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Balloon HQ news for Spring, 2000

Extra, Extra, read all about it! This is the BHQ newsletter with updates, pointers, current discussions, industry announcements, and generally anything that looks useful to share with the balloon industry.

The latest article in this series will always be available at http://www.balloonhq.com/bhqnews.

This issue of Balloon HQ News contains the following topics:

Upcoming events mentioned on the lists this month

The BHQ event calendar has so many things listed on it right now that to duplicate it here would be silly. Below are some of the highlights that have received some special attention on the BHQ mailing lists. Make sure to visit the complete event calendar to find the things happening in your area, including many one day seminars and CBA testing.

The Millenium Jam

The Millennium Jam will be held at the Sun Parks Resort in Mol, Belgium June 6th through June 8th. There has been an increasing trend toward more twister events throughout the year. The cast of characters include a dozen instructors from around the world. There has never been a twister event of this magnitude before.

What makes this really special is the precursor to the Jam. Larry Moss and Royal Sorell will be leading a team of twisters in constructing a sculpture that they've been planning for a year. They intend to set the world record for the largest non-round balloon sculpture. The target is 50,000 balloons.

Complete schedule and registration information at http://www.millenniumjam.com

TJam '01

February 16 - 18, 2001 - Austin, TX

If the Millennium Jam is following the trend of large scale twisting events, than we should acknowledge that the trend began with TJam '99.

A lot was learned the first year this was done. Most of the people that were there said they would gladly return. And now with experience and a year off to rethink everything, T Myers Magic is bound to put on one great event.

All Star Revue 2000

16-19 Nov 2000 - Morristown, NJ

Now in it's third year, the All Star Revue has become known for being a big small show. In other words, it doesn't have the grandness that IBAC is known for, but rather a cozy, friendly feel where the instructors really get to know and work with the students. On the other hand, it is just large enough to be able to draw an All Star cast of instructors. the combination makes it a superb learning experience.

Those looking for a convention with a small price tag that covers both balloon decorating and twisting should look into the ASR. ASR has had twisting classes in the past, but the main focus has been decorating. This year there is a special twister day being tacked on to the end of the convention.

International Balloon Arts Convention

March 7-11, 2001 - Chicago, IL, USA

The balloon industry's premiere event is returning to Chicago next year. This is probably the only event that over 1000 balloon decorator's attend each year. The reasons are obvious. If competition interests you, you won't find anything else like it. If a huge selection of classes, and massive parties attract your attention, it's worth it to attend, even if just to see what everyone is talking about.

This year there was a huge following of balloon twisters that also showed up. The producers were glad to see the turnout. The twisters were glad to see they were being offered more classes of interest to them.

More information about some of these events and a complete listing can be found at http://www.balloonhq.com/events.html.

Industry Spotlight

The BHQ home page gets a face lift with new photos each month. Currently we have pictures from Marvin Hardy's kaleidoscope exhibit along with some photos of a New Year's balloon release done by some Japanese balloon pros.

Since the last newsletter, we have also featured competition photos from Twist & Shout

Convention Reviews

A number of convention reviews have been posted over the last few months. By keeping everyone informed of the various things going on, maybe we can tempt some of the newer members of the industry to attend.

Note that the additional information provided after each brief blurb may contain reviews in the words of people that attended those events, or photos that have been provided.

IBAC

The top balloon convention, IBAC proves to have some of the best photo opportunities year after year.

Every year, people seem to have a lot to say, so rather check out their thoughts and a few sample photos.

Balloonarama

A small balloon convention that draws a nice sized crowd, Balloonarama started as just a fun event for the local artists in Phoenix, but has since grown to draw quite a bit more attention.

See what people have said about it.

Gospel Balloon Jam

Balloon Twisters have many diverse interests. Many of them focus on only gospel ballooning. Whatever the reason for getting together, balloon twisters sure can have fun.

See what people have said about it.

Twist and Shout 2000

The biggest twisting event in the US this year, Twist and Shout drew a couple hundred dedicated twisters.

See what people have said about it.

View the photos

Miscellaneous Ramblings

BHQ Balloonicature Poster

Announcing: The cool new Balloon HQ Balloonicature Poster

A few years ago, we sold BHQ T-shirts. They were, and continue to be, fun. But, after two printings of the shirts, we decided to do something different. First appearing at Twist & Shout, and soon after at IBAC, we've developed a new BHQ poster demonstrating the art of balloonicature - the art of making faces with balloons.

