BallyHoo for a party to shout about - call us now on 01484 689898
BallyHoo Frequently asked questions

GENERAL QUESTIONS

Your event will be truly memorable with beautiful balloon decor by BallyHoo, but perhaps you have a few questions? If your query is not answered here, please don't hesitate to phone us on 01484 666699 or call in at our balloon studio at Unit 14 Crossley Mills for free, friendly advice.

Do you charge for the design service?
There is no charge for our design service or advice. We do like to see you in person to show you our portfolio and discuss your requirements: either at your home, the venue or at our studio. If you intend to call at our studio, please make an appointment to avoid a wasted trip (particularly on a Saturday) as the specialist décor staff may be out and about doing decorations or/or seeing other clients.
 
Do you require a deposit?
If there are more than 6 weeks before your event, we ask for a £50 deposit (or half the total if the order is less than £100) to secure your place in our schedule. If there are less than 6 weeks to go, we ask for payment in full when you make the booking.
 
Why do you insist on a deposit?
A deposit acts as confirmation of the booking. Experience has taught us that not everyone decides to go ahead with a planned event and then they may forget to tell us and we are left with a hole in our schedule. Until we receive a deposit (or payment in full if your enquiry is made less than 6 weeks before the event) we treat your enquiry as unconfirmed and there is a risk to you that the date may taken by someone else.
How much do you charge for delivery?
There are no delivery charges for contracts over £100 in the HD area. The extra charge for set up and delivery for orders under £100 is only £8. We sometimes have to charge for travelling time when a venue is outside the HD area.
What is included in your charges?
The price includes BallyHoo designing the balloon decorations, obtaining and preparing the materials, organising, delivering and setting up the decorations at the venue, including any wiring.
Note that BallyHoo will leave the decorations in perfect order. We cannot accept responsibility for events, such as vandalism, that occur after we have left the premises.
The price does not include dismantling and disposal. However there is normally little left to dispose of as people attending an event usually want to take the balloons home with them!
How do I pay?
We accept the major credit and debit cards or cash. However, we cannot take American Express, Transax or Diners Club. Sorry but we no longer accept cheques.
Is vat included in the price?
Yes, UK vat is included. Please ask for a vat invoice if you want one.
Are the prices up to date?
Just check with us if you had your price list a while. All price lists are dated and remain current for several months, sometimes years, as we try to hold prices as long as possible. The only exception would be if the rate of VAT was changed and we would have to change all our prices accordingly.
Can we see what we're getting before we order?
Yes, we prefer to visit you to talk about your event. It's so much easier than describing over the telephone. We have lots and lots of photos of our work. If you prefer, you can call in as we have a small retail area attached to our works, but please phone first to make sure an experienced member of staff is available to see you.
We have many customers who come in for a balloon for a birthday, christening, congrats etc, to give as an alternative to expensive cards.
What are your opening hours?
The retail premises are open 9.30 to 5.30, Monday to Friday and appointment only on Saturdays. We are often there at other times and will always assist you if we happen to be in (unless we are just departing to make a delivery). Any messages left on the answering machine will be dealt with as soon as possible. Decorations and visits are not limited to these hours, and there is no extra charge for Sunday events (though there is minimum of £50 for Sundays).
I don't need a 'service'. I just want floating balloons!
No problem! We are just as happy to supply helium filled balloons simply attached to ribbons for you to do what you want with them. Our information sheet re DIY décor will help you decide, and our 'owner's manuals' for latex and foil balloons will give you care hints and tips. You can collect balloons during opening hours, or have them delivered. (See the price list for details). We recommend that you pre-order if you want to collect more than one or two.
Do you supply weights for the balloons?
If you are booking balloon decor with us, the weights are included in the price we quote. If you are buying balloons to D-I-Y, you will need to purchase your weights separately or make your own.
Our mini gift bag weights will hold down up to 8 latex balloons. We hand-make pretty bows weighted with tiles at £1.50 each, which are lovely for weddings and adult parties, but these must be pre-ordered.
Note that the plastic weights that are standard for the foil balloons are not heavy enough to hold down a latex balloon.
What are your terms and conditions for the décor service?

