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8 simple steps to setting up and managing drone races

UAVLance is the first drone racing site that is geared towards drone race enthusiasts and amateurs, and helps them organize their own drone races and drone events. Whether you are looking to race amongst friends, or want to take things a little further and create a local or national event, UAVLance has created a system that lets you organize your own drone races or other drone events effectively.

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8 simple steps to setting up and managing drone races

  1. 1. Organize your next drone race on UAVLance! www.uavlance.com
  2. 2. Organize your next drone race on UAVLance! www.uavlance.com Contents 1. Preliminary Step: Register on UAVLance....................................................................3 2. Pay Attention to the Background Work .......................................................................4 I. Budget...........................................................................................................................................5 II. Goals...............................................................................................................................................5 III. Permits.....................................................................................................................................6 IV. Advertising............................................................................................................................6 V. Sponsorship ..........................................................................................................................7 3. Determine the Type of Drone Race You Want to Run .........................................8 I. Rotorcross..................................................................................................................................8 II. Drag Race ....................................................................................................................................8 III. Time Trials ............................................................................................................................8 IV. Other..........................................................................................................................................8 4. Determine the Class Type of the Drones You Want to Have............................9 I. Spec Class....................................................................................................................................9 II. Open Class ..................................................................................................................................9 5. Preparing For a Race Versus an Event..........................................................................9 6. Race day registration and management...................................................................10 I. Pre-race registration:.......................................................................................................10 II. Race day registration .......................................................................................................10 III. Race day management................................................................................................ 10 7. Rules, Guidelines and SAFETY.........................................................................................11 8. After the Event...........................................................................................................................13
  3. 3. Organize your next drone race on UAVLance! www.uavlance.com 8 Simple Steps to Setting Up and Managing Drone Races UAVLance is the first drone racing site that is geared towards drone race enthusiasts and amateurs, and helps them organize their own drone races and drone events. Whether you are looking to race amongst friends, or want to take things a little further and create a local or nationalevent, UAVLance has created a system that lets you organize your own drone races or other drone events effectively. To help you put together a fun, highly entertaining,and – most importantly – safe drone race that will get the adrenaline pumping, we have created a step by step how-to guide. It includes an explanationon how to determine what type of drone race to organize, the class of drone to use, how to prepare for a race or an event, as well as the rules and safetymeasures you should have in place for your event. 1. Preliminary Step: Register on UAVLance Seriously, this is the single most important way in which you can save yourself a lot of stress and headache. It’s like a ready-made race organization package that takes care of all the details.Instead of doing several things on different platforms, and paying separately for each aspect, you can handle them all in one place and save time and money. How does UAVLance work? Simple, really:  Race organizers and racers create profiles.  Once registered,the organizer creates a race and fills out race forms  Thereafter, the system displays the payout calculations and the organizer approves it to get started.  The system then creates a race page and sends out notifications to racers interested in getting notifications. It also sends invite emails to race invitees and sponsor invitees,and external partners interestedin sharing race info with their visitors ormembers.  Racers register for race before the last date to sign up and provide payment, if required.  The system adds registeredracers to race page.
  4. 4. Organize your next drone race on UAVLance! www.uavlance.com  Once the race is complete, the organizer enters the race results in “My Races”.  Race results are then sent to racers. They approve the results and provide feedbackto the organizer.In the event that racers disagreewiththe results, they must protest the race result within 24 hours of the race results being posted. Racers can also upload their FPV race videos I support of their claim.  Once all racers approve or after 8 hours of posting the results where there are no disputes, the system releases payments. If one or more racers protest, the system will hold the payments until the conflict is resolved.  The system will then update the race page to include results, payouts, organizer ratings for each racer and organizer and post-race videos and images uploaded by the organizer and racers.  The whole process saves you time and money required to take care of all these aspects. Organize or Join a Race on www.UAVLance.com 2. Pay Attention to the Background Work When you are organizing a drone race a lot of preparatory ground work needs to be undertaken behind the scenes,long before the race day draws near. You should start your planning and organizing about 6 months out from the event. This will give you time to adjust your timelines as necessaryand get all moving parts of the drone race into place. To help you we have split up the work that needs to be done in the background before you get underway. Please note that safety is a huge part of drone racing and is of paramount importance; so even as you’re addressing all of these other issues, you should always be considering how each will impact safety. For this reason we have dedicated an entire section to drone race safety protocol and guidelines later in our race guide.
