Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Our 14th Anniversary

Unfortunately I wasn't with my good lady wife for our 14th Anniversary, however I do a have a little something for her when I get back, so the ocassion will not go un celebrated.

Thankyou to everyone for all your good wishes. It was a lovely surprise and as Marelle mentioned I was "tickled pink". I'll be back on coffee/tea duty very soon.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Day 6 Festival of Balloons

Ok, I am back on time with this blog. Unfortunately the last one was slightly delayed due to very sore head. However a day to recover is always very welcome.

On the final day, the Grand Hall was opened to the public to view the balloon sculptures, competition pieces and pretty much everything that we have produced. The WBC has been featured on the news for the last three nights. Despite this Amanda Dolecheck (Pioneer PR guru) was somewhat anxious that her PR had been deficient and no-one would turn up. Pioneer had projected that maybe 1500 - 2000 people would turn out between the 11am start and 3pm finish.
This picture was taken at 2pm at the back of the entry queue. Estimated wait time of 50 minutes.

So it seems that most of Dallas turned out. Straw poll has the numbers at between 8,000 - 10,000 people turning up, with well over 5,000 balloons sold. It did not close until after 4.30pm and it was absolutely feral down there. Of course, it wasn't all bad......

I had an easy day, as previously mentioned. Watched Sam Stosur win the final of Family Circle Open in Charleston (?). Tonight all the teachers, Pioneer people and some distinguished guests had dinner at a local BBQ bar. It was a great way to unwind, and a great chance to actually stop and speak to the instructors that we had greeted as we ran past each other for the last four days. A nice relaxing night, but as usual didn't get to bed until after 1am. Some of you balloonies may recognise some of these people in the pictures below.....

That is pretty much it for coverage of World Balloon Convention. I have NSW and New Zealand training days coming up, where I will present a much fuller presentation of photos and some of the new designs. If anyone else wants this then speak to your BASA and/or Qualatex distributor.

It has been an awesome event and I have met some wonderful people from around this great big world we live in. I hope to see "y'all real' soon".

MAD Dave Taylor - in Dallas Texas!!

Day 5 Final Night

All I can say is "WOOOOOOOOOOOW".

What a day. We started the day with an Aussie morning tea that included tim tams, vegemite on jatz, minties, furry friends and caramello koalas. These were taste tested by a number of delegates- the vegemite got mixed reviews......

Then I had my last class - Speed Decorating. A fantastic class to do as there was NO PREP yay. I enjoyed this class and my Pioneer monitor who sat in on the class said that it should have been a mandatory class for all delegates. when it was done though I felt huge relief.

I was asked to present one of the final night awards, and this was a huge honour - and good fun too! They mustn'y know me very well because they let me loose with a microphone in a room with 720 people. I did the Deliverable Sculptures Award.

We finally got a picture of the Full australian contingent. What a good looking bunch of people.

At this stage I must mention that this blog has NOT been sponsored by the HiFloat Company. I had the pleasure of meeting the two special women in Phillip Kash's life (his mother and wife). Andrea (wife) said she has bee following this blog and they were disappointed that Hi Float had not been mentioned. In return for this free plug Andrea, I will require you to leave a comment at the bottom of this page.

The final night decor was truly amazing. I can only add a few pics here. Words are superfluous at this point. check out the pictures.

Bruce Fraser found a friend - spongebob......
...and Beth found a friend - Treb Heining

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Day 4 - large sculptures, jamming and final night prep

OK, campers. Not sure how much longer I can hack the pace with minimal sleep. As the convention progresses it becomes more and more jam packed with fun stuff to do. less and less time to do this blog, so today's is a short one. BIG one tomorrow!!!!!

My day started at 5.45am (as usual). I did my Dazzling Dancefloors class first two sessions. I had 71 people turn up to my 8.30am class. This is what one side of my class looked like. The hands on was absloutely insane. 60 turned up for session two. The best thing was all the positve feedback that I have recieved throughout the rest of the day from a number of people in regards to the classes.

