One of the best kept secrets of being a balloon twister with a passion for balloon art is to take advantage of time. It is understandable when a customer asks "how many balloons can you make in an hour" because anyone that has made any balloon art knows that it takes a lot of time to create something special. If a customer called me today, I would tell them that I do quick division when I enter a party. If I scan the party and see 5-7 kids getting excited at my arrival, but I am told that I have 20 more that will arrive in the next hour, I will suggest to the 5-7 kids that I show them a few of the things I make (which I can make improvements to with extra time). For example, I can make one balloon ray gun and ask a child to come over later for an upgrade by adding a second balloon.
So let's talk about the the math:
27 children x 2 minute average balloon* = 54 minutes
*requested balloon...not premade
With only one hour and 27 children, my goal will need to be to keep them entertained and get them faster balloons. If they are the right age, I will make balloons for 3-5 children at the same time. This does mean that they must be old enough to have a little patience, but they will be rewarded by getting to play with balloons for several minutes and see what everyone is getting verses, getting theirs and running off.
As the party progresses and I see children returning for a second balloon, I recalculate my time and offer a second set based on the amount of time I have.
I often find myself with as little as 10 minutes at the end of a full balloon cycle, so I refer to some of the industries most popular designs...
Sword - 11 seconds...I can do a "Sword Fight" activity with and give out 30 balloon swords in with 6 minutes.
Flower - 45 seconds...I can make flowers for all the girls that do not want swords with just a few more minutes.
If my clients extend my time by 30 minutes, I will immediately move to a mix of 1-3 Minute Balloon Designs -
Poodles, Elmo Hats, Wearable Flamingo Balloon, Popper, Alien, Dog, Cat, Bow and Arrow, Penguin, Dinosaur, Purse
So how do you get so many "Awesome Designs to the kids at every party?"
The answer is simply that I have learned to stay focused on the latest party themes sold at Balloon Distributors and you can see at retail stores like Party City and Walmart. For every theme that stands the test of time, I add at least one balloon in that theme. I make sure that balloon is not only super cute but is the most striking character within the theme. For example, Pokémon have been around for a very long time but the characters being used for the party theme is mainly Pikachu. So I make a very fast and cute Pikachu and offer it at every party to ensure my muscle memory stays in tact.
The best thing a balloon twister can do is KNOW THEIR STRENGTHS:
- I happen to have amazing speed for any balloon that I have made for several years. I will suggest these balloons at the beginning of a party to ensure that I create extra time. When I am successful, I show off using the extra time and meeting the needs of the party. How? I scan the party again and ask...what's one thing I can do to make this party better.
Many times the ladies are being left out and may not be talking....I will send children with corsages for each lady or maybe a bouquet of flowers to the table to spark conversation.
I often times notice single dad's lingering, maybe feeling left out of the "mix of couples" - this is when "Dad gets a crazy hat" in hopes to be pulled back into the group conversations.
On occasion, I have found the birthday child needing a little extra attention and this is where I try to focus most of my "extra time". I politely tell the guests that I am wrapping up my time and will be spoiling the birthday child.
So my strengths are obviously my speed and ability to understand group dynamics.
- Tobi McJunkin, Certified Balloon Artist
Tip: Talk and Twist! Save 20 minutes a party!
My final secret is one that just makes too much sense but is rarely done...ALWAYS try to make time for making a balloon for the person that hired you before you leave. Even if you feel they don't want a balloon, does not mean it will not last in their memory forever!
Where's my face?
I did not see her make that!
Tip! Create high end balloon art before your event and take photos! Then freeze them and bring with you. Save your client money and get awesome photos!