Packing List for FLOAT Balloon Convention 2019!
I am really looking forward to FLOAT 2019!
FLOAT is my favorite balloon convention! I met the founding producer of FLOAT, Steven Jones, at a large group build he hosted prior to creating FLOAT called Balloon Town in Ohio. The experience was full of learning new things and meeting wonderful people whose work I had seen online on Balloonhq (the place we used to go for online connections before Facebook was created…YES to those of you who are much younger than I…there was a time Facebook did not exist!)
I missed the first FLOAT in 2008 due to a schedule conflict, but have been to every FLOAT since! From participant, to competitor to instructor and 2019 will be my third year as a sponsor for FLOAT! Come by the BalloonCoach.com booth in the vendor room on Monday and Tuesday from 11:30 am to 6 pm. I’d love to meet you in person and give you a small gift if you tell me you read this blog!
A couple of the things that I enjoy about FLOAT are:
- The variety of balloon manufacturers and vendors all under one roof! That is real life…using products and balloons from multiple places.
- Spending time with balloon professionals around the world to see the similarities and differences in business around the world.
- Great content for social media. Take a lot of photos and share that you are at an international event learning from the top instructors in the industry!
- Many people do not realize our industry is an industry, so when I share that I’m taking courses from companies around the world it shows that I take my business seriously.
- Building a network with other balloon professionals that I can reach out to when feeling frustrated, burnt out or needing help. FLOAT feels like a Family Reunion!
- Get a boost of energy to keep growing my business and increase my motivation.
- Increasing my knowledge. No mater if the class I attend is an instructor that I have heard before or even a subject I teach on, I always walk away with a golden nugget of information, it might be something I learned in the past but have not put into play in my business yet to a brand new idea that makes me more efficient or more profitable.
CLICK HERE for the online 2019 FLOAT convention guide you will get it in print at Registration of FLOAT.
Packing and Prep List for FLOAT
- Positive mental attitude
- Smile and a good handshake
- Check what the size and weight requirements are for suitcases from your airline
- Put suit cases out a week in advance and start packing early so you are not totally rushed at the end.
- Hotel and air reservation typed into calendar (AND printed out if needed)
- Go to the FLOAT facebook page, on your phone and go to the post from January 11, 2019 with the updated schedule. It is a nice graph for each day Sat -Wednesday. SAVE each day of the calendar onto your phone photos so you can easily access the schedule on your phone while you are at FLOAT!
- Delete photos from phone and tablet, camera or purchase additional cards to have room for over 1,000 photos!
- Pack a lot of business cards! You are meeting hundreds of new people it’s great to share cards to network after event. Seriously 450 people will be there – bring lots of cards!
- Portfolio or marketing materials that you may share during conversation to get ideas from others on improvements you can make
- Bring a special baggie or container (pencil pouch from the dollar store!) or ladies even a cosmetic bag to put all the business cards in of the people you meet.
- Pack your POWER CORD for all electronics (WBC 2012 Jani Blocker was nice enough to buy me a universal power cord when I left my laptop cord at home – not cheap!)
- Pack an extension cord with multiple plugs! They come in handy in your hotel room since we all have so many electronics! Make sure it is 3 prong, 3 plug end or power strip
- If you have a back up power pack or battery for your phone – bring all you have as you spend full days away from a power plug!
- Hand held luggage scale you can purchase at Walmart or online, helps from extra fees at check in at your flight.
- Chap Stick (the air is dry in St.Louis in the hotel..heater will be on due to cold outside)
- Hand lotion
- Jacket or sweater
- If you plan to go site seeing or to grocery store or out to meals a winter coat, gloves, hat etc it’s going to be COLD.
- Logo clothing to show off your brand
- Backpack or day bag to keep your notebook, notes etc in from class to class
- ORANGE clothes or accessories for Sunday night Kick off party! You will see some fun and wild orange costumes, wigs, boas to simple orange t-shirt. Trust me you want to wear something orange to this fun kick off event to show your FLOAT spirit!
- Clothing for the Wednesday night Designer Awards Gala, theme “The Magical Garden” wear something Green, it can be your jewelry or accent piece
- Ladies will be in fancy pant suits to elegant gowns.
- Gentleman will be wearing suits and some even a tux…so dress your best
- At least 1 Pair of scissors in your checked luggage for jams and hands on classes.
- Hand pump for jams and hands on class
- Vitamins or Emergen-C! Typically you get lack of sleep and you are hanging out with about 800 people so keeping healthy is key!
