Frequently Asked Questions
How do I book you?
Once you decide you'd like to hire me, you'll want to fill out my contact form on the Contact page, even if we've been in contact another way. The form collects all the information I will need for the event and enters you into my management system. Then I can reply to you with a basic agreement and collect a 50% deposit. Once I have both of those, your date is saved!
What time should I have you arrive?
Most will have me scheduled for half an hour after the party starts to give your guests time to arrive and settle in. This also means you're not paying for me to twist for an empty room at the beginning. I typically will arrive up to 15 minutes ahead of time to set up and be ready to start working at the agreed upon time.
How many balloons can you make in an hour?
It varies due to requests, but at private parties I average approximately 13 balloons in an hour, 20 in 90 minutes, and 30 in two hours.
If the event is a festival or other large, public event, I use a menu of quick-yet-impressive designs, all using multiple balloons. This brings my balloons-per-hour to 20-25.
What ages are balloons appropriate for?
I cannot make balloons for children under 3 years old due to the choking hazard they pose. Since so many guests always ask, please know there will be NO exceptions. The same will apply to any child I witness putting things in their mouth as a baby would. I have seen a child briefly choke on a balloon and I will not be party to that. If there is an easy way, please inform your guests. Other than that, balloons are great for all ages. With the caliber of work I do, parents ask me for a balloon for themselves at every party and I work many events that are primarily adults as well.
Is there a travel fee?
If the event is further than 50 miles round trip from my home in College Park, MD, there will be a travel fee of $.75/mile for each mile over 50 (minimum of $10). There would also be a 90 minute minimum if your event necessitates a travel fee.
How do I determine the best spot for you to perform?
I like to set up with my back to a wall. A corner is ideal. This is to prevent the tendency for children to swarm and for little hands to knock over pricy equipment. I also like to be visible to as many people as I can. Ideally, the parents as well as the children, since I end up being just as entertaining to the adults. When considering a spot for me, please take into account that I will get a crowd which can block the flow of foot traffic depending on the location.
What happens the day of the event?
I typically arrive 10-15 before the agreed upon starting time to find a good place for me to set up. Once I am set up, I either start twisting to draw the attention of the children or if I have some of it already, I introduce myself to the guest of honor and make them whatever they would like.
I typically take requests, but try to guide kids toward some of my better and less asked for balloons.
What type of balloon designs should I expect?
I specialize in the best balloon art you've ever seen, so I don't make anything with one balloon. What I make at parties depends on the time they take. Most will take between 1 and 7 minutes. With the exception of swords, I try not to make the same thing twice. You're not paying to see a room full of Elsas. I want everyone to get a unique creation.
Is there anything you WON'T make?
Aside from designs of a certain shape that Uncle Donny asks for after his third dip into the grown-up punch bowl, the only real limit is making balloon guns for kids. I try not to bring personal politics into my professional life, but it is just something that makes me very uncomfortable. If there is anything you'd rather me not make, please let me know.
Will I need to provide anything for the performance?
I bring everything I need, but if there is a table or some other flat, stable surface 3-4 foot tall, it does make my job easier to have more space than my small table provides.
If I'm to be performing outside during the hotter months, I will need shade. I work up quite a sweat even when in air conditioning, so the summer is brutal, and you don't want a passed out balloon twister in your yard (brings the property value down like you wouldn't imagine). A glass of water wouldn't be turned away either.
If parking will be difficult (I'm looking at you, DC residents), please let me know when booking. If arrangements for a parking space can be made in these cases, it would be greatly appreciated and will help me to remain punctual.
How do I pay the remaining balance?
I like to collect the balance at the beginning of my time in cash, check, or credit card swiped on site. In the past I would take it at the end, but you're going to have enough going on to have to stop and pay the balloon guy. I usually will have a party directly after and have to make my exit in a timely manner.
Can I extend my time during the party if needed?
Extending my time at the event is usually not an option since the weekend is when all the parties are and my schedule will most likely be packed tight. If my schedule allows it, it may be possible.
Do you come dressed as a clown/What do you wear?
No offense to my clown friends, but NO. It's just not my style. My standard outfit was a three-piece orange suit, but I have branched out a bit. You'll find me in shirt, tie, vest, slacks, and weather permitting, jacket, in two of my three brand colors: orange, goldenrod, and purple. I mix and match, but always wear only two of those colors at a time. I feel three is gaudy.
What if there is not enough time to make balloons for all the kids?
I must be hired for enough time for every child of appropriate age to get a balloon. This policy was implemented when I showed up for a 90 minute party and was surprised with nearly 50 children. Having another event afterward, I could not stay longer. I had to leave several balloon-less children crying. Parents who see this do not know the story, they just see their child crying and I look like a heartless entertainer, and that kind of news travels. It doesn't do much good for you as a host, either.
That said, I understand sometimes a few more people show up than you expect. If that is the case, I do my best to adjust the complexity of the designs and push quicker items to fit the extra children in.
Should I tip?
Tips are always appreciated but never expected. Please feel no pressure and only tip if you want to.
What if I need to cancel or reschedule?
Should your event be postponed to a later date, I will work with you to find a time that works best for both of us at no additional fee.
If you should need to cancel, your deposit can only be refunded IF cancelled 10 days or more before the event. If cancelled less than 48 hours before the event, the full amount is owed.
What if it rains the day of my event?
If you are planning your event outdoors, I highly recommend having a backup location before you book. Otherwise, see the cancellation policy.
You charge HOW MUCH!? They're just balloons...
Ah, my favorite question.
First, you are not paying for "just balloons". I'm an entertainer, and you're paying to be entertained. I engage your guests on a one-to-one level as well as a group. The adults at your event will be as impressed and entertained as much as the kids.
Second, you're not just paying for the hour or two I'm entertaining. Remember that iceberg analogy? How there's so much more under the surface that you don't see? While the parties are on the weekends, the business side is every day. Here are some parts of my business you don't see that your money goes to:
-Communicating with clients
-Creating event contracts
-Credit card transaction fees
-Other things that begin with "C"
-Price of balloons
-Following up on leads
-Creating/managing a web site
-Maintaining a social media presence
-Price of specialty equipment
-Development of specialty equipment
-Extra travel time to ensure timeliness
-Packing materials for events
-Reading/contributing to online discussions about the industry
-Researching new trends in children's entertainment
-Creating designs for those trends
-TAXES and tax related expenses
-General business fees
-The thousands of hours I have spent and continue to spend developing my skills and business
So if you think about it, I'm actually kind of cheap.
Why are there so many FAQs?
I try to plan for every eventuality. Thanks for sticking with me. And yes, I do know this made the FAQs even longer.
"I've seen many a balloon artist...but NEVER have I witnessed the artistry of a balloonist as I did at my twins' birthday."