• 05 Feb 2020 6:44 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It’s official! Pantone has announced the 2020 Colour of the Year which we can expect to see across creative industries worldwide from fashion to interior design. For over 20 years now Pantone has influenced design choices across several industries and 2020 is no exception.

    So, what’s the shade of the moment this time? The 2020 Pantone Colour of the year is… Classic Blue. A soothing shade of deep blue that Pantone says is ‘suggestive of the sky at dusk’. With subtle green undertones, it’s a cool tone that’s a far cry from last year’s Coral colour and we’re embracing the change. 

    Photo credit: Images from

    The question on everyone’s lips; how will we incorporate this beautiful blue into our work this year? Well, here are some great examples of BAPIA members already using the shade. As you can see this hue is harmonious with lighter blues and really pops when placed against whites. Black and gold was a popular combination for party decor in 2019. To modernise this trend, go for gold again but this time mixed with Classic Blue. 

    BAPIA Members Instagram photo credits: Balloon wall: theballoonshowroom | Blue arch: @balloonsbycelebrate | Metallic bundle: @balloonbarparties

    With gender reveal balloons becoming increasingly popular, why not opt for the bold Classic Blue over baby blue this year for even more impact? Gone are the days when blue was ‘just for boys’ however consumer patterns show that a) customers are indeed more likely to buy blue for males and b) birthday balloons for men are less in demand. Use this trendy new colour to your advantage and upsell your personalised balloons and birthday bundles in cool Classic Blue - great for guys from granddad to newborns and everyone in between! 

    BAPIA Members Instagram photo credits: ‘Baby’ hoop: @theballoonfactor | ‘Boy’ hoop”: @ballooningwonderful | 70th personalised: @uniqueoccasions01

    What do you think of the Colour of the Year? Are you excited to use it? Apprehensive? Do you envisage a lot of clients requesting it? See what other BAPIA members have to say here in our Facebook group and join in the conversation! 

    We look forward to seeing how you incorporating Classic Blue into your designs this year.

    BAPIA members, remember to tag us in your posts using #bapiaparty so that we can see and share your great work!

  • 08 Jan 2020 1:45 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As the Freelance Social Media Manager for BAPIA, I thought I’d take a second to answer some frequently asked questions about social media marketing to ease any apprehensions:

    “I barely have time to run my business as it is but I know I need a social media presence. How did I find time to fit it all in?”
    Rather than feel compelled to be on social media every day, I encourage you to assess the time that you have to spare each week, even if it's just an hour, and then prioritise and allocate your social media tasks accordingly. Remember, it only takes a few seconds to share an Instagram Story clip and when it comes to social media, every little helps. Often I find that the most stress-free approach is to stockpile photos and videos to post later when I have some downtime and free scheduling apps like Buffer can help with this. Whether it's a quick moment between bookings or stealing a second in the supermarket queue, you always have time for one quick post!

    “How often should I post?”
    This is really dependent on a number of factors, the most important of which is your resources. If you only have time to post once a week, only post once a week. If you can manage more, great! It's much better to post something highly interesting to your followers once a week than to post something mundane every hour just for the sake of it. While it's good to remain in the forefront of your followers' minds, they can also actually get turned off by over-posting which is considered spammy and will lead them to unfollow you altogether. Finding the right frequency is often a case of trial and error, although there are tools which you can use to find the posting sweet spot faster. Apps like Tweriod and Iconosquare can tell you when the majority of your followers are online as well as the in-built analytics or ‘insights’ in some platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. 

    “Do I need to be on every social media platform?”
    Absolutely not. In fact, I strongly advise against it. There are always more potential followers to be reached on social media so don't kill yourself trying to get to them all. You will only spread your resources too thin and end up with several neglected pages that reflect badly on your brand. Instead, focus on those social media platforms which your customers use the most and put your resources into spreading strong, consistent messaging which will really speak to your followers and bring you business.

    “Which social media platforms should I be on then?”
    This is completely personal to your business and your customers. Teens and young adults are most active on Snapchat, Millennials, aka those currently aged 25-40, are more likely to be active on Facebook and Instagram whereas the generation before, ‘Gen X’ are most active on Facebook. The most important thing to remember is that wherever your buying customers are, that is where you want to be. Not sure where that is? Ask them! Run polls across your social media or have a good old chat on the job. Understanding your customers is the key part of any marketing campaign, social media or otherwise. Too shy to ask? Use the in-built analytics on your social media platforms for an idea of which types of customers hang out where. 

