Registration started at noon, with the Store opening at 12:30. Unfortunately they lost my registration information (there seems to have been a problem with registrations made via the web site using American Express cards. oh well.) I ended getting registered, along with the goodie bag of samples from Presige, Betallitex, Grainger, and Qualatex, a Balloon HQ mouse pad, and a map of Austin. (anyone want a map of Austin? Cheap!)
Prior to registration, Fred Harshberger (the Balloon Dude) held a private class for 10 of his close personal friends. In that class he talked about some of the basics of how he does things (how to make the moves and constructions sophisticated enough to where Mom will hire the person to do Little Johnny's birthday party instead of just getting balloons herself), The Rose (a rather nice rose, which I found intersting since I'm doing all of those flower baskets), a little of the "Ride Inside" stuff (building costumes around folks, and some "Aaah Factor" stuff like doing good balloon hearts with stuff riding on it. If you have a chance to get some lessons from Fred, take him up on it. He's a good teacher with good ideas.
After doing the registration and making one trip through the store (and a nap), I went down to the opening ceremonies that started around 7. T tossed out (hurled, more like it) a bunch of helicoptor ballons and screamers resulting in much chaos and mayhem. After all of us kids got calmed down after that (and some introductory remarks and introductions of the teachers and some industry luminaries that were present), the "2 minute bit" competion started, where folks had two minutes to create a sculpture or do a routine.
|Someone watching over the motivational products that the Other Conference had for sale|
|Motivational dude in context.|
|Detail of the rose|
|Another rose detail|
|A vase (or vahz) to put the rose.|
|The Ride Inside rubber ducky (which can also double as a hat)|
|Some of the mayhem leftover in Fred's hotelroom after the class was over.|
|Fred Harshberger and his ball and chain.|
|Two of the T Myers staff (Mollie and LaDonna(?))working at the registration table.|
|Dimple the clown and her (first!) haul in the T Myers store.|
|Flying Pacifier at the Qualatex table.|
|Flying fish at the Qualatex table.|