Inside the Basket - Taylor Caldwell, Balloon Fiesta Receptionist
Taylor Caldwell has been a part of the Albuquerque ballooning community since she was a child. And now, she has just wrapped up her first Balloon Fiesta as the organization’s receptionist.
In this month’s Inside the Basket, Taylor shares more about how she became involved with Balloon Fiesta and her answers to the most-asked, guest questions.
1. Give a brief overview of your position with Balloon Fiesta.
My official title is receptionist; however, I do a wide variety of tasks. My main job is being the face every guest sees when they come in to our office or the first voice they hear when they call. I also help on other projects in other areas throughout the year.
2. How did you become involved with the organization?
Hot air ballooning has been a part of my life since I was born pretty much. My husband is also a balloon pilot and we share that common interest. When I heard that the position at Balloon Fiesta was going to be available I knew it was something I was interested in. At the time I was pursuing a nursing degree but took the leap towards Balloon Fiesta and I now know this is where I am supposed to be.
3. What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
I would say the most challenging part of my job is making sure every person I come in contact with is having the best experience they possibly can. Everyone has different needs and desires and we want to try and meet those. We want everyone to have a blast here and even though it’s a bucket list item, that some people only plan on checking once, we want them to want to come back. Putting on an event this size is going to be challenging but once you’re in the thick of it and are seeing the amazement in people’s eyes, it makes every single challenge worth it.
4. What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part of the job is getting to talk to so many different people from all over the country, sometimes the world. Getting to explain not only how the event works but also how balloons work is pretty awesome. As someone who has grown up around balloons, sometimes you forget how fascinating they are. Then you talk to someone who has never seen one, and their awe reminds you just how cool of a job you have.
5. You received many questions from Balloon Fiesta guests. What were the three most asked questions and what are the answers to those questions?
- What is my favorite event to see? Competition is my favorite event. Getting to watch the balloons fly into the field, rather than flying away is one of the best views in my opinion.
- Can I ride in one of the balloons? Yes! Rainbow Ryders offers paid rides from the field during the event. Also, if you never have been up in one, I highly recommend it. Nothing beats that view!
- How early should I get to the park for the morning or evening event? You should arrive to the park no later than 4:30 AM for morning sessions and 4:00 PM for evening sessions.
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