Feb 12

REPAIRS

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WE APPRECIATE YOUR PATIENCE WHILE WE MAKE REPAIRS .
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We recently “upgraded” to the latest version of WordPress only to discover that it jumbled some of our images and formatting.   Most content is still available to you.
Please bear with us as we work our way through the site making repairs.

Graham Rouse
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Mar 01

“LOVE AROUND THE WORLD”

love-around-the-world-framed-730x1000-web

“LOVE AROUND THE WORLD”

(Balloon Arts Review By Graham Rouse)

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Ballooniverse Mall logo

That is my title for this wonderful balloon sculpture by Yuka Yamakita. We would all do well to see more love around the world. And the world would do well to see more of Yuka’s balloon art. This balloon sculpture serves both purposes well.
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I imagine that lovers throughout the world feel like they are on top of the world themselves when those loving feelings rise and their “significant other” is there with them. Yuka portrays that feeling.
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.Not only does this couple sit snuggled together on top of the world, but their heart is showing in front of them and a crown sits beside them.  I am sure they feel like royalty.
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Their world rests upon a carpet.  I imagine that carpet is filled with magic inspired by their love. I imagine it is ready to take them flying throughout the universe.  I imagine that as we watch their flight, we might be inspired to also travel in similar ways with those we love.
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Maybe we too can portray emotions, tell stories and inspire others around us. Maybe we too can send “Love Around The World”.
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 Yuka Yamakita is a well known, world class balloon artists from Japan.
You may view the original photo that is the basis for this digital rendering and link to more of Yuka’s work at https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=430912703655799&set=a.108765765870496.17837.100002112199474&type=1&theater
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Thanks for joining me.  Do come again for for another cup of inspiration at Rouse’s BAR (Balloon Arts Review).

..
Graham Rouse
BAR-tender at Ballooniverse Blog
Copyright 2013 by G. Rouse
(Republished with permmission from the original Ballooniverse Blog http://ballooniversemall.com/success/?p=479
 
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Nov 21

21 WORDS THAT SELL YOUR BALLOONS & SERVICES

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Making It With Balloons Network logo21 WORDS THAT SELL YOUR BALLOONS & SERVICES

Republished from “Words That Sell” in Balloons and Parties Magazine
By Dawn Josephson
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Welcome to Making It With Balloons Network (MIWB.net).
Resource Center for “Making Things, Making Success & Making A Difference With Balloons”™.
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Photo of Graham Rouse

This article is drawn from “Words That Sell” by Dawn Josephson for BALLOONS  & Parties Magazine; http://www.balloonsandparties.com

Dawn Josephson, the Master Writing Coach, is founder of Cameo Publications, an editorial and publishing consulting and services firm. She is the author of two books, Putting It On Paper: The Ground Rules for Creating Promotional Pieces that Sell Books and Write It Right: The Ground Rules for Self-Editing Like the Pros, as well as the ghostwriter of 20 published books and over 1,500 magazine articles. For more information, call 866-372-2636, email Dawn@CameoPublications.com.

 

 

21 WORDS THAT SELL:

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We all know the English language contains hundreds of thousands of words. But did you know that only 21 of them can easily sell your clients? Yes! It’s true. When you know what these proven words are and how to use them to your company’s benefit, you’ll save both time and money when selling to prospects. In fact, once you master the use of these 21 words, your business will quickly get the results it deserves. (Hint: this paragraph contains 10 of the 21 words. Did you spot them all?)

 

What’s in a Word?

The exact words you use in your company’s marketing materials can make the difference between success and failure. Choose the right words and your prospects will find you and your company irresistible. Choose the wrong words and you’ll spend most of your time convincing prospects to do business with you. Why waste your time selling prospects on your products or services when you can let strategically written marketing pieces do the work for you?

 

When it comes to writing marketing pieces, your word choices do matter.

Following are the top 10 of the 21 words that sell. Use them wisely and

watch your marketing response rates soar.

 

THE TOP 10 WORDS THAT SELL

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1. You/your –

“You” is the most powerful word in the English language. It’s more powerful than the word “money;” it’s more powerful than the word “sex.” Prospects want to feel as if you’re talking to them directly, and the word “you” accomplishes just that. So instead of writing, “Our clients report increased productivity as a result of using the Widget 2100,” write, “You will experience increased productivity as a result of using the Widget 2100.” Keep every sentence in your prospect’s perspective.

 

2. Money –

Ask people what they wish they had more of, and chances are

they’ll say “money.” People love to save money just as much as the love to earn it. So if a benefit of your product or service is that it saves people money or helps them earn more money, state it along with a monetary figure people can grasp. For example: “Using the Widget 2100 saves you money – over $5000 per year!”

 

3. Health/healthy –

The second thing people wish they had more of is good health. People want products and services that are going to either improve their health or not negatively impact it. For example: “Vitamin X improves your health and well being by…” or “Pesticide Y has no known health implications,” or “Product Z is part of a healthy diet.”

 

4. Guarantee/guaranteed –

By nature, most people are not risk takers. They want assurance that they’re not wasting their money and that your product or service can live up to its claims. By giving some sort of guarantee, you put prospects at ease and make them trust you. For example: “We’re so confident the Widget 2100 will work for you that we offer a full money-back guarantee.”

 

5. Easy/easily –

Between 40+ hour workweeks and increasing demands at home, people want things that are easy. They don’t want products or services that are going to make their life more difficult. So always state how easy your company makes things. For example: “The Widget 2100 makes it easy for you to…” Or, “With the Widget 2100, you can easily remove spots from your carpet once and for all.”

 

6. Free –

Everyone loves getting something for nothing. That’s why the word “free” continues to be one of the top selling words of all time. Realize that the free offer doesn’t have to have a high monetary value, just a high perceived value. Some freebies that work include: “Free consultation,” “Free estimate,” “Free report,” “Free shipping,” and “Buy one get one free.”

 

7. Yes –

Face it, you love being told “yes,” don’t you? “Yes” means you have permission, you were right, or you can get what you want. “Yes” is one of the most pleasing words to the human ear. So tell your prospects “yes” often. For example, in your marketing materials, you can ask a series of positive yes/no questions, and then write, “If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, then the Widget 2100 is what you’ve been searching for.”

 

8. Quick/quickly –

In today’s microwave age society, people want things quickly. They don’t want to wait weeks or even days for the results you promote. They want to know they’ll see a quick return for their investment now. So while the perception of quick results may vary from person to person, as long as you know that your product or service is quicker than something else, state it. For example: “Lose weight quickly,” “Make money quickly,” and “Quick and tasty meals from your own kitchen.”

 

9. Benefit –

Most written marketing pieces do state the benefit of the product or service; however, they neglect to actually use the word “benefit.”  When people read the word “benefit,” they subconsciously perk up.  They know they’re about to learn something that will impact their life, so they want to know more. For example, “As an added benefit to this product, you get (state the benefit).”

