Thursday, July 29, 2021

πŸŽ€ π΅π’Άπ“π“πŸ’❁π“ƒπ“ˆ 𝒢𝓃𝒹 π’²π‘’π’Ήπ’Ήπ’Ύπ“ƒπ‘”π“ˆ πŸŽ€

After a year of postponed and downsized weddings, the wedding industry is seeing a surge of couples looking to plan 2021, 2022, and 2023 weddings. As a result, experts say the demand for venues, vendors, and goods such as flowers and attire has never been higher.

My newly married daughter - Holly and her husband Andy

 Photo credit: Eve Dunlop 


For some countries, the wedding season is well and truly underway! The UK wedding market is gradually adjusting to the new normal. COVID safety is now a guidance rather than a law. Dancing is finally acceptable, and there is currently no limit to the number of guests that are allowed to attend.

Pre-COVID, weddings would typically take place over the weekend, however, with a greater demand on vendors and venues, weekday weddings are becoming more popular. This change allows couples to still have their dream weddings without having to schedule as far out. This is also a huge benefit to the wedding professionals who been negatively affected by the pandemic.

2021 Wedding Trends

THE DECOR

One of the clear wedding trends for 2021 is the inclusion of luscious greenery. Tables dressed with cascades of foliage or ceremony arches displaying masses of leaves and greenery are the go to for sophisticated wedding adornment.

Balloon Decor by Shannon Kilford, Born to Party, Sydney, Australia

Balloon Decor by Shannon Kilford, Born to Party, Sydney, Australia

Balloon Decor by Shannon Kilford, Born to Party, Sydney, Australia


Topiary Column Design by Sue Bowler, CBA 

More Outdoor Weddings

Stylists and wedding planners are also reporting an uptick in bookings for outdoor weddings. This has probably occurred as a consequence of the strict event guidelines and social distancing requirements for indoor spaces. With tents and marquees,  home-based garden weddings are a favourite for a romantic, airy ambience without the headache of adhering to indoor guidelines.




Say Goodbye to Some Traditions

Couples are choosing to opt-out of many classic wedding traditions, including speeches-giving, cake cutting (or even having a wedding cake), wedding parties, and even formally structured ceremonies. The cutting of these traditions started out of necessity because of the limitations due to COVID, but it is predicted that some couples will shed the pressure of these demands altogether, focusing instead on crafting an experience that is truly a reflection of who they are.

From everything that I have read on post-pandemic weddings, it would appear that there has been some significant changes from the traditional style wedding, although I am sure that some couples will still favour this style. I suppose what this would imply would be to expect the unexpected and be prepared to react to the new requests and demands that brides make.

Wedding Business Boosters

For more great information, Qualatex has a series of Wedding Business Boosters that cover a variety of different wedding based topics. Click on the images below for a direct link to each of the posts.







And finally, Qualatex has prepared a fabulous wedding flyer that you can use as a style guide for prospective brides. This is available to download HERE - or visit https://us.qualatex.com/en-us/news/?tag=1












I hope that you have found this post to be helpful and informative! 

Happy Ballooning! 

Sue
Follow me @suebowler

Monday, July 26, 2021

Exploring Organic Balloon DΓ©cor Styles

Love it or hate, organic balloon dΓ©cor is definitely here to stay! From memory, I believe that it first hit the ballooning scene sometime around 2015. It has been suggested that it was a non-balloon professional who started the trend, however, this is pretty difficult to substantiate. For those of us who had been in the balloon industry for some time, it became a talking point, with many suggesting that it was just a passing trend that would not last! I suppose after spending so many years creating designs with exact precision it went against the grain!

It took me a while to grasp the 'organic style' and if I am completely honest, there are many organic decor designs that I love and equally as many that I really don't like at all! Would I describe myself as an organic expert? Definitely not, however, I really enjoy the process of creating an organic design.

Decor by Zoe Adam-Jones, CBA of Jaz Trading, in Queensland, Australia.


I believe that many balloon artist learn to develop their own organic style, as there is no exact method. They have a formula that they like to work with to ensure they get the desired look time and time again. And for those without a formula, many struggle to get a good result, as creating good organic decor is not as simple as it seems! 

So what is Organic DΓ©cor?

Organic decor It is best described as balloons that are styled to attempt to mimic the beauty in nature. when a piece has organically or randomly sized balloons placed throughout, it adds an elegance within the design that comes together and helps set the mood of an event space.

