International Trade Newsletter Copyright © 2000
Balloons @ WorkTM
Balloons@Work is produced by Business of Balloons Pty Ltd (ABN 16-076-582-119) in Sydney Australia and published at approved web sites.
Hard copies are not mailed outside of Australia. Readers may print content to use only as trade reference material.
Email:firstname.lastname@example.org Web Site http://www.bizballoons.com.au Phone: 61- 02 – 98981544 Fax: 61 – 02 – 98981963
Post; Balloons@Work PO Box 6868 Parramatta Business Centre NSW 2150 – AUSTRALIA.Print Publication No PC250R500054
In This September 2000 Issue
Surprise! B@W Goes Global (editor’s message) Official Launch of eballoons Network (news)
Banning Balloon Releases (the environment issue) Pro Tips #66 and #73
Olympics Business Bruce Walden’s Uplifter Banner
Warning! Balloons in Heat (outdoor advice) Did You Know? (trade knowledge & trivia)
Gift Basket Co. Wins Ixla Digital Camera Letters To The Editor
Adjust-A-Length Ribbon Wheel (save time) Unique Print Designs from Down Under
What Does It Look Like? (product pics) Should Wholesalers Sell Direct? (opinion)
Click Here to Download Newsletter (Windows/Zip)
Balloons@Work has a whole new look and a whole new list of readers.
Welcome to all our overseas readers. As one who is forever searching for more practical and economical ways of going about our business, we believe that with 4 years of service to the Australian balloon industry, B@W is now mature enough to go online and see if the rest of the balloon world enjoys our free publication as well. Not only are we converting to online distribution to those of you who have a computer, B@W is to be published three times more often! From now on, you’ll receive B@W monthly and can download it from the Balloon Headquarters http://www.balloonhq.com thanks to Larry Moss.
B@W can also be downloaded from: http://www.eballoons.com.au or http://www.bizballoons.com.au
That all boils down to:- more accessible, up-to-date world wide industry news and information. So….. your (compact) 12 issues of Balloons@Work will come to you by email in the first week of every month. If you are receiving your B@W by snail mail in Australia, yet you are online, please advise us of your email address so that you can always receive your International balloon industry newsletter days before the snail mail postal service readers. We think you’ll all enjoy the improved format. Don Dixon CBA – Editor
Official Launch Well Attended
Monday,August 7th saw a gathering of eballoons members, sponsors and select special guests for a live online demonstration of eballoons orders in action. The eballoons Network Services Manager, Dean Johnson, guided the audience through the complete ordering and receiving processes on a giant 54” monitor. The room decor of all ten inflated eballoons bouquets drew a lot of attention.
Managing Director of eballoons Australia, Don Dixon, welcomed all who attended and gave a brief history of his and Dolly’s 10 year background in the balloon industry and their recent decision to expand with a separate division in e-commerce via the balloon delivery sector. Within a week of being “open for business” on the internet, eballoons orders were being sent or received in Australia, the UK, Canada and America. One member has sent 21 orders to other members in a 4 week period. He quickly worked out that SENDING was the fastest way to make money from this innovative global delivery network. The eballoons web site received over 10,800 hits in the first 6 weeks. Not bad for a Business-to-Business web site. Dean Johnson plans to have initial talks with select people in Asia and North America for managed and/or hyperlinked web sites to help grow our overseas business. Qualatex distributors in Australia and NZ have been offered links from our sites to allow members fast access to eballoons bouquet products. Qualatex Australia and Walden Productions in Canada are extremely pleased with the amount of their product being moved as a direct result of eballoons”.
After 7 years of preparation and anticipation, the Sydney Olympic Games are just 2 weeks away. Dolly Dixon says her decorating and custom imprinting sales are up 150-200% on a year ago. Most Sydney decorators are indicating the same level of activity at present. Who are the customers??? The corporate and commercial sector. Everything from welcoming parties for the overseas guests and sponsors, to celebrating the completion of new hotels and sporting complexes. This city is already abuzz! But on a contrasting note, S.O.C.O.G. have advised the media and the public that there will be NO BALLOONS used for the opening or closing ceremonies for the Sydney Olympics. We are lucky that balloons are so versatile!
