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August 2014

August 2014
Party Line: Getting Personal
Shop Talk: Balloons Etc.
Your Floating Forecast
Come One, Come All
Aiming High
Lights, Camera, Profits
Banking on Balloons
Bring Birthday Balloons
Balloon Industry Update from The Balloon Council
Balloon Recipe
Party People: Dean Salakas

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Party Line: Getting Personal

Party Line: Getting Personal

August is our balloon issue, and although I say this every year, I have to admit that it’s truly one of my favorites. This is in part because we are including the Third Annual Balloon Brag book in which we showcase creative balloon submissions from you, our talented readers, both in the issue and online via PartyPaper.com and Facebook. The thing I like most about my job is just that — the interaction with our readers and seeing the information we share each month put into action. Without that verbal, visual and virtual feedback I feel like I’m talking to a wall, so your contributions — big or small — are always greatly appreciated. I’m sure that as retailers you can relate, as without your customers talking to you every day, where would you be? That’s why feedback — positive and negative — is the…  » Read more
Shop Talk: Balloons, Etc.

Shop Talk: Balloons, Etc.

Spotlight On: Cedar Rapids, Iowa   From a childhood dream to an everyday reality   Jacob Cowger has been involved in the party industry since he was 6 years old — he always knew that he wanted to be a clown and wanted to be around balloons.   “I grew up helping out at a local balloon shop and got to know the owner so well that I called him grandpa,” he said. “When he retired in 2001, I was sad to see his shop close.”   A few years later, in early 2004, Cowger said he lost three jobs in a row because the companies folded. He decided it was time to work for himself. A month after his marriage to wife, Kimberly, the two opened up Balloons, Etc. Jacob runs the business full time during the day and spends countless hours dressed up…  » Read more
Your Floating Forecast

Your Floating Forecast

What to expect in balloons for 2015   What is your forecast for 2015? Heather Moseley Anagram Due to helium availability opening up in many areas, balloon sales are recovering and, for many, showing increases. Due to the new and more sophisticated balloon formats that have been introduced in the past 12 months, there has been a new perception of balloons that is creating new demand. We feel that balloons are going to begin being sold in retail locations and venues that have not typically carried foil balloons.   Stephen Swartz U.S. Balloon We expect 2015 to be a year where these retailers continue to expand their involvement within the industry. From the popularity of the World Balloon Convention to our own Balloon School courses in New York City, we’re seeing so much participation from our retailers. You’ll see party storeowners really collaborating — sharing secrets,…  » Read more
Come One, Come All

Come One, Come All

Grab the peanuts and circus décor and watch your profits soar   We’ve all been there — a crowded venue watching in awe as acrobats and animals perform with flawless grace. We’ve witnessed people walking on tightropes and elephants balancing on small pedestals. Children love it and parents love to see their children engaged. The same can be said about partyware. Circus-themed décor has it all: fun and interaction in a family-friendly environment. What more can party planners ask for? So don’t be shy. Order up the peanuts and cotton candy and enjoy the show.   Terrific Trends “Our business has been consistent,” said Kim Dean, merchandising manager at Wally’s Party Factory. “Circus/carnival extends over multiple ages and features games that make it easy for kids to get involved.”   Activities are key, especially when the whole family is invited.   “There is an emotional…  » Read more

Lights, Camera, Profits

Tips on how to easily photograph your balloon décor Picture this: You spend hours planning a birthday celebration with bouquets, centerpieces and sculptures. It looks marvelous, but you forget to take pictures. How can you sell the idea again just from memory? With inexpensive yet effective tools, anyone can photograph their balloon and party décor. There are easy-to-use cameras, affordable tablets and powerful applications that can make any amateur look like a trained professional. There’s an App for That     For the amateur photographer, don’t be intimidated by large cameras with 2-foot lenses. Forget the traditional cameras completely and purchase an iPad mini (models start at $199 for 16GB). Apple’s iPad mini comes with a built-in photo app that takes clear, high-resolution photos that you can use in advertisements, in your portfolio or on your website. iPads and some smartphones also include High Dynamic Range…  » Read more
Party People: Dean Salakas

Party People: Dean Salakas

Dean Salakas The Party People San Souci, Australia   Dean and Peter Salakas are two brothers who now run Australia’s largest party store, The Party People. Their mom (formerly Patches the clown) started the business in 1985 and the Salakas brothers acquired the business in 2007 from their parents, taking it to a new level online and opening more stores.   1. What is the best retail advice you’ve received? Look after your staff and they will look after you. We are a party store, so we celebrate occasions, whether it be a Christmas party or Easter eggs at Easter or even staff birthdays. While things like this can be done to ensure we offer a different and more fun environment than other retailers, we also do some little things just for fun like how we all have quirky titles and the managers get to…  » Read more