a defining moment in my career, especially as it opened doors and led to many exciting opportunities! 

The 'Lamp' inspired by Tiffany 
by Sue Bowler

I have entered many competitions over the years. Of course, I love to win. However the preparation part is equally important, and it can be very exciting! Working on a competition piece can take many months of designing, planning and practicing. Competing and the work involved has definitely helped me in my everyday designing! It has helped me to better understanding the elements and principles of design, and what makes a design appealing and attractive!

The Lamp by Sue Bowler

The 'Tiffany' Lamp is one of my favourite ever sculpture designs. Large sculptures have always been my nemesis! Most of my fellow competitor friends absolutely love creating large sculptures, but I personally feel overwhelmed by the sheer scale of them. However, when I made the lamp, I gave it much more time and preparation than any sculpture before, and that really paid off! I worked with an amazing team of BACI (Balloon Art Convention Italy) delegates, they are all fabulously talented, and generous with their time, and even better, they helped me to realise my dream

Federico Onida, CBA of Balloon Express Shop in Cagliari, Italy can always be found taking part in competitions at ballooning events! Federico's designs are always extremely beautiful, exciting and inspiring! I asked him why he liked to enter competitions and what was his favourite ever competition design.

Federico Onida

Federico said  "I like to enter competitions because I always use my work in competition with myself.

I'll explain. Every day I prepare designs for clients, and in any one, even the simplest, I try to do my best, as if I was doing it for my mother, for my son, for a loved one, for myself.

I always tend to do my best.

My parents taught me that. Always aim to the top, first in school, then in life.

It happens, and often, that reality leads to defeats, falls, and disappointments.

But if you get it wrong and you've done your best, your result won't discourage you anyway.

It will be a new starting point, one more reason to learn and continue or start again.

I think that's why I do love to enter competitions.

The challenge must stimulate you to bring out the best in you.

The path from the dream, to the idea, to the project, to the finished sculpture allows you to discover your abilities and your limits, and discover new paths and new point of views.

The collaboration with the team, whatever your role in it, makes you grow, first as a man, and then as a professional. Whatever results you get.

A tip: your goal doesn't have to be to win.

Your goal must be to give it your all. Only in this way will you win, always!"

George and the Dragon Sculpture by Federico Onida

"My favourite sculpture has to be St. George and the Dragon. A sculpture that at the World Balloon Convention 2010, brought together all the best talents in Italy, each with their own abilities and limits. A team spirit, a desire to create something beautiful. A sculpture, a success, born of friendship, collaboration, creativity, technique, work."

Another balloon artist whose ballooning skills and designs I am always in awe of is Vadim Shushkanov, CBA of Balloon Toy, Moscow, Russia. I asked Vadim what he feels are the benefits of taking part in balloon competitions. Ha said:

Vadim Shushkanov

"For me, there are two of the most important benefits of balloon contests. First of all, every competition is a great opportunity to create a sculpture you would hardly ever make in different circumstances. Almost all of the balloon competitions in the world relate to art, not business. With no customers with their wishes and requests, you don't need to think if somebody can buy your work and you are completely free to share your thoughts and ideas through balloons. This has to be the best option to feel like a true balloon artist. And secondly, each competition makes you improve your professional skills. If you would like to build an impressive sculpture, you have to solve a lot of problems. You need to search and try many colour combinations, balloon techniques, methods and materials for frames or create something completely new. This sort of experience always rises your professional level and gives a huge background for using in everyday work."

Vadim with his team!

Sadly with the COVID pandemic, and the lack of face to face events worldwide, there has been very few opportunities to enter and take part in competitions in the past year. Hopefully over the coming months, life will begin to return to some sense of normalcy and ballooning events will start to take place once again! Would I recommend for you to attend an event and enter a competition? I absolutely would! Even if it's just in one category, you will gain so much from the experience, and who knows where this might lead you in the future!

To see photographs from past World Balloon Conventions visit the Gallery or click HERE

Take a walk around the competition room at WBC 18! This is a great video taken by Nir Schechter of Nir Balloons in Israel.

There is also a fabulous gallery of photographs and videos from past BACI Events! Definitely worth a visit if you are looking for inspiration, or to simply view some of the most incredible ballooning work!


Circus by Sue Bowler
I loved making this sculpture! It was vibrant, colourful and simple! 

I consider myself to be extremely lucky! Not only have I entered competitions, I have also attended many events around the world where I have been asked to be a judge. This is a great honour, and I am always in awe and amazed by the creativity and techniques that are shown by the very talented competitors! 

Happy Ballooning! 

Follow me @suebowler