Ultimate Guide
for Custom inflatables

Ultimate Guide for Custom Inflatables

Custom inflatables make a statement at your event, and that's an essential goal for your marketing efforts. They're a creative way to increase your presence and attract more attention to your brand. There's a huge range of custom inflatables, such as sports helmets, arches, tunnels, product replicas and more.

But where do you start? What do you have to keep in mind? Read on to learn everything you need to know about custom inflatables for marketing and advertising.

1. What is a custom inflatable?

1. What is a custom inflatable?
Shown above: A custom inflatable motorcycle helmet tent.

Custom inflatables are made-to-order inflatable products that span a wide range of categories and uses, usually for marketing and advertising.

When it comes to designing custom inflatables, the only limit is your imagination. These larger-than-life advertising products are a great way to promote your brand.

Whether you’re looking for a seasonal display to place outside your storefront, you want to promote a current sale, or you’re looking for an eye-catching display for your next event, investing in a custom inflatable shows that your brand cares about fun and creativity.

The great thing about custom inflatables is that they can replicate any 3D object you can dream of. If you’re looking for an advertisement that captures the essence of what makes your brand unique, this is the way to go.

No matter if it’s a larger-than-life replica of one of the products you sell or an inflatable costume allowing your mascot to walk around and greet your fans, your custom inflatable has the ability to reach more people than traditional 2D advertising ever could.

Custom inflatables are particularly popular right now because brands are recognizing their limitless potential. Not only can these unique displays replicate any design your brand chooses, but they are, by nature, portable. Some brands use this to bring product-shaped inflatable games to every event they attend. Other brands use it to create unique seasonal decorations that they can keep in front of their store for a few weeks and then pack away for the following year.

That’s the great thing about custom inflatables: they’re not one-size-fits-all advertising products. How your brand chooses to design and use your custom shaped inflatables is completely individualized for you.

Since 2006, MVP Visuals has been providing stunning custom displays for brands and organizations of all sizes across the USA. Based in northern Connecticut, our tight-knit team of service, design, and product experts strives to offer your brand a 5-star experience every time you work with us.

2. What are the different types of custom inflatables?

2. What are the different types of custom inflatables?
Shown above: A custom 3D inflatable sign for the 2018 Rangerstown 5K sponsored by Northwell Health and the New York Rangers hockey team.

Custom inflatables can come in 30-50+ different shapes and options. They can be arched, square, round, or completely one-of-a-kind. Because of this, they’re one of the most versatile marketing products you can purchase. Here are just a few of the many types of custom inflatables brands use:

Inflatable Mascots

Whether you’re placing a larger-than-life inflatable mascot outside a sports stadium for families to take pictures with or you’re placing a team member inside ain inflatable mascot costume, there’s no doubt that inflatable mascots are a crowd pleaser. Kids love lining up to take a picture with an inflatable mascot, and your brand may find itself plastered across social media without paying anything extra for the advertising.

Inflatable Football Tunnels and Helmets

Inflatable football tunnels and helmets are replacing brick and mortar structures in schools across the country. When the Friday Night Lights turn on, your football team will feel like a million bucks as they burst from the football tunnel. At the end of the night or season, these inflatables can be stored away, allowing the field to be used by other teams.

Product Replicas

From soda bottles to cars, custom inflatables can be created to replicate your products at trade shows and other marketing events.

Inflatable Signs

Inflatable cutouts of your brand name and logo allow you to advertise your brand in 3D.


Balloons have been used for years as an eye-catching way to compel people to come by your event table. Custom inflatable balloons are an eco-friendly way to continue this tradition, allowing you to reuse the same event balloons for years to come.

Commercial Bounce Houses

Make your event a day to remember with a durable commercial bounce house. Usable by kids and adults both, commercial bounce houses excite your customers and put them in a good mood.

Obstacle Courses

If your customers like a fun challenge, inflatable obstacle courses may be the way to go. These can be set up and taken down easily, allowing you to bring your obstacle courses with you to different events in different cities.

Interactive Inflatable Games

From football ring toss to inflatable bottle bowling, interactive inflatable games are a great way to increase your interaction time with customers at festivals and other events. Network while you walk them through the game and ensure they remember your brand at the end of the day.

Inflatable Blimps

Advertise an important sale or seasonal event by posting an inflatable blimp outside your storefront. These eye-catching 3D advertisements will help you attract more customers as they come to see what other creative products you have to offer.

Ready to level up your marketing with a new custom inflatable?

