Friday, February 27, 2009

Jonas Brothers Event!!

Come see the Jonas Brothers concert in 3D!

Regal Cinemas at the Citrus Park MallFriday February 27th from 6pm - 7pm
Your Balloon Man, Mr. Fudge, will be entertaining before the 3D experience begins! Be sure to stop by and see him so that you can get your balloon!

Come dressed to impress because this is the Red Carpet experience! We’re talking red roses, tuxedos, and an actual red carpet!

All who show up tonight and over the weekend will be given exclusive discounts for your next party or event. Be sure to receive your coupon at the box office this weekend. Hurry though… This is a limited time offer and you can only get coupons while supplies last.

Hope to see you there!
Your Balloon Man,
Mr. Fudge

Monday, February 16, 2009

Overview of an Article

This post is to discuss the link below. It is a post on that covers how to book restaurant gigs.

How to Book Restaurant Gigs

The article is very simple and short. I am a little biased, but I think it has enough information to get into a restaurant, but I know it doesn't have anywhere near enough information to keep one for any length of time.

There is definitely a difference between getting a restaurant to try you out and getting them to keep you for an extended period of time.

Different companies have taken different approaches on this subject. I am going to take only one aspect of how to manage this issue and discuss my views on it. I will be talking about having a single entertainer every week at a location verses having different artists show up on a rotation.

One Artist

Having one artist at the restaurant on a regular basis is great because:
-The restaurant will know your name
-The restaurant will get used to seeing you there and will come to expect it
-Patrons get used to seeing you and only you and consistency helps lead to more regulars

The hardest part I've found about being the only one at the restaurant is that:
-You must always keep it fresh and innovative
-Tips will lower slightly due to the fact that you become routine after a while (So keep it fresh!)
-My personal favorite... You must always be the one to show up at the same time every week without fail.

A Team of Artists

The benefits of having a team is that:
-Everyone shares responsibility of covering the gigs
-Variety is offered to the restaurant
-Everyone can be themselves and there is less need to innovate

Using a team can also be a bad thing. For instance:
-There is no way of knowing how well the other members of your team are doing
-One can mess it up for all of you
-There is less work for every artist on the team
-Quality is very difficult to maintain

Restaurant Entertaining Etiquette Question

So I've been a restaurant balloon twister for over a year now and I'd like to think that I have the basics down. Simple stuff, like smiling, be entertaining, and being able to make what people want is nice too. Then there is the side of pleasing the management and establishment. Don't get in the way of the servers,be professional while entertaining, and don't slow down business.

I had an issue with the last point recently. One of my "rules" is to not approach people when they have gotten their check, ESPECIALLY in a busy place when there are customers waiting to be seated.

Well, that is exactly what happened. I made balloons for a table of kids and next to them was a nice adult couple. I involved them in the performance and at the end just took a moment to tell them that we had a balloon twister every week at that location. Their change/bill came back and I moved to exit but the woman said that she wanted a balloon.

I did a fairly quick balloon (not a speed twist, but not a long performance) and moved on.

Later, the manager asked for a moment of my time. He asked me to not approach tables who have their check.

I bent my rule ONCE, because they ASKED for a balloon and management was aware and not pleased.

NOTE: Managers are busy and may only see 1 minute of all of your work. If that minute gives a negative impression, that is what they will remember.

So to novice restaurant workers: YES, management will notice if you are slowing down business.
To seasoned artists: How could I have handled these patrons more suitably?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Balloon Convention Time!

I'm off to yet another balloon convention where I can buld up my skills and improve my ability to entertain with balloons. This time I'm heading off to Las Angeles, California where I will be attending Twist and Shout, a major balloon convention put together by Royal and Patty Sorell.

My big goals are to network and meet other balloon artists from around the world and to help solidify my business plan for the rest of the year.

If you have not already attended one of these balloon conventions before, I highly recomend them. Though the McBride Master Class was much better in helping with business principles, I feel that the balloon artist run events are very good at teaching valuble information as well when it comes to entertainment.

Likewise, I plan on attending Diamond Jam this year as well. However, I'll have to wait and see how that turns out. As of right now, I'm not sure what the details are for the convention at the moment. Last year I was an instructor, but I do not believe I'll be taking part the same way as before.

Well, I'm off to work for the last time this week before I head to the convention. So, yay for twisting balloons!

Off to the restaurant,
Jonathan Fudge
Your Balloon Man