However, organic dΓ©cor is not achieved by simply using a range of different sizes of balloons. It is a combination of intentionally sized sized balloons that have been arranged to create a natural flow whilst also ensuring that the principles and elements of design have been applied to ensure that the design maintains rhythm, balance and harmony.

Why is Organic Decor so popular?

It’s very much like fashion, and it remains a top trend.

It has been popularised by social media, and you see many celebrities and influencers with organic decor on their Instagram accounts.

Structured Organic Decor

For those who are new to the world of organic dΓ©cor, structured organics can be a good first step. It can also be a great starting point when making structures for organic balloon walls, ceiling clouds, topiary, puffed hearts and other designs.


Structured organics is when we use a classic dΓ©cor style structure and add more balloons to the design to create an organic look to it. 


Organic Topiary Centrepiece 
by Tina Giunta, CBA of Shivoo Balloons, Melbourne, Australia



If you would like to learn how to create a Balloon Cloud using a structured base, check out this great video tutorial by Chris Adamo, CBA of Balloons Online, The Balloon Crew & Balloonpro.co in Sydney, Australia.



Organic Freestyle Decor

If you take a look on Pinterest or Instagram, you will see many different styles when it comes to organic decor. Organic dΓ©cor, can be either straightforward, using limited variations of balloons and balloon sizes, or much more complicated with elaborate styled frames and many balloons inflated to varying sizes!



Here is a selection of organic balloon dΓ©cor design by Chris Adamo. Chris in my opinion is one of the best freestyle organic balloon artists! He makes organic decor look effortless, and he always seems to get the natural flow of the balloons correct... with no awkwardly placed, over-inflated 3' balloons! 

Chris Adamo, The Balloon Crew - Balloons.net.au

Chris Adamo - The Balloon Crew - Balloons.net.au

Chris Adamo - The Balloon Crew - Balloons.net.au

Chris Adamo - The Balloon Crew - Balloons.net.au



Chris Adamo - The Balloon Crew - Balloons.net.au

If like me, you struggle to create organic style decor, I recommend that you watch Chris Adamo's "Organic Essentials for Today" video, available to purchase from Qualatex Online Training on Vimeo - https://vimeo.com/qualatex




Don't forget, Qualatex has some helpful social media resources, some of which display organic designs! These are free to download and use for your marketing. Visit www.Qualatex.com, go to INSPIRATION and then click on Marketing Materials.



And finally! There is a great article about the Organic DΓ©cor trend in the TRENDS section on the Qualatex website! Just click HERE for a direct link or visit https://us.qualatex.com/en-us/inspiration/trends-themes/organic-balloon-decor/





Happy (Organic) Ballooning! 

Sue
Follow me @suebowler






Thursday, July 15, 2021

Inspiration for Social Media Holiday Posts - for July, August and September 2021

Just like with birthdays, there are usually some kind of holiday to look forward to! Some are both well known and widely celebrated, while others are diverse and attract less attention. The great thing about holidays is that they can make outstanding social media content, especially if we can relate our posts to the products and balloon decor that we offer. These types of posts tend to generate many “likes” and they can be some of the easiest posts you will create all year. 

To help you get started, I have highlighted a selection of holidays that occur in July, August, and September 2021. Please feel free to use any of this information to help you with your social media posts.

July

  • 17th July 2021
  • πŸ˜€πŸ˜πŸ˜Ž World Emoji Day #WorldEmojiDay
    World Emoji Day is an unofficial (social media) holiday. The purpose of World Emoji Day is to promote the use of emojis and spread the enjoyment that they bring to those around us.
  • All these images are available to download individually from 
    www.Qualatex.com
    www.Northstarballoons.com
  • 18th July 2021
  • 🍦🍨 National Ice Cream Day (Third Sunday in July) #IceCreamDay 
  • History of Ice Cream Day
    We have US President Reagan to thank for Ice Cream Day. He wanted to commemorate the treat that more than 90 percent of the population in the United States enjoy, and so he decided he would decree a day for ice cream. He did so in 1984. Doing this actually ended up glorifying the dairy industry in the United States, and so it probably does not come as any surprise for you to learn that Amercans eat more gallons of ice cream per year than anywhere else in the world.

  • Money can't buy happiness

    but it can buy Ice Cream! 

    And that's almost the same thing !

