AUVSI 2020

AUVSI 2020 postponed over coronavirus concerns, creating interesting dilemma for other drone conferences

AUVSI 2020 has been postponed in the wake of coronavirus.

Officially dubbed AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2020, the massive conference put on by international non-profit Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International was set to be held the first week of May in Boston.

“Based on currently available information…(AUVSI) has made the difficult but necessary decision to postpone AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2020,” according to a statement from AUVSI.

The conference will likely be postponed — and still held in Boston.

Organizers said they are targeting August 10-12 in Boston as their new date. Though, that date is still contingent on whether AUVSI can logistically secure hotel rooms, convention space and other factors that go into putting on a large conference. And of course, it’s also contingent upon the state of coronavirus by this summer.

As far as existing exhibitor and sponsor agreements, as well as registration policies, AUVSI said all existing agreements and terms remain in effect.

The decision was made “with the best interests of our members, exhibitors, attendees and the global community in mind,” according to a memo from AUVSI. But under current circumstances, the show is legally obligated to not go on. Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker on Friday issued an emergency order prohibiting most gatherings of over 250 people on Friday. That rule took effect immediately and is to remain in full force and effect until the State of Emergency is lifted.

The new August date for the AUVSI 2020 conference could make August a busy month for the drone community. Interdrone 2020, the other massive American drone conference, is scheduled for August 18-20 in Dallas, Texas. That’s the week after the AUVSI 2020 conference — and could present an interesting dilemma as drone industry participants weigh attending two conferences in two weeks, or choose one in favor of the other.

And then, just a week after that, DJI AirWorks is set to take place in LA from August 25-27, 2020.

Drone companies and government agencies also often use major conferences like these to make announcements, so it could be interesting to see how companies choose to spread out their own news between the two events.

As of Saturday, March 14, there were 27 confirmed and presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 among Boston residents.  All Boston public schools will close, beginning Tuesday March 17 through at least Monday, April 27.

AUVSI is not the only major Boston event to be postponed. The 2020 Boston Marathon, originally intended for April 20, will be postponed until Monday, September 14, 2020. 

Do you plan on attending AUVSI in August now that it’s been postponed? Will you attend Interdrone 2020 too, or is that too much drone conferencing for one month? Leave a comment!

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