convention logo 2021

BFA Balloon Event Symposium 2021

April 7-8, 2021


Event Officials will receive specific training with a free exchange of ideas for these position

  • Balloonmeister
  • Weather Officer
  • Safety Officer
  • Scoring Officer
  • Chief Measurer

Take Your Event to New Heights

   While individual content for each official will vary, the central theme will include these topics:

  • Balloon Event Guidelines will be used to develop specific teaching points for each official’s position
  • Role playing and case studies built around officials working together for task planning and go/no-go decisions
  • How to become an official
  • Officials team recruitment and development
  • Back room technology
  • Review philosophy of rules and development
  • Tasks: when they work and when they don't
  • Ride/tether operations and management
  • Fundamental principles of scoring, use of GPS loggers and practical experience in the use of the BFA Scoring Program


Combined Work Sessions will cover these topics important to both officials and organizers:

  • Risk management, insurance and legal
  • Accident and crisis management
  • Working with your local Flight Service District Office (FSDO) and the Flight Standards Information Management System (FSIMS), sample waivers and emergency response plans
  • Airspace, FAA and regulations
  • Pilot recruitment, screening and acceptance
  • Media relations and important social media do’s and don’ts
  • Working session role playing with officials and event organizer
  • Roundtable Q & A


What's Included? Registration Wednesday morning April 7. Afternoon Sessions followed by an evening reception. Thursday morning Breakfast with all day sessions. Hotel rooms are blocked, first come, first-served, at a great rate of $103 per night.


Event Organizers track will provide insight and practical solutions on how to start or enhance an existing hot air balloon event. Topics include the following:

  • How to use hot air balloons to grow your existing event
  • Determining what type of event you wish to be: Fiesta, Ride, Competition or hybrid
  • Presentations from long-standing successful balloon events: Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, Great Texas Balloon Race, Plano Balloon Festival and more
  • Selecting the right team: where do I start and what am I looking for? What kind of 'balloon' staff do I need?
  • Sample organization chart
  • Financial and budget considerations: average cost per balloon, use of gate proceeds or parking to meet budget, sponsors, fund raising & grant writing, and successful programs used at long-standing events
  • Sponsor, vendor and crowd management
  • Working with community emergency and safety services
  • Auxiliary entertainment – how much is too much?
  • Volunteer and manpower needs and recruitment
  • Logistics and infrastructure, field size
  • Historical weather analysis and when should I hold my event


   This Symposium is designed to educate balloon event officials and organizers alike on the various aspects of running a safe and successful hot air balloon event. Or, maybe you want to consider adding hot air balloons to your community event for greater exposure. 

  The Mission of the Symposium is to bring together all parties interested in hot air balloon events including event officials AND organizations who host or may be interested in hosting a balloon event, and pilots interested in learning more about event safety. The Symposium is designed to promote a free exchange of ideas in a social gathering that will feature two distinct but intertwined tracks: Balloon Event Organizers education and Officials training. The BFA publication, Balloon Event Guidelines, will be utilized to provide many of the training opportunities. 


For pricing and information about the BFA's 2021 Convention, click HERE.