Did you know that 6 out of 10 competitors at IDRA races employed in or identify with the larger commercial drone industry? There are tons of pilots, who work in the larger industry and race on the weekends. In addition to the majority of IDRA members being commercial pilots, this unknown fact about drone racers highly intrigued the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and supporting the unmanned systems and robotics industry.
Our partnership with AUVSI is designed to, not only continue to promote the growing international drone community and industry, but also to bridge the gap between the larger drone industry and niche, but growing, markets like First-Person-View (FPV) performance sports and recreational products. Hosting the UVify Denver Internationals, Race 4 of the 2018 Challengers Cup, on the showroom floor of XPONENTIAL 2018 was a solid beginning to partnership. “A drone race at XPONENTIAL is not only an opportunity to showcase how UAS technology is advancing, particularly when it comes to agility and speed, but it is also an exciting event that solidifies XPONENTIAL as the place to be for all things unmanned,” said Brian Wayne, President & CEO of AUVSI.
In a January 2018 joint press release, Justin Haggerty, President & CEO of IDRA, stated “We greatly appreciate AUVSI for giving IDRA the opportunity to bring one of the 2018 Challengers Cup’s largest international races to XPONENTIAL 2018 in Denver.” He continued to say, “Not only is Denver a great city to hold such an event, but XPONENTIAL gives IDRA the best platform to promote the sport to hundreds of companies in the unmanned systems industry. Most important to IDRA is providing a platform for pilots to continue to gain recognition, grow their brands, and network with potential sponsors and corporate partners.”
To measure the success of the race, using Justin’s stated parameters, the UVify Denver Internationals were a tremendous success. Most of the pilots took advantage of the opportunity to walk the showroom floor and network with the several hundred companies that were present at AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2018. The convention, focusing on commercial and defense unmanned systems, is the largest in the world for the industry. To promote yourself, as a pilot or member of the industry, to the Intels, Parrots, DJIs, Lockheed Martins, and Airbus’ of the world, is an opportunity without a price tag. In fact, we had several competing pilots receive four to five job offerings at the event. Now that is awesome!
Drone companies are searching for skilled employees who have experience in manufacturing, programming, repairing, designing, and operating unmanned aircraft; particularly, companies see the increasing value in pilots who can perform in stressful situations and in a wide range of environments. Racers perfectly fit that demand.
Even though IDRA’s partnership with AUVSI has acquired us the largest space on the showroom floor at XPONENTIAL (Event larger than Intel & DJI combined? Yes.), there is much more that we want to accomplish for the international drone community. Understanding the growing demand and opportunities in the drone industry, IDRA has begun working on several programs and partnering a consortium of organizations to help bring job offers to IDRA Members. The programs will be released, in greater detail, later this summer.
For more information about the International Drone Racing Association (IDRA) and how to become a member, please visit our website or find us on all social media platforms. As the world’s largest association for recreational and commercial pilots, IDRA is the premier provider of primary liability insurance with worldwide coverage. This a great and affordable service that we provide IDRA members around the world. If need applicable and affordable insurance for your drone event (training, education, demonstrations, exhibitions, races, etc.) please contact us as well.
As always, stay safe, have fun, and we’ll see you at the next race!