Event Tech Strategy, Insights & Trends.

Drone 101: The Dos & Don’ts of Using Drones at Your Event

Unmanned aerial vehicles, otherwise known as drones, have been gaining major popularity over the last few years. They went from robots only movie producers or police could get their hands on, to becoming top selling items on Amazon for everyday gadget hobbyists. Not only are drones very fun and cool, but they can also grab some awesome images or video when a camera is attached or included on the device.

Event planners and marketers alike are also getting on board the drone trend to take photos and video, as well as to add a super techy vibe to the onsite experience. While there are multiple ways to incorporate drones into your events, there are also some restrictions event planners should know about.

Drone Dos

  1. Capturing images: Ditch the standard photography norms and grab some aerial 360 degree shots with drones. This will engage your attendees and the unique shots will for sure rack up likes and shares on social media.
  2. Filming destination/venue tours: Get your attendees excited about your destination or venue virtually with drone footage that’s posted online prior to the event. This is can also be done pre-event for site selection.
  3. Creating pre-/post-event videos: Like I mentioned in my live streaming post, showing your attendees event footage from set up to break down of your events makes the event more personable for attendees. Essentially, this behind the scenes footage gives your guests a backstage pass, and adding images/video captured by drones brings an extra exciting element to that. 
  4. Using them for brand awareness/sponsorship opportunities: Since drones are all of the rage nowadays, putting your name or a sponsor’s name on one at an event will create major brand awareness that attendees will remember. Sure beats logos on event tote bag!
  5. Adding a drop off service: Believe it or not, drones can also act as really cool delivery service (Amazon is even testing this!). You can use drones to drop off food, drinks or even swag bags and giveaways.

While there are many cool things drones can do at events, there are many “don’ts” to keep in mind when planning on operating them onsite:

Drone Don’ts

  1. Flying it without a registration: It’s important to know that when flying drones for commercial purposes, they are required to be registered by the FAA.
  2. Flying it above 400 feet: Stay out of air space and remain clear of surrounding obstacles.
  3. Flying it out of sight: If you lose sight of your drone, it may be flying somewhere it shouldn’t, which brings me to my next point…
  4. Getting too close to people: Aim to keep drones at least 25 feet away from individuals. After all, you don’t want to harm any of your attendees accidentally.
  5. Not doing your research: Remember that laws about using drones vary by state and country. For example, while in New York it may be okay to use drones to capture images at open-air events where 100 or more people are gathered, in Tennessee it is not.

and one final reminder…

  1. Don’t be a creeper: Please respect other people’s privacy when coming up with ways to use drones. At the end of the day, be mindful of where you are using drones and don’t impede on people’s private business. To stay on track, come up with a plan ahead of time of what exactly you want to capture and make sure all those operating drones are well-trained and understand your goals.

What are some ways you’ve used drones (or seen drones used) at events? Share in the comments below!

3 Responses to “Drone 101: The Dos & Don’ts of Using Drones at Your Event”

  1. Mike Weimar

    One thing that is starting to become a problem with drones is people taking matters into their own hands after deciding they do not want to be recorded. How many stories have there been so far about people who had their drone shot down by a neighbor, even when it is hovering over their own property. We are gonna have to change the perceptions of a lot of people to really get drones rolling.

  2. Hemani Sheth

    Great article! Pretty useful tips. Drones have surely emerged as a trendy tech tool for events. Superbowl, for e.g., had a spectacular display of their sponsor logo last year using drones. When used aptly, drones can surely add that ‘wow’ factor to events.

  3. Chris

    While the article makes it sound fun and unique it is to an extent.

    It started off with all the fun things you can do but ended with the restrictions.

    It’s the restrictions that are serious. First it’s the pilot that needs an FAA license. The drone should be register but you won’t get in trouble for that.

    Events means people and you can’t fly over the heads of anyone no matter how high you fly.

    Flying in doors while not controlled by the FAA it is however controlled by lack of insurance and common sense.

    People break the law all the time. I speed and text sometimes if I think I can get away with it. It only matters if you get caught or something happens and you become liable.

    I’ve been flying over 2 years at events and I do not take chances just to get the top down shot over the heads of attendees.

    Fly safe everyone. If your piliot is not licensed of get insurance for you event, don’t do it.

    I hope this helps.


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