  5. 5. Organize your next drone race on UAVLance! www.uavlance.com I. Budget One ofthe very first steps youneed to take is to create a budget.The last thing you want is for your drone race to become a hole you keep pouring money into. Whether you are running a drone race for charity, fun, or as an organized event, you do not want it losing money. Creating a budget is a great starting point. It is a good idea to add in all the costs you think you will incur for running the event, and then add an extra 10%-20% for contingencies.Make sure to include everything that will have a cost attached to it, including acquiring permits, meeting health and safety regulations, awards, staffing costs and race day costs. From this point you can work backwards and provide your drone race competitors with an entry fee for joining the event. Having a well thought-out budget ensures you won’t get caught out from a monetarypoint of view. Organize or Join a Race on www.UAVLance.com II. Goals Flowing on from your budget, you have to set goals that realistically mirror the number of competitors or participants you would like to have in your drone race or event. The most important thing to remember is that the numbers you want to attend must reflect your budget. If you have too many people you may not be able to run an efficient event. Conversely, if you don’t have enough you may find that you are diving into yourown pocket to make up coststhat youhave incurred inorganizing the event. Not to mentionthat the lack of numbers may impact the entertainment factor of your race, and hence the likelihoodof future participationbyothers. UAVLance makes it easyfor youto createa race,generatea race page andorganize your invites and registrations for your race. With the various functionalities available on our website, keeping track of number of participants, registrations,
  6. 6. Organize your next drone race on UAVLance! www.uavlance.com and other factors is easy. Participants can also make payment for registration through UAVLance. It is a fantastic, easy way to align your goals and make sure youare tracking well inregards to your budget. UAVLance also allows youto make necessaryadjustments to your budgets and goals as you progress. III. Permits Organizing a drone race or event will require a number of permits. It is very important you beginthe process early because it can take a lot of time for them to be approved. The last thing you want to do is to have to postpone or cancel your drone race because you are still waiting on permit approval. That has both costs and reputational implications foryou. Remember, you will need permits for nearly everything that affects your drone race. Permits may include aviation authority consent for the drones, noise permits,event permits and possible traffic permits if necessary. Organize or Join a Race on www.UAVLance.com It is important to work with police and local authorities so they understand your event and can plan accordingly, especially when it comes to traffic management and safety of the public. IV. Advertising Advertising is a big part of organizing a successfuldrone race or event. a) You can use UAVLance as a means to connect with participants,sponsors and external partners to help build up race awareness and profile. UAVLance can send out emails, notifications and invites about your race. Using UAVLance is a great way to expand your reach and an extremely efficient marketing tactic, given that the site already has lots of drone racing enthusiasts who are your primary target. By emailing your potential audience, they have the ability to share and pass on race and event information to theirown members or customers.
