The hot air balloons are already up in Albuquerque! Albuquerque is a great base for exploring the state of NM and we hope you come early or stay on after the conference to enjoy it! Don't forget that the Balloon Fiesta is Oct 6-14 just around conference time -- to find out all about it check the official website http://www.balloonfiesta.com/
But that's not all!! Plan to explore Santa Fe (just 45 min away) or some of the 19 pueblos that are in driving distance from Albuquerque http://www.indianpueblo.org/19pueblos/index.html. Acoma Pueblo, about an hour west on top of a mesa in striking country; it's the oldest, continuously inhabited community in North American (since 1150 AD) http://sccc.acomaskycity.org/history.
You can also stay in Albuquerque and have plenty to do visiting the Petroglyph National Monument, The National Hispanic Cultural Center, The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, and more. Take the Sandia Peak Tramway and get the view from 10,378 feet (it is gorgeous!).