 

10. Person’s name –

People love to hear the sound of their own name and they love to read their name in print. That’s why so many souvenir shops sell personalized items-from magnets to coffee mugs. Including the prospect’s name in a marketing piece, especially in the middle of the sentence, boosts attention levels. For example, “As you can see, Steve, the Widget 2100 makes perfect sense for your needs.”

 

THE REMAINING 11

The other eleven words that sell are:

1   ) Love,
2   ) Results,
3   ) Safe/safely,
4   ) Proven,
5   ) Fun,
6   ) New,
7   ) Save,
8   ) Now,
9   ) How-to,
10 ) Solution, and
11 ) More.

While synonyms to these 21 words are acceptable, synonyms are not as powerful as the actual word itself. So in order to not appear redundant in your marketing piece, use the appropriate word wisely, and don’t overdo it.

 

As your marketing writing prowess increases, consider combining words that sell in the same sentence. For example, maybe your product works “quickly, safely, and easily.” Or, perhaps your service makes cooking “easy and fun.” Or, are your “proven results guaranteed”? You get the idea. Since short marketing pieces are more powerful than long one, make sure every sentence packs a punch.

When you use these 21 words in every marketing piece, you quickly increase your prospect’s interest in what you write, which ultimately leads to more money for you. So master the use of these proven words now. Doing so, dear reader, gives you the easy solution to low marketing response rates you’ve been waiting for.

 

Can you do it? Yes! And you’re going to love the results. Guaranteed!

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OTHER PUBLICATIONS BY DAWN JOSEPHSON:

Hone Your Writing Skills for Professional Success the “Write” Way

Seven Steps to Writing Irresistible Media Announcements

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FEEDBACK

We would love to have your comments, questions and suggestions below in the “Reply/Comments” section.

Also, you may  want to consider sharing some your great marketing ideas and other words that sell with our source for this article on their Facebook page – http://www.facebook.com/BALLOONSandPartyMagazine or on Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/balloonexpert

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Nov 16

BALLOON LIFE vs WILDLIFE – Who Will Survive?

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Making It With Balloons Network logo.
BALLOON LIFE vs WILDLIFE – Who Will Survive?

Answers From New Research In Response To A Reader’s Challenge.

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Welcome to Making It With Balloons Network (MIWB.net).
Resource Center for “Making Things, Making Success & Making A Difference With Balloons”™.
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Photo of Graham Rouse

If preliminary conclusions from this new, independent research prove out, then the choice between “Balloon Life  or  Wildlife ?” will seem irrelevant.  It will have been shown that both kinds of life can survive amicably. People like you and me, who hold “biases” in favor of one form of life or the other will  be able to shift attention to more serious threats to our favorites.”

Graham Rouse

 

 

[1]  THE CHALLENGE:

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BALLOON LIFE VS WILDLIFE
It seems that there are still many people who see balloons as a threat to wildlife.  They often want to kill off part of balloon life (latex balloon releases) in order to save the part of wildlife that might ingest balloon remains. One such person recently wrote in to Making It With Balloons Network.  Her comments, questions and challenge were spurred by this earlier article on MIWB.net:  “Of Ball Games And Balloon Releases“.  Her full text is included below.

Our response follows her comments and includes preliminary results from new, independent research at Clemson University, Clemson, SC USA.

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AMIE KOPORC
Amie Koporc wrote the following comments and questions in response to an earlier article by Graham Rouse about balloon releases as part of the pregame show at Clemson University, Clemson, SC USA football games.

How do you know the environmental costs are small? What is your definition of small? Only a few dead animals? What if some of those animals are endangered? Clemson U’s own research (http://www.clemson.edu/academics/programs/creative-inquiry/projects/spotlight/balloon-release.html ) shows “that up to 81 percent of a balloon is left intact and in large pieces. Larger pieces are thought to take longer to degrade and are potentially more dangerous to animals.”Even if I accept your point that a balloon degrades at the rate of an oak leaf (6 months) that still poses a huge risk to wildlife.

I also question your statement that “experts have chosen the magic of balloons to build positive associations between us and them.” Who is us? The aforementioned “experts?” Who are those “experts” anyway? Student services? Do they have a background in marine biology, environmental studies, or veterinary medicine?

I think your thoughts are biased based on your vested interest as a balloon vendor.
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[2]   THE RESPONSE

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THANKS AMIE
Thanks for your comments Amie.

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COMMENDABLE CONCERNS
It is clear that you are concerned about wildlife and want them to survive in the wild and to be safe from human harm. That is commendable.  At least, I think so.  There are others who are eager to eliminate all the “pesky” or “dangerous” wildlife.  They would think that you and I are biased in favor of the wildlife and biased against the best interest of humans.

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BIAS
It is also true, as you suggest, that I am biased in favor of the survival of the balloon industry and want it to be safe from human and animal harm.  The bias I hold for the balloon industry, however, is a lot like the bias I hold for wildlife and the bias I have held for many years in favor of my children. Other things being equal; I tend to give favor, trust, time, money, faith, etc. to my children, to my industry and to the wildlife that share this planet.
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THE BIGGER PICTURE
Things are rarely equal, however, and much too often the things I favor come into conflict with one another or, at least, compete for that favor, trust, time, money, faith etc..   I try to look at the bigger picture, to consider the evidence at hand and to examine the credibility of sources.
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FURTHER INVESTIGATION
When one of my children came home with a black eye or a note from the teacher, my first inclination was to believe my child.  This did not stop me from investigating further, however.  Most of the time my faith in my child was vindicated.  Other times they earned additional punishment.

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INDEPENDENT RESEARCH
Some weeks ago I heard about the ongoing study at Clemson University that is referenced in the article to which you gave a link.  I like the idea of independent research.  I made inquiries and Stephane Irwin, the Phd candidate leading the study, recently gave me a phone call.

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BALLOON CHUNKS
He did confirm that while helium filled balloons that reach high altitudes can shatter as reported in earlier research, he found it normal for relatively large chunks of the balloons to return to the ground. And, as you mention, it would be normal for large pieces of latex to take longer to biodegrade than smaller pieces.  I do not recall him suggesting any evidence, however, that these larger pieces of latex present a significant danger to wildlife.

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BALLOON APPETIZER
Apparently, and this is my inference from my conversation with Stephane , wildlife do not find balloons any more attractive to eat than other materials in their environment.  If some small animal tried to eat a large piece of latex, they might choke on it.  If some small animal tried to eat a large oak leaf they might choke on it. I have not heard of evidence that either is likely to happen.

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SPIT IT OUT
As you suggest, I am not a specialist in wildlife, marine biology, etc.; but I imagine that if a small animal did bite into a piece of latex, a leaf or most anything else that was too large to swallow safely it would probably spit it out.  I am sure this is not always the case.  Even supposedly smart animals like humans sometimes choke on their food.  But, I have not heard or seen evidence that latex balloons are more attractive to ingest or more likely to choke wildlife.

