As commercial drone pilots, it is essential to stay on top of new developments in the industry. Rules and regulations are constantly changing. Manufacturers are always creating new products, and innovations in UAV technology continue to make the impossible a reality.
One of the best ways to stay current is to attend one or more of the many trade shows hosted annually. UAV industry shows happen all around the country and throughout the year.
I recently had the chance to attend one such show, the Commercial UAV Expo. The show is usually in Las Vegas, NV, and this year was no exception. The event was held at Caesars Forum, one of the newest convention centers on the Las Vegas strip.
The three-day event included live outdoor demonstrations, panel discussions, instructional classes, and product demonstrations. In addition to the many talks and presentations, the expo had an exhibitor showroom.
Exhibitors included DJI, Autel Robotics, BRINC, DroneUp, DroneDeploy, Pix4D, Skydio, and many more.
If you have never had the opportunity to attend one of these shows, you definitely should. I personally find the Comm UAV Expo to be my favorite, but they are all worth checking out. Here are two additional shows worth researching.
The Association for Uncrewed Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) is the largest nonprofit organization for the uncrewed industry. AUVSI works with professionals and organizations in more than 60 countries. In addition to advancing uncrewed and robotics industry issues, the nonprofit hosts an annual show, XPONENTIAL. The event features training opportunities and brings together people across many industries. Typical participants are from construction, oil and gas, mining, and utility sectors. It is a great venue to connect with others working with drones.
Next year's conference takes place from May 8-11 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, CO.
Another favorite convention for the industry is InterDrone. Before the pandemic, InterDrone was a standalone expo much like XPONENTIAL. Since the pandemic hit, the show went dark. In previous years over 30% of the attendees were CEOs/owners/presidents of their respective organizations, making InterDrone a perfect venue to network with key decision-makers and top innovators in the drone community.
Recently, it was announced that InterDrone would no longer be a standalone show. The expo will become a part of a bigger show, Create NYC.
Create NYC is part of the PHOTOPLUS brand. Their events are geared toward the creator community. Due to COVID, the 2022 event was canceled. No date has been set for the 2023 show, but the organizers suggest it will take place.
The event's webpage notes, "InterDrone, as you know, will go away BUT will become a fixture of the new festival experience that is Create NYC. This new festival will feature exclusive content and experiences for drone creatives interested in photography, cinematography, videography, and content creation."
If you are interested in learning more, check out the websites for the Comm UAV Expo and AUVSI's XPONENTIAL. The sites will show information from previous shows and give you a feel for what these shows are all about. I hope to see you all at the next event!
Article Written by David Daly