Defining the Balloon Industry

I am opening a can of worms here by trying to define the balloon industry and its categories. It is like trying to explain Love. Every person in the industry understands what a Balloon Artist consists of and what defines them as an Artist.   Yet the term “Balloon Artists” is tossed around as much as people toss around the word Love.

I think everyone has tried to define the meaning of love to no avail. Once we have established all the variables, somebody tosses in a monkey wrench, and things are skewed.

However, I will try to define the balloon industry into three categories: Balloon Artists, Balloon Entertainment, and Balloon Decorator.

I think of a Balloon Artist (Deco Twister) as a person whose main goal is to create a sculpture. Materials can include balloons, glue, sticks, feathers, or whatever prop helps complete their artistic vision. They are contracted to recreate works of art or produce something very original, but their main responsibility is to build and create a sculpture.

Now, some people believe balloon sculptures should be in their purest form, and only balloons should be used. No gluing or drawing is needed; just the balloons will be used. Nevertheless, I will leave that for another discussion.

A Balloon Entertainer is somebody who focuses on entertaining and using balloons as props. They deal directly with the audience; the client has hired them to entertain, and interaction occurs. Either one-on-one or on stage, the goal is to entertain an audience. Yes, these people are artistic in nature and have studied under the performing arts program, but their sole purpose is to create an audience reaction using balloons.

Balloon Decorators are the people who plan, deliver, decorate, rig, and choose color themes that enhance the venue environment. They are responsible for all aspects of the balloon décor, which may require hiring Balloon Artists to sculpt figures to be incorporated into the venue. The balloon decorator is focused on the room venue and enhances it beyond the client’s dream.

It would be if I were to associate one word with each topic.

  • Balloon Artists – Captives
  • Balloon Entertainment – Happiness
  • Balloon Décor – Grandeur

There are people who overlap in each field to make a living, and that is fine. So why try to define them? It is great to be a jack-of-all-trades, but would it not be better for an individual’s career to be a Master of one? People would look for and seek out their advice. It is like having a college degree, but knowing the subject you excel in distinguishes you from the rest of the pack.

My Conclusion

As I said, this is my vision of the balloon industry and how I would categorize it.  Wouldn’t it be interesting to be at a balloon conference where the topic of the decision was defining what the industry is and how it should be addressed?  A group of people with ideas, views, and perceptions all together in one room to define the most basic of categories, laying a framework for all to comprehend fully, giving newbies a true understanding of what the industry is about. But until that day comes, we are left to define the balloon industry as we desire.

2 thoughts on “Defining the Balloon Industry”

  1. As difficult as it is to categorize our industry, you have done a great job in a concise post. While I fit all of the categories (and others) at different times for different jobs, I enjoy not fitting the molds to tightly. There will certainly be those who don’t want to fit in any labels. But you have given good definitions to the titles of artist, entertainer and decorator.

  2. The world ‘balloon artist tossed around as much as the word love’. Man, you and I hang out in different circles 🙂

    Great article, Dale. Thanks.

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