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GUNNER POPPED BALLOONS
My own, very limited, experience was with a cat we had for about 16 years.  Gunner was her name. She seemed to enjoy her attempts to pop balloons.  She was usually unsuccessful with her bite and often successful with her claws. But, I never saw her try to eat the remains.

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LATEX SOUP
Stephane did have quite a lot to say about what happens to balloons eaten by the birds, fish and turtles he tested.

(1)  First, he fed them pieces that were sizes normal for these creatures to eat.
(2)   Second, the birds and the fish passed the latex through their digestive systems
without creating any blockage.
(3)   Third, tests, I think blood tests, on the creatures showed no signs of stress that
would normally be evident if they were made sick or harmed in other ways by the balloon pieces.
(4)   Fourth, turtles tested still had balloon residue in their digestive systems after
two weeks, but the type turtles tested can take up to 30 days to pass food through
their systems, so this part of the project is unfinished.
(5)   Fifth, tests, I think blood tests, on these turtles showed no signs of stress that would
normally be evident if they were made sick or harmed in other ways by the balloon pieces.
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SHOW ME THE RESULTS
This research is ongoing.  It may yet turn up evidence of some significant harm or threat of harm to wildlife, but that appears unlikely.
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READ IT HERE
The project is scheduled to conclude in the spring of 2012. I have asked for permission to publish the results here on Making It With Balloons Network.  I hope to do that as soon as the project is finished and final results are made available.

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READ IT HERE
In the meanwhile, I have also requested permission to republish the article linked to your comments. Hopefully, that will be allowed and you will see it here soon.

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EXPERTS
You also had questions about my reference to experts who use balloon to build positive associations.  I was not thinking about “Student Services” at the university.  I was thinking about the highly paid public relations individuals and companies that produce balloon drops and releases for political conventions, large stadium events, big New Years Eve parties and the like.

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POSITIVE EXPERIENCE
I do not have hard data, but I find these balloon spectacles a positive experience.  The people I observe participating in them appear to be having a good time and enjoying the balloon show.  The fact that these kinds of productions continue to be repeated over the years, suggests to me that they are yielding positive results for the participants, the producers and the sponsors.

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28 YEARS
On a smaller scale, results from the events I have produced with balloons over the last 28 years reinforce my belief that balloon arts generally and balloon drops and releases in particular do build up positive associations between the producers/sponsors and the people who watch or participate in them.
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THE MAJORITY
The article to which you gave a link reports that a survey of people at a Clemson University football game revealed that, “a majority of fans believed Clemson’s pregame balloon release is important to the whole game-day experience”.

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[3]   THE SUMMARY

If preliminary conclusions from this new, independent research prove out, then the choice between “Balloon Life  or  Wildlife ?” will seem irrelevant.  It will have been shown that both kinds of life can survive amicably. People like you and me, who hold “biases” in favor of one form of life or the other will  be able to shift attention to more serious threats to our favorites.

RELATED LINKS
Of Ball Games And Balloon Releases —  Article by Graham Rouse on Making It With Balloons Network

The Balloon Release: Pregame Tradition or Wildgame Malnutrition  Article by Thomas Larrew in Clemson University’s Creative Inquiry Project Spotlight

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Thanks for reading/listening.  I am

Graham Rouse
Making It With Balloons Network
At http://miwb.net Your Resource Center For
“Making Things, Making Success & Making A Difference With Balloons”™.
© Graham Rouse 2011

Nov 12

FOOTBALL FEVER – 12 Tips For A Great Marketing Lineup

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Making It With Balloons Network logo.
FOOTBALL FEVER – 12 Tips For A Great Marketing Lineup

Republished from “Huddle Up” in The RouseABOUT newsletter.
By Mary Queen Rouse

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Welcome to Making It With Balloons Network (MIWB.net).
Resource Center for “Making Things, Making Success & Making A Difference With Balloons”™.
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photo of Mary Queen Rouse

This article is drawn from “Huddle Up” by Mary Queen Rouse  in The RouseABOUT newsletter;

Will you quarterback your team to a successful  football season, or are you just a bench warmer, who HOPES business will come your way?   Be a “Tiger” and go after football sales with team signs like  the “TIGERS!” sign below.  But, don’t stop there.  Use the 12 tips below to line up your marketing program . You will find these tips useful for marketing soccer as well as American football, basketball, baseball etc.


"Tigers" Banner made with Rouse Matrix Expand-And-Load framework & balloons
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Make your own team signs with RMS Banner Panels like the ones used to make this “Tigers!” balloon graphic.

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Rouse Matrix Expand-And-Load football design

12 Tips For A Great Marketing Lineup!.

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(1) Team Stats

Think about your city, county, and state. How much area do you want to cover? Who are the teams? High school only? How many? Where? University or college? NCAA? How about an NFL team? And, don’t forget the private schools and their football seasons.

Look up phone numbers and addresses for each. Get accurate contact info about the booster clubs, fan clubs, marketing departments, etc. Be SURE your contact info gets you to the decision maker. Soooo important!

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(2) Market To Host Hotels

Find out which hotels host the opposing teams. Usually one hotel will get the contract for the whole season from the host schools. Get opposing team colors, etc., so you can make an accurate presentation to the sales staff at the hotel.

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(3) Market To Bars

What about the local sports bars? Will there be any black out games this season? Fans flock to sports bars for these games. Sell balloon decor to help them celebrate! How about some decor left and right of the big screen? Just don’t block it! Geez!! Where do fans go after the game… especially a winning game? Bingo. The local pub. Try some decor outside at the entrance to attract them to “YOUR” bar. Try some small decor up on the bar. What about the tables? Bars are a great opportunity for sales. Don’t fumble it!

 


Football player made by Steve Paynter with RMS Football Player shape and balloons
RMS Football Player
by Steve Paynter, CRA
Balloons By Design
Take a full sized football figure with you as you make your sales calls. That should peak some interest. It’s easy for the customer to visualize the real thing in their setting when they see it there on the spot.Browse and Buy a football player figure already cut into shape for you.

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(4) Market To The Tailgate Fans

The fans themselves are terrific sales prospects! Some fans I know are positively RABID about their teams. That’s good for business. What can you add to a tailgate party? Clusters of air balloons with ribbon streamers in team colors on those 10′ x 10′ tents would be such and easy sell! 5 sets at $100 each. That’s a quick $500.00, and we all KNOW how h-a-r-d they were to make!

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(5) Market to Stay At Home Fans

There are zilliions of fans who root from home. Don’t leave money on the table. Go after private parties on game weekends. Don’t you know a lot of people who get together to watch the game? Go sell them. The sale doesn’t have to be elaborate. If your balloon decoration is good and on time, chances are you will be remembered for a bar mitzvah or a wedding down the road.

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(6) Make A Calendar

Collect all of the appropriate game schedules. How many do you want to cover? Make an expanded calendar so that you can keep a perspective on decor commitments on specific days. The calendar also helps you determine staffing and vehicles needs.

