A balloon creation of ‘Titanic’ proportions

Balloons might be a common sight at birthday parties, but they are increasingly being used by retailers and event organisers to bring the 'wow factor' to seasonal events and promotions. Now Pioneer Europe, the world leading manufacturer of Qualatex balloons, is keen to demonstrate how versatile and cost-effective balloon creations can be for retailers.

This month more than 14,000 Qualatex balloons were fashioned into a 40 foot long model of the Titanic which was suspended 20 feet in the air at Victoria Square Shopping Centre in Belfast to commemorate 100 years since the great ship's fateful maiden voyage. Quality balloons can stay inflated for several weeks, and this Titanic will float in the air above shoppers' from Easter till mid-April.

This impressive structure was the work of World Champion balloon artist, Fiona Fisher CBA of Worldwide Balloon Décor and a dedicated team of professionals, including husband Rodney Fisher CBA, Sue Bowler CBA, John Bowler of BAPIA, Angela Holland of Dublin Balloons and Sandra McKeon CBA of Abfab Balloons in Dublin.

Made to the scale of 1:22, the model was made entirely of balloons and a light aluminium structure, and required much careful planning; the team considered everything including the light, temperature and wind flow inside the shopping complex when choosing which balloons to use and how to attach them together.

Chairman of Pioneer Europe, Lois Devlin, is enthusiastic about innovations in the balloon industry: "New technologies, products and techniques are making it possible for even the most ambitious visions to come to life, and with experienced balloon artists like Fiona Fisher brimming with creativity, the possibilities for exciting, crowd-stopping balloon sculptures are endless."

The Titanic's framework was constructed at a base in Portadown before being moved to the shopping centre on Sunday 31st March. "Moving such a large structure was really tricky," says Rodney Fisher. "Fortunately, we had built a lot of rigidity into it as it was to be suspended from the Victoria Square ceiling, but it was all worth it. It was great to have this opportunity to be involved in this very special Titanic anniversary in Belfast."

Fiona and Rodney are experts at designing large-scale creative balloon displays for retailers and have won several international competitions for their work. Fiona is also a highly popular member of the Qualatex educational team and enjoys sharing her skills with delegates at training courses across the country.  

A tired but exuberant Fiona commented, "It was an honour,  a privilege and a fantastic challenge to build this great ship, with a really great team working alongside me; the finished piece was amazing and I am very very proud of the end result."

The Titanic experience provided excellent publicity opportunities for Victoria Square Shopping Centre who commissioned the project, and which stands only a few hundred yards away from the Harland and Wolff shipyard where the original Titanic ship was built. Qualatex, Worldwide Balloon Décor, WH Scott Lifting Ltd and the Balloon and Party Industry Alliance also sponsored the event.  

For more information about the Titanic experience project at Victoria Square Shopping Centre, visit www.buildingtitanic.com.

Further examples of amazing balloon sculptures made by Fiona Fisher CBA and her team can be found at www.wordwideballoondecor.com.

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