AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2022: where, when and what to expect from the big drone conference

AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2022 is actually happening, bringing drone enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and employees together for — what might be for many — the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic.

So after more than two years of lockdowns and mask-wearing, one of the world’s largest drone conferences is set to be back in full force. And yes, AUVSI XPONENTIAL ’22 should see a big comeback this year after many skipped business travel in 2020 and 2021. AUVSI did a host an in-person event in August 2021, which brought over 4,200 visitors to Atlanta. AUVSI says it expects to host thousands of attendees at this year’s conference.

Here’s everything you need to know about AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2022.

Where is AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2022 being held?

Head to the Sunshine State this year, as AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2022 is happening at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. Expect an expanded XPO Hall inside, plus an outdoor demo space. AUVSI says it plans to host more than 650 exhibitors, which will sprawl across more than two football fields of exhibit space.

The Orange County Convention Center is only about a 15-minute drive from MCO airport. And even better, it’s only about a 20-minute drive from Walt Disney World. Loyal Drone Girl readers probably know that I love Disney just as much (okay, maybe more than) drones, so that’s a definite win.

Related read: How to Travel to Orlando on Points and Miles

Besides the convention center events, there will be various other parties and meetups around town. For example, The Florida Peninsula Chapter of AUVSI (AUVSI Florida) will host a kick-off party at Topgolf Orlando, which is just about a 10-minute walk away from the convention center.

Key Dates: When is AUVSI XPONENTIAL, and when do I need to sign up by?

The event runs from April 25-28.

Courses start at 8 a.m. on Monday, April 25, so you’ll likely want to fly in on Sunday to ensure you don’t miss a thing. And the event is jam-packed, with sessions running through 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 28.

Early Bird pricing is valid until March 7, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. ET, so purchase tickets by then to save. Otherwise, standard pricing goes into effect March 8 at 12 a.m. ET.

How much are tickets?

Tickets range in price from $109 to $1,199, depending on your level of access, affiliations and when you buy. Here are all the ticket prices:

AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2022 ticket prices

And don’t be turned off by that Organization pass price. That actually gets up to 10 individuals from the same organization in on one price, which could be excellent for drone small business owners, or even big drone companies looking to send a lucky handful of people.

In addition, AUVSI offers a discounted rate for qualifying people, which is what that “Special Category” pricing entails. Qualifying people include full-time students with current semester validation; credentialed members of the police, sheriff, EMS, fire service or park rangers; teachers with a valid .edu email address; and U.S. Federal, state, local and tribal government employees, including active-duty members of the military. See if you qualify on AUVSI’s website here.

What do you actually get for each ticket tier? This chart breaks it down:

AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2022 pass features

What is XPONENTIAL 2022?

XPONENTIAL 2022 is a giant tech conference, put on by AUVSI, which stands for the Association for Uncrewed Vehicle Systems International and is a giant lobbying group for robotics industries. It offers keynotes from major industry leaders, and breakout small group training sessions.

There are also co-located events including the Automated Goods Movement Summit, the DRONERESPONDERS Florida Public Safety Conclave and UAS Weather Forum. There will be a ceremony for the AUVSI XCELLENCE Awards (see the 2021 AUVSI XCELLENCE Award winners here). There will be plenty of coffee breaks for networking, and many exhibitors to see.

New events this year

Expect some changes and new happenings at this year’s event. Here are some of the fresh highlights:

Law-Tech Connect Workshop: The Law-Tech Connect Workshop is a one-day, co-located event with AUVSI 2022, to connect attorneys and other uncrewed ecosystem thought leaders with legal, regulatory and policy knowledge around drones, autonomy and advanced air mobility.  The workshop will explore drone law and regulation updates, artificial intelligence policy, public-private partnership legal authorities and more. Learn more about the Law-Tech Connect Workshop here.

KO Kickoff Party at TopGolf: AUVSI Florida is hosting “KO,” an industry VIP kick-off party at Topgolf Orlando, on Monday, April 25 from 7:00 to 9:30 p.m. At the party, the golf experience will transform into a three-tiered interpretation of air, land, and sea, with each level offering special food and beverage concepts designed to pay homage to both the past and future of the industry in celebration of the 50th anniversary of AUVSI.

Tickets cost $75 an include unlimited alcoholic and non-boozy drinks, food, golfing contests and live DJ music. Proceeds from the KO event will support the non-profit mission of advancing STEM education and robotics outreach by AUVSI Florida within the state.

Are you attending AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2022 this year?

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