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(7) “The Blind Side”

Don’t allow yourself to be blind-sided by scheduling to many events. Will you be able to cover all of the decor you’ve sold? Games days remind me of NYE. All the bars, hotels, schools, fans, etc., want their decor at the same time!P.S. DON’T FORGET THE GAME TRAFFIC!

"Cockey" logo banner made with Rouse Matrix, Expand-And-Load framework and balloons
“Cocky” University of SC Mascot

You can make similar balloon graphics for your team mascot with Rouse Matrix Systems
Expand-and-And-Load panels.
Contact us toll free at
1-877-GO-ROUSE for help in planning your project.
Browse and Buy RMS Banner panels now to practice and to make your balloon graphics and signs.

 

(8) Know Your Teams

Decide what decor you want to sell. Know the colors, nicknames, mascots… EVERYthing about the teams. Match up your balloon decor options with the teams. Make sure you have the team colors/ribbons in stock. What about imprinted balloons? What is the minimum order? How many imprints would you have to sell to cover costs AND still make some green? Another option for team personalization is to get team buttons. That’s an easy fix on a big bow in the right colors.

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(9) Beef Up Your Air Work

What air work do you have to offer that’s different from that of your competition? Why would a football fan choose your company? Research balloon publications to see if you can come up with some fun variations on the basics. Try out European, Brazilian or another international style for some distinction to the American everyday.Try RMS for some of your air work. The balloons will react in the same way that they always do (inside or out), but RMS does offer you some different and sophisticated options for graphics, sculpture and decor. There are some RMS ideas here in this issue of The RouseABOUT that could potentially work for you.Make sure your portfolio is FULL of football options.

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(10) Team Mascots

Can you make a team mascot? Take your business to a new level. Learn how to do these things. When you are able to customize your balloons beyond colors and imprinted balloons, business opportunities will come your way. Here again, RMS offers you options for easy, easy team mascot sculptures. Use it once, and you’ll love the results… and so will your customers!

 

Tiger paw banner made with Rouse Matrix, Expand-And-Load panels and balloons

Tiger Paw Logo
Clemson University
Clemson, SC

The 6′ x 6′ logo is a good example of
RMS Banner Graphics.
Use this idea to build school spirit and
build your “football” business.
Browse & Buy RMS Banners now.


(11) Offer 3 Package Deals

Offer a Ford, a Cadillac, and something in between. Why? First because it’s easy for customers to become confused when they see a lot of options. Second, three options mean three price points. Customers almost always choose the middle price point. Knowing this can greatly help in planning. How many middle options would I have to sell to make my financial goals for my football promotion? I should order this many supplies in order to sell 10 middle options.Use football terminology and make your packages fun. How about “First Down Decor”, “Gridiron Lockdown” or “Multiple Offense Total Package”? If you want to learn some football terminology, here is a good resource for you: http://football.about.com/lr/football_glossary/38581/1/

The glossary at this site helped me a lot.

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(12) Subliminal Marketing

Fancy words, but easy to do. For me, subliminal marketing can be as simple as the small things that promote your brand. For instance, Graham and I always wear our company colors at a convention.In terms of selling football, one idea would be to wear the colors of the team to whom you are marketing. What about a team button?And, for heaven’s sake, know if the team you are “recruiting” won its last game and who they beat! Knowing your customer is another form of subliminal marketing. Believe me! Your effort leaves an impression with the client. They will be impressed that you know the scoop.

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POST GAME SHOW

Be sure to join me right here next time for the “Post Game Show”.  I will share 8 tips for follow up marketing designed to reap the greatest benefits from all that work you did the first time around.

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RELATED LINKS
Rouse Matrix for Football Season —  Rouse Matrix – Frameworks For Balloons / Canvas For Imaginations™

http://facebook.com/RouseMatrixPage Mary Queen Rouse is one of the administrators for this facebook page.

http://www.rouseinternational.com/ra/is_2010/08/  —  The RouseABOUT newsletter issue source of this article.

Join Our FREE RouseABOUT Mailing List
Email:
For Email Marketing you can trust

_______________________________________________________________________________

Mary Queen Rouse

Making It With Balloons Network
At http://miwb.net Your Resource Center For
“Making Things, Making Success & Making A Difference With Balloons”™.
© Mary Queen Rouse 2011

Sep 13

The GRIDZ Are Coming… . AGAIN

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Making It With Balloons Network logoTHE GRIDZ ARE COMING…  .  AGAIN!

With Economy, Efficiency And Multitude of Design Options For Balloon Decorations.
By Graham Rouse
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Welcome to Making It With Balloons Network (MIWB.net).

NOTE:

tHE ARTICLE BELOW WAS WRITTEN IN 2011 AS griDZ WERE BEING INTRODUCED TO THE usa FOR THE FIRST TIME. wE WILL BE UPDATING THIS ARTICLE SHORTLY TO REFLECT THE CURRENT (EARLY 2015) REINTRODUCTION OF BOTH SIDES OF THE GRIDZ FAMILY OF BALLOON FRAMES.
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Graham Rouse PhotoTHE GRIDZ ARE COMING…  .  THE GRIDZ ARE COMING!

“They bring new levels of economy and efficiency to balloon decor.  And, they cary licenses for new sets of technology that multiply their usefulness for buildiing balloon decorations.”

THE BIG THREE

There have been only three modular grid systems designed and manufactured especially for balloon decorations and displays that have been widely marketed in the United States of America.  Now, two more are on the way and they both bear the label “GRIDZ”.

These “new guys on the block” carry on the tradition of 6” square aperture frameworks introduced by the Skistimas Design System (SDS).  They bring new levels of economy and efficiency to balloon decor.  And, they carry licenses for new sets of technology that multiply their usefulness for building balloon decorations.

The First Three Grids

(1)  Rouse Designer Panels  —  The first of the modular systems was introduced at the NABA (National Association of Balloon Artists) convention in 1988 by Graham Rouse. They were called Rouse Designer Panels. The panels were 22” by 30” and made of corrugated board. They had a regular array of 3/4” diameter holes spaced 2” on center. They were designed primarily for 5” balloons inflated to  2″ or 4” in diameter. Each hole had four slits radiating out from the center.  A balloon would be set on a hole with the neck of the balloon pulled through the hole.  The neck would then be stretched to an adjacent hole where the neck would be pulled up through the hole and pinched into one of the slits. This arrangement kept the balloons standing upright in a regular pattern.  One panel would be connected to the next panel with cable ties.

(2)  Skistimas Design System  –  Jim Skistimas and Pioneer Balloon Company introduced the Skistmas Design System in the early 1990’s. The basic SDS panel had two layers of wire grids that were about 1.5” apart. Each layer was 2’ by 4’ and had 32 openings that were 6” by 6” squares. Balloons were squeezed, individually into the square openings. They were designed primarily for 11” balloon inflated to 7.5” in diameter. One panel was designed to connect to the next panel with special plastic clips.