The poster features 25 different caricatures all made from balloons. Each of these twisted figures is shown from two different angles. It demonstrates the sharing environment of BalloonHQ.com. People from around the world gather to openly exchange information on balloon art. This is my representation of those "balloon people".

Show off your interest in balloons by framing this 18 inch by 24 inch poster and displaying it prominently in your home, office, or store. Or, simply study it and try to reproduce the images yourself.

Learn more about the poster and where to buy it.

MAILING LIST / WEB SITE STUFF

Pictures

Attachments cannot be sent to the list. A very large percentage of people on the list cannot receive attachments via email. This was true a few years ago when we did a survey and was verified only recently when someone sent something in a format that the list software didn't recognize as a picture. It was mailed out, and we started getting a huge number of responses from people complaining about the problems it created on their end. So If you try to send a picture to the BHQ lists, the automatic mail handler will strip it from the message.

However, you can get pictures posted on the BHQ web site in the photo gallery by sending it to photo@balloonhq.com. For those of you who cannot get your photos into a digital format to email, we can take some photos by snail mail. Send them to:

Balloon HQ
PO Box 23523
Rochester, NY 14692

If you want your photos returned you MUST include a self addressed STAMPED envelope for them to be mailed back in. Please include a brief description of your photo and if you like the name of any person that may be in the photo.

We're currently working on software revisions that will allow you to post your own photos to the site. But that's probably not going to be any time real soon. We want to make sure we have a system in place that ensures only Balloon HQ users can post balloon-related content.

Off-topic Posts and Flaming Roasts

Our long-time editor Dennis Dawson writes this regarding off-topic posts:

POINT ONE

Any post that is not balloon related is inappropriate for the Balloon HQ mailing lists. People who violate this rule risk losing their posting privileges. The rules are sent to you when you subscribe and once per month after that. If there is anything about this policy that is unclear, please send your suggestions for clarification to Larry, Mark or Sheena.

The reasons for enforcing this policy:

1) Off-topic posts are upsetting to those who follow the rules and want to discuss balloons.

2) Off-topic posts clutter up people's in-boxes and cost them download time.

3) When people get upset about off-topic posts, they unsubscribe, leaving only those who don't stay on-topic.

4) The mailing list dies.

Generally, the editorial staff is tolerant, not too quick to jump on people; most of the time the offense is unintentional, and a mild reminder is all that's necessary. There are people tasked with monitoring the content to ensure that it is balloon-related, and most violations are handled behind the scenes. By enforcing the rules with a fair hand, Larry et al have kept the list alive and kicking for eight years.

If you're responding to an off-topic question, don't compound the error by posting to the entire group. You can reply directly to the person, provide the information requested, and remind him/her that the list is only for balloon-related information.

POINT TWO

People who are abusive to other members also risk losing their posting privileges. If you feel you must say something to someone who has posted in violation of the rules, please do it in a civil and constructive manner. If you can't do that, write to me (ddawson@us.oracle.com) with the full content of your flame, and I will forward the spirit of the message to the offender as appropriate.

POINT THREE

If you are chastised for posting in violation of the rules, do not compound your error by posting an "apology" to the group. Apologies are _also_ off-topic. You're also not likely to be reaching a very sympathetic audience, because most of the people follow the rules, and don't want to hear your well conceived, logical reasons for having to violate them.

If at any time you feel that these policies are unfair, you have a perfect right to unsubscribe from the list. This is not a government-sponsored free speech forum, but a service provided by a private concern, the BalloonHQ LLC, to those who are willing to agree to and follow a simple set of guidelines. Please respect the editors, and the others on the list, by making good on your promise to follow the rules.

The ever popular and ongoing BHQ photo contest

New Contest up and running! - A PATRIOTIC / POLITICAL CAMPAIGN THEME

After a photo submission period of over two months, the public voting has begun. Read on to find out what this contest is about, then make sure to view the entries. We got some incredible submissions and we need you to decide who should receive the prizes from Balloons.com and Cornerstone Productions.

Theme: A PATRIOTIC / POLITICAL CAMPAIGN
Campaign 2000 will offer a lot of opportunity for balloon work in local, state and national races. Regardless of where you live in the world, we'd like to see your patriotic contributions to this contest.

