Drone Usage for Marketing and Events

Drone Usage for Marketing and events

Ready to take your trade show advertising to new heights? Use drones for trade shows, and you can transform ordinary marketing efforts into unforgettable campaigns.

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), aka drones, consist of remotely piloted and unpiloted aerial vehicles. They are useful in a variety of industries, including:

  • Agriculture
  • Military
  • Retail

Meanwhile, it may be only a matter of time before marketing with drones makes its way to trade shows.

drone statistic

Market research firm Grand View Research notes the global commercial drone market was worth an estimated $552 million in 2014. In addition, Grand View indicates the global commercial drone market is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.9 percent between 2013 and 2022. And as this market grows, using drones for marketing may become exceedingly common at trades shows worldwide.

Put simply, drones are cool. They represent the latest technology to make its way to trade shows, and marketers who fail to embrace drones could fall behind the competition and fail to rebound.

To better understand the impact of “drone-vertising,” let’s take a closer look at the use of drones in marketing and drone aerial advertising.

what is drone-vertising

What Is Drone-vertising?

“Drone-vertising” involves the use of UAVs to collect marketing data, launch products and engage with target audiences. It enables marketers to leverage drones in a number of ways, including:

  • Physically connect with prospects and customers. Marketers can use drone aerial advertising to physically reach prospects and customers at trade shows. That way, marketers can share brand-related and personalized messages with large groups of people quickly and effortlessly.
  • “Wow” trade show attendees. Want to bring the “wow” factor to a trade show? Thanks to drone advertising banners and other drone advertising efforts, marketers can wow trade show attendees.
  • Deliver unique video content. Drones are ideal for marketers who want to provide innovative, eye-catching video content during trade shows. UAVs serve as state-of-the-art videographer tools; ensuring marketers can produce one-of-a-kind video content. They even allow marketers to live stream presentations at trade shows.
  • Integration with assorted technologies. Drones can function in combination with cloud, Internet of Things (IoT) and other technologies, enabling marketers to retrieve industry data and connect with target audiences like never before.

Drone aerial advertising may make or break a business. If a company embraces drones for trade shows, it can reap the benefits of distinct marketing campaigns that may help this business differentiate itself from the competition.

How Are Companies Using Drones for Marketing?

Although using drones for marketing is still relatively new, several businesses have already gone above and beyond the call of duty to integrate drones into their marketing efforts.

Here are several examples of how companies are using drones for marketing:

  1. Drone Deliveries

drone deliveries

According to Business Insider, a London-based sushi restaurant has begun using drones to deliver food to customers’ tables.

The restaurant, YO! Sushi, started using four-propeller “iTray” drones a few years ago. These drones, controlled via iPad, enable restaurant guests to get food delivered to their tables at speeds of 25 miles per hour.

What does this innovation mean for marketers? A lot, of course! Imagine what it would be like to deliver promotional items directly to trade show attendees. Or what it would be like to allow trade show attendees to order products from your company and have them delivered via drone at a trade show. Thanks to drone-vertising, it may be only a matter of time before businesses transform this dream into a reality.

  1. Drone Advertising Banners

Any business can buy billboard space to advertise to prospects and customers. Going forward, drone advertising banners will make it simple for brands to bring their messages directly to customers.

Drone advertising banners represent the next wave of mobile advertising, and businesses can use this technology to highlight their products and services in an unforgettable way. For instance, marketers can deploy drone advertising banners at trade shows. By doing so, a company can connect with a broad range of trade show attendees – regardless of whether these attendees visit a business’ trade show booth.

  1. Drones for Holiday-Themed Advertising

Want to launch a holiday-themed, advertising campaign? Choose drones, and you can help customers and prospects get into the holiday spirit.

Several companies have already highlighted the benefits of drones for holiday advertising.

In November 2014, TGI Fridays used drones as part of its #Togetherness Mistletoe campaign. The restaurant chain brought mistletoes to couples’ tables, encouraging them to kiss under the mistletoe – a great way to engage with diners and encourage togetherness during the holiday season.

