• 03 May 2019 10:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As a small business owner, social media can be a great source of custom for your business making it a fantastic form of free advertising. So the last thing you want is for your post to be passed over in a serial scroll session. This post explains how to brand your posts online so that potential customers see them as more than just another pretty picture.

    What’s Your Niche?

    Branding is a way of making your business stand out from others which may be offering similar products and services. Imagine ten greengrocers all lined up, all selling the same fruits and vegetables from the same supplier. What would you do to encourage customers to come to your greengrocers over the next one? Well, an Instagram feed can be very similar with lots of balloon and party companies all vying for followers’ attention.

    Does your business have a tagline that you want people to associate with it? For instance, ‘Service with a smile!’, if so, use it in every caption so that happiness becomes synonymous with your business name. Is there a skill you’d specifically like to be known for? Maybe you’re crazy about columns or terrific at ceiling treatments. Even if you do everything equally, picking a specific product or service to focus on and mention often can help people to remember you more easily than just touching a bit on everything you do. After all, ‘Fiona’s Fantastically Fresh Fruit Shop’ is more memorable that ‘Greg’s General Greengrocers’. You want a message that’s going to engage followers enough to click through to your profile where you can expand on all of the products and services that you offer.

    Make It Memorable

    One way of helping followers to get to know your business is to create a uniform aesthetic for all your Instagram posts that’s instantly recognisable in their feed. Think about cool angles to shoot from - maybe always from up high for table work or down low for ceiling treatments and use apps like FontCandy to add your business name to the image itself so it’s easier to see. Using the same filters and edits on all your photos will help them to become more recognisable and look more cohesive and professional on your page too. Perhaps you’re known for your soft, light, dreamy photos or your bold, bright images. The free presets (filters) on phone apps like VSCO Cam make this very easy to do and actually make photo editing quicker than editing each image manually. You can still adjust small things like brightness depending on how well-lit each photo is but starting with the same filter/preset each time will help followers to instantly recognise your branding and remember your business, even in the middle of a scrolling session. That way next time they need balloons, they’ll subconsciously think of you first.

    Don’t Forget Stories!

    The same goes for your Facebook and Instagram Stories posts. Try to use the same font styles and background colours each time you post so that, even when people have their Stories on autoplay, they’ll know it’s your post without even having to check the teeny tiny username that Instagram displays. Pick bright colours that stand out but are also easy to read and use the same ones whenever you can, across all your pages, to create brand recognition.

    A Picture Doesn’t Always Tell 1,000 Words

    Remember to write an interesting caption with each photo to give more information about your work and your business to pique people’s interest and stop them scrolling past. Paint a picture of the type of event that you were working on to help them imagine organising something similar themselves. Perhaps your stunning ceiling treatment brought a touch of class to a corporate event or your ombre orbz added a splash of colour to a unicorn-themed birthday bash. Don’t be afraid to give some behind-the-scenes info too - how did you plan everything and then bring it all together? Your personal approach to your business is a great selling point and remember, most people aren’t familiar with the practical side of the ballooning world so some information that we take for granted will be of interest to the public. Above all, remind your followers each time of your where your business operates and how they can make a booking!

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

  • 03 May 2019 9:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It’s one thing to post great pictures of your balloon and party work online but how do you stand out from other companies offering similar products and services?

    Put A Face to The Name

    A lot of people like to support small businesses whose owners they can relate to. If you’re comfortable, jump in front of the camera every now and then to show yourself hard at work. Many people would prefer to give their hard-earned money to ‘Jenny who does the brilliant balloons’ than ‘The Brilliant Balloon Company’ so help them to put a face to the name. It’ll make your business more memorable.

    Sharing Leads to Caring

    Perhaps share a bit about yourself too. Include a little insight into your business on your BAPIA Directory profile page and on your business Facebook Page and remind your followers with updates from time to time. What made you get into the business - did you work in another industry before? How did you discover your passion for balloon and party work? What do you love most about the job? Keep it brief and try to focus on the positive aspects but also be truthful about the passion and dedication it takes. People are often interested in a behind-the-scenes look at things they enjoy and stories like this will help them to remember you.

    Location, Location, Location

    Many people will be following balloon and party businesses all over the world simply because they enjoy looking at the beautiful work. When the time comes for a celebration of their own, this can make it difficult to differentiate between businesses and they may not even realise that your business is in their local area. Lots of people love to support a local business so help them to realise that you are one. To make sure that all of your followers are familiar with your location, on instagram be sure to tag your location in photos and use local hashtags so that people searching these will find and follow you. Regularly mention your operating areas in your captions and Stories posts so that when potential customers come across your business they immediately know where you’re based.

