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Topic: A Few Questions
Message: Posted by: Jeremy L. (Jun 1, 2006 07:05PM)
1.Do any of you make a few extra balloon figures in case one pops and give them to the parent?

This applying to birthday parties.

2.For those of you who use (a) balloon animal(s) in your show do you find that the one(s) used in your show are/is requested more?

3.Have any of you tried saying something along the lines of:
What would you like, maybe a dog (or other animal(s))?
Does it help get them to chose an animal you can make?

Message: Posted by: phill (Jun 2, 2006 07:50AM)
Jeremy -

1. Yes. I like the comforting idea of having a back-up.

2. Yes. Sometimes more than others.

3. Yes, as well. However, I have used small menu boards. I also use the line "I would like to make you something special" or "Now, for something completely different" :). I usually use these line when I have made a lot of one particular sculpture......

Message: Posted by: Bill Nuvo (Jun 2, 2006 09:21AM)
1. Sometimes...it depend if I like the little rugrats!

2. No (see no 3 for reason why)

3. I don't take requests generally speaking. I make larger, really cool hats and try to surprise the child with what I am making. And I will make each child a different hat at a birthday party or 30 children or less. But in the past when I was asking "what would you like..." I found the power of suggestion to be great. I would often say "I've got something cool for you. You look like someone who likes rabbits (or whatever)." Sometimes that is the only way of doing more than 3 different animals and looking a little more professional.
Message: Posted by: Jeremy L. (Jun 4, 2006 02:27PM)
Thank-you both!
About the menus:
Do you just hand out the menus?
I assume they have pictures of the balloon figures for children that can't read or can't read well?
About the hats:
How many balloons do the use on average?
I know there are multiple resources for balloon hats. Which do you recommend?
Message: Posted by: Michael238 (Jun 4, 2006 03:40PM)
I like to have the choices out, a sample of what is available. Some times you can make an arch to hang them from, or hang them from table. If on a stage, have them sitting out t choose from.
Message: Posted by: ac-magic (Jun 4, 2006 04:32PM)
In terms of hats, go crazy. The wackier they are, the better.

Just start tie balloon round their head and then start attatching stuff to it. Don't stop their tho, what's to stop you attatching a tiger or a poodle etc etc to a balloon. Hats are great, because you can go crazy and it looks good. Be warned tho, the more balloons you use, the more expensive it gets :P

Message: Posted by: Bill Nuvo (Jun 5, 2006 08:34AM)
For Hat look at balloonhq.com Look at the monthly columns. Lots of hats explained. Also as AC said, experiment.
Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Jun 5, 2006 11:33AM)
I agree with Mr. Bill here (as usual - I think we're brothers separated at birth). When I do a birthday party I make HATS and only HATS. I may, if the children are polite and I'm enjoying myself, give the children a choice of principal color...but beyond that, I believe that the fewer choices you give each child the smoother your visit will go.

Hats are festive and attract attention, 95% of the kids love their "personalized" creation, mothers ooh-and-ahhh over the creations and a properly made hat is far less likely to break before you hightail it out of there...unlike hand-held swords and dogs.

My hats consist of a basic princess crown with two contrasting color arches topped by either a heart, spiderman, alien, google-eye, eyeball or similar printed 5" round balloon in the front. It takes me about 30-45 seconds per hat.
Message: Posted by: magic4jc (Jun 5, 2006 05:44PM)

I'd love to see a pic of your princess hat. Could you pm or email me a pic?

Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Jun 5, 2006 06:29PM)
Happy to, Mike. Shoot me your email address and I'll pop it over to ya. I'm not sure how to upload a PDF file here.

