The turnout at the International Drone Expo was underwhelming to say the least. Three years ago, it was one of the largest drone expos in the world, but this year everyone questions if IDE will still continue.
As we found our parking and began to approach the LA Convention center, the first thing we noticed was the lack of any line or signs of a crowd. We fully expected the large room to house an international expo but were disappointed to find the large scale event held in the small room shoved away to the corner of the building. As disappointing as it was, it did not prepare us as we entered the room. With decent expectations that the small room will at least be filled, we found only about a third of the entire room filled with exhibitionists.
Just about every exhibitionist we talked to was disappointed with the outcome of the event despite the high price tag they paid for. Even DJI, one of the largest international drone companies, did not show up to the event despite being one of its largest sponsors. This lead to many companies asking the big question, will there be an IDE 2017? So far nobody expects an event next year unless IDE does something to increase the size back to its glory days. Suggestions from exhibitionists have included lowering the high prices or investing into better marketing. For now, the future of the International Drone Expo is in the open air.