In case you did not know, today (besides being Pi Day) was International Drone Day!
International Drone Day was created to show the world that “Drones are Good” and there were over 150 events around the world (http://www.internationaldroneday.com/). This year was the first ever held in Minnesota and it ran from 10:00am – 3:00pm in Fridley.
Here was the blurb on the day:
“Join the drone fun on Saturday, March 14th. This event is open to anyone and everyone interested in drones and what they have to offer. The goal is to promote the many benefits of drones through knowledge, demo, and of course “droning”. 10am – 3pm @ the Passion Event Center, hosted by Superior Aerial Solutions. There will even be an open fly time with small UAVs (example around 180qx or smaller) for several hours of the day. Feel free to bring your own, or there will be different options for you to try as well. Other fun things happening during the event will be multiple flight simulators/FPV simulator racing, contests, guest speakers- presentations/displays and/or demos on safety and fundamentals of drones, a variety of Drones UAV’s and quadcopters, FPV, aerial photography, search and rescue, professional services with drones, and a few more things. Did we mention giveaways and prizes? Come out to learn or share your knowledge whether you drone for a hobby or business ( or both…). See you out there! Drone on!” (https://www.facebook.com/pages/International-Drone-Day-Team-Minneapolis-St-Paul-USA/296881770505122).
I arrived a little before 11am (saw the local media leaving) and went in and there were maybe 20 people, 3 vendors (or three different tables with different drones companies on them), and some people flying drones in another room. I was a bit disappointed, because it seemed to me to be disorganized. There was no schedule of events and activities (no flyers or poster anywhere to be seen), no one greeting at the door, no vendors, and the list of activities listed on the Facebook page did not seem to be going on. When I left about 30 minutes later I was not the only one. Granted it was wonderful that there was even an International Drone Day going on in Minnesota, but considering the huge aviation community and the fact that the UMN has a drone lab, one would have expected more. Maybe things really got going after I left. As the first attempt at International Drone Day it was got a lot of good local press, had a good building (street signs would have been nice), and the drone vendors and enthusiasts were very nice and talkative.