    “Do I need to be available on social media 24/7?”
    No, not at all. Think of social media as a mix of advertising and customer service. While it's obviously better to acknowledge queries as quickly as possible, it's perfectly understandable that you will be AFK (away from keyboard) from time to time. A recommended rule of practise is that, as long as your business office is open, you should aim to periodically check your social media. If you can’t deal with an enquiry right away, an easy solve is to have a quick, ‘Thank you for reaching out, we’ll get back to you ASAP!’ response ready in your phone notes. That way when you get a DM you can just copy and paste that until you have time to respond fully and the potential customer knows that you will get back to them when you can. Screengrab the DM if you need to so that you remember to come back to it.

    “What if someone DMs me overnight, isn't it bad for business to leave it until the morning?”
    It's perfectly okay to only respond on social media during business hours. Customers understand that you are human and have lives too! Even big businesses like Google close their office doors each day, take a break! If you’re unable to check every profile every day, have a note in each platform’s bio asking customers to email you for the fastest response - that way you only have one inbox to monitor daily and can check the others less often.

    “I’m not good at taking photos. How do I run an Instagram account?”
    You don't need to be a pro photographer to have a successful Instagram account. That being said, if you’re going to take a photo you may as well do it well, so to sharpen up your phone photography skills have a read of this BAPIA News Post on How to Take Great Photos for Instagram. Instagram is all about sharing moments more than beautiful imagery and you'll actually find that people are far more likely to respond well to an honest, in the moment snap rather than something that’s been heavily edited beyond the point of relatability. Marketing on Instagram, like all social media platforms, is above all about showing your followers that you understand them more than anything. Understand what they like to see and, more importantly from a business point of view, that you understand what they need. Be funny, be relatable and be real. As long as you can do this you're golden. 

    And remember, if we all balloon responsibly, the party never has to end!

  • 23 Dec 2019 9:25 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    When running a business it’s easy to get carried away feeling like you need to be offering everything under the sun so as not to miss sales opportunities. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, ask yourself these three simple questions to streamline your services without losing out.

    What’s Profitable?
    We’ve written before about the 80/20 rule and how it suggests that, in business, the amount of effort that we put into certain processes is often disproportionate to the results that we get from them. The rule suggests that it’s often only 20% of our products and services that make 80% of our profit. That being said, it’s rare that we’re spending 80% of our time on those top sellers. Often we’re still distracted by fulfilling the other 80% of products and services that we have on offer, even though they’re making us minimal profit.

    Does this rule apply anywhere in your business? Maybe your biggest booking are event styling but you feel you should offer single balloon delivery too to bag small orders? If the percentage of business time you spend purchasing, prepping, packing and marketing these isn’t proportional to the percentage of profit they bring in, it’s time to make a change. Would those hours be better spent drumming up more decorating jobs? Consider how this rule applies to your marketing too. Do you advertise all of your services evenly across social media even though some are far more profitable than others? Perhaps it makes more sense to highlight the services that are the most valuable to your business first and foremost.

    What Are You Good At?
    We’ve all heard the old adage ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’. Another drawback of spreading ourselves too thin in business is that it often means that we don’t get the time to develop our skills in any particular area. It may seem that being able to offer ‘a little bit of everything’ is best for attracting potential customers but let’s think about it; are you more likely to recommend someone who offers a wide range services and does ‘an alright job’ on each, or someone who did one particular service and did ‘an exquisite job!’?

    Becoming known for excelling at one particular service is much more likely to get you recommendations and word of mouth advertising can be instrumental in standing out in a competitive marketing. Particularly when consumers have a lot of choice and just aren’t sure who to go with. Take a look at your service list and ask yourself which services you can let go of in order to spend more time finessing others so that they sell themselves. The BAPIA Training Calendar is already filling up with classes for the new year and spaces go quickly so remember to check it periodically and if you see a class you like, don’t hang about.

    What Brings You Joy?
    Sometimes in business we forget how much our happiness can affect productivity. Many of us got into the balloon and party business for the sheer joy it. But what’s the use of turning your passion into your paycheck if you then lose that passion again by only focusing on building your business rather than retaining the joy that made you so good at the job in the first place?

    It may seem to be the sensible thing to do to forgo the ‘fun jobs’ in favour of the biggest money makers but this isn’t always the best business move. Mental fatigue and burnout can be real threats to your business when you’re pushing yourself too hard. It’s when you’re most fulfilled at work that you tend to show up in the best way, work the most efficiently and may even be more responsive to tackling issues like problem solving because of your positive mindset. You’ll likely find that when you cut out the services that weigh you down mentally, that extra spring in your step leads to less procrastination, increased creativity and a willingness to input more hours’ of high-quality work - all of which can lead to financial reward and better mental health overall and as the saying goes - your health is your wealth!

