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Hot Air Balloon

> Explore and brainstorm together

The hot air balloon is a fun activity to facilitate a forward planning brainstorming session: team members are admiring the magnificent landscape unfolding beneath their feet, when suddenly a cliff appears on the horizon! Everyone has to react quickly: which weights should be dropped first? Which burners should be activated to gain height? In short, how can the team have the best possible trip ?


Add a Metaphor activity to your Beekast session. Define the issue, choose the Hot Air Balloon format, and decide whether or not to personalise the predefined areas (see our advice in Suggestions and variations).

Remember to add a voting session if you want to follow up with a decision-making process and time management to keep the brainstorming from taking too long.


Activity settings Metaphor

  • Vote: by Likes or Points
  • Activity background: Hot Air Balloon
  • Time management: optional




Present the Hot Air Balloon activity to the group along with the issue and what is expected of them.

Make sure they understand the categories: Strengths (the burners): what moves the team towards the objective(s) Weaknesses (the weights): what hinders the team from reaching the objectives

Remind the group about the rules: no judging ideas suggested and no conversation during the exploration phase



Participants take five minutes to reflect on the topic. They then submit their ideas in the different categories. Estimate a time for this phase and end it either when the time is up or when participants stop sending in ideas.



There are two methods for discussing the ideas put forward, which can be adjusted according to the size of your group:

- Method 1 - Small group : each participant quickly explains the ideas they suggested in each category.

- Method 2 - Larger group : go through each category with the participants and make sure each idea is understood by the whole group.

Group similar ideas together: keep just one idea and add a marker beside it to indicate that it was suggested multiple times. (Add a number or symbol counter, for example, ‘x 5’ or ‘***’.)



Once all ideas have been sent and ‘cleaned up’, you’ll have to select the most relevant ones in order to leave the meeting with an action plan.

If you have activated a voting session, you can launch it: ask your participants to vote for the ideas they think are most important to discuss.

For the weaknesses: what actions should be implemented to mitigate or even eliminate them? As for strengths, it may be interesting to consider what can still be improved.

Activity Metaphor
30 to 60 min
2 to 50
Forward planning while keeping an eye on the past
An excellent way of getting the team to see their recent work as part of an overall project and not as an isolated task