(3)  Rouse Matrix Systems  —  The Rouse Matrix Systems were introduced at the International Balloon Arts Convention in Chicago a year or two after SDS. These originals of RMS panels were made with corrugated plastic sheets with rows of overlapping slits.  This pattern of slits allowed the plastic sheets to be stretched open into an array of hexagon shaped openings (a honeycomb pattern) to hold balloons.  Balloons were generally tied in pairs and balloons rolled into adjacent openings. This system came in a variety of configurations, but the two most popular forms held 11’ balloons inflated to 8” in diameter or the second held 5” balloons inflated to 4” in diameter. This early version of RMS used cable ties to connect one panel to the next.

The new, fourth generation of the Rouse Matrix Systems has about 140 different configurations, but the two modular panels for 11” and 5” balloons are still the most popular. Now, however,  the RMS panels are made with thin 10-15 mil, natural clear, recyclable plastic (about 1/16 the thickness of the originals), have built in connectors to join them and have an adhesive wax coating to help hold balloons in place.

New Grids Are Alike

The two GRIDZ new comers to the USA market have a number of characteristics in common:

  • Both are made of plastic.
  • Both feature 6” square openings for balloons.
  • Both are lighter than previous square grids.
  • Both are more compact than previous square grids.
  • Both cost less than previous square grids.
  • Both may be used alone.
  • Both may be used with the other.
  • Both may be use with SDS panels.
  • Both come with licenses and instructions to make use of the latest Rouse Technologies for building balloon displays.
  • Both come with free access to special internet based resources for registered Gridz owners.
  • Both come with free access to special discounts on related products and services for registered Gridz owners.

New Grids Are Distinct

(A)  Deco GRIDZ  —  The more rigid of the two new Gridz is called Decorator GRIDZ or just Deco GRIDZ for short. These new Balloon Decorator GRIDZ will not support the huge weights possible with its double layer, steel, wire frame predecessor. If you want to support heavy light fixtures, sound equipment etc. with your balloon framework then you will do well to stick to the heavy metal frame in those sections of your displays.

In other areas, where you want basically the same size and look at a lower cost, with less weight to carry around and less storage space taken up when not on display; then Deco GRIDZ are an obvious alternative or add on to your existing inventory.  At about ½ the initial price, ¼ the storage space and 1/8 the weight; Deco GRIDZ is more than competitive even though it will not likely hold up for as many decades down the road.

(B)  Soft GRIDZ  —  The more flexible of the two new GRIDZ  is called Decorator Soft Gridz or just Deco Soft GRIDZ or even Soft Gridz for short. These Expand-And-Load, square children of Rouse Matrix Systems are thin plastic sheets with patterns of slits that allow them to be opened into 6” square grids that match up with SDS and with Deco GRIDZ.  They will support only as much weight at the inflated balloons will support.  The plastic from which they are made is recyclable HDPE.  It can last for generations, but at only 10 mils to 15 mils thickness it will not remain useable as long as the thicker Deco GRIDZ.

At about 1/8 the price, 1/875 the storage space and 1/54 the weight of the predecessor metal squares;  Soft Gridz is an exceptionally cost effective add-on and alternative to both SDS and Deco GRIDZ.

Details On Deco GRIDZ

Deco GRIDZ come in 12” by 12” by about 4/10” thick panels that snap together to form larger displays. Each panel is divided into four 5 ¾” square openings.  The inside corners of the opening have been rounded off to add strength.

The “natural clear” plastic (milky white and translucent) is stiff but can be bent and twisted somewhat by hand.  The Deco GRIDZ square does automatically spring back into shape if you bend it.

There are eight, short, “C” shaped protrusions on each of two adjacent sides of the  Deco GRIDZ squares.  These miniature claws snap around the smooth sides of adjacent panels. Just align the edges and squeeze them together. Tender hands may find this a little uncomfortable.  As with tying balloons, however, good technique and a little practice makes this disappear an issue.

The snaps generally hold well. The corner connections do seem a little more susceptible to unlocking if the sheet of panels is handled roughly.  I understand that special connectors are in the works to join the Deco GRIDZ to other systems and to support apparatus.  For now cable ties (Zip ties, electrical ties) or hook and loop (Velcro) strips wrapped around adjacent apparatuses will do nicely.

The lighter weight and softer material of the Deco GRIDZ compared to the steel mean that less heavy hardware is required for installation.  Also, there is less potential risk and liability should a display fall over.

Details on Soft GRIDZ

With both SDS and Deco GRIDZ the framework is rigid enough to hold the grid squares open all the time.  This is convenient for loading balloons.  That loading convenience comes at a price of dollars, inconvenience of storage space and weight to move around. With Soft GRIDZ you make the trade off to stretch open the framework and usually clamp it to a table for the initial row or two of loading balloons.  After that, subsequent rows of apertures are usually open enough and stable enough to load balloons easily without the extra hardware.

As with its RMS honeycomb relatives Soft GRIDZ is most often made with thin 10-15 mil, natural clear, recyclable plastic;  and  it has an adhesive wax coating to help hold balloons in place.

One of the big differences between Soft GRIDZ and its square relatives is its flexibility.  Soft GRIDZ may be easily bent into curves for arches, tunnels, cylinders and other curved forms.  This makes Soft GRIDZ an excellent add-on to rigid walls and panels.

Another valuable set of characteristics of the Soft GRIDZ is the exceptionally light weight and soft materials.  Designs made to be hung high in the air are much easier to rig.  The strain on rigging is much less.  And, in the unlikely event that rigging fails, there is much less risk of harm to people or objects below.

Initially, Soft GRIDZ will come in panels that open to 2’ by 4’ just like the original SDS panels and also in 4′ by 4′ panels. Other configurations of 4’ by 6’ and special shapes like arcs, hearts, American flags patterns, circles etc. are scheduled to follow.  In the future we also expect to see Soft GRIDZ with smaller and larger sized openings to serve the diverse balloon graphics and balloon sculpture needs of the balloon industry.

More To Come

LET ME SEE IT!  I know that if your are interested at all, you want to see these new things.  That is coming next along with an introduction to the powerful technologies that are licensed for GRIDZ owners to use with their new square grids. Do check back or simply join the “Friend Connect” near the top of the left column to stay up to date.

If you can make it to Detroit September 20-22, 2011 do attend one of the Rouse Squared classes at the BALLOONstitute Convention to learn more and to try out the new Deco GRIDZ and Soft GRIDZ for yourself.

________________________________________________________________

Thanks for reading/listening. I am

Graham Rouse
Making It With Balloons Network
At http://miwb.net Your Resource Center For
“Making Things, Making Success & Making A Difference With Balloons”™.
© Graham Rouse 2011

_________________________________________________________________

Aug 11

Balloon Walls & Graphics Made Easier & Faster

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Balloon Walls & Graphics Made Easier & Faster

Rouse Speed Graphics Alternatives to Precision Wall Techniques

by Graham Rouse

________________________________________________________________________________

Welcome to   Making It With Balloons Network (MIWB.net).