PRO TIP # 66 Workshop Production Tip by Stephanie Pilgrim CBA – Celebrating, Sydney Aust.Attaching underinflated 5” (12.5cm) balloon baubles to your balloon Christmas tree gives it colour and more of a Xmas tree appearance. You can glue them on? But that’s slow, messy and requires maintenance. The easy way is to connect two single baubles with an elastic band or deflated 260Q. Stretch the pair and fit one either side of the tree. Repeat till all your baubles are in place.
and safety. The only balloon exploding method both taught and used
at the last 3 IBACs. No flame, no pins, no worries! Available from
Theatre Effects http://www.theatrefx.com and distributed by
Business of Balloons in Australia & NZ.email@example.com
See it demonstrated at the upcoming Australian Balloon Convention.
The NSW State Government in Australia is proposing to introduce legislation for a total ban on mass release helium balloons. There are also 2 bills being presented to the New Jersey Legislature very soon. Nearly two years ago this trade newsletter expressed an opinion that to continue promoting the mass release of balloons into the atmosphere was simply inviting political intervention and ultimate banning of such a glorious spectacle. It didn’t matter a hoot whether balloons biodegrade, shatter into spaghetti-like pieces, don’t choke dolphins, grow more rubber trees or add excitement to a major event. It’s all about the green vote! Until the balloon is recognized as a hero of the environment, we will remain the bad guys.
Anyway …. we are glad to see that for the very first time in Australia, there is a concerted effort being coordinated by the Balloon Artists & Suppliers Association (BASA-A) to address this serious threat to the balloon industry. Please advise us if you have information of value on this topic. We’ll pass it on to the appropriate people and keep readers posted. In the mean time, tell the world to; save a tree – buy a balloon.
IXLA DIGITAL CAMERA WINNER IS …..
Congratulations Colleen Bernard of “Phone A Gift Basket” in Wentworthville NSW. When I told Colleen of her win, she was absolutely thrilled. The General Manager of Ixla in Melbourne judged Colleen’s letter giving her reasons of how she would use a digital camera to improve her business as the best from all entries received. Our thanks to Ixla for providing the digital camera for our prize, to all of the entrants and Sean O’Kelly of Balloon Decor in Victoria, for assisting with the competition. A digital camera is possibly the balloon decorator’s #1 necessity nowadays.
The fabulous Uplifter Banners from Walden Productions Inc. in Canada. A bouquet weight – A surprise pop-up message – A keepsake momento to give added value to every balloon delivery. Distributed through Flowers Inc Balloons in the USA and many other Qualatex distributors world wide. In Australia they are available through Business of Balloons and members of the eballoons delivery network can purchase bouquet designs with the Uplifter in complete “kit” form. ie; the Uplifter banner, message foils and latex balloons as shown at:www.eballoons.com.au.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
COMPUTER / INTERNET TROUBLESHOOTING
Business of Balloons are the first balloon wholesaler in Australia to employ a full time I.T. Manager. Our new Network Services division manages eballoons and (currently) 5 business web sites. With this publication going online, Balloons@Work has become part of that division. A specialist who could take our business into the .com future and global e-commerce became imperative. But, how can that help you? Do you need someone who talks your language and understands you may be a complete novice at a keyboard? Can’t get the hang of programs for designing flyers and price lists? Finished your first web site, but find you need someone to manage or update it now that enquiries are coming in from all kinds of places? If any of the above fit your situation, our Network Services Manager, Dean Johnson, could be your (I.T.) Balloons Help Desk. He works with both PCs and Mac every day. Why pay through the nose for computer mumbo-jumbo from a technician who knows nothing about your balloon business needs? Email:email@example.com for low rates on Balloons Help Desk assistance.
