(703) 657-8188|nlc@fbla.org

Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.)

In December 2020, FBLA-PBL announced the decisions made by the Board of Directors as it relates to the 2021 National Leadership Conference (NLC): to cancel the in-person gathering in Anaheim, and to launch an online national leadership conference to include national officer elections, competitive events, engagement opportunities, and leadership development.

We understand that additional questions relating to logistics, timelines, and processes may emerge. As soon as official information is available, we will update the event website as well as communicate via email and social media.

This page will be updated in real-time with the most up-to-date information.

When will registration open?2021-03-17T11:08:35-07:00

Registration will be open April 1.

How can I sign up to be a judge?2021-03-25T06:38:20-07:00

Sign up using our Judges Registration Form! 

Will there be any open events like NLC 2020?2021-03-25T06:22:36-07:00

All competitors will have to qualify for competitive events at the 2021 NLC by competing in their state’s district and/or state conferences. No competitive event will be open to any competitor who has not pre-qualified in the way they were able to for the 2020 NLE.

However, the 2021 NLC is bringing back the Open Events Program where several open objective tests will be available. All registered conference attendees may compete.

What is the time commitment?2021-03-23T07:02:13-07:00

Each group of competitors, or session, will take 3-5 hours to judge. 

When is judging taking place?2021-03-23T07:04:19-07:00
  • Pre-submitted (the assigned event can be judged at your convenience during the week-long timeframe): 
    • May 24 – 28: Reports and/or digital creations 
    • May 31 – June 4: Pre-recorded presentations 
    • June 7 – 11: Production documents 
  • Live: 
  • PBL (collegiate) 
    • Preliminary Round 
      • June 17 (Thursday): Day 1 
      • June 18 (Friday): Day 2 
    • Final Round 
      • June 23 (Wednesday) 
  • FBLA (high school) 
    • Preliminary Round 
      • June 14 (Monday): Day 1 
      • June 15 (Tuesday): Day 2 
      • June 21 (Monday): Day 3 
      • June 22 (Tuesday): Day 4 
    • Final Round 
      • June 25 (Friday): Day 1 
      • June 28 (Monday): Day 2 
  • ML (middle school) 
    • Final Round 
      • June 24 (Thursday) 
What time do the “live” events take place?2021-03-23T07:05:02-07:00
  • Competitions will begin at 11 AM EDT and can run until about 4 PM EDT.  
  • We do ask that judges be 15-30 minutes early to go over details with their Event Administrator. The early arrival time allows the staff to make adjustments if there are “no show” judges. 
Can I select which events I want to judge?2021-03-23T07:05:39-07:00

Yes! In the Judges Registration Form, you will indicate your top two preferred events for any event session you are able to make. 

How many events can I judge?2021-03-23T07:06:06-07:00

You can judge one event per listed judging session. If you are available to do more during the Pre-submitted events, you can let the Awards and Recognition Coordinator know after you receive an assignment for one of those events. 

How many events will I be assigned to?2021-03-23T07:06:44-07:00

You will be assigned an event for any event session you indicate a willingness to judge, unless we have more judges registered than are needed. 

After I register, what next?2021-03-23T07:07:16-07:00

After you register, you will receive a confirmation of your registration. As orientations draw near, the Awards and Recognition Coordinator will be sending out information about attending an orientation. You will be notified in advance of any competition date you indicate availability for of your assigned event! 

How will I interact with the competitors?2021-03-23T07:07:58-07:00
  • There are two types of judging this year: pre-submitted and live. 


  • Pre-submitted: 
    • You will have a one-week period to review submitted documents or a pre-recorded presentation using the judging platform to score your competitors. 
  • Live 
    • We will provide a Zoom meeting for you to interact with the competitors while using the judging platform to score them. 
What technology will be used?2021-03-23T07:08:35-07:00

This year we are using a different judging program, Blue Panda. Their platform offers a more user-friendly judging experience with easy to access events and event-specific information. 

How do I prepare for an event I am judging?2021-03-23T07:09:02-07:00

If you like, you can look over any information for your event before by logging into Blue Panda and clicking on your assigned event to access all the information for your event! Looking at the information beforehand is not a requirement. 

What do I need to bring to judging?2021-03-23T07:09:29-07:00

Just yourself! All materials will be provided to you at the time of your judging. 

Do I need to wear anything specific?2021-03-23T07:10:04-07:00

All our competitors are required to be in business attire. If you are judging a live event, we do ask that you be in business attire as well in an effort to facilitate the typical “in-person” competition experience. 

