This year all the process of arrangements has been visible. There was information on the festival preparation uploaded on the Net almost daily. There were both a protocol and teams' request forms being discussed there. And even a video recording of a draw procedure of the small sculpture contest entitled Characters was made and posted in social networks at that very day. By August, 15 it was already clear who would arrive at the festival and where from.
20 teams have registered for competitive programms. They are generally active decorators and designers who have taken part in our forums once and again. This time we have only four first-timer teams: «Sunflowers», «Smile», «Wow effect», and, as usual «School of festive decor».
Two teams are represented by individual decorators. Well, and the rest are full-manned — with not less than 4—6 people in each. Therefore, generally participants are highly-experienced professionals. And the topic of the festival, Travel in time, sparks interest in itself. That is why we have good reason to await excellent works.
— What moment has been the most challenging on the preparation stage?
— How to please all the participants. And to administer such a protocol that could make it clear for everybody. Publicity of the discussion could not do without arguments, but on the whole it is within the norm. You cannot win everybody’s favour. And as for loyalty and understanding difficulties of hosting a forum on this scale, I can say we have always been challenged by that. It is impossible to get rid of them.
— The festival now possesses a new venue — a Trading and entertainment complex Afimall-city. Do you think it has been tightly bound with the festive movement?
— The Trading and entertainment complex gives us a chance to get down with the common folk even deeper. That is why we have enlarged the number of categories that are going to be present here. Both the 12 minutes contest and the small sculptures exhibition named Star Wars series' Characters are rather spectacular. And direct contact with a spectator here is appropriate. The Theatre of Modelling art of Yaroslav Orlyansky«Up and uP» helps us again to build a show-performance on this stage. I consider that the fellows will succeed in creating an ingenious and eye-catching performance. There will be a music band performing on this stage for the first time ever. It is likely to contribute to emotional atmosphere of the festival.
— Sasha, can we name today any figures which could show the immensity of this event?
— The following factual material could be of interest: there will be 12 big sculptures, exploring the topic Time travel at the festival. 18 teams are taking part in the contest of delivery bouquets, 16 teams are making characters from the Star Wars, and 17 people are participating in the Black box category. The minimum number of participants is ready for the 12 minutes contest; there will be only ten of them. I reckon that this contest is not completely understood in here. But this is just a matter of time because twisting becomes such a popular flow of the field that hazardous professionals should appear here.
— Does the festival anyhow react to economical troubles, sales decrease, price increase, gloomy mood of retail and regional wholesale?
— Certainly. We are making a separate seminar for owners and sellers of retail chains as we did last year. Ernst Reiter, an Amscan company representative, is giving a speech on special features of sales during a downturn. He has got a big experience in retail works and has a lot to say. Of course, we will find the skilled and the worthful ones who can share their experience with our local entrepreneurs. This meeting takes place on September, 22. And one should leave some extra time for it.
— Who is the festival's sponsor? Who are you expecting for a visit?
— As usual, the main sponsors are our manufacturers: Belbal, Gemar, Amscan, Qualatex. Unfortunately, our colleagues from among wholesale Russian companies do not show much interest towards the festive movement.
— Will there be any new foreign craftsmen?
— The Belbal company has invited Sabina Kelner. Also Sue Bowler from Qualatex is coming. She is not a new participant, but it has been a long time since she last visited us. Moreover, we are expecting Chris Horne, Michael Gjerek and Gemar Balloon Academy.
— Thank you, Sasha. What will you wish to the magazine's readers last of all?
— To visit the festival and see from beginning to end all the works created here with their own eyes. They always inspire and allow to view the future optimistically. See you in September!