Drone Shows: The New Face of Brand Storytelling

Posted on October 27, 2023
Drone Show Competition
October 30, 2023
Drone Show Competition

Article by Event Marketer at www.eventmarketer.com

How drone show competition inspires creativity

Transforming Marketing Events: The Growing Role of Drone Shows

In today’s dynamic advertising landscape, drone shows emerge as a game-changer, offering a fresh, innovative avenue for brand engagement. Beyond traditional static mediums, drones bring messages directly to audiences, creating captivating aerial displays that resonate both offline and online. This isn’t mere visual allure; it’s an advertising evolution. Drones provide advertisers a unique platform to showcase products and services, amplifying their brand’s presence across social media and beyond. With the drone show industry poised for significant growth, it heralds a new era where sound, video-like animations, and aerial performances redefine brand storytelling and engagement. This is the next frontier in advertising, where brands don’t just inform but truly captivate.

As companies increasingly recognize the power of this unique blend of technology and art, drone shows are fast becoming the medium of choice to establish deeper connections, create lasting memories, and present brands in a new light.

Today, we delve into a conversation with Alexander Levandovskiy, Head of Drone Show Technologies in
SPH Engineering, to discuss the meteoric rise of drone shows and the boundless opportunities they present. We explore how these aerial marvels are reshaping the very fabric of the event industry and discuss the young but rapidly growing Drone Shows Competition organized by SPH Engineering and how it fosters the evolution of the industry.

1. Can you tell us about the founding of SPH Engineering and its journey in the drone technology development industry since 2013?

Let me share an interesting story with you. In 2013, we founded SPH Engineering with one clear goal: to unleash the potential of drones. 7 years ago, a potential customer asked if our software, UgCS, designed for professional drone mission planning, could orchestrate a performance with multiple drones. We accepted the challenge and pulled off a mesmerizing show with just 20 drones. That marked the beginning of Drone Show Technologies, making it easy to create and run dazzling drone light shows. Today, Drone Show Software can handle over 2000 drones. Moreover, most famous shows are performed using Drone Show Technologies from SPH Engineering.

We’ve achieved some significant milestones along the way. We created the International Drone Show Community, a hub for drone show enthusiasts to collaborate. Safety in the industry led to the Drone Show Association, where we promote industry safety standards. And our renowned Drone Show Competition is all about discovering fresh talent and elevating the drone show industry.

As the drone show industry continues to grow, we’re committed to raising its profile and helping build a community of skilled professionals. The future of drone shows is full of possibilities, and we’re excited to be part of this amazing journey.

2. For the uninitiated, how exactly do drone shows function as a marketing tool?

Drone shows are not just a visual spectacle. They are growing into becoming a marketing powerhouse. When brands integrate drone shows into their campaigns, they create an immersive brand experience offline. This not only fosters an innovative technological image but also offers the audience a profound emotional journey. Such experiences are hard to forget and naturally, they spark conversations. This chatter translates into digital audience reach, leading to a surge in User Generated Content (UGC). Amidst the digital era where content is abundant, and attention spans are fleeting, the visually arresting nature of drone shows stands out. It breaks through the content clutter and earns brands a significant digital reach. In short, drone shows reinvent the wheel for brands, facilitating a 360-degree marketing experience that resonates both offline and online.

3. How can professionals from the marketing and events industry benefit from incorporating drone shows as a fresh and innovative marketing tool, and how does the Drone Show Competition contribute to raising awareness about this opportunity?

For those in the marketing and events sector, the drone show realm offers a fresh, compelling medium that can elevate brand messaging to unparalleled heights. Imagine the impact of a logo, message, or brand story depicted not on a screen or billboard, but painted across the vast canvas of the sky! Drone shows deliver awe, memorability, and engagement – elements every marketer seeks. Through the Drone Show Competition, we showcase the vast potential of this medium. We’re not just raising awareness; we’re providing a tangible demonstration of how drone shows can revolutionize event experiences, product launches, and brand campaigns. By integrating drone shows, marketers can captivate their audience in ways that previously were not possible.

4. Could you share the vision behind the Drone Show Competition and what inspired its creation?

Our passion for drone technology and the art of storytelling converged, leading to the inception of the Drone Show Competition. We saw an opportunity to offer a platform where technologists and artists could reimagine the night sky as their canvas. Our main drive was to create a space where innovation meets creativity, pushing boundaries in drone choreography and visual spectacle.

The Drone Show Competition, now in its fourth year, offers a platform for drone professionals and enthusiasts to showcase their creativity, technical prowess, and the ability to captivate audiences through mesmerizing drone shows.

Participants from all over the world, including drone show providers, tech teams, designers, vendors, event and marketing agencies, light and integrated show organizers, and drone show fans, can now submit their projects for a chance to win special recognition for innovation in the drone show world and a number of special prizes.

