by Sheena Beaverson
IBAC 20 Wrap-Up
Larry at work in the BHQ office.|
This year's convention was most certainly a memorable one. The
International Balloon Arts Convention (IBAC) relocated itself to sunny
Anaheim, California on the Disneyland premises. BHQ coverage got off to a
slow start. We all encountered travel difficulties, and then discovered
that the dial-up connection from the hotel moved at a snail's pace. Our
best option turned out to be a DSL wireless hot spot located outside the
business center. So, we camped out in the hallway near the escalators on
a bench which became known as 'the BHQ office'.
For attendees, things started off on a high note at the Opening
Festivities, with decor designed by
Troy Apprill (CBA). The field of helium balloons on balloon straws was
very cool. It was hard to resist the impulse to run right through them like
you would a field full of flowers. Instead, I had to content
myself with standing close to the edge of the balloons and quietly
shifting them until I was surrounded. The theme for the night was IBAC
20th Class Reunion. Speakers were introduced one by one, as
pictures from their high school days were displayed on the screens.
(Thanks to Brent Adams for providing us with those Quicktime IBAC
The Wild Wild West party on Thursday night featured decor designed by
Rob Stiff (CBA) and Judy Bradt (CBA). People are still talking about
the cute bath tub at Asli's Bath House. The party was a lot of fun, with
a tex-mex dinner menu, games (human horseshoes?), prizes for the best
costumes, and plenty of time for dancing. But, who am I kidding, all
that's really in my mind now is what happened at the Final Night Gala.
Our Hollywood Night started off with pictures and video clips from
previous years of IBAC. Dinner was great, as always, and there was also a
fun video tribute to the hard-working event producers and staff. The
award winners were enthusiastically applauded, as the winning sculpture
designers, new artists, and designers of the year received some
well-deserved recognition. In the middle of it all, Rocky Toomey stole
the show and shocked everyone by proposing marriage, right from the
podium on stage. He got both a standing ovation and a 'yes' from his
beloved. All the IBAC producers were shell-shocked (but delighted) for
hours afterward. Congratulations Rocky and Terry!
|Actually, he IS a rocket
Then, Linda Bruce came on stage to present the Crystal Award. What
happened after that is a bit of a blur. I got hugged by Wynn Bell
and was congratulated by Dan Flynn, then we three made our way to the
stage. Larry said something positive about the balloon community and
some other good stuff (he sounded very calm), I talked about how
wonderful it is to have friends in so many places around the world (at
least I hope I did), then Mark took a cue from Rocky and proposed... that
we three stay in business for another 12 years (he folded that box out of
the dinner menu!). The rest of the night was great, getting hugs from
everyone, dancing, and talking into the wee hours of the morning. What
an honor, and how exciting. We are very, very proud to have received
Mark, Larry, and I would like to take a moment to thank all of you for
being part of BHQ.
BalloonHQ is still on-line and flourishing because of the support we've
received over the years from sponsors, members, list subscribers,
volunteers, and contracted staff. To Debbie Piotrowski, John Barthelmes,
Todd Neufeld, Jack Porcello, Marc Summers, Dennis Dawson,
Terrie Basko, David Graves, Jacob Levine, Wayne Lampel, Richard Williams
and many others... thank you for helping out along the way.
Also, thanks to the sponsors of our 2004 online event coverage.
This year's sponsors have been TK Innovations, Bomba Insurance, Glue Dots
International, MSR Wholesale, and Qualatex.
We are already looking forward to IBAC 21. Don't forget,
the IBAC team will be accepting your input for deciding dates and the
venue for the 2005 convention. See www.ibaconline.com
for details starting May 10, 2004.
Sheena Beaverson, Larry Moss (CBA), and Mark Balzer accept the IBAC
2004 Crystal Award for their work with BalloonHQ.|
Featured Artists: Southern California QBN Chapter
The traditional IBAC atrium sculpture was replaced this year by balloon
decor integrated throughout Downtown Disney. Decor was constructed by
volunteers from the Southern California QBN Chapter. The team was headed
up by Linda Soto, CBA.
|Balloon decor placement in Downtown
Participants started building decor elements on
the Thursday before the convention started, and began placing sculptures
around the public areas 8 days later on Friday morning. They worked many
hours to create three versions of each sculpture, in order to refresh
balloon decor over the following days.
Colorful 3-foot balloons were displayed atop each lamp post in
Downtown Disney, to compliment the round balloon sculptures placed
throughout the public spaces. Team members even spent an evening twisting
simple balloon sculptures for the park guests.