THE MIGHTY DOLLAR? At present you can buy $100 worth of Aussie goods with only US$58
TROPICAL OR HOT LOCATIONS ??? – BALLOON WARNING!
(A valuable extract from the Balloon Headquarters deco mailing list)
We have had many learning experiences with outdoor events. Temperature can soar up to 110F/40C + wind can be a terrible problem and humidity is often a stinker. High temp tips:-
Type of ground: Is it bitumen, concrete, grass, dirt or water? The darker the surface the hotter the ground temperature will be. Lona of Balloon Images in California also wrote, “We did a job where we sent up 5ft balloons sized to 4ft appx 80 ft in the air with a column of 16″ below them and the balloons that were over the asphalt parking lot popped and the ones over the dirt area stayed up all day. We did this two days with the same results each day.” Use only light colors. White and all the fashion tone colors are best. Use 40cm latex balloons sized to 30-35 cm. Size your 90cm latex balloons to 75cm and they should be OK.
Pay attention to where the sun will be in the hottest part of the day. If your balloons are shaded at around 2-3pm your balloons stand a better survival rate. Getting all day sun (or from 11am to 5pm) your popage rate will increase dramatically.
Finally; never tell a client that outdoor work will last. Explain that you will do everything possible to make the balloons look spectacular, but that you can’t be held responsible for sun, rain, wind, vandals or other elements beyond your control.
Special credit to Lorna at Balloon Images in El Dorado CA for her advice on this topic via BHQ.
UNIQUE PRINT DESIGNS FROM DOWN UNDER
What’s the friendly word of “welcome” us Aussies will be expressing to the millions of visitors Down Under this month? In fact, it’s part of the official Sydney Olympics welcoming slogan.We have had this balloon printed on Qualatex Golden Rod for almost three years now. A great seller for Australia Day celebrations … now the perfect non licensed 11” /23cm latex balloon for
your customer’s overseas visitors and Olympic celebrations.
“Celebrating (blank) Birthday” Personalize this latex balloon with a felt pen. Write in name and age. Example; “John’s 43rd” or “Jasmine’s 1st” Printed on Qualatex
Other unique prints; Fairies Around and Race Horses Around
OUR SEPTEMBER “FAB 4” WEB SITES
Here’s an enterprising balloonie who recently migrated to the USA from Lebanon. Before starting her balloon decorating business in San Diego CA, she did her homework. Check out her fabulous web site.
The master of “simple – yet spectacular!” Christopher is world renowned for his character, his lecturing skills and his exciting balloon decor. He obviously applies the same principles when creating a web site for his company. Don’t miss this one!
www.paperparty.com (bookmark this one)
A trade news and information resource in addition to the one you are reading. Great pics too! Russell Ward, Trisha McMahon Drain and Gina Gavish are 3 of the very best small business editors/mentors to the party industry. Their magazine is a must have subscription along with Balloons & Parties magazine from PartyLife Publications LLC in New Jersey – USA.
www.balloonhq.com/photos (bookmark this one)
Do you get your BHQ email every day and ignore what’s going on at their web site? We found theses pics very interesting and a display of extraordinary balloon pro talent.
Did you know that there is a market out there for selling pre-cut lengths of curling ribbon? Just the ribbons! Then there’s the ribbons you need to supply with all your D.I.Y. rental helium balloon kits. Then there’s the thousands of ribbons your custom imprint corporate customers need for their balloons. PLUS the curling ribbons you cut to put on every helium filled balloon that leaves your workshop. How many lengths of ribbons do you cut every week? Isn’t it a pain when you are counting ribbons …. the phone rings and you lose count? Look what we have manufactured exclusively for Business of Balloons and available with easy-to-assemble instructions. IT gets better! It’s light weight aluminium. It has an automatic counter attached and we package it for shipping by airmail. Run off 1000’s of ribbons in a few minutes! Length settings allow for 3ft, 4ft, 5ft, 6ft and 8ft ribbons. After buying her ribbon wheel, an enterprising balloon business owner in Sydney now cuts and sells an average 12,000 ribbons per week. Imagine doing that the old fashion way? Recently modified to accommodate the larger diameter Qualatex curling ribbon rolls. firstname.lastname@example.org
WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE? Need more information??:- email@example.com
Zibi Elect Inflator.
