Logo drone light show

In today’s dynamic event landscape, the allure of drone light shows is undeniable. As more companies enter this growing field, selecting the right provider becomes crucial to ensuring your event dazzles as intended. Here are some of our top tips and things to watch out for during the decision-making process, to ensure your drone show is nothing short of spectacular.

Keep in mind any potential drone light show supplier’s previous experience, insurance and authorisation, background, creativity and flexibility, their weather limits and of course, the cost.

Previous Experience

One of the most important things to check is the company’s past experience. How many successful drone shows have they executed? Seek testimonials and references, and review their past work. Be aware of ‘renders’ being passed off as real performances. Check for public comments and news articles reporting on the event.

Some new companies are using stock footage from the manufacturer or renders to make it look like they can deliver shows right now.  Sometimes this is not the case – it may be that they have drones on order with significant component lead times or they are waiting for a booking before making the large investment in drones. It could be that their authorisation from the aviation authority may not be issued yet and may not be issued in time for your event (or at all!). To ensure that any of this does not jeopardise your event, look for evidence of their previous shows. Most importantly, look for pictures and videos of real people enjoying their shows!

FS Logo in 150 Drones

The FlightShows Experience

We have performed more shows in the UK than any other drone show company! We happily share our past events on our website and our social media pages. Feel free to have a read of our testimonials on each of the event pages. We are really proud of the drone shows we have created for a variety of clients and events and gladly shout about them! Our events have also been widely covered in national media.

Insurance & Authorisation

If you thought the regulations about flying a single drone were complicated, wait until you hear about the complexities, regulatory requirements and responsibilities of operating hundreds at a time!

Operating a swarm of drones requires an Operational Authorisation from the National Aviation Authority in the country where the swarm is to be operated. In the UK, this is the Civil Aviation Authority. These Operational Authorisations require the operator to work to standards similar to those of manned aviation – training, checklists, procedures, maintenance and oversight by the aviation authority. Check that the appropriate authorisations are in place and the company is legally permitted to perform drone light shows.

Insurance is required for drone light shows, and with so many people in the audience, proper cover is important. Ask your potential supplier to show evidence of insurance. While post-accident cover is crucial, it may also make sense to research any publicly available information and media of their past events to check that failures are not a regular occurrence and a strong safety culture is in place to avoid accidents or incidents in the first place.

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FlightShows is authorised and insured!

We have an Operational Authorisation from the Civil Aviation Authority in the UK and can also fly drone light shows in any EU country!

We have £5m Public Liability Insurance but our insurers are flexible and we can increase this instantly if required for your event.

Our flawless safety record is maintained by our commitment to aviation safety, using trained and experienced pilots and crew and our constant investment in training and development.

Background

While the technology of drone light shows is important, it’s also worth checking the drone show supplier’s background. Drone shows require a unique mix of technical knowledge and creative talent to ensure your display is a ‘show’ and not just a technical achievement. When looking at suppliers, consider if they are purely technical and happen to operate a swarm of drones. Or do they have experience in events?

For example, if you are running a music festival, does your drone show company know how to integrate with other elements of your show such as lighting, fireworks or lasers? Are they able to sync their show to the music with LTC Timecode or similar? Can they turn flashing lights in the sky into a performance that leaves your audience in awe or do they merely display some shapes in the air?

FS Logo in 150 Drones

FlightShows background

Team FlightShows came from events – drones were added as a tool to create the most spectacular displays in the sky. Our directors have spent years touring the world with arena shows, opening West End shows and designing systems that integrate sound, lighting, video and more to create theatrical magic. And it doesn’t stop there! Our wider team have been involved with Olympic opening ceremonies, the Eurovision and much more.

This invaluable experience in events can often be the difference between your show happening and not. We understand unsociable hours, the pressure of live events and the on-the-day challenges that frequently pop up. Our team can quickly and flexibly adapt to ensure your show still lights up the skies.

Creativity & Flexibility

Like with all events and creative projects, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all drone light show. Key factors such as space, timings, number of drones, logos, and budgets all play a part in the end production. It’s the job of a drone show provider to help you navigate the options on how to make your show happen, rather than just say no. It’s important to consider the flexibility of any provider.

