Tips on how to Manage a Long Balloon Lines

WHAT TO DO WITH LONG LINES – It works for ME!

I know, we’ve all been there, your time is getting close to the end and you still have a long line – what do you do?

Well, there a lot of clever entertainers out there who have come up with numerous ingenious ways to handle just that.

Some of the methods are:

1. A sign with “I’m The Last Person In Line” printed on it.

PROs:

If it is printed big enough the visibility factor will work for you and people will read it and hopefully respect it.

It’s easy to carry and pack away to reuse or the next big job.

CONs:

I have had it where the last person in line stayed the last person in line but let other people in front of him! If you are in a rush and have to get to another job after this one, you will definitely be late.

2. The “Just Get Up And Walk Away” method

PROs:

Well, if you search hard, the only thing you can come up with is that you won’t be late for the next job.

CONs:

Too many to list but most importantly the impression you leave on the guests and the people who hired you. Who is going to want to hire somebody so rude as to just walk away? Leaving the people left in line to just stand there and watch you just walk away from their kids who waited in line for a long time just to get one of your balloons has got to be both frustrating and disheartening for the guests!

3. Have a designated “Bad Guy” to cut off the line so it is more controllable.

PROs:

You get to concentrate on getting the balloons out and not worry about the line.

The guests aren’t mad at you because someone else is telling them the line is closed.

CONs:

If the person designated as a “Bad Guy” is not paying attention your line gets longer.

If that person gets there too late to cut off the line in time you are definitely going over your allotted time.

Also if they are too late, you are stuck with doing it yourself.

*I do have this in my agreement, but sometimes, they don’t want to be the “Bad Guy” and you are stuck anyways, but it doesn’t happen too often where they won’t do it.

4. Have the last person in line be designated as the “Bad Guy”.

PROs:

If they are made to understand that you now know how many is in line and you are counting down that number, the last person should understand that there will be no more made than the number of people left in line and if anyone else gets in line the designated person will not get one. When I am in the last 20 to 15 minute mode I will make just the quick stuff so I can be sure to get through the line and the last person gets something special. That makes them happy to be the designated bad guy!

CONs:

Other than the obvious, the real CON is that the line takes longer than you think it will!

*With time you should be able to get a good guess of the line vs. time and get them close.

5. Handing an un-inflated balloon to each person left in your line.

PROs:

No balloon – no balloon . . . you know what I mean, no balloon from you that is blown up and twisted! It can be a fail safe way to do it, except –

CONs:

Except if you hand out the same balloons that have fallen to the ground and are all around you, then your line can be very long!

*I just hand out balloons that I have not used at all or very limited to the people left in line getting a balloon from you. This controls the line well.

6. Another way is using printed tickets with your info on it.

PROs:

Pretty much the same as above plus you are now getting out some free publicity with your contact info on it.

CONs:

Same as above – if people get a hold of extra tickets.

7. This is one of the ways that I use most, The “Count down” method

PROs:

If you countdown every 5 minutes from at least the 30 minute mark from the end of your time. You do this by yelling out “There is only xx minutes left! I will do as many as I can! I make no promises!” If you do this, there is very few people who are going to get mad at you because you are announcing the rules of the game and you stick to it!

CONs:

The only bad point is that the people follow the rules and you don’t you will be getting in trouble by those that listened to you. This means that if you say yes to someone after you been saying no to others, they are going to feel very frustrated and you are in trouble again!

As I said before, there are many ways to do this one job of our multi-tasking needs as we work. This is just the top 7 that I have seen and used. What you use is up to you.

Hope it helps! It is trial and error depending on what your humor and personality is.

5 thoughts on “Tips on how to Manage a Long Balloon Lines”

  1. Nice article. This is the worst part of line twisting – cutting off the line. I find that handing out tickets to the last 10 people works well. No ticket, no balloon after I cut the line off. I also make regular announcements that the line is closed and only ticket holders get a balloon. Also make sure to take the tickets – they have a way of getting “reused” if you aren’t paying attention!

  2. These are some very good examples. And I have tried most. My biggest problem with the parents even, worse grand parents insist their child gets balloon. You know the statements, “What, you just can’t make one more.” “My child lost her place in line”. I do make the sign for the last person in line and check on it every couple of customers. And I have gotten bolder and often I will ask people, “Do you think it would be fair for the people that I have already tuned away”?

    Thanks for your time.

  3. All great ideas! However, I take it a bit further. My sign is in english on one side and spanish on the other. The wording is: This line is closed. I had one once that said I’m the last person. Well…. People just got in line behind the “last” person! I also give out tickets or balloons to EVERYONE in line and make it very clear that without it they get no balloon. If a parent has two kids then they need TWO tickets. This catches line cutters. It also keeps other parents from getting mad when people cut line because they know…… Every few minutes I have everyone hold up their ticket so people hear the rules once again. It never ceases to amaze me how desperate people will get for a piece of latex! Don’tcha feel loved?

  4. Usually my husband is the “Bad Guy” I do not have the heart to tell a child no to a balloon. I would work till I fell over, but he keeps me from doing that. Right now I do a Farmers Market every Sat. from 9:30 to 1:30, they ring a bell and you can not start till th 9:30 bell and you can not sell anything after the 1:30 bell. This makes it much easier. These are all good suggestions and I may end up using one of them when my “Bad Guy” is not around.
    Thanks.

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