Want to squeeze in one more big drone event before the year ends? Perhaps you’ve got a work-sponsored conference registration stipend to attend. Maybe you are looking for another item to add to your tax write-offs for 2022 (yes, professional conferences can be tax-deductible in many situations, though you should always consult with a tax professional). Or otherwise you just want a fun getaway that involves drones. Luckily, there are plenty of Winter 2022 drone events to attend.
Especially coming off of September’s Commercial UAV Expo in Vegas, which gave us exciting announcements such as the launch of Teledyne FLIR’s SIRAS drone, 2022 has been invigorating for the drone conference crowd.
As we close out the year, there are a few more events that are still open for registration, and that look to be worth attending.
Here are the top winter 2022 drone events I’m watching:
DRL Race in the Cloud: October 11
San Jose, California
The Drone Racing League (DRL) will ring in the launch of its 2022–23 DRL Algorand World Championship Season with the first professional drone race in Silicon Valley. The event will be held at PayPal Park and is open to the public, with tickets available on Ticketmaster.
The event, held at 7:30 p.m. PT on Tuesday, October 11, is being held in tandem with the opening night of Google Cloud Next, which is sponsoring the event.
If you can’t attend live, the 2022–23 DRL Algorand World Championship Season will air on your home screens starting on Nov. 19, 2022 at 1:30 p.m. EST on NBC, YouTube, TikTok, Twitch, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
DJI AirWorks: October 10-12
Las Vegas, Nevada
DJI Airworks 2022 is DJI’s big drone conference that targets enterprise users looking to learn about drones for commercial use.
This year’s AirWorks conference is set for Monday, Oct. 10 through Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022 at the Mirage Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The lineup of speakers this year includes Hover UAV CEO Jackie Dujmovic and Los Angeles Fire Department Deputy Chief Richard Fields. You’ll also get the opportunity to hear directly from DJI engineers.
Oh, and you’ll also get to attend a session hosted by me — and it should be a pretty fresh pivot from many of the other sessions. In my DJI AirWorks workshop, you’ll learn how to pitch your drone business — relevant if you’re looking to pitch press, pitch investors, or just to pitch customers.
Happily, this is also one of the lowest-cost conferences to attend, at just $299. Considering it also includes complimentary drinks and appetizers at the opening reception as well as two days worth of complimentary breakfast and lunch, you’re practically making money at that point.
New England UAS and AAM Summit 2022: October 26 and 27
This two-day summit is set to focus on one specific area: scaling airspace and autonomy — while also understanding its impacts on society and business.
The conference is a joint effort put on by AUVSI New England, NDIA New England, and MassAutonomy, and it should be of interest to drone businesses, regulatory experts, city planners, and technologists. Among the highlights is set to be a discussion on how new advanced air mobility “vertiports” will integrate with local communities. There’s also a PitchFest and exhibit hall.
It’ll be held at the Northeastern University Innovation Campus in Burlington, Massachusetts.
Tickets start at $495, though you’ll pay just $446 if you register before Sept. 30.
European Drone Forum: November 7 and 8
Cologne, Germany (and online)
The European Drone Forum is designed for drone manufacturers and operators to discuss upcoming regulations, reports on operational experiences and challenges.
This year’s conference will be particularly interesting given the upcoming changes to flying drones with a special C0 to C4 class identification labels. Back in 2019, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) published a comprehensive set of rules which go into effect in 2024, and already we’re seeing drones getting certified. Recently, the DJI Mavic 3 drone earned compliance with the drone class C1 requirements.
Tickets start at €199 for UAVDACH members or €499 for nonmembers to attend in-person. Or, if you’d rather dial in via Zoom, tickets are €99 for members or €199 for nonmembers.
World of Drones & Robotics Congress 2022: November 14 and 15
It’s winter in the U.S., but the great thing about the World of Drones & Robotics Congress 2022 is that it’ll actually be summer. That’s because it’s held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre in Queensland, Australia.
The conference looks at the convergence of drones with other forms of robotics, autonomy and AI, honing in on business and investment. This year’s conference also includes a National Drone Safety Forum and Sovereign Supply and Defense Industries Forum.
I attended back in 2017 and can attest to an incredibly high caliber of speakers and organization. It’s perhaps unsurprising that this conference is one of the best, given that World of Drones & Robotics Congress was ideated by Dr. Catherine Ball, an author, founder, and ethics advocate working across global projects where robotics and new technology meet environmental protection.
It’s also hard not to pass up an opportunity to head to Australia — especially when it’s summer down under.
Tickets for World of Drones & Robotics Congress 2022 start at $435 for a regular, single day pass, though they drop to $355 if you register and pay before Sept. 30, 2022.
CSU Drone Flight School: December 12 through 16
If you’re looking for in-person drone training from the people who are experts in using them, consider Drone Flight School. Put on by Colorado State University and hosted by the Parker, Colorado Police Department, you’ll learn what you need to pass the initial FAA Part 107 exam. Plus there’s hands-on flying, too.
The course is $450 for CSU-affiliated students, researchers, staff, and faculty, and $550 for everyone else.
What other drone events are you attending in winter 2022 to close out the year? Leave a comment below!