A Whole Lotta Helium
When I looked at the calendar today, I realized it had been exactly one month ago today that we did one of our largest helium bouquet deliveries in our company history.
So when you think of “a lot of balloons”, what do you envision? 100? 200? 500? Well as professional balloon decorators, the term “a lot” carries different meanings depending on the context involved. For example, if we’re inflating 5” rounds, then it would take maybe 1000 before we consider to have inflated “a lot” of balloons. 36” rounds? Probably only about 25 or so of them before we start to think of it as “a lot”. After all, it’s all based on how many of a particular size we do and how often we do them.
When it comes to 11” helium filled balloons, that number also fluctuates depending on what’s involved. If we’re pre-stretching them all and adding a chemical additive to them in order to prevent early shrinkage, then we’d probably hit 200 before we feel like we’ve done a lot of them.
So imagine how we felt this past New Year’s Eve when we had to deal with over 2400 of them to create 400 helium bouquets. That’s right….400 six-balloon helium bouquets! Now even for us, THAT was a LOT of balloons.
It all began with our friends at Muckleshoot Casino. As part of their annual New Year’s Eve celebration, they normally order about 200 bouquets from us, and each bouquet consists of three helium balloons. So imagine our surprise this past December when they not only doubled the number of bouquets they wanted, but also doubled the number of balloons in each bouquet! This time around, they REALLY wanted to send a message to their players that evening that they were ready to party with them into the new year, so now it was up to us to make that happen.
Believe it or not, it took three people ten solid hours to inflate all 2400 balloons and assemble the 400 bouquets. While two people worked to do all the inflation, one dedicated team member did all of the arranging so the bouquets would remain consistent in size and shape. It also took over five full size bottles of helium to complete this order, with each bottle holding roughly 500 balloons worth of helium gas (remember, there were also “leaks” and “popper” balloons which would have to be replaced throughout the process as well.
While that was going on, another group of three team members over the course of that same ten hours spent their time cutting off the excess ribbons from the bouquets, nicely curling said ribbons, then bagging up the bouquets and transporting them all over the casino floor. As anyone who handles balloon decorations will tell you, the only way you can carry multiple bouquets in one hand without tangling them is to place them all into individual bags, so all 400 bouquets were placed into 400 separate bags, carried to the casino floor and then removed from said bags, depending on where in the expansive casino they were needed.
The balloons were installed on Thursday, December 28th, 2017, and since they were chemically treated for longer life, they continued to float all the way into the new year on January 1, 2018.
Needless to say, the entire Balloon Designers crew was happy to be done with helium balloons for a while after that installation!