Things to do before attending a balloon convention

Picture of Joette Giardina

Joette Giardina

Mentor. Motivator. Speaker.

Things to do before attending a balloon convention.

Here is the Recording from our Live Webinar, hope you enjoy! Look forward to seeing YOU at an industry convention!


Congrats you have invested in attending a convention to elevate your balloon business! No matter if this is your first convention or 25th convention, here are some steps to follow to make the most of your investment!

# 1 Reserve your hotel room

#2 Set up to have a room-mate if you need someone to share expenses with

Things to ask potential roommates – I have heard many horror stories from conventions past when people room with people they have never met. I know people who ended up sleeping in the tub or on the floor in someone else’s room to escape some crazy stuff!

  • sleep habits
  • smoker or nonsmoker
  • likes to turn room into a bar or likes to go to bed early
  • Snore?
  • Light sleeper?
  • Allergies to perfume or foods you love?
  • Shower Morning or night – how much time do they take?

#3 Schedule travel early to get the best rates. Check on shuttles, Uber, Lyft, to the airport, etc.

#4 If driving, note if there is a daily parking fee at the hotel

#5 Visit the website for the convention and take time to review the information!

  • Print the Event Schedule
  • Print the Class Descriptions
  • Print the Class Schedule
  • Look and see who the staff are, find out a bit about them
  • Check out the competitions and deadlines to enter
  • Review the classes and make your tentative schedule

#6 Take time to fill out the registration forms and get them back to the producers to make their life a little easier (and save you time on-site). Putting on a convention is a HUGE undertaking, help them help you by doing things in a timely manner.

#7 Make an email file folder on your computer for ALL emails about the event to go in

  • Make it a habit to put all the notes there

#8 Make sure you are on the group Facebook page for the event and either turn on the notification or check it often to see new info.

#9 Select your classes wisely; take time to really review the information

Click on the link below and print this worksheet to help you with your decisions

Picking your Class Schedule

  • If 2 or more people from the same company are attending the convention, it is best to divide and conquer. Learn as much as you can. You may take 1 or 2 key classes together, but splitting up gets you the most information.

As mentioned, putting on a convention is a huge undertaking. Take time to thank the producers, staff, instructors and sponsors.

One way to show your support is by purchasing items from those folks at the vendor showcase, or if they sell from a class etc. 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).

Packing List for Convention

  • Positive Mental Attitude
  • Smile and a good handshake
  • Check what the size and weight requirements are for your airline
  • Put suitcases out a week in advance so you are not totally rushed at the end.
  • Hotel and Plane Reservation numbers in my calendar
  • Deleting photos from Phone and Tablet, camera, or purchasing 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 the event
  • 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 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 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 backup power pack or battery for your phone – bring it!
  • ChapStick
  • Hand lotion
  • Jacket or sweater
  • Logo Clothing to show off your brand
  • Backpack or day bag to keep your notebook, notes, etc in from class to class
  • Clothing for the Awards Dinner, and anything within theme or fun for other parties and special events.
  • At least 1 Pair of scissors in your checked luggage
  • Hand pump for jams
  • Vitamins or Emergen-C! Typically you get a lack of sleep and you are hanging out with about 800 people so keeping healthy is key!
  • Notebook, it’s nice to have an 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
  • Gum/Mints
  • Travel cup 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
  • Swimsuit
  • FILES for the week’s 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 it.
  • $$$$ You will want to have some cash and credit cards ready for meals and purchasing items from vendors
  • IF at all possible plan for a full 8 hours of sleep the night before your flight. Once you get to convention it is easy to lose track of time and be up in the lobby talking to a new friend until all hours of the night and morning!

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 costs.

Volunteer to work on the hands-on builds, teacher prep, or competition teams to learn new techniques and make new friends.

Be proud to say “Hey, I helped make that and I know with confidence I can recreate for my client”

When meeting new people that you do not want to forget to 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!

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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!

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!**

COME introduce yourself to me at my classes at Ballooniversity

Classroom to Client – Tips on Selling the Decor you learn to create.

The Power of a Press Release – Make a quick return on your investment with Free Press!

Wishing all Safe travels!

Click below for details on the next BalloonCoach.com workshop

Promotions & Profits Orlando, Oct 11 – 14th, 2017

Your Partner in Success!

Joette Signature 1

Joette Giardina, CBA

Mentor. Motivator. Speaker.

For more support and ongoing training go to BalloonCoach.com

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