Meanwhile, the Flower Council of Holland transformed Valentine’s Day 2015 into a memorable celebration for many couples with its FunnyHowFlowersDoThat initiative. As part of the campaign, the council used a red “Cupidrone” to deliver roses to people on the streets of Verona, Italy, aka the setting of “Romeo and Juliet.” The Flower Council of Holland spread love through the streets of Verona on Valentine’s Day, and as a result, helped make the holiday extra special for those who were lucky enough to receive a rose from the Cupidrone.

  1. Drones for Line Management

using drones for line management

No one likes long lines, and drones can help event managers at trade shows stay up to date about lines that otherwise can quickly get out of control.

If a long line forms at a trade show booth, attendees at the end of the line probably won’t wait around. Now, drones enable event managers to track the number of prospects and customers at a trade show booth. Moreover, if a large number of attendees visit a booth at a single time, an event manager can respond accordingly.

Businesses may miss out on major opportunities to promote their brands and grow their earnings if they fail to invest in drone-vertising. However, companies that allocate the necessary time and resources to understand drone-vertising today can benefit from drone aerial advertising for years to come.

Why Should You Use Drone Aerial Advertising?

Drone aerial advertising may deliver a variety of benefits to businesses of all sizes and across all industries. Some of the reasons to leverage drones in marketing include:

reasons you should drone-vertise

  1. High-Quality Video

Does your company use video in its advertising campaigns? If not, it may struggle to gain ground on the competition in a fierce global marketplace.

video and buying

Video Brewery points out a recent study of online shoppers indicated 90 percent of respondents said they found video to be helpful in making shopping and purchasing decisions. Furthermore, retailers that offer online videos of their products tend to sell more products that those who do not.

Drones simplify the process of capturing high-quality video from any location, at any time. They make it easy for marketers to collect video during a trade show and incorporate it into engaging, unique marketing campaigns.

Plus, drones provide video that can be used in many ways. Whether it’s providing video that can be shared across a business’ social networks, or included in a podcast or blog post, drones empower marketers to capture video that makes a bold statement.

  1. Improved Marketing ROI

For marketers, it is essential to maximize the return on investment (ROI) of every campaign. This ensures marketers can avoid the dangers associated with wasted time and resources. In addition, marketers who can optimize the time and resources at their disposal may be better equipped than ever before to get additional marketing spend in the future.

Drone-vertising can help marketers improve the overall effectiveness of a campaign. It enables a business to engage with prospects and customers in a fun, exciting way – something that may help a company drive audience engagement and revenue growth.

When it comes to deciding how to invest marketing resources, making the right choice can be tough. But drone-vertising enables marketers to get the most out of any campaign, as drones can be used in many ways.

Drones enable marketers to collect video, perform deliveries, showcase a business’ products and services and much more. As such, UAVs are game-changers that can help marketers optimize time and resources.

  1. Unparalleled Promotional Activities

At a trade show, it is insufficient for a business to invite attendees to a booth. Instead, a company must offer some type of incentive to ensure attendees visit a booth and engage with this business during a trade show. If a company does not, it is unlikely to create a long-lasting impression on trade show attendees.

In the past, many companies offered giveaways or other promotions to engage with prospects and customers at trade shows. But, let’s face it – any company can give away free stuff.

For companies that want to stand out from the pack, drones are key. UAVs enable companies to promote their brands to hundreds of thousands of trade show attendees.


If a company is giving away free products at its booth, it can use drones to provide details to attendees across a trade show. Another idea would be to host a “win this t-shirt and win a prize when we find you” contest during a trade show thanks to drones.

With drones, the marketing possibilities are endless. For companies that want to score a competitive advantage, UAVs may prove to be a great investment for unparalleled promotional activities.