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3. How long do custom inflatables take to make?

3. How long do custom inflatables take to make?
Shown above: A custom inflatable football helmet with a printed tunnel attachment. Production of inflatable helmet tunnels takes about 15-20 business days.

From beginning to end, it can take up to 30 business days to bring a custom inflatable project from design to delivery. The care that’s put into production ensures your custom inflatable not only looks amazing, but also that it’s safe for you, your team, and your customers.

Day 1

You request a quote and let us know what you’re looking for. We can typically return a personalized quote within 24 hours!

Days 2-3

Our team of Art & Display Coordinators will work with you to create a 2D mockup and 3D model rendition of your custom inflatable for your approval. This part is crucial to make sure everything is perfect, down to your specific brand colors and logo placement. It’s also critical for our production staff from an engineering standpoint to visualize with the 3D model how the air is going to flow through your custom inflatable to keep it looking its best - not puffy or saggy.

Days 4-23

Once you approve your design, our production team makes the magic happen! Individual pieces of your custom inflatable are printed with a combination of cutting-edge dye sublimation and heat transfer printing, and then sewn by hand to put the pieces together.

After that, your inflatable is tested to check for proper air flow and print output. Rigorous quality control is present during every step of this process. Actual production can take anywhere from 7-20 business days depending on the size and complexity of your custom inflatable.

Days 23-30

After your custom inflatable has been tested and receives the seal of approval from our quality control team, your order will be carefully packed and shipped to its destination. Shipping time may need anywhere from 4-6 business days - some inflatables can be pretty compact upon deflation and be shipped with normal services, but larger products like an inflatable misting tent or an inflatable obstacle course may need to be shipped freight.

It’s extremely critical to make sure you plan well in advance if you're looking to incorporate a custom inflatable product into your event strategy. Shipping times may vary and it's important to factor in time for making and shipping the product.

4. The top 3 reasons to buy personalized inflatables for events

4. The top 3 reasons to buy personalized inflatables for events
Shown above: A personalized inflatable logo sign made by MVP Visuals stood at the entrance of The Running Event expo & trade show.

Customized inflatables are a way to put your brand over the top. Customers will notice your inflatables from across a fair ground or stadium and will be drawn to your brand as a result.

Make your brand stand out above the rest.

Once upon a time, it was enough to go to a trade show or festival with a plain white tablecloth, a box of t-shirts with your company logo, and a can-do attitude. Today, more and more brands are networking through events, and it’s harder than ever to stay competitive. For your brand to succeed at these larger events, it’s critical that you have one-of-a-kind advertising techniques.

Offer an experience, not just a sales pitch.

Experiential marketing works because it draws your customers’ attention for more than a few seconds. Not only will your custom shaped inflatables make your brand stand out from your competitors, but branded inflatables will cause your customers to remember the fun they had playing your custom inflatable basketball game, or taking a turn in an inflatable obstacle course with your brand’s logo splashed on it. They’ll associate these positive feelings with your brand, even long after the event is over.

They actually generate a return on investment.

Custom inflatables are not the type of product that are going to look worn-out or break down after just one season of event use. Many custom inflatables are made from a durable nylon polyester blended fabric or a super-sturdy PVC material (think bounce houses). Because of their longevity, you can rely on them to continually wow your customers and prospects. The upfront investment of a branded inflatable will be paid back from years of generating leads and sales.

5. How much do custom inflatables cost?

5. How much do custom inflatables cost?
Shown above: A custom inflatable helmet with a printed tunnel attachment typically starts a little over $5,000.

Custom inflatables cost between $1,000 and $20,000 depending on your specifications. Most brands can expect to spend upwards of $1,000 for a high-quality custom inflatable, even if it's not very large or intricate. However, custom inflatables are just that--custom. Because each inflatable product is unique, it’s impossible to have one price cover all possibilities.

Pricing can vary depending on:

    The complexity of the design

    The material of your inflatable

    The size of the inflatable

    Whether you’re using a constant air (needs a continuous power source) or sealed air (inflate one time per use) design

For example, a basic angled inflatable arch will start around $1,500. A more custom shape, like a 3D replica of your logo or product, may be closer to starting around $5,000 or more. The good thing about custom inflatables is that they can be used again and again. The sturdy materials used for these inflatables is safe indoors and out, and can last your brand for years. This means that a one-time investment in a custom inflatable can create a lifetime of profitability for your brand.

It's simple: you reach out to us with an idea, we tell you how we can make it a reality.