  • 12 Dec 2019 10:25 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    ‘Tis the season so we’re sharing a few festive marketing moves to boost your business.

    Post A Merry Message Online 
    We’ve spoken before about the power of a personal touch when it comes to marketing your small business. Most consumers would rather give their money to a small business than a corporate chain and putting faces to your brand is a great way to really resonate with potential customers and help them to remember you as more than just another business. Posting a simple boomerang of your team on Christmas Jumper Day with along with the message ‘Merry Christmas from us to you’ is all it takes to make someone smile and press ‘like’ and the more ‘likes’ a post gets, the more it’s seen in the future meaning more exposure for your business.

    Share the Christmas Spirit
    As the saying goes, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. Christmas spirit is high and consumers just love to see the holiday spirit being shared around, so take the opportunity to post even more Instagram and Facebook Stories this season. Share behind- the-scenes action showing you and your elves at work; timelapse your installations and post before and after pictures of Christmas and New Years’ party venue transformations. With all the lights, glitter and the universal theme, it’s certainly the most photogenic season so be sure to make the most of it. 

    Send A Card
    Sending a card to your customers this season is a great way to boost brand awareness. We all know that one person who likes to rifle through the mantlepiece card display and ask, ‘So who’ this one from then?’, so why not make sure your business card is up there too?. If you don’t have the budget to do a mail out to your entire customer list, it’s certainly still worth popping a card in with orders at no extra cost. After all, cards last longer than balloons so it’s a great way to keep your business name fresh in your customers’ minds for even longer. That way when they get asked, ‘Who did that great gift balloon that you gave Jack?’, rather than try to remember, they only need to pick up the card to see!

    Have fun thinking up a cool design that will get people talking - perhaps a DIY pop-up card or you could write a funny rhyme inside. Either way, make it memorable so that they’ll want to share it and of course remember to include your business name in bold.

    And remember, if we all balloon responsibly, the party never has to end!

  • 11 Dec 2019 10:18 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Send A Christmas ‘Gift
    Everyone loves a freebie, especially at this time of year when pockets can be rather stretched. If you’ve got any offers or promotions running this season, entice your customers across to your website with the promise of something special. Send an email with an ‘Open for your Christmas Gift!’ subject line and when they open it you could highlight your latest offer. Better yet, if you have a website, lead customers to it by including a, ‘Click for Gift!’ button within your email that links to the website page where you advertise your offer, such as homepage banner offering free shipping or a gift with purchase when they spend over a certain amount. 

    Make A List (And Check It Twice)
    With Christmas shopping, boxing day discounts, January sales and everything in between, there’s a lot of competition for customers’ attention at this time of year. Make sure you don’t get forgotten by getting in on the action and sending a few emails to remind customers that you’re around. If you take orders online, mailing list platforms such as MailChimp allow you to make use of features like list segmentation so that you can separate out your regular customers from those who’ve signed up but never made an order - handy for treating VIPs and offering first time buyers introductory discounts. Tools like card abandonment alerts also allow you to remind window shoppers to come back when they’d been considering making an order on your site; great for this time of year when customers are easily distracted.

    Send Season’s Greetings
    Not got an offer to promote? Sometimes that’s a good thing! Customers love a personal touch, especially from a small business so taking the time to simply wish them well this season will go a long way. Why not spread a little cheer and send your customers a simple ‘Merry Christmas’ email to let them know that you care this Christmas. Such emails are simple, fun and often free to make with a MailChimp template - just be sure to only send to those who have ‘opted in’ to marketing communications to stay GDPR compliant.

    And remember, if we all balloon responsibly, the party never has to end!

  • 26 Nov 2019 9:48 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Black Friday for Everyone!
    This Black Friday, 29th November, is coming up very soon and we want to make sure that you’re all ready to make the most of the biggest sales week of the year! You may think that Black Friday is just for retailers but that’s not the case. With lots of savvy shoppers having saved up with plans to make big purchases for the next year, it’s a great opportunity for us in the balloon and party industry to bag some bookings and end the year with a bang.

    The Key to A Superb Sales Strategy
    Everyone’s after a bargain during Black Friday so it’s a great time to run a promotion if you can. Take a look at your margins and see if you can afford to promote a discount or offer something extra to clients to give you an edge. Emphasise how great the offer is and that it’s just for a limited time only so they should book fast. Remember, Black Friday isn’t just one day anymore either, it’s more like a week with lots of businesses running ‘earlybird’ promotions a few days before and then online deals the following Monday, known as ‘Cyber Monday’, so take this into account when planning your sales campaigns.