Does your supplier understand the logistics of large events and that other departments also need to work to create the magic for the audience? Can they be flexible about their timings and space requirements in order to make a drone show possible? Instead of saying something is impossible, do they suggest alternatives that may work? A provider should adapt to venue constraints and budget considerations, offering creative solutions to maximise impact.

FS Logo in 150 Drones

Creative and Flexible. FlightShows.

We thrive on overcoming logistical challenges, tailoring our shows to suit diverse venues and budgets.
This venue did not have the space for a traditional ‘grid’ setup for the drone take-off area so we arranged the drones around a lake which added to the beauty of the show!
This show was designed to fit in a variety of venues across the UK as we performed it across the country 4 times over 5 days!
We not only had to share the airspace with fireworks, we had to synchronise our flight to the same soundtrack and fit into the schedule and space restraints of a busy festival site.
Our creative and flexible approach means that we can safely, deliver shows to audiences where others simply say it’s not possible.

Weather Limits

The No.1 reason a drone show either happens or doesn’t is the weather, and more importantly, the weather limitations of a supplier’s drones. Make sure their weather limits are realistic for the environment you intend to put on a drone show!

Ensure your provider’s drones can withstand varying conditions, and enquire about their weather policies and contingency plans. Especially with drone shows in the United Kingdom, make sure their drones can fly in a reasonable amount of wind! Many off-the-shelf light show drones are aimed at countries with much fairer weather than we regularly experience in the UK! It’s worth checking what these limits are and comparing that to the average for the month you are planning your drone show. A windy day is not an anomaly in the UK and can still occur at any time, so make sure you are not risking your event by choosing a supplier that cannot fly in reasonably windy conditions.

Rain can not only affect the ability to fly but may disrupt the setup process if the drone show supplier does not have a drone or procedures in place that can withstand the UK weather conditions. Not only should you check if your supplier can fly in the rain, also check if they can set up and do any required test flights in a range of inclement weather.

FS Logo in 150 Drones

A FlightShow - whatever the weather!

Most drones cannot fly in the rain and cannot withstand winds of more than 25 km/h – which is only classed as a Moderate Breeze on the Beaufort Scale! We have invested heavily in aircraft that are built for the UK weather – which means countries with fairer weather are a ‘breeze’! 😉 Countries with generally fairer weather can still have a bad day though, so it’s important to have this confidence that the show will still go on.

We can fly in 45 km/h winds and the rainfall would have to be pretty heavy for us to cancel a flight. We do still have strict safety limits but our general adage is that the audience will need to be quite uncomfortable and want to go inside before we have to cancel a show due to weather!

Cost

Cost is obviously a key factor with any drone light show, however, a cost-saving at the expense of any of the above may be a false economy! There is no point in choosing the cheapest drone show but having to cancel the entire event as the company cannot fly due to a ‘slight breeze’ or a few drops of rain.

Cost versus value is also an important consideration – some companies have a minimum price of hundreds of thousands of pounds and a minimum number of drones for that price. If your drone show supplier is creative with their content, the desired effect could be achieved with fewer drones and become a much better value, bang-for-buck, spectacle-per-drone event!

Check if there are any hidden costs or extras that need to be accounted for, such as transport or accommodation of the flight crew.

Consider the overall impact and effectiveness of the drone show, ensuring it aligns with your event’s objectives and budget.

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The cost of a FlightShow

We offer competitive pricing without compromising on quality. With our tailored approach, we deliver unmatched value, transforming your vision into a captivating reality. Our pricing is clear and transparent and can be found in our brochure.

Our pricing is all-inclusive and doesn’t come with any hidden charges. Some things may need to be provided, such as fencing, security and power but as these are incredibly site-specific, it’s something we will discuss very early in the process so there are no nasty surprises!

Everything else is included: insurance, show design and animation, crew, crew accommodation, transport and, of course, a mesmerising drone show.

In conclusion, selecting the right drone light show provider is pivotal to the success of your event. By adhering to these guidelines and entrusting your vision to an experienced, professional and creative drone light show company, you will experience an unforgettable spectacle that leaves a lasting impression.

Contact us now to discuss how FlightShows can deliver a safe, insured and creative show to make your event unforgettable.

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