Balloon HQ Member Services
Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Membership? I thought Balloon HQ was free. What happened?
  2. Who pays for Balloon HQ right now?
  3. What are the new services being offered?
  4. Will it take longer for me to receive my e-mail if it has to first pass through Balloon HQ?
  5. If I sign up for a Balloon HQ address, can I cancel service from my e-mail and web service providers?
  6. Who should I turn to for web and e-mail services not offered by Balloon HQ?
  7. What are the advantages of being a Balloon HQ member?
  8. Who will benefit from this service?
  9. If I pay, will I get better support?
  10. If I need to update the addresses my mail and web site are forwarded to, how long will it take for the changes to take effect?
  11. Will the personal information I provide in order to become a member be used for anything outside of Balloon HQ?
  12. How can I tell if I paid my membership fee?
  13. What other services will be offered for members, and will there be additional fees for those services?

  1. Membership? I thought Balloon HQ was free. What happened?

    The Balloon HQ web site and mailing lists are free, and will hopefully ALWAYS be free to promote new growth in the industry we love. But, since its inception, Balloon HQ has grown immensely. As a result, our web page visitors, mailing list subscribers, and even our sponsors have asked us to continually provide more services. To complement the free stuff, we've responded by offering some new paid member services that will help strengthen the Balloon HQ community, and allow us to continue supporting the balloon industry.

  2. Who pays for Balloon HQ right now?

    We are grateful for sponsorship funds from many industry manufacturers and distributors. A handful of dedicated balloon professionals have also been paid members for a while. Unfortunately, it's just not enough to allow Balloon HQ to reach its full potential as an industry and consumer education/communication service. If we're going to do our best to help your business grow, we need your membership support as well.

  3. What are the new services being offered?

    We've tried to address your needs:

    1. Want to present a great consistent image? You'll get your own BalloonHQ.com E-mail address (like JoeBalloonist@BalloonHQ.com) that lets your customers know you are a balloon professional (way better than joe396@aol.com). You won't have to change your E-mail software or service provider. When a message comes in for you, Balloon HQ will immediately forward it to your current E-mail account. If (or more likely when) you change to a different service provider you won't have to send out any more E-mail address updates, or worry about who you've forgotten to notify, since all your contacts will have your Balloon HQ address... and it won't change! You'll also get your own online portfolio with a web address to match your email address (like http://JoeBalloonist.BalloonHQ.com) and web site address (like http://www.balloonhq.com/artists/JoeBalloonist) that will automatically forward customers to your current home page, no matter where it is located. Your online calendar associated with your portfolio is a great way to let people know where your work can be seen.

    2. Want more job referrals? As a member, you'll have a complete listing in the Balloon HQ Artist's directory - including your photo! When someone is looking for a balloon artist to refer work to, they can search for your city... and find you!

    3. Have some unneeded equipment or products you'd like to turn into cash? To help you take full advantage of our world-wide targeted community, members can now post ads in the classifieds area of BalloonHQ.com at no charge. Everyone can respond, but only members can advertise.

    4. Want to let everyone know about an industry-related event? As a member you can advertise freely on the BalloonHQ.com calendar of events.

    5. Want to share photos of your work with others and comment on their pictures too? We're hard at work adding new interactive features to make it easier for paid members to share information, design recipes and submit pictures.

    6. Want better technical/telephone support from us? With more paid members, everyone using BHQ will benefit from the growing computer resources and staff we will be able to add. We already try to help everyone, regardless of their financial support, and we hope to continue that. However, support costs money, and we will do everything in our power to recognize those with paid memberships. It only makes sense to offer the best help we can to those that help support us.

    7. Members can submit messages to the BalloonHQ.com mailing lists through a web interface. This is useful for people that use mail systems that are unfriendly to the BHQ mailing lists (such as AOL 6.0).


  4. Will it take longer for me to receive my e-mail if it has to first pass through Balloon HQ?

    No. Mail forwarding will be handled automatically. The difference in time it takes for mail to reach you should, in most cases, amount to nothing more than a few seconds. In general it won't even be that long.

  5. If I sign up for a BHQ address, can I cancel service from my e-mail and web service providers?

    No. The purpose of this service is to work with your existing setup while making it easier to promote yourself and your business. We know that no online service can be all things to all people. For us to try to establish e-mail and web services that everyone in our community would be happy with would be both time consuming and costly. Instead, we're making it possible for all balloon artists to chose their own service plans and have us fill in the details that are specific to the balloon industry. For example, who else would offer a really cool e-mail address with the name balloonhq.com?

  6. Who should I turn to for web and e-mail services not offered by BHQ?

    Recommending specific services is really out of our reach. Deciding who to use for those services is a personal matter.

  7. What are the advantages of being a BHQ member?

    Supporting a service that you benefit from, like public TV, ensures it will be around for the future and provides the maintainers of the service with a means to expand. Having a URL that immediately associates you with the Balloon HQ community lets everyone (including your customers) know that you are a balloon professional. Having a URL and e-mail address that will never change, no matter what service you switch to and where you move ensures that people will always know how to find you. Lastly, we've been hearing balloon professionals clamor for years about wanting to be part of an organization that serves the whole industry and not an isolated group of people or manufacturer. We're doing everything we can to be that organization.

  8. Who will benefit from this service?

    Everyone that makes use of the Balloon HQ web site or mailing lists will benefit from being a member, as it provides a way to keep the service running. Anyone that doesn't have their own Internet domain but wants an address that shows the artistic community they belong to, and anyone that wants to have a permanent e-mail address that will never change can benefit from membership.

  9. If I pay, will I get better support?

    Yes. As membership grows, everyone using BHQ will benefit from the growing computer resources and staff we will be able to add. We will also make sure to recognize those with paid memberships when they need greater telephone support to work through problems. We already try hard to help everyone, regardless of the financial support they have given in the past, and we hope to continue that trend. However, support costs money, and we will do everything in our power to offer the best help we can to those that help support us.

  10. If I need to update the addresses my mail and web site are forwarded to, how long will it take for the changes to take effect?

    These updates happen within moments of you submitting changes to the BHQ directory of balloon artists.

  11. Will the personal information I provide in order to become a member be used for anything outside of Balloon HQ?

    No. We respect the privacy of our members. When you sign up, you will be given the option of making your information available in our public directory. This directory is used by customers and fellow artists for job referrals, etc. If you choose not to be listed, your information will be kept completely confidential.

  12. How can I tell if I paid my membership fee?

    If you're not sure about the status of your membership, you can always look at the directory of balloon artists. Search for your name. If you're a paid member, it will say so in your listing. If you are a paid member and wish to see when your membership expires, visit the page to renew your membership. You dont' have to actually renew in order to get the stats on when you signed up and how much longer your membership is active.

  13. What other services will be offered for members, and will there be additional fees for those services?

    We have many plans for improving the existing web site and e-mail services. New services will be announced in the BHQ Monthly Column as progress is made. If you have suggestions for things you'd like to see, send them to memberadmin@balloonhq.com.