    Make the Most of Marketing
    With people in the spending mood, even if you can’t afford to run an offer, Black Friday is still a great time to do some extra marketing around your business and remind people you’re there. With potential customers looking out for great deals both online and out and about, grab their attention with extra marketing emails, schedule more social media posts or just hand out more business cards and really talk up the benefits of your business. Think ahead to Christmas, New Years and next year and remind potential customers to keep YOU in mind for their parties and events. On social media also remember to use the hashtags that people will be searching more that week such as #blackfriday and variations like #blackfridaydeal so that you’re found by new people.

    Don’t Forget BAPIA Discounts!
    In the spirit of Black Friday savings let’s not forget that as a BAPIA member you get exclusive discounts with our wholesalers. Plus get £10 million of Public, Products and Liability Insurance cover as well as exclusive BAPIA Business Insurance and discounted Legal Insurance Cover. For more information on the many BAPIA membership benefits click here:

    We hope everyone has a lucrative week of Black Friday sales ahead! Are any of our BAPIA members booked for some fabulous Black Friday events? Perhaps you’re working on some impressive sale shop window displays? If so, remember to tag us in your photos online using @bapiaparty and #bapiaparty so that we can see and share your posts!

    And remember, if we all balloon responsibly, the party never has to end!

  • 19 Sep 2019 9:49 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Did you see our Facebook posts? September is International Balloon Month! Run by non-profit organisation, The Balloon Council, the aim of International Balloon Month is to focus on the ethos that we can all, public and professionals, enjoy beautiful balloons whilst doing our part to make sure that they’re disposed of in an environmentally-friendly way. The 2019 theme is, 'Green Comes in Every Colour' and balloon professionals worldwide have been sharing bold and brilliant designs in honour of this great cause.

    BAPIA are fully behind the movement and encourage our members to share your work this month using the campaign’s #LiftUpSomebody hashtag. Together, we hope to refocus public perception onto how balloons should be celebrated as a beautiful gift that doesn’t need to pose a threat to the environment - as long as we all remember to dispose of them responsibly. Let’s keep reminding everyone of the Pro Environment Balloon Alliance’s (PEBA) slogan  -“Don't let it go, pin it and bin it!” and keep sharing your beautiful designs which bring joy to so many people.

    To further celebrate International Balloon Month, the theme of our September BAPIA Members Only Facebook Photo Competition is simply, “Balloons!”.

    That's right, since we're celebrating the joy of balloons for all occasions, the theme is any and all balloons. So pick your best balloon work pic and be sure to upload it inside the competition album in our BAPIA Members Only Facebook Group for your chance to win! As usual we’ll be sharing entries across our social pages too, this time with the #LiftUpSomebody hashtag, so it’s a great opportunity for some free exposure your business. 

    Not a BAPIA member yet? There's still plenty of time to enter September's competition!  For more information on the many benefits of joining BAPIA, click here:

    As we like to say at BAPIA, if we all balloon responsibly, the #bapiaparty never has to end!

    BAPIA members, remember to tag us in your posts using #bapiaparty so that we can see and share your great work!
  • 19 Sep 2019 9:28 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    When marketing your balloon and party business, it can be very easy to fall into the habit of just talking very literally about your designs but have you ever stopped to consider the significance that they represent?

    'Mr & Mrs' balloons design by BAPIA member Sam of Mulberry Events

    Johnny’s school teacher certainly admired the beauty of the personalised bubble balloon he gave her at the end of the school year. But what really touched her heart, was the gesture it represented. The fact that her contribution to his life was so valuable that his mum wanted to go out and buy something equally beautiful and personal to represent her gratitude. 

    Photo by BAPIA member Classic Touch Balloons

    Mr & Mrs Moon’s spectacular ceiling treatment wasn’t just a nice decorative element for their wedding guests to admire. It was the finishing touch that really made them feel like they were truly in a dream, living on cloud nine on this, the most magical day of their lives. 

    The truth is that you’re selling so much more than balloons. You’re selling smiles and making moments magical. Whether it’s cementing a celebration of life, sending a surprise for someone special when you can’t be there yourself or even a kind gesture of condolence during a tough time to make someone feel loved. 