“Making Things, Making Success  & Making A Difference With Balloons”™.  ___________________________________________________________________________________________

.

Photo of Graham RouseINTRODUCTION

(1)  Do you build your balloon walls and graphics with a series of balloon garlands or balloon columns that are placed side by side?

(2)  Would you prefer to build those walls and graphics with half the number of balloons in half the time?

If so, you are in the right place!

 

COMPARE

Here are two balloon wall/graphics that look alike.  But!  You could build the one on the right in half the time and with half the balloons.

Picture of two "Tiger Paw" balloon graphics

ON THE LEFT

The “Tiger Paw” on the left is made with balloon columns nested together (a Precision Wall).  For each balloon you see in front there is a second balloon behind it that you do not see.

 

ON THE RIGHT

The “Tiger Paw” on the RIGHT is made with double-ended balloons tied together in strings and then loaded into a Rouse Matrix framework (a Rouse Speed Graphic). There are no balloons hiding in the back, so you use only half as many balloons.

 

HALF  TIMES  5

With just a little imagination, you can see at least five ways this reduction in numbers of balloons will produce savings for you.

1)           Half as many balloons to design, plan & prepare for means
—  Fewer pages of drawings and instructions to make & follow.

2)           Half as many balloons to buy, ship & store means
—  Less money spent on balloons, shipping & storage.

3)           Half as many balloons to inflate, size & tie means
—  Less labor to do the job.

4)           Half the space needed to gather, transport & display balloons means
—  More working room & fewer trips to carry balloons.

5)           Half as many balloons to dismantle, deflate & dispose of after your event means
—  Getting finished earlier.

 .

MAKING IT EASIER

Rouse Speed Graphics makes your whole project less complicated by reducing:    1) the number of balloons;    2) the number of assembly elements;  and    3) the number of construction decisions you have to make to complete your project.

 

1)     2  TIMES  EASIER  TO  HANDLE

  1. 504 balloons for the Rouse Speed Graphic
  2. 1008 balloons for the Precision Wall version

SPEED GRAPHIC BALLOONS

00000000000000000000000000000000

PRECISION WALL BALLOONS

00000000000000000000000000000000    00000000000000000000000000000000

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2)     21  TIMES  EASIER TO ASSEMBLE

  1. 24 strings of balloons have to be prepared, kept and installed in proper order to build the Rouse Speed Graphic.
  2. 504 pairs of balloons have to be prepared, kept and installed in proper order to build the Precision Wall.

SPEED GRAPHIC ELEMENTS

SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

PRECISION WALL ELEMENTS

PPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP    PPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP    PPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP
PPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP    PPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP    PPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP
PPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP    PPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP    PPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP
PPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP    PPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP    PPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP
PPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP    PPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP    PPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP
PPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP    PPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP    PPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP
PPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP    PPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP    PPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP

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3)     42  TIMES  EASIER  TO  ALIGN

A)  Rouse Speed Graphic strings  – 48 alignment decisions
There are 24 strings with 2 alignment decisions each.

1.  Put the string on the proper row.

2.  Start at the proper end.

B)  Precision Wall pairs – 2016 alignment decisions
There are 504 pairs with 4 alignment decisions each.

1.  Place each pair in the proper column.

2.  Place each pair in the proper stacking order.

3.  Properly orient balloons to the left or right side.

4.  Properly orient balloons to front or back.

ROUSE SPEED GRAPHIC DECISIONS

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PRECISION WALL DECISIONS

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????????????   ????????????   ????????????   ????????????   ????????????   ????????????

 

MAKING IT FASTER

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1)     “HALF TIMES 5”
(above) lists five ways you save with Rouse Speed Graphics.  Each of those ways includes savings of time.  Your overall project goes faster.
.

2)     “MAKING IT EASIER” (above) lists three ways Rouse Speed Graphics uncomplicate your project, thereby also making it faster.
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3)     ROUSE SPEED GRAPHICS employs a patented system for loading balloons in grid openings. That system makes your project go even faster.  Watch this 80 second video. It demonstrates just how exceptionally fast balloon loading CAN be with Rouse Speed Graphics.
.

In this video clip Eduardo Seiti Yoshikawa loads a string of 52 Link-O-Loon balloons into a Rouse Matrix Builder framework in 45 seconds.  That is a rate of over 4,000 balloons per hour!

Another decorator using Precision Wall techniques, would have to load their balloons at a rate of 8,000 balloons per hour to keep up with Eduardo since it takes twice as many balloons to make the same graphic with Precision Wall techniques.

.

PRODUCTION SPEEDS

This demonstration by Eduardo is exceptional.  We have found that rates of 1,000 to 1,500 balloons per hour for single rows of balloons is closer to a “normal” top speed.  All of our tests, however, show decorators load balloons in Rouse Builder and Banner frameworks 2 to 3 times faster when they use strings of double-ended balloons rather than pairs of round balloons.

 .

ANOTHER EXAMPLE

The picture below shows a stage backdrop at Summer Balloon Camp in 2005. It was designed and built by John & Johnna Perry of Balloon Designs by Up Up & Away Balloons in Kansas City, Missouri.  I timed John working on the floor, loading a string of Link-O-Loons into this backdrop, at a rate of 1200 balloons per hour.  Rouse Speed Graphics is a technique John and Johnna continue to use to make their work go faster.  It can make your work go faster as well.

This is a stage backdrop bade with balloons and Rouse Matrix Builder frameworks at Summer Balloon Camp in 2005 by John & Johnna Perry

SPEED GRAPHICS – HANDS-ON -AUGUST 17, 2011
— For folks in the Lousville, KY USA area who would like to learn how John & Johnna Perry do this, they are offering a hands-on educational opportunity on Wednesday, August 17th. They have been using this technique successfully for years.
— They are eager to share this super fast way to build balloon walls with you!
— Contact Johnna Wright Perry through her facebook page or email her at johnna@52sweets.com .

.

OTHER GRID PATTERNS

We have compared Rouse Speed Graphics with the “2 Balloon Duplet Square Pack” version of Precision Walls.  We call this version the “Honeycomb” version because it displays as a hexagon grid like bee hives. There are a couple of other popular balloon patterns associated with Precision Wall techniques.  We will publish ways to create Rouse Speed Graphic patterns similar to those  Precision Walls a little later.  Look for them here on Making It With Balloons Network (http://miwb.net).

Meanwhile,

 

THE BOTTOM LINE

Precision Wall techniques have become popular, standard techniques since they were introduced by Steve Smith of Nashville, Tennessee in the USA a couple of decades ago.  Rouse Speed Graphics offers an easier and faster alternative.  It is an alternative that could well become the new standard.

 

OPTIMIZING YOUR SKILLS

As with any technique that is new to you, it will take a little practice to optimize your skills.  As you do get better, so will your efficiency and your profits.

