The Beginning ...
History ..... how it all began !
IBS NV was founded by Johan Wijns and Leo Verlinden in september 1995. From the start it was decided to have a wide range so that both balloon-decorators as balloon -entertainbers could be served..However, the first years the vast majority of the turnover was realised in the professional market of balloon shops and decorators.
It was only after attending the FISM World Magic Convention in Dresden, Germany in November 1997 that change came about. Our sales booth was a hit and the sale of modeling balloons broke all records. After two of the five days we were almost sold out and new supplies had to be rushed in from Belgium. The success was overwhelming and we returned home with more than five hundred addresses of artists.The FISM Congress in Dresden was not only a huge commercial success ; it also opened their eyes to the huge demand for modeling balloons that clearly existed in Belgium and the neighboring countries . And the demand was not only for the common 260Q's in the standard colours but also for all special forms like geo-blossoms and geo-donuts, hearts, beebodies etc and all the new colors that Pioneer added very quickly !
From then on, we began to pay more attention to the needs of the balloon-entertainers. Besides the monthly workshops for balloon-decorators in Belgium and France , we regularly organized workshops for twisters of all levels with top instructors from all over the world.Dozens of Magic conventions, Juggling Conventions, Open Door Days, Magic-Weekends were attended all over Europe, not always with as much commercial acclaim but every time our customer base became wider !
After several years we decided to organize our own event, The Millennium Jam, a Balloon-Festival ... like no other! The original intent was actually to bridge the gap between decorators and twisters: let the decorators discover the possibilities of modelling balloons and show the twisters that you could expand your ‘playground’ with decoration. The first edition took place in June 2000 in the Sunparcs Bungalow Park in Mol, Belgium.
And to put the first Millennium Jam firmly on the map, we organized a World Record attempt: 45 balloon artists from 17 countries built two giant soccer players with more than 42,000 modelling balloons. It was a huge success! The top twisters were present .From all over Europe , balloon entertainers and balloon decorators came to Mol.
We had eleven consecutive Millennium Jams and some were really memorable .Who can forget the fantastic MC's like Frank 'S' Stringham and Full House,from Switzerland, the Fashion Shows, the many hilarious and touching Stage-acts, the adrenaline-pumping Iron Latex Man Challenges, the crazy after-parties etc. ...-we have there in 2010 with a last Big Bang a period of drifting. And it was also really an "exit with a Big Bang": more than 500 participants from 28 countries, a fantastic Fairy Tale Costume Competition, a modeling contest of a never seen level.
Yes, it was an end in beauty!
We are now several years further and IBS has continued to organize training and workshops for both beginners and advanced artists, both decorators, balloon shops as balloon-entertainers at home and abroad! A new phase was the 260 Twister Club , founded on the 1st of Januari 2012 .Under the guidance of its President Flipo the number of members keep growing and the club days are very well.
Also for the decorators, we continue our efforts.Every year, with the support of Qualatex six theme-workshops are scheduled with top instructors and for new customers a series of workshops on the basic techniques. Meanwhile we still get weekly emails asking when the next Millennium Jam will take place. We cannot answer that question .
However, there are rumours that a new edition is. of The Millennium Jam is in the works .... Let's wait and see!