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The Big Drone Show: Canada’s Biggest, Baddest Drone Event

BY Zacc Dukowitz
3 August 2017

We are pumped to announce The Big Drone Show as our latest community sponsor.

Why are we pumped?

The Big Drone Show is Canada’s premier drone event and it’s taking flight in Toronto, Canada September 27th and 28th. The team behind it are amazing innovators and are doing impressive work to push the drone industry forward.

Interested in attending? Register on The Big Drone Show website now, and make sure to use the code UAVCOACH for a hefty discount of 25% off of what is already a very low price at $90. (Scroll to the bottom of the page to find the registration link.)

What Is The Big Drone Show?

The Big Drone Show sets the stage for what is to come in the future of UAV/UAS systems. It is a two-day event that will provide an all-encompassing view of the industry from the technology itself to the various applications, showcasing the immense value drones can bring to commercial businesses.

The conference is co-produced by Cambridge House International and The Sky Guys, and features:

  • 50+ exhibitors, with exciting product releases promised
  • 40+ invited speakers
  • A B2B Meeting Zone for connecting industry professionals
  • A 2 day Hackathon
  • The Toronto Drone Film Festival
  • Attendance by the top players in the drone industry, including those in commercial, government, and defense sectors, as well as academics interested in drones and drone technology.

The goal of The Big Drone Show is to connect the global drone community with local drone industries and drone professionals within Canada.

Canada is a vast country and there is lot of potential for drone use. Those drones will allow Canada to access previously untapped resources.

The Big Drone Show aims to be a conduit to connect those interested in using drones and those who provide drone services. This could be an aerial cinematographer or manufacturer like DJI, one of the largest drone manufacturers in the world.

The Big Drone Show will also serve to introduce those in Canada’s commercial sector to the potential applications drone have for their business. By highlighting drone applications that are flourishing—like inspections and surveying—those who provide those services allow Canadian industries to explore drone use in an hands-on setting.

“This sector is providing an unmatched opportunity in both cost savings and service potential for every major Canadian industry. We’ve built a conference for anyone considering the use of UAV technology in their business. If you’ve been curious about the drone space, now is the time to get educated.”

– Jay Martin, Cambridge House International.

Want to Connect? Check Out the B2B Meeting Zone

The Big Drone Show isn’t just talking about drones and live demonstrations. They are committed to engaging attendees to network at their B2B Meeting Zone.

All registered attendees at the conference can set up one-on-one business meetings and all exhibiting companies have access to set-up meetings with conference speakers and qualified buyers. All of these meetings will take place in the Big Drone Show’s private VIP lounge.

This is an incredible opportunity for companies to connect with potential clients, or for those companies looking for drone services to find the perfect fit for their needs.

Image source

One emphasis here is on providing large entities, like mining operations or railroad companies, with the chance to explore the use of drones into their daily operations. The drone industry has grown to a point where many companies are now curious about how they might use drones to improve their operations, but don’t know where to get started.

As meetings aren’t just for large companies, those ‘solo-prenuers’ doing work in aerial cinematography who are looking to grow their client base will also have the opportunity to meet potential customers at the Toronto Drone Film Festival, which takes place during the conference.

As part of the film festival, The Big Drone Show is bringing together those who are looking for experts in photography and film with those who can provide those services. Aerial cinematographers will have the chance to network and to show their reels, in addition to being able to meet industry leaders from top movie production companies in Canada.

Looking to fund your startup? The Big Drone Show is also a place where VCs looking for places to invest in the drone industry will be seeking meetings with potential startups, so make sure to get setup in the B2B Meeting Zone if you have a company or product to pitch.

Who Attends and Who Speaks?

Many drone conferences focus either on commercial or defense, but The Big Drone Show has a broad focus, which draws attendees, exhibitors, and speakers from all sectors in the drone industry.

Those different sectors who attend, and who speak, can generally be broken into these groups:

  • Industry Professionals
  • Government and Policy Makers
  • UAV Experts and Academics
  • Students and Young Professionals
  • Drone Enthusiasts and Solopreneurs

Regulatory updates are sure to be a hot topic at the conference. Recently hobbyist restrictions have been eased in Canada, and there have been some loosening of Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) restrictions—we may see some big announcements made at the show, and those who attend will be there on the ground for these updates.

Transport Canada will be hosting a booth where companies can sit down and learn more about navigating Canadian regulations, which should be hugely valuable for those companies just getting started, or looking to break into work in Canada.

We can also expect to see professors and students who study drone technology and potential applications.

And finally, if these weren’t impressive enough for you, military and defense practitioners from NATO will host a panel about drone applications in the defense sector.

The Location . . .

Is just incredible.

Toronto is the 4th largest metropolis in North America, just after Mexico City, New York City, and Los Angeles.

Image source

The Big Drone Show is taking place in downtown Toronto, the heart of Canada’s financial district, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, one of the biggest event venues in one of the biggest cities in the world, let alone North America. To give you some idea of what we mean by BIG, the exhibition hall contains 55,000 square feet—that is massive!

If you’re into drones and you’ve always wanted to visit Canada, or if you live in Canada and have always wanted to visit Toronto, now is the time to do it.

The Toronto Drone Film Festival

Love drone videos?

So do we. And the Toronto Drone Film Festival (TDFF) promises to showcase some of the top talent in the world.

Submissions to the festival will open August 1, 2017 and close September 15, 2017.

The Grand Prize winner will be announced at The Big Drone Show at the Toronto Drone Film Festival reception, on September 27.

DJI Phantom 4 camera drone 2

A prize pool of over $5,000 CAD and DJI Phantom 4 is up for grabs.

“We are offering an international platform for filmmakers from around the world to showcase their work in front of industry professionals, the drone community and an extensive media network.”

– Adam Sax, President and CEO of The Sky Guys

Live Hackathon

The Big Drone Show’s live Hackathon is an exciting aspect of the event, and this year it will focus on how artificial intelligence can help with drone inspections.

Teams of coders will be given a mock power line inspection scenario, over which they’ll fly their drone to capture photos so they can identify cracks, corrosion, and other structural concerns.

After taking the photos, teams will have to train AI that they will code to recognize various types of data points in the scenario provided. The team that can develop software to recognize the flaws that were put into the power line will win the hackathon.

Prizes are still being finalized, but we know that the top three teams will receive a cash award as well as (we can only imagine) potential job offers from software developers.

The Hackathon will take place in its own section of the exhibition hall, with 5-6 teams of 3-4 students each competing. The students are current college/university undergraduates, master’s, and PhD candidates.

Major Announcements

We’ve heard rumors about some huge announcements and releases that are slated to take place at The Big Drone Show.

For the moment we’re sworn to secrecy, but we can say that one of the big companies involved is DJI . . . more on that soon!

Want to attend The Big Drone Show? Register now on The Big Drone Show website, and don’t forget to use the code UAVCOACH to save 25%.

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