Message: Posted by: Jeremy L. (Jun 5, 2006 07:59PM)
Thank-you all! I really like the hat idea.
Message: Posted by: Bill Nuvo (Jun 6, 2006 09:13AM)
Y'know Skip, if you shaved your head and put on some glasses, you might just look as good as your better looking brother! LOL

As Skip said, you'll get more of a wow factor with hats. And as I have said before in other posts. Balloon animal twisting (just like magic) is more accessable to the average Joe. So you have to do more than your regular one balloon animals to show your worth to customers. Turning a child into a butterfly (a wearable balloon costume) will make you look incredible. If you make just simple balloon animals, You will have a harder time justifying why someone would pay you over $50/hr (I know a lot of us charge more...)to make something that could be made by the kid next door.
Message: Posted by: Jeremy L. (Jun 14, 2006 05:24PM)
I finally got some 260s, a book and a pump. I have a couple of hats I like.
I was searching the Café and I found an interesting idea, it was to just make all the kids at a party balloon dogs.
Also, what has your experience been with kids with latex allergies?
Message: Posted by: JesterMan (Jul 15, 2006 06:31PM)
I've run into a few, very few kids (and adults) with latex allergies. The parents are usually pretty attuned to getting the child away, if they are 'that' sensitive. You can always try to have something else to give them, like Origami, or something, just in case.

As far as balloon doggies go for parties... if you are just adding something on as an after-thought from a magic show, you may get away with it, if you aren't adding a lot to the price. But, many kids are going to want a little more variety, I'd think.
Message: Posted by: Jeremy L. (Jul 26, 2006 02:31AM)
I was thinking that if I do eventually offer balloons the balloon dogs could be a free bonus and then for more money they could upgrade to balloon hats (which is what I will probably go with).
Also does any one have any resources for making an actual balloon show? (books, DVDs... with gags ect. [like the Patrick Page video/DVD])
Message: Posted by: Bill Nuvo (Jul 26, 2006 07:29AM)
On 2006-07-26 03:31, Jeremy L. wrote:
I was thinking that if I do eventually offer balloons the balloon dogs could be a free bonus and then for more money they could upgrade to balloon hats (which is what I will probably go with).

Also does any one have any resources for making an actual balloon show? (books, DVDs... with gags ect. [like the Patrick Page video/DVD])

The problem with this is that some people will view balloons as balloons when it comes to pricing. It will be hard to sell the upgrade because 1. people can be cheap and 2. are you sure you can convince people over various marketing mediums (ads, newspaper, flyers, internet, phone) the value of upgrading from doggies to hats? This can be extremely tough.

As for doing a balloon show you can check out balloonhq.com again. Also check out the Silly People (sillypeople.com). View their video clips to see how some people do a balloon show---Lords of Latex cllip.
Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Jul 26, 2006 08:58AM)
For those kids with latex allergies I always carry a supply of colorful foam and vinyl hats from Oriental Express. Since I make hats and only hats at birthday parties this insures that no child is ever left out...a very important feature when it comes to word-of-mouth callbacks.

The problem with making anything handheld at a birthday party, such as a dog or sword, is that it is ten times more likely to wind up either in Mom's hands or broken than something the child wears. Crying kids are not conducive to word-of-mouth promotion.

I make a deluxe multi-balloon hat for the birthday child. Every other child gets a basic one-balloon princess crown with two arches and their choice of a 5" heart, alien head, spiderman head, googly eye head or giant eyeball on the front. The guest hats are made in the party theme colors...no arguments over who has what color since they're all the same and no wasted time waiting for a child to choose a color. My style...may not suit everyone. It takes me less than a minute per hat.

I do usually leave 5 extra hats with the party mom...out of sight...just in case. Again, the benefit of having a set color and style since a child with a broken hat won't look at the extras and cry, "But I had a PINK one! I want another PINK one!" What they see is what they had. Smile restored. Ya gotta out think the little angels!

I also make all of my hats from spaghetti 160 balloons rather than 260s...again the 160s are far less likely to break than a 260, they'll generally take more abuse than a 260, they're easier to twist without popping and startling a child, parent or restaurant patron and they take up less actual space...a big plus in a crowded party room. Works for me...everyone's taste is different.

Message: Posted by: Bill Nuvo (Jul 26, 2006 12:43PM)
Skip, I love the foam idea. These are easily made too and you are right about how it looks for you--the PROFESSIONAL magician. Good work.
Message: Posted by: Jeremy L. (Jul 29, 2006 07:47PM)
Thank-you both!
I like the idea of using only certain colors for all the hats and the foam hat idea.