While relatively young, the Drone Show Competition has already become a beacon of innovative talent and varied formats. It’s more than just a competition; it’s a platform that showcases and explores creative solutions tailored to brand objectives. By providing recognition on a global scale, we bridge the gap between the drone show creators and the key decision-makers in the events and marketing industry. This includes communication agencies, product owners, and brand managers. In essence, the competition not only promotes the drone show talents but also aids the marketing professionals in recognizing and harnessing the transformative potential of drone shows in their campaigns.

5. What impact has the Drone Show Competition had on the drone show industry, and why is it essential for individuals and teams from various backgrounds within the drone show industry to collaborate and participate in the competition?

Since its launch in 2020, the Drone Show Competition has reached over 104 countries, with 469 participants and the honor of recognizing 31 outstanding creators.

The competition has elevated the standards, fostered global collaborations, and introduced fresh narratives in drone shows. By amalgamating diverse skills – from coding to choreography – it has emphasized the magic that’s possible. We firmly believe that by participating, individuals and teams not only showcase their prowess but actively contribute to and shape the future of the drone show landscape.

Over the last 3 years, our competition has been growing. In 2020, during the pandemic, we started the 1st Drone Show Competition to find talented people who can create cool drone light shows.

The next year, we made the competition bigger by including live drone shows and animations. We also added new categories to see how many drones providers used and how good their shows were.

Last year, we did something special. We made categories like “Best Drone Show Storytelling” and “Best Simulation with Drones and Fireworks.” And instead of just being online, we showed the winners’ work in the Animation category at the International Drone Show Festival in Spain.

This year, we’re doing even more. We realized that drone shows can help talk about important issues, so we made a new category for that. Also, we noticed that more people are using small fleets of drones for private parties, so we made a category for that too.

Every year, we look at what’s happening in the drone show world and try to make our competition better. We’re excited to see how things will change, and we’ll keep moving forward with it. And here’s a secret: this year, our competition is going offline! We’ll be celebrating all the winners in person, in all the different categories. We’ll be sharing more details about this exciting event very soon. Stay tuned!

6. How does your competition influence its participants? What value does their participation bring to the industry?

Our competition was designed not just as a showcase of skills but as a platform to unearth new talents. It’s our mission to offer every participant the chance to shine on a global stage. As an illustration, we take pride in how our competition has helped young, talented individuals, previously unrecognized, to find their footing in the industry. Here are just some of the examples of folks who started in the Drone Show Competition, showed their talents, and now are big names in the world of Drone Show Animation:

Angelito Jadormeo: He went from winning the 1st Drone Show Choreography Competition in 2020 to becoming a judge in the 2nd Drone Show Competition in 2021. Now, he’s a pro at Sky Elements, a top drone show company in the United States. Watch his animation video!

Nacho Cruje: He’s a big fan of Blender and went from doing freelance work to winning the 2nd Drone Show Competition in 2021. After that, he started his own studio for making Drone Show Animations. Watch his animation video!

Vincent Bauer: In 2022, Vincent teamed up with his friends at Diffuse and together, they won the top prize for Best Animation in the 3rd International Drone Show Competition. In 2023, they wowed everyone with their animations at the International Drone Show Festival in Spain! Watch their animation video!

Pedro Rosário and João Rosário: He and his buddy João Rosário started Drone Show Animations. Last year, they won the “Best Drone Show Animation” award and lit up the International Drone Show Festival in Spain! Watch their animation video!

Our platforms ensure equal opportunities for all – from major players to smaller entrants – to present their work and share their success narratives. This offers the market a holistic view of the current players.

We also strive to identify and communicate key trends in the drone show industry – understanding the types of shows that exist and how they can be beneficial across various sectors.

And, of course, the prizes! Our aim isn’t merely to hand out awards but to provide something genuinely valuable for the participants. We put great effort into ensuring our approach to prize selection is creative, and that each prize aids the winners’ further advancement in the industry.

7. Could you elaborate on the prizes and recognition that talented drone show professionals can expect from participating in the competition?

Beyond accolades, the competition offers a global platform. Winners have had their works showcased internationally, translating into opportunities and collaborations. With participants spanning continents, our impact resonates globally. We’re talking about an international audience, cross-border collaborations, and global recognition.

This year’s jury panel consists of experts, innovators and leaders from media, drone technology, and entertainment industries.

These professionals bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the competition, ensuring that submissions will be evaluated comprehensively and fairly based on various criteria, including technical requirements, artistic value, visual impact, show goals, target audience, and results of the activities. Showcasing your work to such a jury panel is also a wonderful networking opportunity for professionals in the drone show industry!

