BROADENING THE HORIZONS WITH PILOTS AND PLACES
A LANDMARK OCCASION
Jolene Rader founded Pilots and Places to combine a few things dear to her heart: sparking a love of travel among children, and fostering the desire to learn more about world cultures.
“Pilots and Places is geared to giving kids an around-the-world experience through play, teaching them about different countries and cultures, and hopefully developing a love for travel and an appreciation for global diversity,” Jolene, a Belize-American and avid traveler herself, shared with us.
Image courtesy of pilotsandplaces.com
Alongside a book series authored by Jolene, Pilots and Places achieves this mission by offering on-demand pop-up events with a range of activities focusing on learning and play all tailored to different ages. Scroll through their website and you’ll find all sorts of activities inspired by various cultures around the globe – climb on an interactive jungle gym and learn about the Mayans in Central America, or embark on the play ship to learn about the Caribbean island life.
As the brand gained steam, Jolene was looking to enhance the experience. Each culture-specific activity typically went along with a titular accent or interactive play piece to go along with the lesson.
That’s when she got the idea for replicas of three major landmarks for two of the culture activities – The Big Ben Clock and Eiffel Tower for Europe, and the Taj Mahal for Southeast Asia.
A few quick Google searches for “custom inflatables” later, and that’s where we came in.
AROUND THE WORLD IN WAY LESS THAN 180 DAYS
We encourage site visitors to fill out a Quick Quote request form when they land on our website to tell us more about their project and how we can assist their brand through the power of custom displays.
That’s exactly what Jolene did, excitedly sharing her mission behind Pilots and Places and what she was hoping to achieve with creating three custom inflatables. “We want to achieve our mission through replicating world landmarks and customizing them with fun and interactive features for children,” Jolene said. She was met with equal excitement from our team!
The cool thing about custom inflatables is that they’re virtually limitless. They span everything from object replicas to obstacle courses and bounce houses.
Brands come to us asking “What can I do?” and our answer begins with “Well, what do you want to do?” That’s how open-ended they are, which really extends to creative imagination!
After chatting with our Art & Display Coordinators, Jolene decided on free-standing inflatable replicas for the Big Ben clock and Eiffel Tower, and a custom shape inflatable bounce house tailor-made to look like the Taj Mahal.
From there, our Art and Production teams worked together to bring the initial sketches and 2D vector layouts into 3D rendered models for Jolene’s approval so that she could hand-pick every detail from color to size.
Shown above: A final 3D rendering for pre-production approval.
Once she gave us the final OK, production began.
The process is quite involved to actually bring these to life! Custom inflatables are produced with a mix of heat transfer and dye sublimation printing, and then the individual printed pieces of each inflatable are then hand-sewn and use-tested by our staff for quality assurance before shipping.
P.S. - You can get a peek at how some of our custom inflatables are made here >
Production and delivery of the three inflatables took just around 8 weeks due to their complex nature. (For comparison, we can make and deliver a 20ft inflatable arch in about 2-3 weeks.)
The entire project from start to finish was completed within January to late March, just in time for Pilots and Places to kick off spring events!
A GLOBAL PHENOMENON (OF SORTS)
To put it mildly, the inflatables have been quite a hit – not just with the kids, but the owner of the brand as well.
“I absolutely love my inflatables,” Jolene said in reflecting upon the impact they’ve made upon Pilots and Places’ event strategy. “But more importantly, people who see them love it as everybody thinks that they are not only well-made replicas, but unique in their objective to bring education and play together.”
Presently, Pilots and Places offers several different event packages ranging in scale – from storytime-focused learning opportunities to all-out parties that emphasize more play.
Aside from that, they also allow the inflatables and other activities’ props to be rented out individually for parties. This offers their clientele more flexibility to experience the brand, and aids in the return on investment for Jolene, too!
Since 2006, we've been able to work with thousands of brands and organizations of all sizes to create beautiful, high-impact custom displays. Reach out to us at email@example.com, call (800) 980-6871, or hit the Quick Quote button to start a conversation about your next project today!