Inspection: All decorations are inspected by us before we leave the venue. BallyHoo will accept no responsibility for any occurrence after we have left.

Substitution: in some rare cares, it may be necessary to use a different item in the decoration e.g. a colour or print may be discontinued. We reserve the right to make a suitable substitution.

Removal and disposal: Unless agreed otherwise, removal and disposal of the decorations is your responsibility. There will be a charge if we have to return to the venue to remove the decorations.

Delivery and set-up: We set up the decorations at the venue leaving you worry free as you get ready to enjoy yourself. A set-up charge may be made for contracts totalling less than £100. and extra charge may be made for venues over 20 miles from Holmfirth.

Deposits: Dates will be not reserved until a deposit is received. Bookings more than 6 weeks in advance can be confirmed with a deposit of £50 or 50% of the total, whichever is greater. If the date is closer than 6 weeks, the full amount must be paid at the time of booking.
If any printing is required, the printing must be paid in full for no less than 14 days before the event.

Payment of balance: Wedding decor balances must be paid no less than 14 days before the wedding. All other balances must be paid before the event.

D-I-Y QUESTIONS
DIY option one: buying balloons already inflated

I don't want the hassle of inflating balloons, can I buy them from you already inflated?
Yes, you can buy the balloons for your décor ready inflated, saving you time and effort and the worry of dealing with helium gas. Also we will inflate them all to the correct size, which can be difficult for people without the full equipment. Each balloon will be attached to a ribbon, but it will be up to you to transport them to your venue and then arrange them. It will probably be a good idea to order a few balloons more than you need as 'spares'.
When can I collect the balloons?
Latex balloons will have to be collected on the day you want to use them, and the closer to the time of the event the better.
If you can't collect them on the day and have to collect them the day before, they will need to be treated with hi-float (a special gunge that slows down helium loss) and you will have to order some 'spares' as treated balloons are more fragile.

Foil balloons float for longer so you can collect them the day before your event if you like.

We are open 9.00 - 5.30 weekdays, and appointment only on Saturdays.
How can I transport them?
Balloons cannot be 'squashed in' and are vulnerable to punctures so you need to have an uncluttered car or van, preferably without back seat passengers. Please don't ask passengers to hold the balloons in front of them as a balloon bursting in the face is not funny.

We recommend putting the balloons in the back seat rather than in the boot. It only takes a slight bit of wind to make it difficult to get the balloons in or out of a boot, and there's always the risk that they will be off and away as soon as the boot is opened. We will slip-tie the balloons to a temporary weight, but slip-knots are more likely to come undone in a boot because the ribbons will not be under tension. In the back seat, the weight will rest in the foot-well and the balloons will float over the back seat.

Remember to only open one door at a time otherwise the wind, however
slight, will make it difficult to control the balloons.

If you have a van or very large car, you could bring bin liners for the balloons. They will take up a lot more space as a normal size bin liner will only hold 3 latex balloons and once in a bag, they can not move relative to each other. If you do have a van, you could bring a duvet for the balloons if you want.
How do I weight the balloons?
If you don't want to make your own weights, our pretty gift bag style balloon weights hold down up to 10 latex balloons. You just tie the ribbons to the handle of the bag. And we have some other types of weights as well which are just as simple to use.
How do I order the balloons?
We have 1000s of balloons in our balloon studio and can normally supply you from stock, so don't feel the day before is too late (though we appreciate longer notice if possible). We take payment with order and you can pay by credit/debit card over the phone or you can call in to pay (which has the advantage that you can see the colours of the balloons).

We do need to know an approximate time of collection; then we can blow up your balloons just before you come. Your balloons will be as fresh as possible, but you won't have had to hang around while we do them. If you don't know what time you'll be coming when you place the order, you can always ring up later, even on the morning of the collection day, and let us know.

If you are only wanting a few balloons, you can just pop in and we can blow them up while you wait.

