Interactive Sessions and Workshops

Dive deep into the world of pyrotechnics with our expert-led sessions at COBRA-CON. Across three dynamic days, you'll have the opportunity to participate in discussions, workshops, and demonstrations tailored for both seasoned professionals and enthusiastic newcomers. From the latest industry trends to hands-on safety tutorials, our sessions are designed to enrich your knowledge and fuel your passion for fireworks. Join us to learn, share, and connect with the best in the business.


To ensure an optimal experience and to prevent registering for sessions that conflict in timing, we recommend using the Session Schedule tab below.

Once there, you can click or tap on any specific session to view more details and complete your registration.

Sessions List
Session Schedule
My Sessions
Adding DMX to your Fireworks Show with Finale 3D

Ready to take your shows to the next level? Join Will Harvey from Finale Fireworks and venture into the world of DMX special effects. New to DMX? No problem! This session will guide you through the steps of seamlessly combining fireworks with effects including, flames, sparks, lights and more using the interactive scripting tools in Finale 3D.

Topics Covered:
  • Introduction to hybrid Pyro + DMX shows in Finale 3D
  • Configuring DMX fixtures (lights, flames, sparks, etc.)
  • Overview of DMX universes and channel range assignments
  • Basic and advanced DMX scripting techniques
  • Creating new DMX fixtures and effects
  • Addressing and exporting a DXM script for COBRA
  • Printing DMX fixture and show setup reports
  • Preview of new DMX features coming soon in COBRA and Finale 3D
  • Open Q&A

Boot Camp 1 (Friday)

Team signup opens on Monday, February 26th at 12:00 PM EST.

This session happens on Friday, April 12th.

Pyromusical Boot Camp is a dynamic learning experience for aspiring and skilled pyrotechnic enthusiasts. It covers the essentials of creating fireworks shows synchronized with music. Participants receive hands-on training in safety, design, and execution, alongside workshops from industry experts. This program is perfect for those eager to delve into the art and technology of pyromusical displays.

Boot Camp 2 (Saturday)

Team signup opens on Monday, February 26th at 12:00 PM EST.

This session happens on Saturday, April 13th. This is the same session as Boot Camp 1.

Pyromusical Boot Camp is a dynamic learning experience for aspiring and skilled pyrotechnic enthusiasts. It covers the essentials of creating fireworks shows synchronized with music. Participants receive hands-on training in safety, design, and execution, alongside workshops from industry experts. This program is perfect for those eager to delve into the art and technology of pyromusical displays.

COBRA 2024 Keynote

Scott Smith, CEO of both COBRA and IGNITE Firing Systems, will share insights into COBRA's future, including ongoing product development and strategic plans for the coming years. With IGNITE now serving the consumer market, this opens up opportunities for COBRA to focus on advancing within the high-end professional market. During the discussion, we will delve into these enhancements and lay out our roadmap for the future.

COBRA Control Panel Gen 2

COBRA has recently re-written the COBRA Control Panel from the previous JAVA platform to the new Kotlin platform to allow for a refreshed UI, general stability, and dramatic performance updates on even older tablets. Please attend this seminar to receive a demo of the new Control Panel being used with our new 7.0 firmware release.


New to the world of DMX? This introductory session will give you a foundational understanding of DMX, tracing its history and breaking down its basic components. We'll cover key concepts like universes, channels, values, and durations, and explain how these elements are integral to controlling various SPFX applications—be it flame machines, lights, smoke/fog, or cryo. While this session won't delve into advanced DMX use or complex scripting tools like Finale3D, it will equip you with the basics. By the end, you'll learn how to create a simple script for the 18R2 to control LED lights and gain a solid understanding of how DMX integrates with COBRA.

COBRA Hands on Troubleshooting

Ever found yourself in a tight spot with your COBRA firing system right before the big show? We've all been there. In this hands-on session, we'll dive into common—and not-so-common—troubleshooting scenarios. We’ll tackle issues head-on, giving you the confidence and skills to troubleshoot like a pro. Whether it's hardware issues or cue malfunctions, we've got you covered.

