Article by Alexey Dobrovolskiy, CTO of SPH Engineering.
The drone light show market, one of the youngest among event solutions, could be estimated at less than $1 bn with approximate growth up +30% per year. It has been growing from a low base: the first drone shows appeared in 2015-16, but they started to be trendy from 2017-18. The main regions of the drone show market are the USA and China. The headquarters of leading market players are there, and also shows are regularly held in these countries. As of today the list of countries with high adoption of drone shows includes, but is not limited with Canada, UAE, Singapore, Philippines, Japan, France, Switzerland, Israel. There is also interest from India, Australia, and Latin America. The global demand for large-scale events is met by industry players able to provide solutions for 500+ drones, while local events are supported with small shows started with 10+ drones. A drone show could be synchronized with other event components: fireworks, lasers, light & sound.
A COVID-19 pandemic has caused a freeze in the event market, however, surprisingly it has not created pent-up demand for drone light shows. Self-isolation pushed a global wave of drone art shows enjoyed from the distance. For example, Wuhan, Dubai, and Seoul performed huge shows to say ‘thank you'to healthcare and essential workers who sacrifice their lives on the pandemic frontline. There were, in fact, dozens of smaller-scale shows devoted to frontliners and performed by SMEs globally with no limitation to language and creative goals. In the medium and long term, upon the pandemia completion and economic recovery, the drone show market is thought to continue growing, supported by new event trends and the adoption of laws in favor of UAVs.