    Business Development

    As you invest in your business and develop your skills, take your followers along the journey with you. This can be anything from showing you going to one of the training courses BAPIA lists on Instagram stories to sharing new equipment in a Facebook update. Show them the dedication you have to producing great work and the passion that you have for your craft. Knowing that you care enough to keep evolving and that you will do you very best to deliver to your clients on the day, may be the thing that makes them go with you over another business.

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

  • 22 Feb 2019 5:30 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It’s official! Pantone have announced that the 2019 Colour of the Year is none other than Living Coral, a brilliantly bold peach shade that’s set to be everywhere this year. Pantone’s Colour of the Year refers not just to ballooning but all sorts of design industries from fashion to home decor so we can expect to see pops of it everywhere from our wardrobes to our walls.

    Photo credit: @TheCreativeHeartStudio

    But back to ballooning - how can you stay on trend and incorporate the colour of the moment into your work? Qualatex’s Coral shade is the perfect colour to represent Living Coral and is available in a number of shapes and styles currently on their site. Amscan’s Peach colour provides a lovely, lighter version and don’t you agree that their ombre orbz are such a stunning use of Living Coral?

    With Mother’s Day just around the corner, what a wonderful opportunity to offer something different. Mix and match your usual pinks with peach shades to add depth to your designs and excite the eye with something new.

    The pretty pastel hue of Living Colour makes it ideal for Easter too. The slightly muted tone means it’ll sit well with the classic creamy yellows the season brings. We expect to see lots of cute coral characters like this fantastic flamingo by master of balloon decor, Chris Adamo, who is touring the UK and Ireland this year - remember to secure your places on his classes here as they’re going fast!

    As Living Coral is balanced nicely between yellow and red on the colour wheel, it’s also great for gradient effects, perfect for creating artistic arches like this beautifully blended rainbow by Balloons by Sarah.

    Photo Credit: Chris Adamo cba | Photo Credit: @balloonsandblooms

    Photo Credit: @balloonsbysarah

    When wedding season hits, the red tones in Living Colour mean it will work wonderfully with rose gold accents and, as it’s a darker peach shade, it looks great against bright white balloons as an accent colour as demonstrated by Sue’s wonderful wall below.

    Photo Credit: @suebowler | Photo Credit: @magicalmasksbelfast

    Have fun incorporating Living Coral into your designs this year and don’t forget to use the hashtag #bapiaparty across social media so that we can see and share your great work.

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

  • 05 Feb 2019 4:07 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    There is no long lead up to Valentine's Day sales, most people buy last minute, usually less than a week before the 14th! So what can you do leading up to Valentine's' Day to promote sales?

    The weeks leading up to Valentine's Day are the perfect opportunity to make sure that your business is looking fresh and well-presented. How about your shop window? Your website? Many balloon companies do not refresh or update their homepage very regularly and it’s such a missed opportunity. If I was looking for Valentine's supplies via a search engine, I would want to find them quickly and easily on website homepages this week. The same applies for your Business Facebook page too. Do you have a Valentine's cover at the top of your page showing off what you can offer?

    Use Headings and Hashtags to Turn Heads!
    Using seasonal hashtags and keywords is a simple way to expand your reach. Some examples could be:

    #bemine, #bemine2020 #bemyvalentine, #candyhearts, #galentinesday, #hugsandkisses, #secretadmirer, #SinglesDay, #sweetheart, #thatslove, #valentine, #valentines, #valentinesday2020, #whoneedsavalentine, #willyoubemyvalentine

    When posting on social media, think about the captions you use. Try something a little catchy like:

    • "❤ 5 Perfect Valentine’s Gift Ideas Under £30 ❤" - the heart emoji will attract more attention!

    • “Valentine’s Day treats for you and yours."

    • "Bring a little smile this Valentine's Day." - to go with your smiley foils.

    or how about using a Valentine's quote:

    • “Where there is love, there is life.” – Mahatma Ghandi, Civil Rights Leader

    • "They invented hugs to let people know you love them without saying anything." - Bil Keane

    Remember #Galentines Day Too!
    And don’t forget, Valentine’s isn’t just about the love birds. With Galentine’s Day on 13th February - that’s Valentine’s for the gals - there’s an opportunity to sell to friends everywhere who want to celebrate their bond and share their love for one another too.

    Some Valentine’s Day Designs We Love:

    A very Valentine’s appropriate set up by BAPIA member @airdorable_balloons

    Photo credit: Chris Adamo cba. Chris toured with BAPIA in 2019 leading classes across the UK & Ireland. 

    Photo credit: @thecreativeheartstudio

    Suppliers like Qualatex and Amscan are brimming with brilliant balloons like these this time of year so think outside the box and have a great time designing!


    Remember to share all of your Valentine’s work with us using the hashtag #bapiaparty and if you haven’t already BAPIA members, enter this month’s Facebook group photo competition here for a chance to win one of three great prizes.