    For more inspiration check out: "Ice Cream Theme Party Decor Ideas"
August

  • 6th August 2021 
  • 🍺 International Beer Day (First Friday in August) #InternationalBeerDay
  • This is a celebration on the first Friday of every August founded in 2007 in Santa Cruz, California by Jesse Avshalomov. It celebrates those responsible for brewing and serving beer, and helps to unite the world under the banner of the beloved brew, by celebrating the beers of all nations together on a single day.
  • Cheers! Beer Mug

    • Size and shape: 35"
    • Package item #: 23488

    If you would like to learn how to create this fabulous Beer Sculpture check out: 

    Cheers! Learn How to "Craft a Brew" with Nick Anderson, CBA! With a Great Video Tutorial!


  • Beer Fest Balloon Sculpture by Nick Anderson

  • 10th August 2021
  • 🦁 World Lion Day #WorldLionDay
  • Was created with the aim to raise awareness and gather support for lion conservation. The big cat is listed as an endangered species in the IUCN Red List.

  • Lion Cub
    Designer name: Stephanie Morace, Balloonatics of Baton Rouge, Baton Rouge, LA, USA
  • Fun facts about lions:
  • Lions are the only cats that live in groups.
  • A group, or pride, can be up to 30 lions, depending on how much food and water is available.
  • Female lions are the main hunters. 
  • A lion's roar can be heard up to eight kilometres away.
  • Lions scent mark their territory, using their wee to create a border.

  • Lovable Lion

  • Size and shape: 29"
  • Package item #: 16154
  • 12th August 2021
  • 🐘 World Elephant Day #WorldElephantDay
    On August 12, 2012, the inaugural World Elephant Day was launched to bring attention to the urgent plight of Asian and African elephants. The elephant is loved, revered and respected by people and cultures around the world, yet we balance on the brink of seeing the last of this magnificent creature.
  • Write a poem about elephants and share it on your blog or on World Elephant Day's Facebook. Sign the pledge to support a world that protects elephants, wildlife, and their habitat. Donate money to an elephant organisation working to conserve and protect the elephant population.
  • https://worldelephantday.org/take-action
  • Decorated Elephant

    An elephant sculpture inspired by the Indian Elephant Festival.

    Designer name: Vadim Shushkanov, CBA, Moscow, Russia

September

  • 4th September 2021
  • National Wildlife Day #NationalWildlifeDay
    National Wildlife Day encourages awareness of preservation and conservation efforts for the many endangered species that we share our planet with. This day should be used to not only celebrate the many beautiful animals on our planet, but to also generate awareness and action towards ensuring these animals have a safe place to live and call home going into the future.





  • 10th September 2021(USA)
  • Stand Up to Cancer Day (Second Friday in September) #KissCancerGoodbye #SU2C

  • Awareness Ribbon

    Designer name: Lisa Swiger, CBA, Blooming Balloons

  • Started in 2008, this day is part of the foundation Stand Up to Cancer’s overall movement to fund innovative cancer treatments to help patients and their families.

    • Never Give Up

      Designer name: Cam Woody, CBA, Pioneer Balloon Company, Wichita, KS, USA

  • 19th September 2021
  • Talk Like a Pirate Day #TalkLikeAPirateDay
    Talk Like a Pirate Day is a not-so-serious holiday that encourages all of us to talk like a pirate in celebration of the (heavily romanticised version) Golden Age of Piracy. 

  • Quick Link Pirate Ship

    Designer name: Dante Longhi, CBA, Dream Factory Balloons, Kenilworth, NJ, USA


  • Here are some words and phrases you can use to participate in this day:
  • Ahoy - hello
    Avast ye! - Stop you!; pay attention!
    Blimey - something said when one is in a state of surprise
    Heave ho - instruction to put some strength into whatever one is doing
    Savvy? - a question that means, “Do you understand?”
    Shiver me timbers! - an expression used to show shock or disbelief
    Sink me! - an exclamation of great surprise
    Yo ho ho - possibly from yo-heave-ho, a chant when doing strenuous work, but also can be used to call attention to the speaker-bilge

  • Twisted Pirate and friends

    Designer name: Bob Armstrong, CBA, Doctor Bob's Balloons Unlimited, Fiona Fisher, CBA, Worldwide Balloon DΓ©cor, Shirley Ray, CBA, Leeds, UK

Pirate Party Towers & Arch

Designer name: Sue Bowler, CBA, Balloon Art by Sue Bowler, Oxfordshire, UK

I think that social media holidays are great! Not only do they give you the opportunity to generate great content for your posts, they can also initiate opportunities to support awareness of international campaigns such as endangered animal species, and help to offer the right circumstance to encourage fundraising initiatives and much more! 

I truly hope that this post has helped and inspired you! 