DIY option two: hiring a balloon gas cylinder

 
Can I buy a disposable balloon gas cylinder?
You will see disposable gas cylinders for sale claiming to fill 50 balloons. This means 50 x 9" balloons and you're not likely to want such small balloons unless they are for children to play with. (Remember that children under 8 should not be left alone with balloons.) For most purposes, you want to use 11" or 12" balloons and the same cylinder will only fill 20-21 balloons to that size.

We have heard of so many complaints (especially re ebay) because this point is not made clear to customers. However, there will be occasions when a disposable cylinder is the best option and we do have them for sale.
 
Is a cylinder of gas all I need?
Well, you obviously need to buy balloons as well, and we have a wide variety in stock. If you are going to decorate a party or wedding, we recommend Qualatex pearlised balloons. We also have good quality (much better than supermarket brands) standard balloons for other occasions.
You will also need 5mm ribbon which we sell in 500m rolls or in cut lengths. You can make your own balloons weights or choose from our selection.
The pressure valve for the gas cylinder is included in the hire price.
That seems simple is that all we need to know?
Firstly, do you realise that you have to do the balloons just before the event? Definitely not the day before, not even early in the morning of the same day if you want the balloons to be floating to midnight. Float time for 12" balloons (and are you sure you've blown them all up to 12"?) is about 12-15 hours. Have you enough time to do the balloons and get ready for the big event?
Secondly, it might seem easy if you have watched us blow up, knot balloons and attach ribbons, but we've had years of practice. If you've never done it before you might find it to be more difficult than you thought. Do you find tying balloons easy? Can you blow them all up to the correct size?

BALLOON CARE QUESTIONS

How do I keep my latex balloons happy?
Please take care of your balloons for maximum enjoyment.

Latex balloons can be easily punctured so keep them from sharp objects – not just pins and scissors, but sharp corners on furniture and car doors, and rough areas such as trees and bushes, brick and stone walls.

Static can also make balloons burst. If possible don't place them near computers, TVs etc.
Will the temperature affect my latex balloons?
Keeping the balloons in an even temperature will prolong their life.

The effect of heat and cold is less noticeable in latex balloons than with foil balloons, but the gas is still expanding and contracting with the temperature. Cold will also make the latex brittle. High humidity will also affect the balloons.
How long do latex balloons float?
The larger the balloon the longer it will float as it holds more gas. The length of time a latex balloon will float will depend on several factors so we can never state categorically that it will float for a certain time. Latex is a natural product produced by rubber trees so is subject to inherent variations in the same way as you can't explain why some flowers in a bunch will last longer than others.

Balloons that are not punctured will gradually deflate. The gas starts to escape from the balloons immediately but you shouldn't notice any difference for several hours. Most of our balloons are 11" pearlised which are at their best for about 12 hours before you notice they are getting smaller; then it will still be some hours before they collapse. The standard 10" balloons used for children's parties hold half the gas so are at their best for about 5-6 hours, before they too gradually go down.

Coating the balloon with Hi-float will enable them to float for 4 days or more. They will still be shrinking, but will take much longer over it.
Balloons float because they are filled with helium gas. Helium is a harmless inert gas and does not affect the ozone layer.
Can I use latex balloons outdoors?
If you use your balloons outside, you have to accept they might not last very long. Not only is the temperature variable, but there's wind and rain to contend with. Just a few raindrops will make a balloon droop and the wind can whip the balloon against a wall or tree before you know it.

If you want to tie the balloons to a fence or similar, we recommend that you tie them so that they are not floating, then the wind is not going to blow them about.

All latex balloons will gradually oxidise (lose their shine and become dull). This will happen more quickly outdoors.

Latex is a natural product and degrades at about the same rate as an oak leaf. If you want to let a balloon go, please ask us for paper ribbon which will degrade. (We don't use paper ribbon as the norm because it not very strong.) If you want to release lots of balloons, a balloon net is preferable. If you want to know more, please ask for our information sheets on 'balloons and the environment' and/or 'balloon releases'.
Can you summarise how I can keep my latex balloons happy?
For maximum enjoyment, keep your latex balloons:

· away from sharp or rough objects,
· away from any source of heat,
· away from static,
· in an even temperature,
· indoors.

