Coronavirus won’t stop Interdrone 2020 — for now at least.
The massive drone conference, currently scheduled for August 18-20 in Dallas, Texas, has no plans to postpone the show, despite a wave of uncertainty amongst other major event organizers.
Interdrone this week unveiled a list of speakers confirmed to attend, including two keynote speakers. The two Interdrone 2020 keynote speakers are:
- Patricia Refo, President Elect, American Bar Association: Refo is also a partner at Snell & Wilmer in Phoenix, where she focuses on commercial litigation and internal investigations.
- Dr. Terry Martin, Project Director, Nova Systems: Martin is developing a UAV Traffic Management (UTM) system for Singaporean conditions, co-funded by the Singaporean Civil Aviation Authority.
The organizers said more Interdrone 2020 keynote speakers have yet to be announced.
Other speakers will include:
- Jennifer Andrews: project lead on Bell’s Technology and Innovation team
- Kelly Daly: a regulatory and transactional attorney, and a partner at Snell and Wilner
- Lindsey Dreiling: Executive Director of Aviation Strategy at Kansas State Polytechnic
- Jackie Dujmovic: founder and CEO of Hover UAV
- Dr. Tulinda Larsen: CEO and Founder of the economic consulting firm, Skylark Services
- Fiona Lake: Australia’s best-known agricultural photographer
- Helena Samsioe: CEO and Founder of GLOBHE
- Laura Stefani: tech and telecommunications lawyer at Mintz
- Dawn M.K. Zoldi (Colonel, USAF, Retired): a licensed attorney, 25-year Air Force veteran and founder and CEO of P3 Tech Consulting
The lineup is set to be pretty stellar. Not to mention, it’s one of the few tech conferences to have an extensive list of female speakers on its roster.
In addition to the main show, Interdrone is spreading its wings to include five other co-located events to hone in on specific sectors of drones. Those events are:
- UAS First Responder Summit
- Inspection Drone Energy and Infrastructure
The Interdrone 2020 conference will also host popular events like the annual Women and Drones luncheon, where winners of the Women to Watch awards are expected to be named.
Conference tickets start at $90 and can cost as much as $980, depending on when you buy and the level of access you want.
Will coronavirus-related travel restrictions affect the conference?
As of now, Interdrone is chugging along as planned, and is already selling conference tickets.
But while registration is open now, Early Bird pricing runs until May 8 — so you might want to wait a little closer to May 8 to ensure a discounted rate but also have more clarity on what the future state of travel looks like.
If you do need to cancel (for any reason), Interdrone said cancellations made by Friday, July 20, 2020 will be entitled to an 80% refund. But as of now, cancellations made post-July 20 are non-refundable.
Interdrone, is put on by a conference company called Emerald, which is at least acknowledging coronavirus. The company postponed or cancelled other conferences scheduled through early June 2020.
“We are closely monitoring the fast-moving developments regarding COVID-19 in accordance the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), and World Health Organizations (WHO), and prepared to take action as the need arises,” Emerald said in a statement.
What about Interdrone hotel bookings?
Interdrone 2020 will be held at the Hyatt Regency in Dallas, which has a flexible cancellation policy. A Hyatt spokesperson said reservations booked directly through Hyatt’s site between now and June 30, 2020 (for any future arrival date) can be changed or cancelled at no charge up to 24 hours before your scheduled arrival, including Advance Purchase Rate reservations.
That said, given the uncertainty around travel this year, you might not want to book your hotel directly through the Interdrone website. That’s because Hyatt’s cancellation policies for Special Event Rates are different than traditional rates booked directly on the Hyatt website: you’ll get hit with a cancellation penalty if you cancel within 14 days of your scheduled arrival date.
Will you plan on attending the conference this year? What Interdrone 2020 keynote speakers are you looking for to seeing most?