A Bird’s-Eye View: Adding Drone Photography to Your Next Event


Imagine capturing a soaring shot of a bustling trade-show floor, breathtaking pan of a poolside reception, or a scene skimming a lush vineyard leading to your event site—a sprawling Napa estate. Until recently scenes like these were only attainable in big-budget Hollywood films, but one new high-flying tech development is changing that.

Airborne drones are disrupting the way we cover events. Before you get alarmed, I’m not talking about controversial military surveillance and weaponry. I’m talking about the growing popularity of using drone photography to cover events.

Overhead angles that were once impossible to capture are now attainable as photographers fly camera-equipped airborne drones over indoor conferences and outdoor receptions around the world. By taking high-definition video and crystal-clear still images, these drones have the ability to document your event from a completely fresh perspective.

drone3Many photographers are investing in these cutting-edge drones, often for less than the price of a professional-grade Nikon camera. Breaking free from the confines of a tripod allows event photogs to capture creative new perspectives that are sure to impress any audience.

Often used to secure unique vantage points in extreme sports like surfing and snowboarding, drone technology is not limited to the sporting world. Group events provide an ideal proving ground for the power and potential of the drone. Extravagant receptions, towering hotel facades, and cavernous ballrooms offer a wealth of content for the drone to document.

Once captured, you can use that content in creative marketing materials that drive registration and pique interest during and after an event. Not only can you showcase your venue, you can use it to live-stream real time video taken from above a group of awestruck attendees, and feature the high-def panoramic shots in post-event recaps and upcoming invites.

Because this technology is so new, there are very few boundaries for what you do with your content.

Phillip Eisenberg, Senior Videographer at Cvent, is one of the internal operators of the companies’ DJI Phantom 2 drone and has used the device to cover a handful of Corporate Meeting Summits and even the company-wide ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. He uses the drone to capture scenic shots of properties like the Hyatt Regency Orlando.

Operating a drone takes practice and skill, and should be left in the hands of a competent pilot, recommends Philip. “Flying a drone can be challenging. Due to tight spaces and large numbers of people, safety is a huge concern,” he says.

Restrictions on indoor drone photography vary from place to place and property to property. For instance, most of the Las Vegas Strip has been deemed a no-fly zone for overhead drones. If you’re considering overhead drone photography for your event, check with your venue before investing in or hiring out drone photography. You can also visit the No Fly Zone Drone map to ensure you aren’t near any major airports, military bases, or national parks. Once you’ve been given the all-clear, the sky’s the limit on how to capture your event.

Photo credits: Shutterstock (2), istanbul_image_video / Shutterstock.com

Ross Monnich

Ross Monnich

Ross Monnich works as an Associate in the Planner Communications division at Elite. He finds inspiration in the sea, Mexican food, and expertly crafted Spotify playlists.

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