Then they should look good for several hours and only gradually deflate after that.
How do I keep my foil balloons happy?
Please take care of your foil balloons for maximum enjoyment.

Although foil balloons look much tougher than latex balloons, they're not really. They can be easily punctured so keep them away from sharp objects – not just pins and scissors, but sharp corners on furniture and car doors, and rough areas such as trees and bushes, brick and stone walls.

Static can also make balloons burst. If possible don't place them near computers, TVs etc.
Will the temperature affect my foil balloons?
The helium in the balloons reacts to temperature so if you take them to a cooler place, the gas contracts making the balloons 'soft' and if to a hotter place the gas will expand. If they get too hot, the expanding gas will cause the seams to split, so don't put them in a sunny window on a hot day or near heat sources such as fires, light bulbs, candles and cookers or they will burst.

Soft balloons normally revert to their original state when taken back into the warm if the difference in temperature has not been too great or too prolonged.

Keeping the balloons in an even temperature will prolong their life.
How long do foil balloons float?
Foil balloons that have not been damaged or subject to big temperature changes, float and look at their best for 4 or 5 days, then gradually deflate over a couple of weeks. The bigger the balloon, the longer it will last (purely because it has more helium in it).

Balloons float because they are filled with helium gas. Helium is a harmless inert gas and does not affect the ozone layer.
Can I use foil balloons outdoors?
If you use your balloons outside, you have to accept they might not last very long. Not only is the temperature variable, but there's wind and rain to contend with. Just a few raindrops will make a balloon droop and the wind can whip the balloon against a wall or tree before you know it.

Foil balloons should NEVER be released outdoors; they are NOT biodegradable and they can short power lines. The ribbon is a particular hazard to animals.
Can you summarise how I can keep my foil balloons happy?
For maximum enjoyment, keep your foil balloons:

· away from sharp or rough objects,
· away from any source of heat,
· away from static,
· in an even temperature,
· indoors.

Then they should look good for 4 or 5 days and only gradually deflate after that.

BALLOON RELEASES AND RACES QUESTIONS

I would like to release some balloons 'in memoriam'. Is that possible?
Letting balloons float away is a lovely way to mark someone's passing. Note that only latex balloons should be used and they should not have long ribbons attached when they are let go. If you want to attach messages, ask us about suitable labels and how to join them to the balloons. If you want balloons released at a funeral service, we will need to talk to your funeral director to make arrangements.
Is a balloon race a good way to raise funds?
For many years the standard selling price was £1 per balloon, but we now see more people charging £2 (and 3 for £5), or even more, in order to raise funds. As well as the cost of balloons and tags, you will need to allow for prizes (unless donated) and you will want to feel that the effort has been worthwhile.

The motivation to purchase is either to support a worthwhile cause, or the lure of attractive prizes, or both! Needless to say, it is helpful if you can get the prizes donated.
Do you have to notify anyone you are releasing balloons?
Releases of over 5,000 balloons require clearance from the Civil Aviation Authority and the grid reference of the release point will need to be provided. Smaller releases only require clearance if they are near an airport. BallyHoo can arrange CAA clearance for you, but please note that we need a minimum of 5 weeks notice to conform with CAA deadlines.
Why should I employ BallyHoo to do my balloon race?
If you engage our services, BallyHoo will carry out the balloon release for you for only 50p a balloon (subject to a minimum of £75 in Kirklees - other areas by negotiation). This will release you from any anxiety about the procedure on the day, and leave you free to concentrate on other things. This price includes the balloon gas and the services of a BallyHoo operator to blow up the balloons, attach tags and organise the net. (Note it does not include actually selling the balloons - that's a job for your team!)

BallyHoo are happy to print your tags for you at £8 for the first 100, then £5 for each extra 100.

We are balloon printers and can print your logo or slogan on the balloons if desired (ask for the balloon printing price list), but please take into consideration that the balloons are only actually in view for a very short time so that might be an expense you don't need to incur.

