Attending a Balloon Jam
First thing, CHECK YOUR EGO AT THE DOOR! This is not a contest to see who's the best. This is a group of entertainers who are meeting to share ideas and thoughts, everyone is equal, beginners, intermediate and advance people all have ideas, designs, and input.
Appearances: How you present yourself will reflect on how the group perceives you as an entertainer. Show up in dirty clothing image portrayed is that you would be a shabby looking entertainer. This may not be true, but your appearance is the first thing people see.
Manners: Be polite, if someone is giving instructions and you have arrived late, just watch - don't try catching up or asking the group to wait for you. Do participate in questions, but this time you are watching, not twisting.
If you have arrived late and the group has just finishing the design, ask somebody in the group if they can show you. This way the person who just taught can talk with others instead of making the same design all night long. This also will help other people in the group because they now have to rethink thought the design, which will reinforce what they have just learned. If problems occur, you will find the original instructor is will to help.
Balloon Gathering: Just because people are making balloons, it not okay just to take the instructors model. Always ask permission if you can have the model. Sometime the instructor would like to present this to a guest of the restaurant, show other people, or just keep it for themselves. After all its their balloon.
Support the Host: If the balloon jam is at a restaurant, be prepared to order dinner and drinks. The restaurant was nice enough to allow you into their establishment at least you can buy something.
If it's a house/apartment be courteous of the host's living quarters. Try keeping your balloon scraps and design neat, be careful not do damage or knock things over while twisting or joking around, be considerate of neighbors if in apartment. Balloon popping is not a nice sound to wake up to in the middle of the night.
If you are bringing food or drink(s), bring name brands - don't go cheap! If the host was nice enough to invite you to their house, return the favor by bring food or drinks that can be left or disposed of easily.
Not Coming: If you told the host you were coming, and then cannot make the balloon jam CALL THE HOST! The host is planning an event and is anticipating your arrival, have the courtesy to call and tell them that you cannot make it. The host has told others that you would be there and will be asked, "What happened to _______? Why aren't the here?"
Fee Stuff: If the host is providing fee samples, this does not entitle anybody to help himself or herself to as many as they want. Lose the attitude - "Well they didn't pay for it. Why can't I take more?" These are sample for everyone to share, or for the host to pass on to people who could not attend.
If you need extra for those people who were going to attend (invited entertainers - not your family member are who's learning), but could not make it, ask the host if you can take a sample to them.
Raffles or Prizes: If the host has spent money getting prizes or raffles consider donating $5, $10, $20 to the host. Give him the Chicago handshake of money and thank him for all their work. This should be done discretely, the host is not looking for money, just a good balloon jam.
Pictures/video: If you are taking pictures or videos, ask for permission before taping. Most people have no problems with this, but some may be producing books and videos and may not want to give this much information out. Be courteous and respect their wishes.
If you are a shutterbug and have been taking pictures, offer to make copies for the group. After all the balloon jam is about sharing, so share.
Additional Attendees: If you invite or bring a guest to the balloon jam, double check with the host. Sometime space is an issue and if everyone brings that extra person, you may not have enough food, drinks, or room to jam.
Clean up: Always, always, always, help with clean up. If you have to leave early make sure you clean up your mess. Throw out empty soda cans and paper plates Ask if anybody would like your balloon designs - otherwise deflate and throw out. If everyone does their part the host has very little to do, which considering they have done a lot to begin with.
Business Cards: This is a gathering of entertainers, pass business on to each other, bring and pass out your cards. Ask people for their business card. Network and make new friends!