Topics Covered:

  • Diagnosing Issues: Learn how to identify common problems quickly.
  • Hands-On Demos: Watch and participate in live troubleshooting exercises.
  • Best Practices: Pro tips for maintaining your COBRA system for optimal performance.
  • Q&A: Got questions? Bring 'em! We’ll dedicate time to answer your specific troubleshooting queries.

COBRA Show Creator 101

Whether you're a beginner in designing automated shows or creating shows synced to music, this introductory class is ideal for you. Tailored for both enthusiasts and professionals, the course covers the foundational aspects of automated show creation.

Topics Covered:

  • Initiating a new show
  • Overseeing fireworks and tracking inventory
  • Incorporating events into your show
  • Customizing columns and configuring show settings
  • Adding a musical element to your show
  • Labeling fireworks and generating reports
  • Exporting your show to the 18R2 and audio files to the Audio Box
  • Executing your finalized show
  • Open Question & Answer session

Fireballs with Bill Corbett (Fireball Dudes)

Join Bill Corbett, the renowned expert from Fireball Dudes, in an electrifying session dedicated to the art and science of creating spectacular fireballs. This session is a unique opportunity to learn from one of the industry's most experienced pyrotechnicians, renowned for their breathtaking fireball displays that have captivated audiences nationwide.

Topics Covered:

  • Fundamentals of Fireball Creation: Dive into the basic principles and safety measures essential for creating fireballs.
  • Advanced Techniques: Explore advanced methods and the science behind crafting larger-than-life fireball displays.
  • Practical Demonstrations: Witness live demonstrations of fireball creation, showcasing the skill and precision required.
  • Material and Equipment Overview: Understand the specific materials and equipment used in professional fireball production.
  • Safety Protocols: Emphasize the critical importance of safety protocols in pyrotechnics, especially when creating high-intensity effects like fireballs.
  • Interactive Q&A: Engage directly with Bill Corbett, asking questions and gaining insights from his extensive experience.
  • Behind-the-Scenes Insights: Learn about the Fireball Dudes' journey and their most memorable fireball displays.

Firework Insurance 101

Join us for 'Firework Insurance 101', a vital session for anyone in the pyrotechnics industry. This comprehensive guide will cover everything you need to know about insuring your firework displays and operations. Learn about the importance of insurance in protecting your business, employees, and spectators, especially in an industry that involves significant risk.

Topics Covered:

  • Understanding Insurance Needs: Discover the types of insurance coverage crucial for firework businesses.
  • Risk Assessment: Learn how to assess risks in firework displays and operations to determine appropriate coverage.
  • Navigating Policies: Gain insights into understanding and choosing the right insurance policies for your specific needs.
  • Legal Compliance: Understand the legal requirements for insurance in the pyrotechnics industry.
  • Claims and Liability: Learn about handling insurance claims and reducing liability in the event of an accident or incident.
  • Case Studies: Review real-world examples of how proper insurance has benefitted firework shows and businesses.
  • Q&A with Insurance Experts: Opportunity to ask questions and get advice from insurance professionals experienced in the pyrotechnics sector.

Illuminating Synergies: Ushering a New Era with UVify & Pyrotechnics

Discover the future of entertainment at COBRA-CON 2024 with UVify's transformative session on 'Navigating the Sky: Drones, Pyrotechnics, and Regulation.' Dive into the synergy of drone technology and pyrotechnics, understand the crucial U.S. regulations, and witness the pioneering partnership between COBRA Firing Systems and UVify. This collaboration not only heralds a new era of safer, more sustainable entertainment but also opens up exciting possibilities for the pyrotechnics industry. Join us to explore innovative solutions that blend traditional fireworks with cutting-edge drone technology, paving the way for awe-inspiring displays that promise to redefine the entertainment landscape.