    Next time you talk about your balloon and party business and what you offer, focus on the feelings that your business brings as well and the services you sell. How your festive foils add to the cosiness of any Christmas. The way your wonderful, whimsical window treatments draw intrigued customers into a new store opening event and how your giant balloon walls get guests to stop and take a group photo, capturing the moment forever. Focus on the joy you spread above all - after all, that’s what people are really looking for. 

    BAPIA members, remember to tag us in your posts using #bapiaparty so that we can see and share your great work!

  • 19 Sep 2019 8:42 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It’s been theorised that in many businesses, 80% of positive outcomes, e.g. sales, come from just 20% of your actions. This idea is based on the Pareto principle, a theory suggesting that generally it’s only a small percentage of our overall actions that lead to the biggest results. This in turn suggests that 80% of the time we’re spending energy and money on things which won’t have a large return for our business.

    Can you identify this pattern in your business? Perhaps you offer a wide range of party services but the majority of your sales come from balloon design work? Or do you find that the majority of your customers find you through one particular form of advertising over others? 

    The 80/20 split is not necessarily always a bad thing and is somewhat inevitable in some areas of business; after all accounting, stock management and business development may not immediately drive sales but they’re all necessary aspects of business. It is important however to ask yourself if you can capitalise on this information, making the most of the things that make you money and cutting back on those that don’t.

    Sometimes we can get bogged down pouring energy into the lagging areas of our business rather than focusing on what’s already doing well. For instance, take a balloon retailer who finds that personalised balloons sell extremely well compared to, say, seasonal foils. It may be tempting for them to create a promotion around the foil balloons to encourage sales. But imagine instead, if they created a promotion around the personalised balloons which already generate four times as much profit. Much less effort would be required to upsell these and success would be guaranteed since they were already selling well to begin with.

    Similarly, imagine that you get balloon decor bookings easily but find yourself constantly having to upsell your table decorating services with little take up. Why not spend that extra time upselling your balloon services to more people instead? Customers already love that service so use the energy to spread the word about how popular it is. 

    Are there any areas of your business where you spend a disproportionate amount of time and energy compared to others? Food for thought!

    BAPIA members, remember to tag us in your posts using #bapiaparty so that we can see and share your great work!

  • 19 Sep 2019 7:20 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Marketing messages on social media can get repetitive, particularly if you’re largely selling the same products and services month to month. It’s important to keep your followers, i.e. potential customers, engaged in your page so that they don’t mindlessly scroll over your posts, or worse, unfollow you. 

    Step 1
    A content calendar is a great place to start if you’re struggling for new and exciting ways to talk about your products and services. Start by making a simple list with the next three months as headings and beneath each, note any significant public events. For instance:

    -Clocks Change 

    -Bonfire Night 
    -Public Christmas Mood

    -Final Run up to Christmas
    -New Years’ Eve

    Step 2
    From there, go in and add your own business’ events, for instance perhaps you’re doing some training or receiving exciting new seasonal stock on a particular date. Also make a note of any products and services you offer that can be linked to the events in your calendar.

    -Halloween - Halloween Stock Arrives: Foil Balloons, Party Decorations 
    -Clocks Change  - Light up balloons 
    -Attending Training: Wedding Trends with Alberto Falcone

    -Bonfire Night- Light up balloons in stock
    -Public Christmas Mood - Christmas Stock Arrives
    -Christmas Party Bookings Begin

    Step 3
    Then finally, consider how you can now tie the events in your calendar in with a message that resonates with your customers. Think of opportunities to upsell but also ways to simply relate to what your customers are thinking and feeling in order to keep them engaged with your page. 

    -Halloween - Halloween Stock Arrives: Foil Balloons, Party Decorations 
    Our Message: “Make the 31st October spoooktacular with our Halloween range!”

    -Clocks Change- Light up balloons 
    Our Message: “Give the gift of light in this gloomy season!”

    Training: Wedding Trends with Alberto Falcone
    Our Message: “Love is in the air and we’re getting ready for the 2020 wedding season already! Tag someone who recently got engaged. ”

    -Bonfire Night-Light up balloons in stock
    Our Message: “Impress your guests this Bonfire Night with our pretty light up balloons that are great for outdoors!”

    -Christmas Party Bookings Begin
    Our Message: “Who else if feeling festive already? We’ve decorated the first Christmas party of the season and it’s got us so excited for the big day!” 

    Bookmark this page and the next time that you’re stuck on what to say, use this 3 step marketing plan to break down the task of creating interesting posts.
    The BAPIA Facebook Page is another great place to follow for content ideas so be sure to check out what we’re talking about this season here

    BAPIA members, remember to tag us in your posts using #bapiaparty so that we can see and share your great work!

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