  7. 7. Organize your next drone race on UAVLance! www.uavlance.com b) Social media is also a great way to advertise your drone race. When you create an event on UAVLance, people can access it from their Facebookpages and link to it in tweets andInstagram poststo build up an audience and awareness.The more social media channels you expose your drone race to, the more likely you are to grow and expose your event to your target audience, and UAVLance helps you to do that. You can also pay to promote Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts to specific people to create visibilityfor your race. c) UAVLance provides participants with the race website and allows online registrationfor members.It is an easy way for you to get participants to sign up. d) Lastly, do not neglect word of mouth and organically reaching out to your potential race day competitors and sponsors.Make sure you get out and about in the weeks leading up to your drone race to promote it and engage with the community.Youmay find it is a great way to attract local businesses andget more people on board. Also advertising in print, flyer drops, local newspaper and radio if you have the budget can help you promote your race. Organize or Join a Race on www.UAVLance.com V. Sponsorship Following on from advertising, sponsorship is a great way to create hype and revenue for your drone race. When asking for sponsorshipyou can either ask for a monetary contributionor prizes. It is probably easierto approachlocal businesses to help with race day prizes and organization than asking for sums of money. You could let sponsors set up race day marquees or stalls to help grow their awareness as well. Remember sponsorshipis a two-way street and businesses needto get something inreturn. The best way to approach potential sponsors is through your own network and the network of your race day participants.Ask around if they know anyone or any
  8. 8. Organize your next drone race on UAVLance! www.uavlance.com local businessthatwould like to be involved.Remember,youcan alsosendaround emails through UAVLance. 3. Determine the Type of Drone Race You Want to Run There several types of drone races that you can choose from for your event. Here is a briefexplanationof eachtype ofrace and what you canusually expectfor each. I. Rotorcross Essentially,Rotorcrossis where up to four drones simultaneouslycombat it out to be the first to cross the finish line. It is a great option if you want to have a knock out style competition. Also, it is great for the crowds wanting to see a few collisions. Remember, if you choose Rotorcross races, safety is paramount when organizing a Rotorcross circuit. Also, it can be an expensive exercise for your participants, if they regularly lose drones. Organize or Join a Race on www.UAVLance.com II. Drag Race A drag race is very similarto its car namesake.Drones competeagainst eachother to cover a distance,usually around 100m, in a straight line as quickly as possible. III. Time Trials This is probably the mostcommon,safest andeasiestto manage ofall drone races. A time trial,similarto that ofthe Tour De France,is where one drone at a timeflies through a course and the quickest time wins. IV. Other There are, other types of drone competitions too. Freestyling and stunt contests are more about performing complex maneuvers rather than racing around a course.They are great fun for thosewho like to perform a few tricks andentertain the crowd.
  9. 9. Organize your next drone race on UAVLance! www.uavlance.com 4. Determine the Class Type of the Drones You Want to Have Determining the class of drone that can take part in your event is an important decision.Essentiallythe class type you choose reflects the type of participant you will have for your event. Classes are kept simple to make it easyto understand for drone race participants and organizers. There are two main class types: Organize or Join a Race on www.UAVLance.com I. Spec Class Spec Class is reserved for beginners. Participants that operate in this class must use a quadcopter with 3S LiPo batteries and propellers that measure 5 inches in diameter. II. Open Class Conversely, open class is exactly how it sounds, everything and anything is allowed. Usually, the only restrictionput inplace inthe openclass is on the weight of the drone, for safetypurposes. 5. Preparing For a Race Versus an Event On UAVLance, a drone race organizer can create a single race, or an event. If you are organizing a day or evening of several races, or a tournament,then you need to create an event. On the other hand, if you are only organizing one race, then it's a race. It is importantas a race organizerto know the key differencesbetweenorganizing a drone race compared to a drone event.  Preparation: It is a lot more complicated to organize a drone event and requires more elaborate planning and arranging.  Assistance: To run a drone event you will need more people to assist in running the event. You will require more help and more volunteers.
  10. 10. Organize your next drone race on UAVLance! www.uavlance.com  Course Design: To run a drone event you may need to prepare multiple courses. Compare that to a drone race, where only one course is required. A flow on effect from this is that an event will require far more planning and permits, for multiple courses covering a biggerarea.  Numbers: A drone event will require a lot more participants comparedto a drone race. Organize or Join a Race on www.UAVLance.com 6. Race day registration and management I. Pre-raceregistration: As mentioned earlier, UAVLance provides a system to organize your race registration online. It is possible to set up your race website with UAVLance. Furthermore,you can manage online registrationforparticipants and adjust your race structure II. Race day registration Unfortunately, no matter how organized you are using UAVLance, there will still be participants who show up wanting to participate without having registered prior. There is a quick and effective way to signup participants on the day and it may be a good idea to put this into your planning. On arrival, you can have them do the signup quickly onUAVLance. Putting race day registrants into theirown category is a good solution,so you can spend your time worrying about running the event, rather than wasting time trying to get everyone signed up and fit in to your race or event. III. Race day management It is important as the race day organizer to be the first one there. This allows you to control things from the outset to ensure that everybody and everything sets up where it should.