Happy Ballooning! 

Sue

www.suebowler.com

Follow me @suebowler





Thursday, July 8, 2021

Top Tips when working with Helium-Filled Latex Balloons

Whether they are featured in an arrangement or tied to a single strand of ribbon, few things inspire more joy than a helium-filled latex balloon! To give your customers the most value, here are four essential tips on keeping your balloons—and profits—afloat.


1. Storage

The first step to ensure long float times for latex balloons is proper storage. Qualatex® latex balloons are 100% biodegradable, and so temperature and light have a major effect on the quality of latex balloons. Because of this it’s important to protect them from the elements until they need to be inflated. 

Many balloon stores use storage jars to contain and display latex balloons. 
 If using clear jars ensure that they are kept out of direct sunlight.


Avoid exposing your balloons to extreme heat and cold. Storing your uninflated balloons at moderate temperatures will maximise their lifespan. If stored properly, an uninflated latex balloon has a shelf life of approximately one year. Light also contributes to the degradation of latex balloons. Store your uninflated balloons in airtight, opaque containers for optimal protection. Not only does this protect your balloons against light, it allows you to clearly label and organise your product.

Sunlight will also cause your balloons to quickly lose their shine, so be sure to work away from windows when inflating latex balloons. Both heat and light contribute to the process of oxidation, which creates a cloudy appearance on the outside of latex balloons. While this is a natural step in the process of a balloon’s biodegradation, the effects of oxidation can be minimised by covering balloons with a plastic bag, especially if they will be exposed for a long period of time or if decor is done in advance. 


Latex balloons can also be protected with Balloon Shine™or Hi-Shine when they are applied to the exterior of an inflated balloon. Both of these products help prevent oxidation and add long-lasting sparkle to your decor. Balloon Shine is applied with a glove and wiped over the surface of the balloon, whereas Hi-Shine is applied using a spray. 





2. Inflate and Regulate

By inflating latex balloons correctly, you will maximise float times and provide customers with a more aesthetically pleasing product. When inflating a round latex balloon. It is important to fill it until a teardrop shape is achieved.
•Overinflating balloons adds stress and opens the pores of the latex so helium escapes faster. •Underinflating balloons reduces their float time because there is less helium to lift the balloon’s weight.
•The use of a sizing template, such as the Qualatex ProSizer Templates, is helpful for inflating balloons fully and uniformly. 








3. Be Wary of Weather

Proper storage and inflation are only half the battle. A standard 11" Qualatex latex balloo inflated with helium floats between 18 to 24 hours. However, even properly inflated balloons can have different flying times depending on weather and altitude. Heat causes helium to expand, and cold causes it to contract. Expect balloons to expand when moved from an air-conditioned room into a warmer environment. Likewise, helium-filled balloons may appear half-full and not float when moved into much cooler temperatures. When moving balloons from a cool environment to a warmer one, a general rule is to slightly underinflate the balloons. After moving them to warmer conditions, balloons will typically expand back to their ideal size. Air becomes lighter as elevation increases, so the amount of lift you can expect from helium-filled balloons will be reduced. Because of this, larger balloons are recommended when inflating for higher elevations. Conduct your own tests in different circumstances and altitudes to determine typical float times. 

4. Maximise Floating Time



So what is HI-FLOAT?
HI-FLOAT® balloon treatment is a solution of a plastic material dissolved in water. It forms a coating inside latex balloons that greatly reduces the helium or air loss. 

With ULTRA HI-FLOAT, latex balloons can be prepared a day ahead of time, and balloon bouquets will float for several days.
Helium-filled latex balloons float 25 times longer on average with ULTRA HI-FLOAT, and air-filled latex balloons maintain full size for over one month with ULTRA HI-FLOAT.
HI-FLOAT is very safe. It is non-toxic, non-irritating, noncorrosive, nonflammable and biodegradable. It is similar to the glue on the back of postage stamps.

Average Floating times with and without HI-FLOAT

Float Times                      Helium Only                 Helium and Hi-FLOAT
11” / 28 cm latex                    1 Day                                 1- 4 weeks
16” / 41 cm latex                    1 ½ Days                         3 - 7 weeks
36” / 90 cm latex                    3 - 5 Days                         6 - 20 weeks

It's easy to see why a professional decorator would use HI-Float in all their helium-filled latex balloons!


Follow these balloon care tips, and you will greatly increase the performance of your Qualatex balloons as well as your customers satisfaction!


Happy Ballooning! 

Sue
Follow me @suebowler