From: "Chris Horne" <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: "Balloon HQ" <email@example.com> Subject: Bridal Shows Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2000 09:41:28 -0000 Hi! Chris Horne here again! For someone who normally just reads and inwardly digests other peoples messages and rarely replies, I'm having a good day! The subject of competition at bridal shows is always a knotty one. I've been doing bridal shows for over 20 years now as either a florist, balloon decorator or both, and have run into this kind of problem countless times. Don't let it bother you. In my experience, the people who are constantly asking questions, bragging about their work and trying to belittle me and my work are doing so because they feel threatened and insecure. Pay no attention. Just do the very best you can, have confidence in your own ability to be the best in your area, only show stuff that is of the highest possible standard and only show pictures of your own work and you will have nothing to worry about. Your competitors will always come and study your display, either openly or clandestinely - you can't stop that. But if you've done your best, you can feel secure. I never allow photographs of my work, but I am happy for competitors to look at my stuff and to go away and try to re-create it because I know that they won't be able to do it like me! We've all borrowed other people's ideas and adapted them to suit ourselves - that is the way the industry moves along. Just be the best. Treat all the questions politely, answer fairly innocent ones directly and fudge round the ones that are aiming for too much information. If the person asking the questions can't work out the answer for themselves, you've nothing to worry about. I enjoy competition at bridal shows. It gives me a chance to demonstrate to the brides why they should come to me rather than my competitors. There are always several other decorators at every show I do, and I am NEVER the cheapest. I am often the most expensive. But I am ALWAYS the best, and always do very well at the shows. Those brides that are strictly price driven and will go to the cheapest decorator regardless of the quality of their work are welcome to go. I don't want them. Every job you do is an advertisement for your work. Nothing sells balloons like balloons do. So by keeping your standards up and not descending into petty price wars and copycatting you will ultimately get the jobs that will be GOOD adverts. Guess I got off the subject a bit there. This is one of my pet "hobby horses". Basically, though, rise above the questions and the insinuations and just get on with doing your job to the best of your abilities. The rewards will follow and you will be and appear to be a professional. Leave all the other stuff to others. I'll get off my soapbox now. Chris Horne, Northampton, England. Visit our Website at www.christopher-horne.co.uk ~ It's all new with over 140 photos!!