    A revised post, originally from The Very Best Balloon Blog by Qualatex 

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

  • 26 Nov 2018 3:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Free Promotion from BAPIA
    At the Balloon and Party Industry Alliance, we’re dedicated to supporting our industry and the professionals within it. Not only do we provide our members with benefits such as liability insurance cover, business support, legal cover and extensive discounts from top industry suppliers and wholesalers, above all we promote our members to the public and encourage the use of BAPIA professionals for all their balloon and party needs. Which means FREE advertising for you!

    Use the Hashtag #bapiaparty
    ‘How do I get this free advertising?’, you say? Use the hashtag #bapiaparty whenever you post your beautiful balloon and party work and we’ll always aim to share them across our growing social media pages so that your business gets seen by more people. We’re passionate about championing BAPIA members and making sure that our followers pick YOU for their next party. We can only share your posts if we see them though, so remember to use the #bapiaparty hashtag and help us help you!

    Keep An Eye Out for Exciting Events
    Do you follow us on Facebook? If you did, you’d know that we regularly run competitions, events and training sessions with international experts we fly in from around the world - only the best of the best for BAPIA members! All that’s only set to increase in 2019 with new features like our Member of the Month spot where each month we highlight the great party work a BAPIA member has created. With so many of the general public following us, it’s a great source of marketing for our members. Keep an eye on our events and training page here and follow us on Facebook for instant updates on all the exciting opportunities to get involved in.

    Join the Club for Extra Support!
    We see the balloon and party industry as a community which is why we’re committed to helping our members’ businesses to succeed in any way we can. Inside our BAPIA members’ Facebook Group you’ll find not only exclusive tips and tricks on how to thrive in the industry but also a supportive community of fellow business owners, new and experienced, who love to share ideas and information to help each other out. Got a burning balloon question? Need help problem solving? Just ask in the Facebook Group and it won’t be long before a BAPIA member comes to the rescue!

    More, More, More Member Benefits
    Free promotion, community support and fantastic giveaways are just a few of the benefits of being a BAPIA member. Let’s not forget about the £5 million AVIVA Public and Products Liability Insurance, AVIVA Employer’s Liability Insurance and AVIVA Legal Cover Insurance that gives our members their peace of mind. Then there’s the discounts with balloon wholesalers discount and referrals from high street brands. Oh and let’s not forget that as a member you’ll have your very own profile here on where many people come to search our database of reputable balloon and party professionals in their area. If you’re interested in taking advantage of the many benefits of becoming a BAPIA members, click here to find out more.

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

  • 17 May 2018 3:21 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Having carried out a survey of its members recently, and based on the results from the 150+ responses received, BAPIA has taken the decision that it will no longer support balloon releases.  With numerous balloon bans being implemented across the globe, including some in the UK it is necessary to take pro-active action to thwart the spread of the blanket balloon bans that we are seeing.  These are not simply bans on balloon releases but are complete bans on balloons, from helium filled latex and foils right through to entertainers with the twisting balloon.  Both EBPC (European Balloon and Party Council) and PEBA (Pro Environment Balloon Alliance) have already taken similar stances and now BAPIA are adding their voice to cause in an effort to protect the balloon industry.

    John Bowler, Chief Executive of BAPIA said “This decision has been taken based upon the views of our members, and the desire to save the balloon industry.  With only 37% of respondents showing any support for balloon releases and 70% agreeing that balloon releases create litter we feel that the majority of our members are strongly in favour of this action.  We cannot bury our heads in the sand and pretend it is not happening, it is time to stand up and be counted.   We believe that the anti-balloon campaigns are gaining momentum and they are citing litter damage to the environment and wildlife as one of the main reasons, and it has to be said that it is an indisputable fact that any balloon release will see the balloons return to earth at some point and create litter.  We believe that we have to act now to protect our members and our industry!”

    BAPIA believes that the only way to protect the balloon industry is to set some standards that will set us out as an environmentally responsible industry made up of environmentally responsible professionals.

    John went on to say “As always, BAPIA is looking to increase the professionalism within the balloon and party industry and is currently looking at a strategy to do this and to help safeguard the future of our members and the industry as a whole.”

  • 03 May 2018 12:10 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Five Instagram Fails To Avoid As A Small Business Owner

    Aminur Rashid is Social Insight Executive at HooperHQ, an automated scheduling tool for Instagram users.

    According to social insight executive at HoopersHQ, Aminur Rashid, its time for small businesses to double-check their Instagram practices to make sure they’re getting the best results.

    From too many hashtags to grainy and blurry pictures, here are five Instagram faux-pas your small business absolutely needs to avoid!