- Notebook, it’s nice to have extra pad of paper for notes
- Pens – easy to lose a pen or run out of ink
- Highlighter if you like to highlight notes during class
- Travel cup, water bottle or money to buy one to have beverages in class and in your room
- Travel Kleenex
- Nail clippers and file, with all the balloon work you are bound to break a nail!
- Static spray (heat will be on in hotel)
- Swimsuit there is an indoor pool and hot tub at the host hotel.
- FILES for the weeks events. If you are running crews while you are away and plan to be in touch with your crew. Email the information to yourself if you wish to review.
- $$$$ You will want to have some cash and credit cards ready for meals and purchasing items from vendors on Monday and Tuesday , stop by and see me at the BalloonCoach.com booth!
- IF at all possible plan for a full 8 hours of sleep night before your flight. Once you get to FLOAT it is easy to lose track of time and be up in the lobby talking to a new friend til all hours of the night and morning!
- Favorite granola bars, nuts, dried fruit etc. as many times you don’t take time to eat because you are visiting with people, good to keep your energy level up.
- Hand Sanitizer
- If you have a BalloonCoach T-shirt, Bag or Button from Past event please bring with you. Wear your BalloonCoach T-shirt on Monday! Thank you!
TIPS While at Convention
Make friends with someone who has a car or split taxi or Uber cost and run to a store to grab snacks and food for your room to reduce food cost.
Volunteer to work on the hands on builds, teacher prep, or competition teams to learn new techniques and make new friends. NO EXPERIENCE needed to help with group builds -just find out where they are going on at and jump in and help!
Be proud to say “Hey, I helped make that and I know with confidence I can recreate it for my client”
When meeting new people that you do not want to forget take a photo of them with their name tag up by their face, this way when you return home and your memory is mush from meeting hundreds of new people you will easily be able to reference back to who is who!
Brenda Eng and Pearlyn Tam from Singapore
After meeting at WBC they then came back to the USA for FLOAT 2014, and then WBC 2016, I enjoy spending time with people from around the world that share my passion for the Balloon Industry! Lots of fun memories are about to be created!
Eat meals with different people. It’s great to see old friends, but make some new ones too!
IF you are not an outgoing person,and have a hard time meeting new people, relax and say hello! Send me a PM on Facebook Joette Meyers Giardina and I’ll be glad to introduce you to people!
Networking is one of the main reasons I attend conventions. YES I want to learn from the classes. But the friendships I have made over the years from conventions have been my support system to grow my company and lead to many wonderful travels. *** Remember, lots of business cards!***
Show your support for the event you are attending.
- Post on Social media you are attending the event (let your customers know you are continuing your education)
- Purchase items from those folks at the vendor showcase, No, you can’t purchase everything. But realize the reason people are selling items is to help make back the money they invested in the event. I do my best to support distributors that attend conventions and that provide education for the industry (something to think of next time you go to look for who to buy your balloons from)
- Post thank you messages, and send a note of thanks to the company or people who organize the event you attend.
- Give your honest feedback on what you liked and what can be improved in the future
- Putting on a convention is a huge undertaking. Take time to thank the producers, staff, instructors and sponsors.
- As you post photos in the future of jobs you land, or increased income from classes you take give a shout out to the teachers and event you learned from
If you have a ticket to FLOAT you are invited to join Liz Romani and I on Tuesday, January 29th at the lunch break, at the hotel for a special Lunch, Learn & Profit Presentation. Liz shares how she grew her balloon sales from $9,000 a year to over $100,000 a year in 3 years by taking action on what she learned at FLOAT and Promotions & Profits workshops. Cost is just $50 to cover the cost of the Hotel Catering the Southwest Buffett in the convention area. The Learn part is sponsored by BalloonCoach.com you will get a workbook plus a follow up webinar on February 11 th at 9 pm EST to help you stay focused on your goals after returning home.
We forget 90% of what we learn if we do not take action on it…this program will assist you in making the most of your investment in FLOAT
Your name will be on a list as you check into the lunch..you do not have to bring “a ticket”
Your Partner in Success,
Joette Giardina, CBA
Mentor. Motivator. Speaker.
Purchase your 1/2 price ticket by January 31st – payment plans available.
Learn online 24/7 from anywhere in the world at BalloonCoach.com
Email Joette@ballooncoach.com with any questions you may have.