Start Date: Feb 1, 2000
End date for submissions: Mar 31, 2000
Start of voting: Apr 15, 2000
End of voting: May 10, 2000
Subject: Submit balloon creations or full room decor that may be used for patriotic/political parties.

PRIZES FOR THE POLITICAL / PATRIOTIC BALLOON CONTEST

Prizes to be awarded after the close of voting.

FIRST PRIZE:

$200 worth of merchandise from balloons.com.

Any three balloon twisting videos by Paul Belanger from Cornerstone Productions.

SECOND PRIZE:

$100 worth of merchandise from balloons.com.

Any two balloon twisting videos by Paul Belanger from Cornerstone Productions.

THIRD PRIZE:

$50 worth of merchandise from balloons.com.

Everyone Else NOTE THAT FOR THIS CONTEST, YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE A WINNER TO GET A PRIZE.

The first ten entrants will receive a FREE MagicCutter tool, useful for decorators and entertainers and a sampler pack of balloons from balloons.com.

New stuff on BHQ - Stand back, construction in progress

The following chapters of the Guide to Balloons and Ballooning have been recently updated:

Balloon Evolution

Business considerations for balloon decorators

Decorator's Corner

Business considerations for balloon twisters

Business considerations for all pros

Our thanks goes out to Latex Engineering B.V. for permission to incorporate a photo of and brochure content about their balloon dipping lines and Pioneer Balloon Company for permission to incorporate photos of their balloon mold displays.

Recent twister list highlights

Since the last BHQ newsletter appeared, many pages of tips and advice have been shared on the mailing lists. Rather than try to fit it all in here, the best information has been sorted and placed it into one giant file at http://www.balloonhq.com/for_guide/mar00.html In time, this material will all be added to the Guide.

Recent decorator discussions

Since the last BHQ newsletter appeared, many pages of tips and advice have been shared on the mailing lists. Rather than try to fit it all in here, the best information has been sorted and placed it into one giant file at http://www.balloonhq.com/for_guide/mar00.html In time, this material will all be added to the Guide.

New products or other announcements

Conwin is Online!

The year 2000 marks Conwin's 40th anniversary. In celebration we've planned many events and promotions throughout the year. The first special event is the long awaited launch of our interactive web site.

From Michael Wing, Vice President Marketing, Conwin Inc.

Conwin' Force 3 is now new and improved, The New Air Force 4!

The new Air Force 4 allows 2 workers to simultaneously inflate 2 sets of duplets. The four outlet air inflator is ideal for large jobs. The continual air blower is designed to maintain a fixed temperature and not overheat. Ideal for making balloon quads for arches, columns and balloon sculptures.

Weddings with Style changes publishing schedule

After much thought and contemplation, we have decided to change the publishing schedule of Weddings with Style for the year 2000. Instead of mailing 6 issues per year in a magazine style format, we will be publishing just one large wedding design book per year. Our last bi-monthly magazine that was published is the November/December 1999 issue on Bridal Shows.

This new book will be similar to the Weddings with Style magazines, but will be much larger (comparable to 6 issues of magazines combined into one large book). It will be filled with design ideas and instructions for all types of wedding decor, including flowers, balloons, centerpieces, fabric, lighting and rental pieces. The exact price has not been determined yet. If you are interested in getting on our mailing list to be notified when the book becomes available, please e-mail me privately at info@weddingswithstyle.com

From Lanette Rajski, CBA, Editor - Weddings with Style

Uplifter "Helium-Powered Greetings"

The Uplifters debuted at the IBAC general store and were a HUGE hit at the Chicago Party Show. Now that I'm back home, it's time to let the rest of you in on the news...

What's an Uplifter?
It's a 36" (90 cm) tall message banner that's rolled up and hidden inside a decorative box. A 5" balloon top-printed with the words "POP ME!" is attached to the side of the box, and helium balloons of your choice are tied to the top of the banner. When the gift recipient breaks the "POP ME" balloon, the helium balloons rise and the banner springs up out of the box. Basically, it's a 3' tall helium-powered greeting card that pops up to surprise the recipient!

Learn more

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This BHQ newsletter has been compiled by the Balloon HQ editors.

The Balloon HQ web site can be found at http://www.balloonhq.com.