The event is over and my pocket is bulging.
Today was that rare day when everyone wanted to tip. I did not ask for it. I was not encouraging it. It just happened. The event was a two hour public event and when it was over I walked away with one $10, two $5 and 54 singles for a grand total of $74.00 dollars. The total is irrelevant; I can use the bills to calculate the number of customers served. Knowing this information helps me better market my business and allows me to understand my full capabilities as a balloon entertainer.
I gathered 57 bills, and figured about 90% of the people tipped. Based on these numbers, I figure over 62 people received a balloon, or 31 customers served an hour. That breaks down to a under 2 minutes per customer.
The balloon figures I made were 2-3 three balloon designs, simple, efficient, and brought a small “wow” factor. The goal was to turn numbers, give a quality product, and to establish a working speed that was comfortable.
Several years ago, I worked with a library that passed out tickets which would be exchanged for balloons. On that day I did 35 balloon figures an hour. I try to avoid jobs that require machine like performance and prefer to find gigs that have the right child to entertainer ratio.
Other Tricks for Calculating Balloons Made Per Hour
Using tips as a counting tool is not reliable 90% of the time so another tool I use are smiley face balloons. Using a set number, typically 100 ct bag, I work the smiley face balloon into the balloon designs either as a face or as an accessory. At the end of the event I can count how many smiley face balloons are used and have an idea how many balloons I produced.
A hand counter works great too. You can get an exact count for each person, or if you are really aggressive, count the number of balloons twisted / distributed. For me, balloon giving does not matter, it is about how many people I have served which is the critical number.
Look for my next blog that will tell you why it’s improtant to know your balloon made per hour ratio.
5 thoughts on “How I Calculate Balloons Made Per Hour”
Not sure what a hand counter is? For over 20 years I always thought my number an hour was as low as 20 and who knows I may have lost work giving out a number like that. Maybe 3 yrs ago I finally decided to do something about it and while at a public event I had a helper who just sat there and read a book (not really helpful) so I put her to work making sure everyone that got in line that would get a balloon had a ticket.
I got a bunch from dollar tree for 1.00 a bunch. when the kids came up they put the ticket in a plastic bucket and then told me what they wanted. at the end of the 3 hr event I had made 98 balloons. So I guess less than 33 balloons an hour after 23 years twisting. Made me feel better than the 20 number did. I have continued to use the ticket and bucket thing but not for the whole event but rather the last hour to help me end the line and when folks come up the last person in line tells them you need a ticket. oh where do i get one? they are no longer giving them out as the line is ending soon.
I am one of those folks that do mostly one balloon creations other than bees,butterflys,angel wings,seagulls,love birds in a heart,multiple balloon hats and flowers. I agree that a sword is a minute balloon and a regular dog or weiner dog may be a minute puppy but a poodle? I call poodles fancy dogs and Id think they are more like 1 1/2-2 minute animals and even if they were 1 minute wonders after 3-5 hr gigs Id beleive that Im no longer twisting them as fast as when I started. Everything takes time.
I often dont put eyes on animals when doing line work and all of a sudden someone demands eyes and then the line slows as everyone with an animals now wants there creation to have eyes cuz johnny did. I recently found small 3 or 4 mm paper stickers but have not tried them yet. GF thinks they will take longer than drawing them on. Im sure when I got that count yrs back some of the animals had eyes.
Hello-I guess I’ll throw in my 2 cents on # of balloons per hour. Sometimes for line work I’ll hand out stickers for the kidz to wear when I give them a balloon creation. Than I can count how many stickers I passed out. I keep them in groups of ten and it works pretty well. I tell customers that I typically average 20-25 balloon creations per hour. I will make some complicated balloons if requested. If a customer wants speed and more simple balloons I have printed cards with about 25 designs the kidz can have. I have a picture board in front of the line and my balloon cards hanging from my apron. This allows me to churn out over 30 plus balloons an hour. It’s all about discussing the customers needs with them ahead of time. I have found that most of my customers want the more complicated balloon creations and are willing to pay for extra time for them. As for tips I typically get the $2 and $3 tip for a balloon creation. There is always a bunch of $4 and $5 dollar tippers and I usually snag a few $10 and $20 tips as well. the economy must be improving because the tips are loosening up a lot.
P.S. I’ve got over 30 years of ballooning.
I had one gig where I was making balloon sword after balloon sword. I was working at a pace of 100 balloons an hour. After two hours of that, I was DONE!!
I was pleased that this blog was written. I was also wondering about how long it took to make balloons for a group of children. I make difficult to easy balloons and love to make the kids the balloon they really want. Sometimes I go over which I know I shouldn’t. But the smiles are so cute. I am going to try to do the sticker test. I like that and kids like stickers. I think I do about 30 balloons an hour. If I make all complicated balloons the time of course goes way down. I will do this also for face painting. Thanks for the tip. Cecelia