Innovation in Chinese Firework Manufacturing

In this presentation, we explore the evolving landscape of firework production in China, focusing on the significant strides towards innovation and sustainability. As we delve into the heart of this industry's transformation, we uncover the shift towards automation, which enhances efficiency and safety. We also highlight the introduction of new chemicals and formulas aimed at not only improving the visual and auditory effects of fireworks but also minimizing their environmental footprint. Furthermore, we discuss the development of new product effects driven by a relentless pursuit of innovation. Lastly, the session tackles the industry's creative responses to rising shipping rates through the design of smaller, yet equally impressive fireworks that comply with CPSC regulations. This comprehensive exploration, lasting 25-30 minutes, will be followed by a Q&A session, offering insights into the future of firework manufacturing.

Topics Covered:

  • Automation - An in-depth look at how increasing automation is revolutionizing firework manufacturing, making processes more efficient and safer.
  • New Chemicals and Formulas - Examination of the transition to new chemicals and formulas, aiming to enhance effects while reducing environmental impact.
  • New Effects - Exploration of the innovations driving new product effect development, showcasing the industry's commitment to creativity and excellence.
  • Battling Rising Shipping Rates - Strategies for developing smaller, high-performance products that adhere to CPSC regulations, addressing the challenge of rising shipping costs.

Introduction to IGNITE

IGNITE is an entry level firing system for the back yard consumer. IGNITE can also be used by the small show professional for events such as weddings and hand fired shows where you need an electronic system to fire cakes and finales.

This session will provide an introduction into the IGNITE system for entry level users and also retailers looking to sell IGNITE in their store. We'll cover basic hardware, features and functions, igniter options. Expect go have a solid understanding of the IGNITE application, hardware, and basic shooting principals.

Topics Covered:

  • Introduction to i18 and i36 modules
  • Introduction to varying igniter options
  • Pairing modules
  • Viewing continuity and signal strength
  • My fireworks management
  • Free shoot (single and multiple modules)
  • Conceptual introduction to scripting
  • Open Question & Answer session

Introduction to Igniters and Initiators

In this comprehensive pyrotechnic session, participants will be introduced to the fundamentals of igniters and initiators, crucial components in the safe and effective execution of pyrotechnic displays. The workshop will cover regulatory insights, specifically what aspects fall under the purview of the ATF and which do not, ensuring participants are well-versed in compliance and safety. Practical skills such as connecting visco, poking cakes, and the intricacies of wiring in series and parallel will be explored in depth. Additionally, the session will compare Quickplugs versus standard legwires, discuss the extension of initiators, and delve into the reuse of quickplugs. An open Q & A session will provide attendees with the opportunity to clarify doubts and gain expert advice on specific challenges they may face in their pyrotechnic endeavors.

Intro To COBRA

New to COBRA Firing Systems or just looking to brush up on the basics? Either way, you're in the right place! Join us for an engaging session that walks you through the ins and outs of COBRA's wireless pyro firing systems. This is your one-stop-shop to learn how COBRA can elevate your pyro game, whether you're into fireworks, special effects, or theatrical productions.

Topics Covered:

  • COBRA Basics: What sets COBRA apart in the world of pyro firing systems.
  • Key Features: A rundown of must-know features that make COBRA a top choice for pyrotechnicians.
  • Getting Started: Tips and tricks for setting up your COBRA system for the first time.
  • Safety First: An overview of COBRA's safety features and best practices to ensure a safe show.

Intro to Finale 3D

Interested in designing scripted fireworks shows? This is the session for you. Whether you're an aspiring designer or just looking to brush up on the fundamentals, join this engaging session for a walkthrough of the addictively fun show design process in Finale 3D. See how designing a show and exporting it for your COBRA remote is as easy as Click, Drag, Boom!

