Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have been around for a lot longer than most people realize. The first drones were used by the Austrian military in their attack on Venice in 1849. Quadcopters have been around since 1920. Mini-drones and quadcopters have been used for photography for almost a decade.
As drones have come down in size and price, they have become accessible to event organizers. There are many different types of drones but some of the most popular include DJI Phantom 4 and the Parrot.AR Drone 2.0.
1. Sporting events
They are often used at sporting events as they make it possible to follow fast action across a large field. Drones can get much closer to the action than any photographer.
2. Resort and site tours
Drones make it possible to provide panoramic views of resort properties and zoom in for close ups of some features. Here Sandals provides a drone tour of its Whitehouse property in Jamaica with stunning results.
3. Destination tours
It’s helpful for event and meeting planners to have a way of quickly viewing the key attractions that a destination has to offer so that they can build those that will appeal to participants into their itinerary. Tourist boards and convention bureaus are making use of drones to showcase destinations from unique vantage points.
Here drones provide an overview of Dubai’s top attractions.
4. Meeting highlights
Drones can be combined with footage from traditional video cameras and GoPros to capture highlights from corporate meetings. Lions Club International blended footage of their 2016 convention from various sources together seamlessly to produce a very engaging video.
Always ground-breaking, the CCTV Spring Festival Gala for the Chinese New Year is enjoyed by millions of viewers around the world. For 2016, the show featured 540 dancing robots. Zerotech Dobby actually created a dance routine involving drones for the 2017 show.
The most important thing to remember is that using drones is not about the technology. The focus should be on the results and type of footage you want to create. That will drive the decision about whether or not drones are appropriate for your event.
Drones can’t be used everywhere, however. To begin learning about the logistics and laws of using drones at meetings and events, check out The Meeting Professional’s “Game of Drones.”
And if you’re REALLY interested in the future of drones, you can always attend one of the many UAV-specific conferences going on around the world (such as the International Drone Conference and Exposition, this September in Las Vegas).