  11. 11. Organize your next drone race on UAVLance! www.uavlance.com Before the races, make sure that those helping you are each delegated their own section. This ensures that you are not overcommittedand allows you to oversee what is happening. Also before the race it is important to have open channels of communicationwithdifferent interest groups.Safetyofficers,police,participants, volunteers and officials must all have a port of call to you. This is why it is so important not to get caught up in registering latecomers and other time consuming activities. Delegate these so that you remain in control. Organize or Join a Race on www.UAVLance.com When the races get underway, your most important consideration will be to ensure the safety of spectators,participants and the general public. Again this is where preparation is key because once your drone event has begun it can be difficult to contain. Make sure that all the right people are in the right places and your communicationchannels remain strong with all interest groups throughout the race or event. 7. Rules, Guidelines and SAFETY Safety is the most important aspect that needs to be covered in organizing your drone race or event. As we have stressed throughout this guide, without a good safety plan in place, you are exposing yourself to legal liability for any injury or harm to people and property. To ensure that everyone is having a good time and to cover your liability, you need to ensure you have an effective safetyprotocol in place. On UAVLance, drone race and event organizers can post information on the race registration page. It is at this point that you should post registration rules and guidelines around safety. Also, on race day, at the registrationtable there should be clearly visible rules and guidelines. To make sure that your participants understand the rules, it can be a good idea to make them sign a race agreement and waiver.
  12. 12. Organize your next drone race on UAVLance! www.uavlance.com To help you, we have addeda list ofsafetyguidelines you should adhere to. Please note this list is not exhaustive and more of a guide to ensure that you are taking minimum necessary precautions in regards to safety. For your own event, it is a good idea to sit down with local authorities to put in place stringent safety protocol.  Separate spectators from drones by at least 50m and cordon off the racecourse area as necessary.  Flying zones should be at least 150m from busy metropolitan, industrial, residentialor commercialareas.  Flying zones must not inhibit aircraft. Ensure that you have permits that allow you to fly drones that will not encroach on any airspace used by aircraft. Organize or Join a Race on www.UAVLance.com  Creating a risk register is a great way for you to identify the safety risks associatedwithan event and helps you mitigate them with goodplanning.  Have a participant briefing before the start of the race that sets out: o When participants can fly/power drones o Where they can fly o Outline of the course o Safety precautions o Highest flying altitude o Frequency management (ifapplicable) o Emergencystop procedure o Where participants can/cannot be situated o Insurance o Disclaimers (ifapplicable) o Walk of the course to familiarize participants withit o Practice laps if necessary
  13. 13. Organize your next drone race on UAVLance! www.uavlance.com 8. After the Event Once your drone race or event is completed, make sure that participants and spectators alike are allowed to enjoy the occasion. Providing entertainment, a ceremony,prizes and giveaways are a great way to enhance the experience for all involved. Also, post-event, it is important to make sure everything is cleaned up and you have enough manpower to ensure the entire event site is left in the conditionthat it was prior to the event.This iscrucial, asit will ensure you have been responsible and maintaining a clean record will help you secure permits for future events. When the event is over make a note of what worked well and what can be improved upon for future events. Happy drone racing and for your next drone race or event, don’t forget to check out UAVLance.com

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UAVLance is the first drone racing site that is geared towards drone race enthusiasts and amateurs, and helps them organize their own drone races and drone events. Whether you are looking to race amongst friends, or want to take things a little further and create a local or national event, UAVLance has created a system that lets you organize your own drone races or other drone events effectively.

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