Topics Covered:

  • How to download/install Finale 3D and create an account
  • Outline of the differences between Finale 3D "Lite", "Hobbyist", and "Pro"
  • Finale 3D user interface overview (design/simulation window, timeline, effects & script windows)
  • Browsing and adding fireworks from industry supplier catalogs
  • Creating your own fireworks including single shots, shells and cakes
  • Making a firing position layout
  • Adding songs or a music soundtrack
  • Inserting fireworks into a show
  • Angling effects and creating dynamic sequences
  • Assigning COBRA firing system addresses (module and cue numbers)
  • Exporting a COBRA script file
  • Printing setup reports and labels
  • Open Q&A

NCI Open House

NCI is offering 30% off wholesale products! Enjoy top tier discounts usually reserved for our largest customers. No minimums to qualify. Pick up products directly from NCI's 300,000 sq ft warehouse located right in Muncie, Indiana! NCI product demo on Friday night! Warehouse address: 1500 E Washington St. Muncie IN, 47305

Panel Discussion: COBRA & Professionals

Join us in the discussion of the impact and integration of COBRA firing systems in professional displays. This interactive panel offers a deep dive into the experiences, insights, and tips from experts who have extensively used COBRA systems in their work.

Topics Covered:

  • COBRA System in Professional Use: Insights into how COBRA firing systems have revolutionized professional pyrotechnic displays.
  • Real-World Applications: Discussions on diverse applications and unique challenges solved with COBRA systems.
  • Technological Advancements: Exploring the latest updates and features in COBRA systems and their practical benefits.
  • Expert Experiences: Panelists share their personal experiences and memorable projects using COBRA.
  • Q&A with Attendees: An open session for attendees to ask questions and seek advice from the panel experts.
  • Networking Opportunities: Connect with professionals and experts for future collaborations and knowledge sharing.

PGI Display Operator Course

NOTE: This session takes place on Wednesday, April 10th.

Embark on a journey to professionalism in firework display operations with the PGI (Pyrotechnics Guild International) Display Operator Course. This comprehensive training program is designed for those aspiring to become certified in conducting professional firework displays, covering all essential aspects from safety to hands-on firing system training.

Topics Covered:

  • Industry Standards and Safety: In-depth coverage of safety protocols and industry standards for firework displays.
  • Legal and Regulatory Compliance: Understanding the legalities and regulations involved in professional firework operations.
  • Firing Systems and Techniques: Hands-on training in using various firing systems and techniques for executing a flawless show.
  • Show Design and Execution: Insights into designing and executing captivating firework displays.
  • PGI Certification: Information on obtaining PGI certification upon successful completion of the course.
  • Interactive Learning Experience: Engaging sessions with experienced instructors for a comprehensive learning experience.
  • Networking Opportunities: Connect with other professionals and expand your industry network.

PYROCAST: Audience and Audio Engagement

Pyrocast is an app designed to bring your show's soundtrack directly to your audience's phones. This is ideal for settings where attendees may be at a distance from the audio setup or for those who prefer a more intimate listening experience. Beyond just audio, Pyrocast also offers branding options, an introductory video feature, show announcements, and more. Discover how to integrate this technology into your fireworks displays to elevate audience engagement and overall experience.

Pyromusical Creation Workshop with RKM

This workshop, led by RKM, focuses on the process of designing and executing pyromusicals. It's aimed at individuals interested in the technical and creative aspects of combining fireworks with music. The session will use the evening's closing show as a live example to illustrate key concepts.

Topics Covered:
  • Scripting Pyromusicals: Learn how to script fireworks to synchronize with music, utilizing RKM's proven methods.
  • Selecting Fireworks: Insights into choosing fireworks that complement the music and theme of your pyromusical, ensuring an impactful experience.
  • Creating Visual and Musical Harmony: Strategies for achieving a cohesive experience between the visual fireworks display and the accompanying soundtrack.
  • Utilizing Software for Choreography: Overview of tools essential for planning and synchronizing fireworks with music, with examples of popular options and their applications.
  • Example of Application: The evening's closing show, designed by RKM, will serve as a practical example of the topics discussed, allowing attendees to see firsthand how the principles of pyromusical design are applied in a live performance.

The workshop combines practical advice with professional insights, aimed at providing attendees with a comprehensive understanding of pyromusical creation from concept to execution.