Can I view the Awards of Excellence Presentation?2021-03-23T07:10:30-07:00

Absolutely. We welcome you to watch the presentation! 

What is the process for applying for National Parliamentarian?2021-02-10T11:28:59-07:00

Candidates will need to fill out the National Officer Application, register for the online National Leadership Experience, participate in the candidate interviews, and take an online parliamentary procedures test.

Will Candidates for elected offices be interviewed?2021-02-10T11:25:01-07:00

Yes.  Each interview will last approximately 15 minutes.  Interview times will be sent to candidates at a later date.  Local and state advisers of applicants are encouraged to attend.  The screening committee will consist of members of the national board of directors and current national officers.

How does campaigning work for National Officer Candidates this year?2021-03-23T09:31:49-07:00

Official campaigning for all offices for elected positions are restricted to virtual campaign booth hours. For FBLA: June 30 – Campaign Booths Open – 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. ET July 1 – FBLA Campaign Booths Open – 9:00 am. – 12 Noon ET For PBL: June 25 – PBL Campaign booths Open – 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. ET June 26 – PBL Campaign Booths Open – 9:00 a.m. – 12 Noon ET Candidates may campaign via social media during campaign hours. The Virtual Exhibit Hall will be open during campaign hours and will include the following final versions of materials that will be submitted on June 1 using the National Officer Candidate Campaign Materials Form:

  • Candidate Headshot
  • Candidate Flyer (Digital one-page outlining qualifications and goals – submit as 8 ½ “by 11” PDF)
  • Link to Campaign Website (Use platform of your choice, graphics, videos, etc. Be creative!
  • Campaign Details (i.e., using Facebook for social media posts, using videos on YouTube etc.)


Is there a limit on expenses for National Officer Campaigns?2021-02-10T11:23:13-07:00

Yes, candidates may spend no more than $500.

How long is the candidate speech and can we use skits, graphics and music?2021-02-10T11:22:27-07:00

All speeches are pre-recorded and 2 minutes in length.  This is a straight speech.  No skits, music, or graphics may be used.  You must be dressed in business attire.   Video speeches for all PBL National Officers for elected office will be played during the PBL Online Opening Session.  Video speeches for the offices of President, Secretary, and Treasurer will be played during the FBLA Online Session.  Videos of speeches for FBLA Region Vice President will play during the Regional Meetings. Videos all national officer candidate speeches may be accessed on this area.

Will there be a Candidate Q&A?2021-03-21T10:36:22-07:00

For FBLA the offices of president, secretary, and treasurer, the Q & A Session (not to total more than 15 minutes in length for each office) will take place in General Session II.

For FBLA, the offices of the regional vice presidents, a brief Q & A Session (not to total more than 15 minutes in length) will be conducted immediately following the campaign speeches during the Regional Campaign Rallies and State President’s Reports.

For PBL, all candidates for elected office will participate in the Q & A Session (not to total more than 15 minutes in length for each office) will take place in General Session II.

Can a State have more than two National Officers Elected?2021-02-09T12:44:06-07:00

No.  A State can run more than two candidates, but only one can be elected.  If a State would run more than two candidates and both receive the most votes, the candidate with the lower office would be dropped.  In PBL, this does not affect unopposed positions.  A state may have one elected officer and a national parliamentarian since that office is appointed, not elected.

How are the winners for national office determined?2021-02-09T12:42:52-07:00

Candidates for elected offices will be elected by ranked voting. A majority vote will determine the winner for each elected office.

Definition: Preferential/Ranked voting is any election voting system in which voters use a ranked (or preferential) ballot to select more than one candidate (or other alternative being voted on) and to rank these choices in a sequence on a scale of 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. If a majority is not reached on the first ballot, the ballots of the lowest-placing candidate are redistributed to the second choice. This process of dropping the lowest candidate and redistributed to the next highest remaining candidate continues until a candidate reaches the majority.

Are local and state chapter voting delegates required to register and pay for the National Leadership Conference?2021-03-10T08:38:50-07:00

Yes, all local and state chapter voting delegates must be registered and paid for the NLE to vote.

How do I register local chapter voting delegates?2021-02-09T12:40:37-07:00

Each local chapter in good standing shall be entitled to send from its active membership, two to four local voting delegates and one alternate for each voting delegate to the National Leadership Experience in accordance with the following:

  • Under 50 members—two voting delegates.
  • 50–100 members—three voting delegates.
  • Over 100 members—four voting delegates.

