Balloons have transcended their traditional role in celebrations, becoming a sought-after element in corporate events. If you're a balloon business owner eager to tap into the lucrative world of corporate clients, this guide is tailored just for you. This blog post will explore practical strategies to help your balloon business take flight in corporate events.
1. Craft a Professional Image that stands out to Corporate Balloon Clients (Website and Logo Creation):
First impressions matter, especially in the corporate world. Invest in a professional logo and a user-friendly website showcasing your best work. A well-designed online presence instills confidence in potential clients, setting the stage for successful partnerships. If you are new and funds are limited, you can create a website using user-friendly platforms like Wix; there is an e-commerce option that I suggest you use and list your prices for corporate clients' convenience. I was bidding for a year-long corporate contract once, and the client stated that I would win solely based on my website and how nice it was, and guess what? I won, and I created my website myself using Wix. You, too, can make an excellent website using the Wix drag-and-drop template design. Another good free tool if you are starting is www.logo.com, a good source for creating a beginner logo. It will provide you with multiple-size files of your logo and numerous correctly sized versions for social media, the HEX code for your brand colors, and the exact font to download for your brand to stay consistent—corporate clients like easy and immediate.
2. Create a Corporate-Friendly Portfolio
Tailor your portfolio to highlight your experience with corporate events. Display designs suitable for business functions, trade shows, product launches, and conferences. Incorporate mock-ups to help clients visualize your creations, and consider showcasing past collaborations with well-known brands to build credibility. While I've worked with many big corporations like Phifzer, Dunkin Donuts, and Marshalls Corporation, my dream client is Amazon. One ex-Amazon manager told me to help my chances of getting their attention by displaying some companies I've worked with on my website.
Also, creating mock-ups has helped me obtain corporate clients. Usually, the decision is not just made by one person, so giving the client a visual to help sell your design to the decision-makers is always a plus to help you win that client over.
3. Utilize Social Media for Exposure:
Leverage platforms like Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest to showcase your work. Engage with corporate event planners, use relevant hashtags, and actively participate in discussions. A solid online presence can lead to direct referrals, as demonstrated by the following story of securing a client through a Facebook group. Recently, a Corporate banker was looking for a balloon artist in a Facebook group, and I was tagged. I usually don't respond to social media posts when many artists are already referred, but I did this time. I introduced myself and posted the link to my website; within the hour, I was on the phone with the client. She praised me and stated that how I introduced myself made her say, "This girl is about her business." Most other businesses were only tagged by name and had no website to link to the client. Corporate clients do not have time to scroll through a hundred posts on your personal Facebook page to find that one balloon picture. Have a professional website to link them to or a social media business page displaying your work.
4. Network: People shop with whom they trust
Build relationships with local event planners who play a crucial role in recommending vendors. Attend industry events, join professional groups, and actively network to establish connections with event planning professionals. Word-of-mouth marketing is invaluable, so prioritize building trust within your local community. In the age of scamming, word-of-mouth marketing is your best friend; people shop with whom they trust and, in today's world, who everyone else tells them they can trust. If you're not a networker? Hire somebody else to do it for you.
Before I became a balloon artist, I did a lot of work in my local community. When I started my business, it took off, not from my marketing, but from word-of-mouth marketing, mostly from when I was heavily involved in my community and networked. People knew and trusted me, so they wanted to do business with me.
5. Offer Corporate Packages
Develop specialized balloon decoration packages tailored to corporate events. Highlight the impact of your designs on brand visibility and event ambiance.
The large, over-the-top garlands are lovely, but Corporate Clients will pay big for what's less Instagram-worthy in the balloon industry, and that is Classic Balloon Decor; it will become your best friend; columns, arches, and ceiling decor will be some of your top sellers. (Side note: a professional precision balloon pump will also become your best if you book a lot of Corporate clients asking for classic balloon decor)
6. Highlight Branding Capabilities:
Emphasize your ability to incorporate branding elements into your balloon designs. Showcase examples of personalized touches aligning with corporate logos, colors, and themes. Invest time learning advanced balloon decor techniques to offer unique and sophisticated designs.
Learning to create more advanced balloon decor is vital; Balloon walls, tunnels, Overlays, and sculptures will score those $5000+ corporate decor jobs.
7. Collect and Display Testimonials:
Gather testimonials from past corporate clients and prominently display them on your website. Positive feedback from recognizable brands adds credibility to your business and influences potential clients in your favor. Encourage satisfied clients to share their experiences and endorsements.
8. Stay Informed on Corporate Trends:
Keep abreast of current trends in the corporate events space. Stay informed about popular themes, color schemes, and design preferences. Offering contemporary and on-trend balloon decorations positions your business as a forward-thinking and relevant choice for corporate clients.
9. Create a Google Profile:
Establish a Google profile for your business to enhance visibility for clients who may not use social media but rely on Google for vendor searches.
10. Get Legal:
This is more than just getting the corporate client; it is more about keeping the client. What would be the point of doing all the above work to get a corporate client only to lose them because you need a business license or insurance? Most Corporate clients will require you to have a COI (Certificate of insurance) to work at their property; this can also come up when dealing with clients that are having an event at a corporate building; they may check for your business license and COI for liability purposes for you to work at their property. So get legal and be ready. Here in Nevada, you can visit www.silverflume.com to get a business license. In other states, search your State Website.
11. Be Ready and Stay Ready
Many of my top-paying Corporate clients have called me out of the blue and needed balloons for the same day or the next set-up. Marshalls Corporation called me one day and needed 36 classic Balloon columns on the Las Vegas strip at multiple store locations. They paid $4600 to have it done within 24 hours, and we could get it done because we stayed ready. I have a different story about a new local casino opening in my area. They wanted 40 three-foot helium balloons that could glow, but they couldn't find a company willing to take on the challenge with less than a 24-hour notice.
I soon discovered why nobody wanted the job was because the lights needed to make a 3-foot balloon glow properly were nowhere to be found in Las Vegas; but for an $8500 payday, we drove around the city and picked up fairy-lights, light bulbs, lightning bugs (just kidding)
But we found whatever we could to make them glow, and the
client was happy. From that experience, I found and ordered the correct balloon lights (used above for a different event), which were costly. But I will be adequately ready next time.
Elevate your Corporate Balloon clients in 2024
Expanding your balloon business to cater to corporate clients is a strategic endeavor that requires a blend of professionalism, creativity, and adaptability. By following these practical steps, you can position your business for success in the competitive world of corporate events. Remember, dedication and creative touch will propel your balloon business to new heights, creating lasting impressions that keep corporate clients returning for more. So, let your balloons soar and make a lasting impact in the corporate events arena!