International Drone Expo is coming to Los Angeles for its third year in a row, and it’s shaping up to be the coolest drone conference yet.
The conference will host dozens of presentations, with a keynote from AeroVironment CEO Wahid Nawabi and keynotes from other drone luminaries.
You’ll meet people who use drones in their everyday lives, including Maria Stefanopoulos Bedryk, an Operations Producer at Good Morning America, Melissa diMeglio, a production manager who has used drones to film movies including Alvin and the Chipmunks, and famous drone racer Zoe Stumbaugh.
The centerpiece of the expo will be a live drone race, happening on the exhibit floor throughout the conference. The IDE Drone Racing Cup will host open racing and freestyle competions.
“Drone racing has caught fire in the last few months,” said Michael Rosenberg, Senior Vice President of EJ Krause & Associates. “It’s electrifying.”
And if drone racing isn’t really your style, there will also be a drone cage and obstacle course with cash prizes, next to a drone racing village for attendees to buy their own drone racing setup.
The two-day conference will be jam-packed with other events including a drone film festival, women in drones networking breakfast, build your own drone workshop, and Pitch Fest that allows entrepreneurs to present to some of the world’s top venture capitalists.
Talks will also highlight speakers from Harvard University, Yuneec Aviation and the Federal Aviation Administration.
“The focus of the event is really geared toward the business community,” Rosenberg said. “The attendees are serious buyers coming from all over the world.”
The event is also being held in conjunction with California Polytechnic State University.
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Last year, International Drone Expo hosted 3,000 attendees from around the world with 110 exhibitors. International Drone Expo also has plans to expand beyond just Los Angeles. IDE will add a drone show in partnership with Mobile World Congress in February 2017, making it the largest drone show in Europe. And in June of 2017, it will join forces with Mobile World Congress Shanghai, dominating three countries with drone shows.
“It’s one of the best conferences out there for industry and commerce, focusing on agriculture, search and rescue, racing, business – really everything,” Rosenberg said.
Disclosure: Sally French is a member of the Advisory Board for International Drone Expo.