In FBLA, these delegates vote for their Regional Vice President.  In PBL, these delegates vote for all officers for elected positions. These are determined from those members that are registered and paid for the National Leadership Experience.  Each local adviser will be prompted to register their local chapter voting delegates as part of the NLC Conference Registration process.

For FBLA, each State Chapter may register State Voting Delegates. How do these delegates get registered for the NLC?2021-03-10T08:38:31-07:00

Each state chapter in good standing shall be entitled to send two voting delegates its active membership. These State Voting Delegates vote on the election of the National President, National Secretary, National Treasurer, and any bylaw amendments.  State Key Contacts will determine each of their two State Voting Delegates based on a form which is due by May 22.  These State Voting Delegates must be registered and paid for the NLC.

May I request a refund?2021-03-17T11:37:24-07:00

Refunds may be requested by sending an email to Robert Smothers, Education Programs Registrar at rsmothers@fbla.org. The refund request will need to document the reason for the refund request. Refunds are not guaranteed and will be made on a case by case basis. The processing time for refunds may take up to 30 days after the close of the conference. Once a refund request is made, access to online sessions and competitions will be removed.

When will the 2021 National Leadership Conference take place?2021-03-18T10:27:08-07:00

The official dates are June 24-27 (PBL) and June 29-July 2 (FBLA and Middle Level). These are the originally posted conference dates. The day-by-day conference agendas can be found for each conference below. Please note that any times listed are Eastern Standard Time (EST).

If I achieved a BAA America, CSA Achievement, CMAP President, or Gold LEAD award, how do I receive it this year?2021-02-09T12:08:49-07:00

Pins for these awards will be sent to the attention of the local adviser at the school address. All winners will receive recognition during the conference and in the special NLC edition of Tomorrow’s Business Leader.

If I won Who’s Who, Outstanding Adviser, or the Young Leader Award, will that be awarded at this year’s NLC?2021-03-10T08:38:20-07:00

All competitive event winners, plus those receiving awards such as Who’s Who, Outstanding Adviser, etc. will be recognized at the 2021 NLC.

Where will the 2021 National Leadership Conference take place?2021-03-17T13:16:26-07:00

The online conference will take place on the digital platform Whova. More specific details will follow but you are welcome to click here to learn more about the platform and download the Whova App. FBLA-PBL advisers should refer to the Leadership Community which will be our first platform for announcements as soon as they are available. We also encourage FBLA-PBL members to follow the conversation via social media by following our National Center Twitter (PBL, FBLA), Facebook, and Instagram accounts. Join the conversation by using the hashtags #FBLANLC21, #PBLNLC21, and #WeAreFBLAPBL.

What are the registration costs?2021-03-10T08:34:48-07:00

The registration fee for students is $65. Advisers will not be charged a registration fee.

Are all FBLA-PBL members expected to participate?2021-02-10T11:32:37-07:00

No. While we do hope the online experience will provide value to the members and advisers, we understand that each family has different priorities and concerns. Participation is completely optional and always at the discretion of the member and their parent or guardian.

Do you have a concern about one of the national officer candidates?2021-06-18T06:00:58-07:00

Please fill out this form.

Will the on-site NLC be rescheduled?2021-02-10T11:31:44-07:00

There will be no on-site event for NLC in 2021. The next on-site NLC is currently scheduled for 2022 in Chicago. We plan to return to Anaheim in 2025. For a full list of future NLC locations, please click here.

Will all competitive events be offered?2021-02-09T12:35:48-07:00

All competitive events will be offered, but there will be modified guidelines as a result of another virtual NLC. Please visit our NLC Competitive Events page.

My state did not have a State Leadership Conference. How will state competitors be determined? 2021-02-09T12:34:17-07:00

Please contact your local and state advisers on their determined processes for identifying qualifying competitors for events.

Will Officer Elections still take place?2020-04-29T11:13:23-07:00

Yes. For information about the process for the 2020-21 National Officer Elections, please visit our Campaigns & Voting page.

Will workshops or leadership sessions be offered?2021-02-10T11:37:19-07:00

Yes. Leadership programming for FBLA-Middle Level, FBLA, PBL, and advisers will be included. Session listings will be shared in late April after the NLC Task Force has had an opportunity to review the Call for Presentation submissions.