Steel Base Plate
Ballooney BagZ. (flat) Masterbows.You fluff it!
Balloon Surprise Box
Cutouts – 5 inch Styrofoam
Regulator – Made in Italy
Base Plates:-Ideally,base plates for the balloon pro should be durable, releatively heavy, easy to store, versatile and east to transport. Business of Balloons have a steal base plate made especially for the balloon pro. Each plate weighs 7.5kg (16lbs). Plates are 40cm (16″) square with a handle slot cut out for carring. The centre pin can be unscrewed to permit compact storage and transport. The pin diameter holds steel conduit suitable
for SDS framework perfectly.To increase weight, simply add an extra base plate with a centre hole and no pin.The base plate is painted white. To avoid scratching polished dance floors, we recommend you glue a square of carpet tile to the underside. Trim the carpet as necessary. The disadvantage:- So good, others will borrow (or steal) them.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Good Morning from England,
I am what you might call a“lurker” on the BHQ mailing list. I have read your contributions many times and they always seem to make sense. I feel that the way in which I try and run my business is the same as you, although it would seem your business is a little in front of mine. We have been in business for the last 6 years but have only become serious about the balloon side about 3 years ago, after I obtained my degree. We have a unit of 1,000 sq feet which is not a retail outlet. We deal mainly in decorating weddings, parties and increasingly corporate events. This is the side I would really like to expand and any tips of advice would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks for your time.
Jacqui Saxon CBA BA (Hons)
I received the wonderful copy of the Balloons@Work publication you sent. I am thrilled to have received it! Not only because of the information it contains …. but also because it’s a glimpse into the Life’s Blood of Australia, it’s business atmosphere, economy, and it’s postal service. The Olympic stamps I will treasure always. I was so glad to be of help to you during the research project you undertook for the last issue. Please feel free to call on me again.I usually monitor the BHQ and have enjoyed your comments and judgment calls on topical issues. I applaud your candor, selfless and tireless giving of information to those in need. Thank you very much for all of your help and I await the months until IBAC in Chicago to finally receive the opportunity to meet you and the Mrs. in person.
Balloon Peddlers ExtroadinAir
Milford, Delaware USA
Hi Don & Dolly,
Just went over your web site and I loved all you offer and what your company stands for!! Why can’t yall live next door instead of way down under?? Do you know if there is a distributor like yours in the USA? Thanks a bunch!!
Louisiana – USA
Footnote: Matil was sent to our associates – Advance Creative Products in Illinois, USA
Don & Sean:
I just received the Balloons@Work July issue with the Uplifter article. Wanted to thank you both for your talent and generosity – it was a great debut. It’s wonderful having friends on the other side of the world! This was a big week for the Uplifters. Several new distributors came fully on board, including Flowers, Inc. Balloons – the largest distributor in the world. I demonstrated the product at their open house and EVERYONE seemed to love it. Your support means a great deal to me. Again, thank you both for your help! Your friend,
Bruce Walden – Toronto Canada
SHOULD WHOLESALERS SELL DIRECT? (opinion)
If you are a wholesaler who sells direct, you’ll probably argue that the law and the free enterprise system allows you to sell to whom ever you choose. That is true in most democratic western societies. But is it OK? Is it a question of ethics? Does a wholesaler have a moral obligation to his customers, as well as to his/her suppliers? The wholesaler is just like any other businessman. He has to make a living! He has competitors! He needs to achieve certain quotas in order to maintain a good buying price. Similarly, the wholesaler’s customers (the balloonie) has the same needs. But are each of them on a level playing field?
