Don’t Push the RED button!


Every Monday night at 10PM Eastern Standard Time Balloon Distractions opens it national schedule so that our Independent Contractor Artists can log on and choose their gigs.

Hundreds of bookings open up on the national schedule and our team logs on and auto-assigns them. It’s pretty neat to watch. There is no real Red Button, but the idea is the same.

The schedule actually has to be generated by hitting a command on our online scheduler, known internally as our X-scheduler, or more affectionately just “the Xsched”.

No similarities to marvel comic book heroes intended. The Xsched has a full head of hair and does NOT roll around in a wheelchair.

Because the Xsched is first come, first serve our artists who are the most enthusiastic normally grab the majority of the gigs. The folks that are disorganized, forgetful or just plain sleepy sometimes will log on to find that all the gigs are taken, a sure sign that we need to sell more clients in that region!

As a company we’ve invested over 100K in building our highly functional Xsched, it not only organizes the schedule but it also serves as the interface for our quality control checkers and our billing department. Every night, across 4 time zones, our quality control call checkers call EACH shift to make sure the artist showed up on time with a big smile and made all the customers happy for duration of the shift.

If an artist gets a complaint the Regional Partner is informed right away and appropriate action is taken to correct the situation.

For our Regional Partners the Xsched is an online tool that they can use to coordinate and run their regions. All the complete metrics on each artist are in the system, if a Regional Partner gets a complaint on any given artist they can look up that individual’s entire history with the company.  

As we get ready to appear on Shark Tank (January 17th 2014) we’ve made many improvements to the Xsched as well as increasing our server capacity to handle traffic to our public site.

That night we will get a ton of traffic on our public site, but we’ve designed the system so that even if the public site gets bogged down our Xsched will run as it does normally.



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