If you decide to book us, we will give you a contract to sign that gives details of what we agree to do and what remains your responsibility. We ask for a £30 deposit, with the balance to be paid to our operator on the day.
What do I need to think about before deciding on a balloon race?
Please think hard about how many people are likely to buy a balloon. We do find that some organisers decide how many they want to sell instead of calculating how many sales are possible given the number of people supporting their organisation; which usually means they overestimate the response. This can lead to severe disillusionment. In our experience, people attending fetes and galas do not buy many balloon race tickets on the day. There are usually many other attractions competing for their money, and small children tend to want to 'do' or 'have' something now rather than wait a few weeks for the return of a balloon. And there is always the possibility of low attendance due to poor weather, or sporting events on the same day.

We recommend aiming for a minimum of 250 balloons if the event is to be a balloon race with prizes. A typical return rate is 1% - 2% (although it can sometimes be considerably more if the weather is right) so with fewer than 250 balloons there might be only 2 or 3 tags returned, which can be disappointing. And less than 250 balloons can look a bit sparse in the balloon net.

But we can share a simple secret with you:
The secret of success is selling the balloons in advance.

Regard any extra sales on the day as a bonus.

Please note that you do require a Small Lotteries Licence if you are selling tickets before the day of the race, just like you need if you run any raffle. Apply to your local council.
What do I need to do before the race day?
For races, a closing date and rules for winning must be set. We recommend 6 or 8 weeks to allow the balloons to travel, be found, and be returned. Rules are normally very simple; the one returned from the furthest away wins the first prize. If you want to award second and third prizes, they go to the ones from the next furthest away. You may wish to add something about not cheating, as we have known tags to be returned from locations far from the path of the prevailing wind.

Finders should be offered a reward as encouragement to actually return the tag. Usually the actual prize for the finder is not specified as you don't know which country the balloon will land in!

As the sales come in, you need to make a list of the names and addresses/phone numbers and allocate numbers to the names. The tag has only a number to avoid personal details being bandied about, and a number is easier to decipher if the tag is damaged.

If you intend to book BallyHoo for your race or release, please remember to do so in good time. BallyHoo need a signed contract and token deposit to confirm the booking, otherwise there is a risk that we will not be available as the balloon race 'season' is also our busiest time for weddings.
If you are going to do it yourself, remember to buy the balloons, organise the printing of the tags, and book the hire of a gas cylinder. If you are going to use a balloon net, you will need to acquire that as well.
I would like to do-it-myself. What do I need to know?
Tags can be easily printed on a computer. Print 6 or 8 tags on A4 light card (160gsm). Remember to include a return address. Make a hole with an ordinary hole punch. Number on the reverse using permanent ink. Note that string should not be used for two reasons: it adds weight and affects the flying time of the balloon and secondly, most modern string is not biodegradable. It's also very awkward to tie a tag on and it's much easier to simply put the balloon neck (after knotting the balloon) through the hole in the card.

You don't need expensive balloons. We have had standard 10" balloons go as far as Belarus, so there is no point in filling them to over 10" diameter even if they are larger. It will just use more of the expensive balloon gas. If you hire a cylinder of helium from BallyHoo you will be given safety instructions that you must bear in mind at all times.

BallyHoo will always use a release net for the balloons, but many people doing it themselves release the balloons singly. As well as doing away with the expense of a balloon net, it has the advantage that people buying on the day can have the satisfaction of letting their own balloon go. On the other hand, although a balloon net is an extra cost, it can be re-used again and again and does provide more of a spectacle when the balloons are released en mass.
Can you give me an idea of cost of D-I-Y balloon race?
The cost as at April 2011 would be:
£45.00 Balloon net (for up to 500) (they are available in other sizes)
£  7.50 100 standard balloons
£79.00 Hire of N10 helium cylinder (sufficient for up to 250 balloons if filled to 10") and £100 returnable deposit
Plus cost of tags, prizes and notifying winners.

 


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