Look for more blog articles, instructional posts, videos and classes for detailed training on Rouse Speed Graphics.  The basic process is straight forward, but there are tips, tricks and other details to get you to your best performance more quickly.  We look forward to sharing them with you.

One opportunity is coming up in Detroit, MI USA at the BALOONstitute convention September 20-22, 2011. A hands-on class on Speed Graphics is scheduled.  Check out BALLOONstitute convention plans at http://balloonstitute.com/2011 .

 

THE FINE PRINT & THE FUTURE

This balloon display system is the patented invention of Graham Rouse and requires the use of Rouse authorized components.  Currently (August 2011), in locations where USA patents apply, that means using official Rouse Matrix Systems frameworks with balloons of your choosing.  This is subject to change, so do check back here on http://miwb.net, at http://www.rouseinternational.com or http://facebook.com/RouseMatrixPage for updates.

For those of  you with a serious interest in the ins-&-outs of related Rouse technologies, here are relevant Rouse patent numbers and links to online copies of the patents:

______________________________________________________________________________

Thanks for reading/listening.  I am

Graham Rouse
Making It With Balloons Network
At http://miwb.net Your Resource Center For
“Making Things, Making Success & Making A Difference With Balloons”™.
© Graham Rouse 2011

_______________________________________________________________________________

Jul 29

WHAT IS IN A NAME?

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WHAT IS IN A NAME?

With No Standard Definition?
by Mark Zettler

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________
Welcome to   Making It With Balloons Network (MIWB.net).
“Making Things, Making Success  & Making A Difference With Balloons”™.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

PHoto of Mark Zettler

“Is it time for some real hard thinking about standardizing certain aspects of the balloon business to aid all concerned – the customer, manufacturer, distributor and reseller?”
_______________________________________________________

Problem Solver – What’s in a Name?
(By Mark Zettler; reprinted from Issue 6, 1998 of Balloons And Parties Today magazine http://www.balloonsandparties.com/ProblemSolver_199806.shtml )
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IT STARTED WITH A TREE

For me, it all started with a “tree.” The phone rang and on the other end of the line was a party planner asking if we make “balloon trees.” Now my first instinct was to reply, “palm or maple,” but not wanting to sound like a wise-guy, I opted for, “how many balloons would you like in your tree?” Whatever their answer was, it was blurred by my imagination running wild with the thought of balloons stuck in some tall woody plant with people climbing branches to release them from their tangled imprisonment. What else would happen to balloons in a tree?
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OVER THE YEARS

As the years have past, new names have come across my desk and over my phone lines. There are puff balls – or are they clouds or perhaps clusters? There are cascades – but they could be corkscrews. Everyone makes packed arches – but are they triples, quads, quints, or just spirals? A double arch could be a zipper or butterfly arch. A balloon column sounds nice, but isn’t that a tree to some? Do we use a cylinder or a tank, a nozzle or a regulator? Hmmm…

Are 16″ balloons ‘jumbo’ sized? Doesn’t that leave out 30″ or 36″ balloons, or larger? And whatever happened to the “paddle” balloon?
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OTHER INDUSTRIES

Other industries have come to standardize many of the items they sell. Is it time for our industry to follow? Do we need to differentiate our products like sub-compacts and sedans, or queen and king size beds?
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WHAT ABOUT THESE?

Maybe that “tree” is the process of standardization taking place already. With regards only to the “tree,” I kind of hope not! However, much in the industry is standardized to a degree. There are 5″, 9″, 11″ balloons and so on. 18″ Mylar balloons are a standard size, or are they? How about those 20″ or 21″ stars. You probably pay more for them and just as sure you probably don’t charge more for them. Of course, there are those 10″ and 12″ latex balloons to add to the mix.

What about tank sizes? Surely to a compressed gas company there is some important difference between a 106, 107 or 110 size cylinder. A 285 versus a 292 cylinder must also carry some mystical reasoning as to why they are both offered. But in the end does such a small bit of compressed gas (helium or nitrogen) come to mean that much?

Now we come to packaging balloon products. A gross pack seemed to be (in the US) a fairly comfortable standard to rely on for many years. Then came 72 packs, 36 packs and even 12 packs which all made some sense as they were divisions of the original gross pack of 144. Hold on – here come what may be the more sensible 100 count and 50 count bags. Do we now need to rely on both types of counting for years to come? Possibly and probably.

How about Mylar (or is it metallized or foil?) balloons with their single packs, 5 count, 10 count, etc.?
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IS IT TIME?

Now a number of the items I have listed above are standardized to a degree. However, much of the standardizing may be from within the one company that is manufacturing or distributing the particular product. I don’t want to sound like a rant on paper here, but is it time for some real hard thinking about standardizing certain aspects of the balloon business to aid all concerned – the customer, manufacturer, distributor and reseller?
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PALM OR MAPLE?

So next time a customer asks if you make “balloon trees,” don’t hesitate to reply “palm or maple,” and watch what happens.

– – – – – – – – – – –

Mark Zettler, Publisher
BALLOONS & Parties Magazine
201-441-4224
www.balloonsandparties.com
www.twitter.com/balloonexpert

The BALLOONstitute, Producer
http://www.balloonstitute.com/

 

MORE FROM MARK
Read more from Mark Zettler on Making It With Balloons Network:
— Shooting The Messenger   http://miwb.net/blog/?p=1460

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Copyright 2011 – Mark Zettler  & Rouse Technologies for “Making It With Balloons Network”

Jul 26

BALLOON INDUSTRY LINGO

Making It With Balloons Network logo_____________________________________________________________________________________

BALLOON INDUSTRY LINGO
Words Impact Our Industry And Our Business
By Vicky Kimble

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Welcome to Making It With Balloons Network (MIWB.net).
Resource Center for   “Making Things, Making Success  & Making A Difference With Balloons”™.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________

It seems fascinating to me that terminology can inadvertently impact the course of an industry and the path of our business, but the fact of the matter is, it can.
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“FLOATING” AN ISSUE

Just before the FLOAT convention, which I am a staff member, Graham had asked me to write another article.  He had also suggested that FLOAT might inspire some good ideas for the next article, and boy, did it ever!!

I had all kinds of thought-provoking topics in mind, but thanks to an experience I had at FLOAT, one issue in particular seemed very important to address…industry lingo.
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WHAT’S IN A NAME?

Think of how a brand name can stick in your mind when associated with a certain product.  When you need to make a photocopy, don’t you usually refer to it as a XEROX copy? How about when you need to blow your nose?  Do you ask for a tissue or a KLEENEX?  People with indigestion usually ask for a TUMS or ALKA-SELTZER, not an antacid.  Okay, you get my point.