Scripting With IGNITE

Whether you're a beginner in designing automated shows or creating shows synced to music, this introductory class is ideal for you. Tailored for both enthusiasts and small show professionals, the course covers the foundational aspects of automated show creation.

Topics Covered:

  • Initiating a new show
  • Managing fireworks
  • Incorporating events into your show
  • Customizing columns and configuring show settings
  • Adding a musical element to your show
  • Labeling fireworks and generating reports
  • Using Pyrocast to play audio
  • Executing your finalized show
  • Open Question & Answer session

Should I Use Slats?

Curious about incorporating slats into your pyro setup but not sure where to start? You're not alone! Whether you're coordinating large-scale firework displays or more intimate events, the decision to use slats can be a game-changer—or not. That's right, slats aren't always the best fit for every situation. Join us for an informative session that tackles all your burning questions about using slats in wireless pyro firing systems. We'll demystify what slats are, how they interact with your main firing module, and help you weigh whether they can make your shows more spectacular and efficient—or if you're better off without them.

Topics Covered:

  • What Are Slats?: Get the basics of what slats do and how they work with your main module.
  • Pros and Cons: Straightforward info on the good and the bad of using slats.
SMPTE - Should I use it and how?

Thinking about using SMPTE timecode for your pyro shows but not sure if it's the right move? You're not alone. SMPTE timecode can bring precision and synchronization to your displays, but it's not a one-size-fits-all solution. In this session, we'll explore when to use SMPTE and how to get started. From basics to best practices, we’ll help you decide if SMPTE timecode is the missing piece in your pyro puzzle. Plus, we'll go hands-on to create a SMPTE audio track using Show Creator and Audacity.

Topics Covered:

  • What Is SMPTE?: A quick intro to SMPTE timecode and what it can do for you.
  • Why Use It?: Understand the benefits and limitations of using SMPTE in pyrotechnics.
  • Getting Started: A beginner's guide to integrating SMPTE timecode into your setup.
  • Hands-On Demo: We'll walk you through creating a SMPTE audio track using Show Creator and Audacity.
  • Tips and Tricks: Practical advice for making the most out of SMPTE timecode.

The COBRA MESH Warrior : A Technical Understanding

For the first time, COBRA will unveil the intricate mechanics of the MESH system and its optimal application for resolving complex signal challenges. The discussion will feature our native Synapse SNAP platform and our tailored lightweight timing system, both designed to deliver split-second accuracy across multiple network hops. Additionally, we will explain how increasing the number of modules does not result in congestion or delays but rather enhances signal reliability.

Using 1.4 Pro Fireworks to Enhance your Displays

This is a targeted session for pyrotechnic professionals and enthusiasts eager to learn about incorporating 1.4Pro fireworks into their displays. This session will provide valuable insights into how 1.4Pro fireworks can significantly elevate the quality and impact of your pyrotechnic presentations.

Topics Covered:

  • Overview of 1.4Pro Fireworks: Understanding the characteristics and benefits of 1.4Pro category fireworks.
  • Design Techniques: Techniques and creative ideas for integrating 1.4Pro fireworks into various types of displays.
  • Safety and Handling: Essential safety protocols and best practices for using 1.4Pro fireworks.
  • Legal Considerations: Navigating the legal aspects and regulations associated with 1.4Pro fireworks.
  • Showcase Examples: Analyzing successful displays that effectively utilized 1.4Pro fireworks.
  • Q&A Session: An interactive segment for attendees to ask questions and discuss with experts.

Using Audacity to Create and Edit Soundtracks

New to crafting and editing a musical soundtrack for your pyromusical? This introductory course will guide you through the essentials, from acquiring high-quality audio to mixing multiple tracks into a cohesive soundtrack. Topics Covered: Purchasing high-quality audio files online Importing single or multiple audio files into Audacity Combining tracks sequentially to form a unified audio file Utilizing fades for smoother song transitions Shortening songs by removing choruses Formatting and exporting the finalized soundtrack Question & Answer session

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