  1. Delivery of Lost Freight at Trade Shows

lost freight at trade showsEvent managers have all faced the following scenario at one trade show or another:

You arrive at a trade show with all of your promotional materials in tow – or so you thought. As it turns out, you’re missing some of your most important marketing materials. Unfortunately, the trade show is filling up, so getting the materials to your booth may be nearly impossible.

Believe it or not, drones can help marketers recover lost freight faster than ever before. If marketers need last-minute deliveries to trade show booths, drones may enable them to get missing items to their booths with ease.

  1. Data Collection

You don’t need to be a data scientist to collect data at trade shows. In fact, drones for trade shows enable marketers to understand the effectiveness of their trade show campaigns.

For example, drones can help marketers learn about trade show attendee behaviors, dwell times, and areas of interest. With this information, marketers can revamp their trade show campaigns as needed.

There are many wonderful reasons to use drones for marketing. With the right certification, you should have no trouble leveraging UAVs as part of your trade show efforts.

What Is Drone Certification?

drone certification

Those who use drones recreationally do not need to obtain certification. On the other hand, if you intend to use drones for trade shows, you’ll need to earn certification to operate a drone at an event.

Here are the requirements to become a certified drone pilot:

  • The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will vet all drone certification candidates in advance.
  • All drone pilots must be 16 years of age or older.
  • Drone pilots must be able to read, speak, write and understand English; however, exceptions may apply if an individual is unable to meet any of these requirements due to a medical reason.
  • A drone pilot must be in a good physical and mental condition to operate a small UAV safely.
  • You will need to complete an objective, multiple-choice test administered by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This test must be completed at an FAA-approved knowledge testing center. The test consists of 60 questions, and you’ll have two hours to finish the test. The minimum passing score for the test is 70 percent, so you’ll need to get at least 42 questions correct.
  • You will need to complete a recurrent aeronautical knowledge test every two years.
  • You will need to report a drone accident to the FAA within 10 days if it results in injury or property damage of $500 or more.
  • The pilot certificate must be easily accessible by the remote pilot during all UAV operations.

Moreover, here are the steps that you’ll need to complete as part of the drone certificate application process.

  1. Set up an appointment at an FAA-approved knowledge testing center. An FAA-approved knowledge testing center will administer initial and recurrent FAA knowledge exams. A full list of knowledge testing centers is available here. You also will need to bring a government-issued photo ID with you to the testing center.
  2. Pass the initial aeronautical knowledge test. This test focuses on the following knowledge areas:
    • Regulations relating to small unmanned aircraft system rating privileges, limitations and flight operation
    • Airspace classification and operating requirements and flight limitations involving small unmanned aircraft operation
    • Aviation weather sources and the impact of weather on small unmanned aircraft performance
    • The loading and performance of small unmanned aircraft
    • Emergency procedures
    • Crew resource management
    • Radio communication protocols
    • How to assess the performance of small unmanned aircraft
    • The impact of drugs and alcohol on a small unmanned aircraft pilot
    • Aeronautical decision-making and judgment
    • Airport operations
    • Proper UAV maintenance and preflight inspection protocols
  3. Complete FAA Form 8710-13 for a remote flight certificate via the electronic FAA Integrated Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application (IACRA) system. You’ll need to register for the FAAA IACRA system and log in with a username and password. Then, start the application, follow the application prompts and enter the 17-digit Knowledge Test Exam ID. You can sign the application and submit it for processing electronically.
  4. Receive a temporary remote pilot certificate. You’ll receive a confirmation email upon successful completion of a TSA background check. This email will include instructions so you can print a temporary remote pilot certificate.
  5. Obtain a permanent remote pilot certificate. After all FAA-internal processing is complete, you will receive a permanent remote pilot certificate in the mail.

Common Questions About Drone Certification

The drone certification process may seem complex. We’re here to help teach you the ins and outs of the process.

Let’s take a closer look at a few questions about drone certification.

If I Plan to Fly a Drone at Trade Shows, Will I Need to Obtain Drone Certification?

