Any balloons experts?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by DDD, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Seems like the Board has experts in everything. How 'bout balloons?

    We have our annual fundraising event in a couple of months and I'm looking at the balloon sites on the web. The plan (tentative) is to place balloons all over the City for a couple of days before the event but I don't know which
    type of balloon will hold the shape for a few days. I'm supposing helium filled
    balloons are the right choice but when we've had them for birthday parties
    etc. they have begun to shrnk in one or two.

    So...anybody know info that would help IF we decide to opt for balloons?
  2. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    DDD-- want helium-filled mylar...PLUS they come in all different kinds of shapes. You can get animals, clowns...whatever...

    What kind of event is it?
  3. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    What DF said.

    Plain latex balloons don't hold helium well, especially in the summer or early fall.
  4. Momslittleangels

    Momslittleangels New Member

    I used to own a balloon business and you definitely want to use mylar balloons if they need to stay nice for a few days. The other option is you could use latex, but they would have to be air filled and not with helium, as that would only last about a day. You can air fill the latex balloons and tie them in pairs - doing three separate sets of these. Then you twist two of the pairs together and then twist the third one on it. It will make a flower shape and you could tie those to light posts, trees, etc. It would look festive and last awhile and wouldn't cost as much as using mylar. If you want any other thoughts, you can send me a PM. Good luck!
  5. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    We have a neat annual event called "The Big Canoe Challenge". We have canoes that hold up to 14 people and
    the crews race for prizes. There is a charge for the canoe use, of course. This will be our fifth year and we are changing venues to a much larger lake in town. I'm hopeful it will be a big success in the fall. Instead of paying for signs I'm thinking a blitz of lime green balloons to attract attection to little cheap signs, lol. DDD
  6. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Helium is a very small atom and leaks through the latex. The balloons are never filled with pure helium, but a mix called "balloon gas" which is why when the helium has all leaked through, the balloon is still mostly inflated (it's the rest of the air they mixed the helium with).

    If you use something that helium won't leak through, the balloons stay inflated a lot longer.

    The other problem you will have though, is people nicking the balloons.

    Can't help you there.

  7. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Thanks, guys. One more brainstorm area...if you don't mind.

    In the past we have spent LOTS of bucks on signs. One of our Board members is in the signs and promotions business and it "may" get a little sticky this year as I want those funds diverted to other areas of the event. :anxious:
    Anyway I was wondering if it is possible to get waterproof posters made up at a big office supply store. The picture of the canoes really looks sharp. They could be attached to poles/trees with a couple of balloons for
    accent. Just don't know if that type of duplication needs to be outsourced online as I've never done it. Regular
    posterboard would fall apart if it rains. DDD

    PS: Margarite I know the elementary school had a machine for filling balloons that we used for the carnival.
    Guess I need to find what exactly is in the tank before I try to borrow it. I also see on line that they have bead clips you can use for sealing balloons instead of tying them. That sound great to avoid red nubby fingers!
  8. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    THose balloon clips are useless, they let too much air leak out. UNless you have more than a few hundred balloons, tying them is still best. If you practice, you can get really quick at tying balloons. Aim to do a single overhand knot by pulling the end of the balloon around so it falls through the knot easily, and you're not trying to tithe knot back to front, if you get my meaning.

    The gas tanks are likely to label the gas "balloon gas" which is a fraction of the price of pure helium. If you use pure helium, the gas will still leak out but the balloon will be empty. With balloon gas (mostly air but enough helium to lift the balloon) then when the helium component has leaked out, the balloon still looks mostly inflated.

    Printing signs - ring a local printer and ask them what they can do for you. If you have the capability with the graphics, work on the poster design yourself and save it as a PDF. Then email it to the printer and ask them for quotes. If you don't know their work, ask to see samples. Drop in for a visit if you can.

    One cheap option would be to laminate your own posters. Or slip them into plastic sleeves and staple those to a telegraph pole. How many? Sourcing online - I wouldn't, I would check for local print houses in your area. Get to know them, use them for other services. I've now got my favourite printer that I use for all sorts of jobs now, as well as recommend them to others. They did the wedding invitations for difficult child 1, which were printed onto photos.

    If your board member were in Australia and trying to use his position on the board to get business his way, that would be illegal. Our laws of incorporation mean that a board member may not influence decisions that could lead to personal profit. I had a similar situation happen some years ago - a writing group I belonged to was chaired by a woman with her own printing business. When our group was publishing an anthology, this woman made sure her company won the printing job, because she controlled all the quotes, all the information etc. It was very naughty and frankly, it cost us more than I think it should have. I actually decided, at the launch of that anthology, to produce my own book, all by myself, even though I did not have my own publishing company. Ten weeks later, my book was released. Per item it cost a fraction of the one the group had brought out, and I have sold more copies. I learned a great deal in the process and managed to do a few unique things with it, that my publisher 'friend' still hasn't been able to work out.

    So have faith in yourself. But the way to do it with the board, is to make up the poster, get some quotes and present the quotes to the board. To make sure your quotes are all comparing apples with apples, make sure you ask for exactly the same thing in your quotes (ie 150 posters, full colour, laminated, X size on Y grade of card). If you can, have samples from each printer, put it all in a written summary with your recommendation.

    A board I was on some years ago, had a woman on it who resented my involvement with the journal we published. We had a system in place, all the quote work etc had been done years earlier, but this woman felt she knew better (besides, I suspect a friend of hers was a printer and wanted the job). She organised quotes which did come in under the costs we were currently paying, but her quotes did not include the grade of paper. Or if they did, the grade of paper we found this printer was actually using, was far too thin and the print bled through. Looked awful. Also their quality control left a lot to be desired - the block of text on the page was rotated somewhat, the margins were uneven and the inner margin, which should always be wider than the outer margin, was thinner. It all looked awful. So make sure you have comparable quotes AND some samples of their work.

    When you have a print job done, the printer should do a sample for you which you sign off on, before the full job is done. The sample gives you one last chance to change anything not quite right. But it should be very close by then, no major changes should be made at this last stage. I had one author who, at this last stage, decided to add a few more chapters. NOT acceptable!

    So good luck with this one. You should be able to organise quotes with a day or two turnaround.

  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Mylar balloons stay full of helium or air far longer than regular balloons. Temperature changes will be a problem if it gets cool at night.

    I found a gizmo that makes filling balloons full of either water or air much easier, but it doesn't work for helium. You might take a look at it though. For some reason last night i could NOT find this thread so I started a new one.

    The gizmo is called a Pumponator and it sells for $20 with 500 water balloons filling it. It was invented by a 4th grader with help from her grandparents! I want to get one for thank you for his birthday or Christmas this year. You can learn more about it, including watching a short video that shows how it works and how it was invented, on the Daily Grommet website.