    Posting at random times

    A “throw things at the wall and see what sticks” strategy will not get you far on Instagram. Posting pictures at random times is the best way to lower engagement and stop your following from growing. Nor should you simply upload a picture during the general peak hours of Instagram.

    Due to the new algorithm changing the traditional chronological order of Instagram feeds, photos are now ordered based upon users’ likes and the accounts that interact with most, as well as the best performing posts, rather than the that were recently posted.

    So, how do you choose the best time to post on Instagram? Luckily, Instagram has launched a hidden feature helping you better calculate your timings and massively boost engagement.

    It’s called Instagram Analytics, it’s free and it provides you with essential data fro planning and scheduling your posts the rights ties. To make things easier for small business’s, an automated scheduling tool can schedule your content in advance, so your posts can be posted efficiently.

    Going hashtag crazy

    Using too many hashtags can make your posts look sloppy and “spammy”. However, that doesn’t mean you should not take advantage of all 30 hashtags Instagram allows per post.

    The trick is to use a few hashtags to highlight some words of your caption and then separate the other hashtags, by hiding them beneath dots and line breaks in a second comment.

    This was your followers won’t be distracted by loads of hashtags, as your comments will show uo with only three dots instead of the whole clock of text.

    Being Self-obsessed

    Take out a piece of paper and mark down your last ten Instagram posts. Who are the photos about? If the answer is mainly yourself or your products, it may be time to have a rethink on your strategy.

    It is perfectly okay to show the great things your brand is offering but make sure you keep these kinds of posts to a minimum.

    Your content should instead be entertaining, educational, motivational or funny. Providing value 99 per cent of the time will ensure you attract more followers and keep them coming back for more.

    Sharing low-quality photos

    Stop blaming your phone’s camera for those horrible grainy pictures and most importantly, stop sharing them on your feed!

    Instagram is all about visuals. If you post low-quality photos, don’t be surprised when you see your follower count drop.

    If you’re out of ideas for Instagram-worthy pictures, why not find cool stock photos, or give your fans the chance to show off by “re-gramming’ their photos.

    Start by monitoring the posts people have tagged you in or create a unique hashtag for content submissions. Don’t forget to @-mention the original poster when you re-post his or her picture.

    not engaging with your followers

    The size of your audience doesn’t matter if no-one is paying attention. And if no-one is paying attention it’s probably because you aren’t either!

    Unless you’re David Beckham and have 36 million Instagram followers, you can’t always expect fans to strike up the conversation and engage with your content. If you want to build a buzz around your channel, you are the one that has to drive it.

    Interact with your audience is essential to maintaining a loyal following. Listen to what your followers have to say and always respond to their comments and questions. you can also invite them to engage with your posts by turning your caption into a question.

  • 14 Apr 2016 9:47 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The World Balloon Convention 2016 in New orleans is announced as being 'The best yet!" 

    With over 600 delegates and a fantastic team of instructors and staff the 2016 WBC was a seamless convention that has raised the bar for future conventions. New Orleans was an inspired choice of location, with the vibrant city providing a backdrop of great food, music and enjoyment to a convention that provided the very best in education, hands-on decor, competitions and fantastic parties for delegates to enjoy.  Want to see pictures of the convention then go to our Facebook group page, we will also post them here on our website soon.

    Couldn't get to this one?  Well, they are doing it all again in 2018 but this time it will be in the sunny city of San Diego, California!

  • 04 Mar 2016 2:27 PM | Deleted user

    While some activist groups in Holland have begun to put out false claims and information about balloons, the EBPC released this press release in an effort to get the truth out to the public. "Balloons have been part of our growing up since the early 19th Century and are a much loved consumer product for the young and old." We need to protect this product so please help us by promoting the facts.

  • 05 Feb 2016 12:45 AM | Deleted user

    A NEW, Europe-wide initiative designed to raise awareness about balloon safety and the environment...

    The EBPC recently announced a new program designed to educate consumers about how to properly handle balloons so that we can remain safe and keep our environment clean while still enjoying the FUN that balloons create. 

    Balloon retailers will be instrumental in helping EBPC to promote this initiative. Because the EBPC values your commitment to the program, they have made it easy for you to participate! In fact, they are providing a wealth of downloadable marketing aids that can be customized with your business logo and contact information.

    By providing a variety of marketing materials for balloon businesses, the EBPC also hopes you will all gain some positive exposure from this industry-wide effort.

    For full details on the campaign and how you can join, visit the EBPC Code of Best Practice website for retailersThere is a website for consumers that you can promote to your customers as well.

    The European Balloon and Party Council (EBPC) was formed in 2001 by a group of like-minded manufacturers who faced common challenges within the industry. Today the EBPC is made up of 35 key manufacturers and distributors across Europe and BAPIA is one of those members.

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