Yes. If you’re using a drone for recreational purposes, then you don’t need drone certification. Recreational drone use is defined by guidelines such as:

  • Flying the drone under 400 feet.
  • Flying in the daylight.
  • Not flying a drone directly over people.
  • Establishing a clear, direct line-of-sight.

For those who want to fly drones at trade shows, keep in mind that you’ll be flying UAVs in large crowds. Therefore, you’ll want to obtain the proper certification to ensure you can fly drones securely and legally.

Are Companies Actually Getting Drone Certifications?

Absolutely. To date, many film and real estate companies have obtained drone certification, and the number of businesses to receive these certifications probably will increase in the foreseeable future.

Drones for marketing provide valuable opportunities, as they enable marketers to promote a brand, its products and its services to large groups of trade show attendees. With drone certifications, companies in many industries can deploy UAVs at trade shows and improve their chances of making a memorable impression on attendees. Below is an example from our team at APG Exhibits:

What Does it Cost to Become Drone-certified?

What Does it Cost to Become Drone-certified

You’ll have to pay $5 to obtain a commercial small unmanned aircraft system (sUAS) registration number from the FAA. In addition, you’ll have to pay $150 to complete the aeronautical knowledge exam.

Although the costs associated with obtaining drone certification typically are minimal, it is important to consider the liability involved with using drones at trade shows as well.

In many instances, purchasing liability insurance is ideal. This insurance offers additional protection in the event of a drone-related accident or injury at a trade show.

How Long Does it Take to Become Drone-certified?

You won’t have to wait too long to obtain drone certification. After you finish your aeronautical knowledge exam, you should be able to apply for your remote pilot certificate online within 48 hours.

It usually takes about 10 business days to receive a temporary pilot certificate via email. Also, it may take six to eight weeks to obtain your permanent pilot certificate in the mail.

Should I Obtain Drone Certification?

The decision to obtain drone certification is entirely up to you. But we would recommend becoming drone-certified sooner rather than later so you can capitalize on new trade show opportunities.

Marketing at a trade show can be costly and time-intensive. Despite your best efforts, you may find that your campaigns are missing the mark with trade show attendees. Perhaps worst of all, business executives demand the best possible ROI for marketing campaigns, and marketers who fail to deliver consistent results at trade shows risk losing marketing spend in the future.

drones and marketing

Today, using drones for marketing is in its initial stages, and marketers who embrace drones for marketing could enjoy immediate, long-lasting benefits.

Drones for trade shows will stand out – and for good reason. They empower marketers with a vast array of insights and will generate plenty of interest from trade show attendees. Plus, drones for trade shows enable marketers to keep track of trade show booth activity, offer personalized messages to attendees and provide unique giveaways as a trade show progresses. Thus, marketers can engage with target audiences and move one step closer to fostering long-lasting partnerships with them.

Let’s not forget about the video capabilities provided by drones for trade shows, either. Marketers can use drones to stream live trade show booth events to attendees, along with capture top-notch video to share instantly.

Don’t miss out on an opportunity to take your marketing efforts to the next level. Leverage drones for marketing, and your company may be able to discover new opportunities to engage trade show attendees, extend its reach and boost its earnings.

Get the Trade Show Support You Need from APG Exhibits

At APG Exhibits, we have a history of customer service excellence. For more than 30 years, we’ve produced trade show displays, exhibits and other marketing products. We are the top provider of trade show exhibits and displays and provide the guaranteed lowest pricing and best customer service.

If you’re searching for innovative ways to enhance your trade show booth, there may be no better choice than APG Exhibits. We’re happy to help Fortune 500 companies and startup businesses alike develop attractive, engaging and awe-inspiring trade show displays.

To find out more about how we can fulfill your trade show exhibit needs, please call us at 866-752-2192 or fill out our online form.

You may also like...

1 Response

  1. Good points! Exremely informative article related to drones.

Leave a Reply