With online shopping making the world a smaller place and an even more competitive marketplace ….. how would the wholesaler react if Pioneer Balloon Co or Belbal decided to sell latex balloons DIRECT to the public via their web site? Amscan could be planning to do the same? e-commerce ….. credit card payments ….. postage delivery. ??? Will the wholesale distributors scream as loud as the retailers and decorators scream at them? Even louder!
At Business of Balloons we don’t sell direct! We don’t sell custom printed balloons either. Why? Because we don’t want to take business from our customers. Our company policy ; “We will only supply product to those who derive their income from the sale of balloons!” We won’t even donate product to charities or community fund raisers. Those organizations should be directed to our customers, so they can decide if there is marketing value in such a donation. In short; we will not force our customers to compete with us.
We forego the temptation to take large orders direct from the Coca Colas and McDonald’s of the corporate world. We get the calls and then make sure one or more of our customers gets the lead. Some of the corporates actually admire our ethical stance on the issue and ask us to recommend a few of our customers. Ultimately, we get to supply the goods anyway. Our trade customers appreciate the commercial and corporate business we send them and best of all ….. we sleep sound at night. Isn’t that the way it should be? Or are we Australians not yet aggressive enough? Should it be every man for himself?
DID YOU KNOW?
* The lovely Linda Bruce CBA will be the special guest instructor for a seminar being hosted by the Northern New Jersey QBN Chapter on September 11th. Info; Rosa Cutrona, CBA (201) 438-7203
* Again in New Jersey …. the 3rd annual All Star Review. Four days of balloon education classes and much more. Info or to acquire a Registration Kit; Phone: (201) 4414224 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
* Rule of thumb …. it takes 1 cubic metre of helium to lift 1kg of mass. (love those metrics)
* Chinese consider Gold & Red are lucky colours. Some Asian cultures are superstitious about having white balloons at weddings. White symbolizes death! For Italians, Green symbolizes Good Luck.
* The rubber tree yields enough latex to produce only three ten inch balloons per day.
* Hanna Match N.Z. will be hosting Mala Salakas CBA seminars in Auckland New Zealand in November.
* Even non members can use the eballoons online delivery network to send a bouquet of balloons from LA to London, Miami to New York, or just across town. If you are a member, you actually earn a few dollars for sending, however other balloonists or the public can order bouquets for delivery by a member in a remote location/city. Memberships outside Aust & N Z are currently FREE! Check http://www.eballoons.com.au
* Christopher Horne CBA is being hosted by Coniston Flowers & Balloons in Quezon City, Phillipines for seminars on September 18th and 19th. The SE Asian market has HUGE growth potential for balloons.
* The everyday practice of inflating two balloons and knotting them together to create a duplet ….. repeat this and then joining the two duplets together to make a cluster of 4 balloons …. the first balloonist to demonstrate this nearly 2 decades ago, did so at a Singing Telegram Convention. She was a Canadian and so the cluster of four was originally known as “The Canadian Twist”. Prior to the Canadian twist, a paper clip was threaded through the lip of each individual latex balloon. Some trade trivia from Rocky Toomey.
COMING IN THE OCTOBER ISSUE
* Time saving math for balloon people * When to use Hi-Float * Drop Nets * The Pick Machine
* The Qualatex Master Bow – worth it? * Forward Balloon Calendar * Pick-The-Mix Latex * Did You Know
* Pro Tips #16 & #41 * Letters To The Editor * What Does It Look Like * Twister’s Pumps + More
If you’d like to contribute a tip, a photo, some news
announce a new product to the balloon industry …
Contact Don Dixon email@example.com
The next issue of Balloons@Work will be posted
in the first week of October. Deadline for copy is
Sept 21st. Enjoy watching the Sydney Olympics.