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Drones aren’t just for movies and spy missions anymore; they are becoming increasingly popular among civilians, universities, journalists, law enforcement agencies and—you’ve guessed it—event marketers. If you haven’t heard how to use drone technology to your advantage, you’ve likely been living in the drone zone.

Officially referred to as unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs, these flying robots can be remotely controlled or flown through a GPS software-controlled flight plan. Often associated with top-secret military operations, today’s drone technology is being used to capture content or livestream video and more at an array of trade shows, conferences and other events. If you’re considering using a drone at your next event, check out these applications, guidelines and tips.

Using drone technology at a trade show

  • Capture content: Drones provide excellent video footage and photography that can be combined with interviews, product demos and more to create video content for your YouTube® page, website and social networks. If you operate a manufacturing plant or other large facility, you may also consider using a drone to capture footage of your operation ahead of time to provide attendees with a virtual tour. Links to videos can be imprinted on banners and other flight-inspired giveaways, such as fold-up flyers or aviator sunglasses.
  • Provide live coverage: Livestreaming your event and booth activities provides those who couldn’t attend a real-time glimpse of what they’re missing. Remember to plan ahead—let friends and followers know when and where you’ll be streaming and invite them to join the conversation.
  • Fun and games: Add a little excitement to your booth with a not-so-typical prize draw. The winner could operate your drone for a portion of the show or, better yet, win one of their own. You may also consider wearable giveaways, such as baseball hats or T-shirts. If your drone catches show attendees wearing your swag, they win a premium prize. A power bank or wireless speaker would make an excellent prize.

Now that you have a better idea how you’d like to use drones at your next trade show, follow these best practices and guidelines before the show:

  • Check the rules and regulations: Check with the trade show venue ahead of time to ensure drones are permitted and, if so, where. Some venues have restricted areas or times (e.g. drones may not be allowed when/where speakers are presenting).
  • Research insurance regulations: Do you need a permit? Is insurance required? Do you need additional coverage? If you’re using a vendor, does the company have its own policy?
  • Plan ahead: Scope out the venue prior to the show to make a list of shots you’d like to get. This allows you to ensure the footage is unimpeded by architecture, signage and décor.

The sky’s the limit when it comes to using drone technology at trade shows. With a little planning and promotion, lots of fun and good times are on the horizon.


Whitlock, Craig. “Close Encounters Rise as Small Drones Gain in Popularity.Washington Post. The Washington Post, 23 Jan. 2014. Web. Retrieved 09 Feb. 2016.

Rouse, Margaret. “What Is Drone? – Definition from WhatIs.com.IoT Agenda. N.p., Aug. 2015. Web. Retrieved 09 Feb. 2016.

7 Ways to Use Drones at Trade Shows.Ungerboeck.com. N.p., 21 May 2014. Web. Retrieved 09 Feb. 2016.

Sorrells, Mitra. “8 Tips for Using Drones at Events.Bizbash.com. N.p., 24 Feb. 2015. Web. Retrieved 09 Feb. 2016.




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