There has been some chatter about controlling crowds when Balloon Twisting on FaceBook as of late and I thought why not add my nickels worth! I was going to say 2 cents but we don’t have pennies any longer here in Canada. They round up or down if paying with cash. So if your purchase ends in 3, 4, 8 or 9 pay with debit or charge card because you pay the exact amount. If it was cash it gets rounded up. So save non-existent pennies by doing this. Do the opposite if the sale ends i 1,2,6 or 7. If paid in cash the sale gets rounded down! But let me get back o subject…
The Best way to manage a Balloon Line is….not to let a line form!! So there you have it! Easy to do! Blog done!
When I started I never let a line form. I laid out a rope that created a circle that only myself and the person I was making the balloon for were allowed in it. I would say ..”next is here and the here and then over here. If I get out of order remind me” I never pointed just used the general area when motioning who was next. I had almost no complaints. then things just evolved into lines! So I stayed with them although there are times I do my best not to let a line form. Easier to do when I am busking or when I am doing more of a balloon performance (while busking).
As I neared the end that was when I start announcing I was ending in “15 minutes, 10 minutes, 5 minutes I am ending now!” Here I would take the next 3-4 bring those inside my space and say” just those I have invited in to my circle will be getting a balloon as I am now finished for the day.”
I have not used this method for a while. When my daughter was 4 she managed my lines as well as did balloons. Yes when she was 4!!! She would close the line too. And if someone tried to enter the line after she closed it she would say “Halaloo is done for the day you are welcome to stand in line but you will not be getting a balloon today” no one argued with her. it changed when she became 12. She is now 20 and has the same issues the rest of have.
But even that said things do not get crazy bad for me. When my lone is getting lone and I am working with a second person FROM THE SAME LINE, JUST 1 LINE, one of us goes down the line and asks who is waiting for a dog sword….and proceed to make these. This thins out the line always!
If time is getting short and I did not close off the linesman enough for me to leave on time I say I may need to go to simple things to ensure everyone gets a balloon or…everyone can learn to make a balloon dog! Very seldom do they not take me up on learning to make a balloon dog. And then when the Balloons are made I am done. I also give them each a mini frisbee. I pack up and head home.
If it is a balloon performance I am giving I mention at the start that not everyone will get a balloon but that everyone will have fun! If I get people asking for balloons as I leave I just mention that today I was hired to do balloon entertainment but if they would like to have me come back and do balloons after the show they would need to talk to the organizers and ask that they hire me for that as well.
Balloon lines do not need to be scary! Just approach them with confidence.
As for those that cut in the line here is what I do.
If I see someone cut into line I start by saying “I am doing my best to watch for those cutting into the line. I can’t see everyone who does this! But if I see YOU cut in (I will look right at the person) I will not ask you to go to the back of the line. (here I get puzzled looks) I will wait until you are at the front of the line before I send you to the back. And if you look you will see that the line is only getting longer! Also there is no saving spots!! (if a child had to go use a washroom I am okay with that, just don’t want one person holding a space for 7)”
When the person reaches the front I then act like I am about too make them a balloon. I sometimes get a bit of a protest here. I put my hand up to silence those wanting to speak and I do the following…..
“I am going to make the worlds fastest balloon animal. I will blow it up, twist it and and be done before you (the person that cut in) can say three! Count to three…no faster….come on this is for a worlds record. Alright, here we go.” they count to three and I hand them the un-inflated balloon and say “it’s a worm” they looked stunned the others laugh. I say “next” the person is still looking at me is shock. I follow things up with “if you take that worm to the end of the line and wait until it is your turn I will make something for you.”
They almost always do this. The kids and adults that do this are people that do not like being centred out and get the message. And so far no one has said that I am making fun at anyone.
There are so many things that can be added to this. And I feel I am a bit better at explain them at a lecture or in person rather than this Blog. But I think I said it well enough for you to understand. And remember if you are doing Balloons while dressed as a Clown…Be a Clown!
Be the best you you can be and when dressed as a Clown, CLOWN FIRST!