Request a quote now

6. How to set up and care for your custom inflatable

6. How to set up and care for your custom inflatable
Shown above: A custom shape inflatable replica of a cycling jersey.

How to set up your custom inflatable

Setting up your custom inflatable can take just 2-10 minutes depending on the kind you have.

    1. Unpack your inflatable and lay it flat.

    2. Attach the ropes and blower and guide the inflatable upwards as it inflates.

    3. Once it’s inflated, secure the ropes and weight source.

For dirt or grass surfaces

You can secure your inflatable by tying the ropes to ground stakes and inserting them firmly into the ground.

For other surfaces like cement

Tie the ropes to weighted bags, water bags, cinder blocks, or nearby buildings.

How to clean and care for your custom inflatable

Cleaning your custom shaped inflatables is just as easy. Most custom inflatables are made with a PVC vinyl-based material or oxford nylon cloth. To clean your custom inflatable, spot treat with a damp cloth and gentle cleaner. Never use bleach or harsh chemicals, as these can ruin the beautiful dye sublimation printing that makes your custom display appear so vibrant.

7. How do I make my custom inflatable last longer?

7. How do I make my custom inflatable last longer?

Bad weather, improper set-up, and careless storage all negatively affect the lifespan of your custom inflatable. When you invest money in a high quality inflatable advertising product, it’s normal to want to make the most of that investment.

Caring for your inflatable and being conscientious about when you use it can help you extend the life of your inflatable. Here are some tips to help you ensure your custom shaped inflatables last your brand for years to come.

Consider the Weather

Before you bring your custom inflatable outside for an event, consider the weather. Extremely high temperatures can cause damage to your blower, while winds over 15 mph are hard on large inflatables. In general, we recommend keeping your inflatable inside in extreme weather conditions like snow, sleet, hail, or high winds.

Set Up Safely

Before setting up your inflatable, check the area and clear out any large rocks or sticks to prevent them from scratching or puncturing the fabric on the lower half of your inflatable. While inflatables can be patched, your inflatable will always look crispest and neatest with its original fabric in place.

Store with Care

Before stowing your custom inflatable, brush off any dirt or debris and ensure the inflatable is completely dry. This will prevent mildew or mold from forming on your inflatable between events or even between seasons.

When storing your custom shaped inflatables between events, choose a cool, dry location. High temperatures and moisture can not only cause damage to your air blower, but they can also cause damage to your print quality. Always keep your ground stakes properly wrapped while stored to prevent them from puncturing your inflatable.

8. Where to buy custom inflatables

8. Where to buy custom inflatables

You can buy custom inflatables at MVP Visuals! While we encourage you to shop around, we’re confident that we can give you the highest quality custom inflatables at the best price.

We've been in the signage business since 2006 and have assisted thousands of organizations across the US with all kinds of displays, from giant inflatable misting tents for Coca-Cola to a custom inflatable logo for the New York Rangers 5K sponsored by Northwell Health.

It’s important to trust the company you’re going to be working with. Doing a little research into the company can help you make a decision you feel confident about. Here are some characteristics we recommend you look for when choosing a business to create your brand’s custom inflatables:

    Experience: You want to work with a business that specializes in inflatable advertising and has experience working with brands like yours

    Track Record of Success: To see if a business has a track record for success, check to see if they’re established in the industry. Look to see if you’ve heard of any of their previous clients. Check out reviews of their brand both on their website and off their website to see how satisfied customers have been with their work in the past.

    Solid Online Presence: Both their company website and their social media pages should be easy to navigate, preferably with clear images of their work displayed. The company you work with should be proud of their creations and want to show them off!

Straightforward, Affordable Pricing: When you contact a business’s team, they should be able to explain to you how they price their products. Steer clear of businesses with “setup” fees or other seemingly-mysterious costs they can’t clearly explain to you. At a minimum, standard customization should be included: a business shouldn’t charge you extra based on the amount of artwork you want.

Reliable Customer Support: When you contact a business during their operating hours, you should be able to get ahold of a real person. When purchasing a large scale project like a custom inflatable, you want to know that the company has your vision in mind and is as dedicated as you are to bringing that vision to life.

At MVP Visuals, we pride ourselves in upholding each of these values. When you request a quote or reach out to us to get information on a new custom inflatable, you'll not only receive a personalized estimate within 24 hours, but you'll have a dedicated service rep who helps you from design to delivery - that's our 360-service promise.

Are you ready to take your brand to the next level? Call us at (800) 980-6871 or click the link below to request pricing today!

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