How did the Board of Directors come to the decision to host an online event?2021-03-18T10:37:16-07:00

The Board of Directors passed a motion, as presented by the NLC Task Force, to host an online National Leadership Conference in 2021. This event will include opening sessions, keynote and featured speakers, workshops, networking and social events, officer campaigns, elections, competitive events, regional rallies and recognition sessions (FBLA), national officer announcements, and Awards of Excellence sessions.

Please note that this was an informed decision supported by an abundance of information with careful consideration to the following points: the state of California is closed to events for the foreseeable future; reports of 39 states not allowing student travel for the duration of the academic year; members and advisers seeking to plan ahead; the increase of COVID-19 spread and the unknown widespread availability of the vaccines; ample time needed to plan an improved online experience; and equity, equality, and access.

As next steps, the NLC Task Force and National Center staff gathered input directly from members and advisers in order to meet all the needs and turn this event into the most beneficial experience for all. We fully intend to enhance and improve this virtual event beyond what we were able to do for the 2020 NLE and look forward to working together to make it an outstanding opportunity for all.

How do I register for open events?2021-05-04T10:09:07-07:00

Members don’t have to pre-register for open events.  The testing program will be set up so that each member who has registered/paid to attend NLC can take one open event test.  They will just need to log in during the open event testing window and take the test.  Specific instructions for doing so will be posted to our NLC website about a week before the testing begins.

Where can I get instructions for taking an online, objective test?2021-05-04T10:09:50-07:00

Instructions for taking online, objective tests will be posted on the Competitive Events pages of this website in early June.

Where can I see schedules for presentation events, and how and where do I log on to do my presentation event?2021-05-04T10:10:27-07:00

Instructions and schedules for presentation event judging via Zoom will be posted on this website in early June.

Will there be an Awards of Excellence presentation?2021-02-09T12:37:31-07:00

Yes. This year, we plan to have a virtual Awards of Excellence presentation to announce and celebrate the winners of each competitive events category. Winners will also be announced in a special edition of Tomorrow’s Business Leader.

How will group presentation events work?2021-03-25T06:27:56-07:00

A limited number of events will still be submitted for judging by a recorded presentation.  Please check the Digital Submissions Guidelines for more information.

The majority of presentation/performance/demonstration events will be judged via Zoom. A team competing in any presentation/performance/demonstration event that involves live judging via Zoom may present to the judges in one of the following ways:

  • Using separate accounts from separate locations with the Event Administrator moving the competitors as a group.
  • Using one account with all competitors in the same location.

PLEASE NOTE: FBLA-PBL advises using appropriate precautions and following any guidelines and restrictions as set forth by the CDC, your local and state governments, or your specific educational institution.

What type of awards will be given?2021-03-25T06:31:57-07:00

Members that win FBLA or PBL events will be awarded acrylic trophies, which will be mailed to all winners after NLC.  FBLA-Middle Level winners will receive medals that will be mailed to all winners after NLC.  Cash awards, made possible by the support of our event sponsors, will be awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners.

How Will Candidates Know if Their Campaign Materials Have Been Approved?2021-02-10T11:21:14-07:00

All final campaign materials must be approved by the FBLA-PBL Elections Committee prior to the candidate interviews. Candidates will receive an email from the Committee Chair approving the materials or noting any changes that need to be made.

How many Parliamentarian Candidates Can a State Submit?2021-02-10T11:26:20-07:00

Each State may nominate one member as a candidate for National Parliamentarian.

Can Candidates Have Endorsements?2021-06-24T08:43:08-07:00

Endorsements of candidates can NOT be made.

How Will Campaign Violations Be Handled?2021-02-10T11:28:00-07:00

All campaign violations will be emailed to Lisa Smothers (lsmothers@fbla.org). Violations will be reviewed by the Election Committee and may result in a disqualification by this committee.

What are the tracks?2021-03-17T13:28:56-07:00

The tentative tracks for the 2021 National Leadership Conference are as follows:


  • Foundations of Leadership and FBLA
  • Career Exploration


  • Branding U by KPMG
  • College Ready
  • FBLA: Programs, Chapter Leadership and Emerging Leaders
  • Financial Literacy
  • Landing the Job
  • Service Learning and Leadership


  • Adulting 101
  • Branding U by KPMG
  • Building a Network
  • Career Insights
  • Leadership and Executive Thinking

FBLA & FBLA-ML Advisers

  • Business Education Trends and Resources
  • Integrating FBLA into the Classroom
  • What’s New for 2021-22 FBLA-PBL?

PBL Advisers

  • Best Practices for Leading Chapters