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HERE IS THE POINT

But here’s the point, a tissue has more uses than just blowing your nose.  If the concept is that the only person who would use a tissue is someone with a cold or allergies, it limits the amount of use and sales of that product. It is up to the manufacturers to educate the general public as to all the wonderful things it can also be used for, and then more people will buy the product and use it.
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SELLING OURSELVES SHORT

During FLOAT, I realized something extremely important.  With a few simple words and a little misguided marketing, our industry has been selling itself short!!
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INSPIRATION IN A FLASH…. .   .  CLASS

One of the opportunities I have at FLOAT is to teach what are called FLASH classes.  A FLASH class is a 30-minute “quickie” class packed with a lot of valuable information.  The idea for my two FLASH classes was simple…manipulating non-round balloons.

Since FLOAT is a convention that caters to intermediate to advanced level decorators, I felt it would be very beneficial to decorators to become more comfortable with manipulating non-round balloons. The truth is, they do have a bit of a different “feel” to work with, so I thought a bit of hands-on experience might ease their trepidation a bit!!

I wanted to familiarize the decorators with a variety of shapes and sizes and have them see just how easy they can be to work with and how they would enhance their work by incorporating them into their every-day designs.

So I went into my private “stash” of inventory and pulled out a couple of sample packs of balloons from both Qualatex and Betallatex that were distributed at various conventions I have attended.
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WELL, NO WONDER!!

Funny, I had never noticed it before.  The bags were marked “Entertainer” balloons and “Twister” sample pack. Stigmatizing them as “Entertainer” or “Twister” balloons immediately deters decorators from even trying to incorporate them into their work.  The natural assumption is that they have no use for them because that’s not what they do.  I’m sure, that was never the intention.
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TIME TO CHANGE

Please don’t get me wrong.  This article is in no way intended to offend my friends at Pioneer and Betallic. Sorry guys, you know I love you both, but I believe this is a detriment to our industry AND your sales!!  When the two leading balloon companies inadvertently categorize their own products and create self-imposed limitations, it’s time to change the terminology!!

In defense of Qualatex, the bag of sample balloons was called “Entertainer and SPECIALTY latex balloons”.  Hmmm, SPECIALTY, what a great word!!  The very thing we want these balloons to reflect…that they are SPECIAL!!  Not to say that there is anything wrong with and ordinary round balloon, but they are just that…ordinary, or at least what people have come to expect when they hear the word, “balloon”.

Then again, there is nothing ORDINARY about Don Caldwell climbing in and out of a six-foot round balloon!!  Does that mean that round balloons are just for decorators?  😉  I think I’ve made my point!!

We are a community of BALLOON PROFESSIONALS that specialize in different areas of expertise.  It is to our advantage to use all types of styles and sizes of both round and non-round balloons. By using a variety of styles, sizes textures and shapes of balloons, it not only makes our work look better, expands our knowledge and improves our art form, but most importantly, promotes the companies that make what we do possible.
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MY GOAL

My goal, as always, is for the advancement and improving the level of professionalism and respectability of our industry.  When certain terms or concepts become a stigma, it creates confusion and limits the advancement of our industry as a whole.
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MORE LINGO BOO-BOOS!!
  • This includes the use of the word MYLAR in reference to foil balloons. For those of us who have been in the industry for ages, know there were legal issues with using the term MYLAR, so it is in our best interest to refer to them as FOILS.
  • Unless you have ever piloted a hot-air balloon, sadly, according to Webster’s, you are not a balloonist.  A Balloon Professional or Balloon Artist yes, but not a BALLOONIST.
  • Entertaining at KID’S parties…Balloon entertainment is fun and entertaining for ALL AGES!!

These are just a few examples of how our work can be misconstrued.
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THE GOOD NEWS

The good news is, this is so easy to change. We can change these preconceived notions with the change of a word or two. It doesn’t cost a thing, and yet it has the potential to be so profitable!!
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BECOME EXTRAORDINARY!

So go out and show the world all the wonderful things that can be created with all kinds of balloons; ROUNDS, NON-ROUNDS, FOILS, BUBBLES, and SPECIALTY SHAPES.  With a few simple additions, your ordinary work will immediately become extraordinary, as will your profits!!

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Til’ the next time, stay uplifted and a little bit twisted!!

Vicky
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MORE BY VICKY KIMBLE

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Copyright 2011 – Vicky Kimble  & Rouse Technologies for “Making It With Balloons Network”

Jun 30

MAYBE “BLUE ICE”

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MAYBE “BLUE ICE”
Reflections On A Balloon Sculpture                     
By Graham Rouse ________________________________________________________________________________

Welcome to   Making It With Balloons Network (MIWB.net).

“Making Things, Making Success  & Making A Difference With Balloons”™.  ___________________________________________________________________________________________

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REFLECTIONS

 Abstract Balloon Sculpture # 03 with "RIBS" by Graham Rouse

When I look at this sculpture I wonder if it is actually ice  that has been melted into shape by the sun as the earth spins round  that star.  Maybe it was polished smooth by swirling night winds. It certainly seems preoccupied with growing, reaching, stretching to touch stars in the deep, dark blue of the night sky.

Is the base a block of frozen pond or is the scale much larger?  Is this the tip of an iceberg with roots a thousand feet deep in the ocean, now rising 100 feet above the frozen surf?

Or, is it only a smooth and frozen crystal resting upon a tiny snowflake and,therefore so fragile as to melt away should it be touched by human breath?

Is it, instead, a living thing?  Perhaps a cocoon?  Maybe the blue line circumscribing this monolithic form is actually a rib defining the outer edge of some marvelous creature within; a creature whose metamorphosis is not yet complete.

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MAYBE “BLUE ICE”

MAYBE IF

  • Maybe if we sit quietly, and very very still, with only the most shallow of breathing;
  • Maybe if we stare, hour after hour with eyes wide open;
  • Maybe then we will witness that magic moment when a new life breaks forth from within the Blue Ice, stretches its wings and flys away..
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MAYBE AS

  • Maybe as we bear witness to the fact and to the form of this object;
  • Maybe as we involve our imaginations in its genesis, metamorphosis, and future;
  • Maybe then we are actually imagining scenarios for our own lives the way they might be imagined in our dreams..
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MAYBE SINCE

  • Maybe, since we have seen these images in the Blue Ice;
  • Maybe since we have imagined its inner workings large and small, fragile and strong, inanimate and alive;
  • Maybe, then we are a little better prepared to imagine ourselves in new ways..
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MAYBE BLUE ICE

  • Maybe Blue Ice offers us the opportunity to taste, while we are awake, flavors of life usually hidden in dreams;
  • Maybe Blue Ice offers us the possibility  to make real in our lives what we imagine in the sculpture;
  • Maybe then, our own metamorphosis will complete itself and we will become one of those marvelous creatures who

Break forth,
Stretch our wings and

Fly away. _______________________________________________________________________________

Thanks for reading/listening.  I am
Graham Rouse

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Making It With Balloons Network
At http://miwb.net Your Resource Center For
“Making Things, Making Success & Making A Difference With Balloons”™.
© Graham Rouse 2011

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