Sunday, May 15, 2016

Balloon Jams Part 2 Why sharing your designs is not bad for business

Balloon Jams Part 2 Why sharing your designs is not bad for business

This article is about why sharing your ideas and designs at a Balloon JAM is never a bad idea.

Besides the Fun you'll have at the Jam and being around others that think a bit twisted like you do, Jamming gives you the chance to see the skill levels of the other twisters in your neighborhood. By watching what they can do you can find out who has the skills you can trust should you need to find a second, third or eighteenth twister for one of your gigs. Try asking for an audition for any one of the local twisters and you'' probably get some less than enthusiastic responses, but ask that same twister to show you how to do a parrot, a stork, an anteater  or other odd ball request and they'll bend over backwards to show their skill at a Jam.

It's the number one reason to Jam for me- as I can not only find out who can do what and how well, but I can see a bit of their show style as well. I don't do racy designs nor do I allow the twisters I hire for my big events so hearing a twister offhandedly remarking about their latest stripper event is one artist that will go on my "Not Likely" hire page. 

Classes and Conventions are great ways to further one's education, but they are few and sometimes far between. Jams are usually to be attended for the price of a meal. What? Yes, the So Cal Jams are held at restaurants willing to have a bunch of twisters sitting around for a few hours, making cool stuff, and eating! SO instead of airfare, hotel and attendance fees, a 20$ bill for a decent meal and a night out with friends is a cheap way to boost my knowledge base. We do tip the servers well as we can be both loud and can be a bit messy, but they and their customers often get the left over designs and more than one of us have gone away with a booked gig! 

Another reason that I share my designs is that when I see that there are newbie twisters at a Jam I want the overall level of community twisting to be high, that is, even if I don't get all the gigs in my area, by sharing my better designs with the newbies, I know that the overall skill set of twisters is higher so all the potential clients are exposed to a better set of skills. And of course better skills translate to more money. 

Since it is both ethically and legally wrong to try to fix prices, what each person charges for their own gigs is of course their own business, however Jams are a great forum to find out why a price is set, how to calculate a better price or even find ways to keep a close eye on costs through conversing with others in your trade. We also talk about what computer programs work best for tracking gigs, contracts and bookings- 

Lastly, what designs do I share?
Well, the infamous DC told us at a Jam one time that he never shared his "New" stuff, just the reasonably new ideas. and that makes perfect sense. We do not have to feel like we must share our super secret ideas, nor our actual costs or how we are able to close 99 percent of the gigs we do. Each artist chooses how much to share. I can do 30 plus types of balloon dogs, but I won't make my top-of-the-line 6 Balloon Show stopper jusy for the Birthday girl 'Fancy' Poodle, but I will show them my great 4 balloon Parisian Poodle. Hey, a guy's got to have a few secrets, right?     

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