Large sculptures were being judged today. Here is my favourite sculpture. St George slaying the dragon. Awesome. I'm so glad I don't have to judge the large sculptures because they are all magnificent.

Pioneer put on an Internationals Reception this afternoon. All us overseas types were able to get together and share a story over a beverage. Very civilied really. Then tonight at 7.30pm I was on the gumballs and bubbles skills table. This is where delegates can ask questions, get some one on one intensive training, and generally hone their skills in a particular area.

I snuck a peek inside the ballroom for final night dinner. Not allowed to take any pics yet. Words fail me.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Day 3 Plant Tour and swingin' 60's

Wow, what a day today.....

I had my first classes today - topiary's and gumballs, and it was great. I was surprised at the number of people who struggled to even make a basic topiary ball, but once we cleared that hurdle we had some fun. Made some crowd balls also, and some 16" gumballs and deco bubbles. Had an Aussie in each class so it was fun.

I got to go on the Qualatex Plant tour this afternoon. Qualatex has a manufacturing plant about 10 minutes out of town, where they actually manufacture the latex balloons, and then ship them all over the world. The whole things was mind blowing. Not only do they make between 4-6 million balloons per week (of all shapes and sizes), but their quality control processes are amazing. I'm surprised we get any pops at all......

Then it was the Swingin' 60's Party last night. A good excuse to dress up and have some fun. The decor for it was predominantly neons with black light and there lots of peace signs, flowers and free love.....included in the theme!

Managed to catch up with most of the Aussie team. Pictured here are Bruce F., Rachael, Claire, Kristine, me, Mala and Beth.

There was also Major Marvin hardy on hand to keep everyone in order.

Oh and I bumped into these to rockers. Recognise them? I'll give you a hint. The chic next to me is Betty, and that bloke on her arm's name is Ted.A !!!

All incriminating photos have been removed from the blog to protect those pictured. However these photos will be kept for later bribery!!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Day 2 - registration and competitions

Jet lag sleep is always lots of fun, but there is plenty of time to sleep in four days time.

There were people everywhere this morning as the bulk of the delegates came in to register. A few stats about WBC. Just short of 600 delegates, 45 nations represented, and some amazing decor and competition pieces on display.

Much of my day was prep, attending the CBA function and then instructors meeting. Not the most scintillating day...however I did manage to get to the grand ballroom to see the medium sculptures competition. Here is just two of the amaxing pieces on display.

There is also an awe inspiring Alice in Wonderland theme under construction. A Jim Skistmas inspired design that has to be seen to be believed. Here is a sneek peek of the trees at the entry. Larger than life mushrooms, and an amazing 'gate' is hidden behind the trees...

And of course the Australian flag is flying high in the bar...literally. And there were some Australians spotted upholding the beverage traditions....

Gotta head to bed as I have two classes first thing in the morning.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Day 1 - We are at WBC 2010! YAY

After a long and eventful day I finally made it to WBC. 21.5 hours from leaving my house to arriving at Sheraton. My trip was pretty smooth. If any of you know Beth Boynton send her an email and ask her how her trip went....... it's a 27 hour horror story.

Anyway our favourite instructors Dee White and Jodie Norris have been here since Sunday and had just whipped up the fantastic entry decor. I took these photos at midnight as the team were still adding the finishing touches as you can see.

The registration area also looks pretty awesome.....
and the hospitailty suite.,.. OMG so many amaaaaazing designs in this room it would take 50 blog pages to show you, so you're gonna have to cope with one little pic. Take note of the "flowers" on the table.

Tomorrow is when the delegates start arriving and the fun begins. hopefully by then we will be able to send through some pictures with peope in them as well as balloons!!

P.S don't forget with the time change that you guys are a day ahead of us over here..... No I am not running behind........!!

P.P.S - Had dinner with John and Sue Bowler (formerly Marsden-Weston), and they send their love to all.

love your work.