Winners will also receive exciting top prizes, including the opportunity to showcase their animations at Drone Show Festival 2024! Other prizes include FPV Drones, tickets to prestigious international festivals for marketers and designers like Cannes Lions 2024, as well as other useful items for drone show providers, tickets to one of the most influential design events globally—the International Forum SIGGRAPH Asia 2024—and more.

8. What are the submission categories and criteria for the Drone Show Competition, and how can participants get involved?

Our categories are diverse, from thematic drone shows to displays of technical prowess. Comprehensive guidelines and criteria are available on our official website. If you believe you have an idea that can light up the sky, submit your application before October 30th.

In 2023, participants can submit applications in 8 nominations, one of which, “Best Drone Show Animation,” requires the preparation of a special project for the competition.

To apply for participation in the “Best Drone Show Animation” category, participants should use specialized software like Blender to create thematic animations featuring two or more figures with transitions. The themes for this year’s nomination include:

Fantastic Creatures: This theme immerses audiences in magical and fantastical realms inspired by fairy tales, myths, and fantasy literature. Drones will breathe life into dragons, elves, enchanted castles, and more.

Vanishing Wildlife: In this theme, participants create a drone show aimed at raising awareness about the critical issue of disappearing wildlife and the vital importance of biodiversity conservation. Drones can vividly depict endangered animal species, narrate their stories, and underscore the significance of protecting their habitats.

Nominations such as “Best Drone Show for an Event”, “Drone Show Storytelling”, “Drone Show as Marketing Tool”, “Drone Show for Raising Social Awareness”, “Drone Show with a small fleet (up to 100 drones)”, “Collaborative Drone Show”, and “Rising Star Drone Show” are simpler in terms of the steps to apply. Participants in these nominations send videos of drone shows that have already taken place and their descriptions.

One of the key rules emphasizes that drone shows submitted in previous years are eligible for resubmission only if significant, unique, and innovative improvements have been made. The aim is to encourage continuous advancement in the field.

9. How has the competition evolved over the years, and what exciting changes can participants expect in the upcoming edition?

From drone counting to limitless creativity, our Drone Show Competition has evolved in sync with market trends to redefine a diverse range of drone show types. In the beginning, we initiated the 1st Drone Show Choreography Competition in 2020 to discover talent in animation design. We supported them in showcasing their skills and subsequently running their animations on our technologies. However, as we recognized the industry’s rapid growth, our second edition of the Drone Show Competition shifted its focus to examine shows based on variations in drone counts. By our third year, our vision had expanded even further to consider shows in terms of their types and objectives. It’s fascinating to witness how providers are customizing drone count and show types based on specific client needs and objectives—a clear market trend toward diversifying show types.

Today, we’re observing various industries harnessing drone shows in innovative ways. This year, we’ve seen a surge in unique shows that emphasize social issues. In earlier years, marketers tapped into this medium as a novel promotional tool for brand campaigns. Moreover, the 4th Drone Show Competition is shifting from an online format to an offline event, uniting the Global Drone Show Community! Dive in and be a part of this evolution!

As you can see, with each edition, we’ve broadened our horizons. From increasing participation categories to integrating the latest in drone tech, the evolution has been remarkable. In our upcoming edition, participants can anticipate even richer collaboration opportunities, augmented technological support, and a broader global stage.

10. What message do you have for potential participants who may be considering entering the Drone Show Competition this year?

To all potential participants, the Drone Show Competition isn’t merely about showcasing skills; it’s a unique opportunity to become a trailblazer in a rapidly evolving domain. In today’s era, where technology and creativity intertwine so closely, there’s a vast sea of untapped potential waiting to be explored in drone show artistry. Our competition isn’t just a stage; it’s a launching pad. We invite you to challenge the status quo, to reimagine the boundaries of what drones can achieve, and to set new benchmarks for the global community. Dive into this unparalleled experience, and you might just redefine the future of aerial entertainment.

11. In conclusion, what would you like to emphasize about the Drone Show Competition’s goals, and why should individuals and teams from the drone show industry seize this opportunity to participate and contribute to the industry’s development?

The Drone Show Competition stands as a testament to the limitless possibilities that emerge when technology meets creativity. It’s more than an event. It’s a community, a statement, and an invitation. We want to emphasize that this platform isn’t exclusive to experts. Whether you’re a seasoned professional, a passionate amateur, or a curious observer, there’s a space for you. The future of the drone show industry is ripe with opportunities, and by participating, you’re not just seizing a chance but actively contributing to an industry on the ascent. In the dance of drones, every participant, every idea, every innovation counts. Be a part of this symphony; let’s craft the future together – hurry up, the deadline is coming up soon!

Related articles
No items found.

Soar above the rest. Subscribe to our regular news updates

How to
Drone Show Competition
Product news
Customer cases