FLOAT was founded on the principle that intermediate to advanced level balloon decorators could go to a convention and actually find not just a couple but a myriad of classes aimed at their skill level. There is nothing worse for an experienced decorator than to discover that 80% of the class offerings at a convention cater to the "newbie".
Don't get me wrong; there is NOTHING wrong with new people in the industry. Without new people, our industry wouldn't grow and expand! But when a veteran balloon artist has spent thousands of dollars and taken valuable time from their business to attend a convention, having to choose between intro level classes, hoping to find a "golden ticket" somewhere in the mix is frustrating to say the least.
That's why FLOAT was created, in the hopes of offering career veterans a better option when it came to their education and networking opportunities.
But on the downside, while the older generation embraces the concept, it does have a tendency to "scare off" some of the newer decorators. People find themselves questioning, "Am I good enough to come to FLOAT?" or "Will I be a burden to the others?" So why don't we take a minute to discuss just what it is that makes someone "Ready to FLOAT".
Here are what I consider to be the five attributes to determine if you're "Ready to FLOAT":
1. Drive: Is being a balloon decorator something you want to do as a career or is it just something to make you extra cash? Are you driven to become THE go-to person for balloons in your market, or is this just something new for you to do until something more interesting comes along? FLOAT is about passion for the industry first and foremost, and the right attitude goes a long way.
2. Experience: Have you been working with balloons for at least 18 months? While there is no actual timeline requirement for being a FLOATer, having more than a year of experience often means you've had enough opportunities to work out many of those VERY newbie issues that often provide stumbling blocks in class for our students.
3. Skills: Are you a CBA? If not, that's ok....heck, I'm not a CBA and I've been in the business 18 years! If you ARE a CBA, then you should be more than prepared to attend FLOAT.
If you're not a CBA, can you pass the following skills test?
A. Create garland style decor, as in columns, arches and the like
B. Experienced in working with helium decor in both latex and foil balloons
C. You know at least some basic twisting skills (at least be comfortable making a three-twist dog!)
If you can say yes to the first two, you'll survive FLOAT. If you know all three, you should do just fine!
4. Attitude: FLOAT isn't just about education....it's about a culture. The concept of the FLOAT Family isn't just marketing...it's how we roll! And we want you to be part of that family! So come with the understanding that there will be about 200 or so people that WANT to become your friend and colleague. Embrace those new relationships, share with others and gain more than you could ever imagine!
5. Ownership: Understand that YOU will be the reason why FLOAT can help your business. We can provide you with top level education, dozens of resources and more, but at the end of the day, understand that it is up to YOU to make your business successful. We can't do it for you. No one can. Only you.
Get involved in decor building, volunteer to help a competition team, buddy up to assist your favorite teacher, mingle, mingle, mingle and mingle some more! The more you put into your education at FLOAT, it will come back to you over and over again.
So, do you think you're "Ready to FLOAT"? Then what are you waiting for? Register today!