Drawing big crowds to an event is not always a good thing, especially when it is just one individual making the balloon animals. I find myself in this predicament this year, at the Palos Heights 50th Community Picnic, which is happening this Independence Day. The community representative has been heavily promoting me through local Cable TV, newspaper articles and in community fliers as one of the featured highlights of the event. Crowd estimates are growing, weather is set for partly cloudy, mid 80’s, and the city is getting good local PR.
Having 25+ year’s experience of balloon entertaining, I realize that when crowd sizes exceed the number of people that I can service in a given time period, leads to disappointed children and parents who are upset that their kids did not receive a balloon animal. This does not make my job any easier, creates stress on me to do the best job possible, but still keep people happy. Now, I know there will be disappointed customers, that’s a given, but the key is how to reduce the number of upset parents. I know the balloon figures will be downsized, reduced in details, and designed for quick distribution. However, I have to start thinking of my exit strategy along with balloon designs to insure there is limited disappointment.
One saving grace is that I will be roving entertainment, which still does not mean much when I’m surrounded by 100 people all looking for a balloon animal. Nevertheless, it does allow me the opportunity to keep moving. I have learned that if you make the group move on a regular basis you have the ability to talk to more people and I can educate them that I am only here for a set time. I know the audience will treat me like family and totally not listen to a word I say and continue to crowd me, but for those who do listen, will be less disappointed when I quit, then the non-listeners.
I am going to request a community representative, not a volunteer to help me cut of the line and help with crowd control. Volunteers are nice people, but do not have the authority or backbone to tell unruly parents and kids that the balloon entertainment has ended. This is an unthankful job that I really do not wish on anybody, but is one efficient way to end a line.
Wish me luck this fourth of July, as I head out into the Palos Heights crowds twisting feverishly and watching for a hole in the crowd to make my mad dash to the car and race to my next balloon adventure in Tinley Park. Oh, did I forget to mention—I will be balloon entertaining at the Tinley Park Independent Day community picnic, right after the Palos Heights event. I figure if you going to have two stressful events, might as well do it all in one day. What is the old saying…in for a penny– in for a pound. Then a pound of trouble I am ready for this Independence Day.
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