Alex Levandovskiy, head of the Drone Show Software division at SPH Engineering tells us about drone applications.
First of all, how are you and your family doing?
Alex Levandovskiy: Thank you, everything is great, I just had a baby, and it’s a boy. Summer is coming, and we enthusiastically look into the future with my family.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you joined SPH Engineering.
Alex Levandovskiy: I started building my career as an intern and UAV tech manager within the UgCS reseller network and then shifted in-house to lead a newly launched Drone Show Software division. Within a few years in the drone show business, together with a team of professionals, we have built the brand from scratch. In a short 6 years of working on the product, we have helped create a drone show business for more than 100 companies and enthusiasts around the world. I am now the head of the Drone Show Software division at SPH Engineering, a global provider of UAV software solutions, integration services, consulting, and custom development to expand drone applications.
How does SPH Engineering market its product/services online?
Alex Levandovskiy: We actively use our social networks. The drone show industry is quite young, and in order to popularize our favorite industry, we have created a themed YouTube channel and Instagram. We have a lot to share. Our customers fly shows all over the world, and we are always happy to highlight their successes and showcase the variety of opportunities in the drone light show industry through their multi-format shows. Of course, we try to enter the international public space, representatives of various media resources approach us for expertise, and we are always happy to share our experience. One of our marketing tools since 2020 is a unique international event that we came up with and have been successfully running for the second year already – an International Drone Show Competition for professionals in the drone show industry. But this competition’s main role, of course, is not to promote us as a company but to popularize the industry and its capabilities, as well as assist in the marketing promotion of participants.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how did you get through it?
Alex Levandovskiy: During the Coronavirus, our sphere turned out to be one of the tools to call for help to people, doctors, and each other. After all, through the sky, you can reach out to a large number of people, not necessarily gathering them shoulder to shoulder in one place.
For example, Wuhan, Dubai, and Seoul performed huge drone shows to thank healthcare and essential workers on the pandemic frontlines. Furthermore, dozens of smaller-scale shows were performed by SMEs globally, pushing the barriers to language and creativity. Back in April 2020, Drone Show Software was first used to set up and perform drone swarm shows of appreciation. As Great Lakes Drone Company implemented such, COVID-19 drone art shows in the USA, Platinum Fireworks Inc. in the Philippines, and PABLO AIR in South Korea. The key elements included symbols to emphasize the heart’s full gratitude to health workers, to give hope and positive emotions.
While the COVID-19 pandemic caused a freeze in the event market in 2020, there was an observed demand for drone light shows. Self-isolation pushed a global wave of drone art shows that can be enjoyed safely from a distance. Our customers and partners steadfastly overcame difficulties and did everything to save their business. Today, we see how these efforts have been converted into success, as the audience has been waiting for impressions, and the drone of the show is right there.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to manage your online marketing?
Alex Levandovskiy: It is important for us to follow the development of the market and the success of our competitors and their customers. The industry is developing very quickly, drone fleets are growing, and more and more ideas are emerging for integrated events when you can see a drone show combined with fireworks, lasers, dances, and more. We also believe that there is a need for interaction between market players regarding the unification of flight safety rules. In order to strengthen these issues, we support the Drone Show Community. We have launched a forum for the community members so that they can quickly exchange information, cases, and experiences and avoid any dangerous situations. For the sake of safety, even competitors, it seems to me, can sometimes unite – with a common goal, to make the industry sustainable.
Our promotional approach is more PR/ knowledge-based & we work closely with CISION, one of the leading communications companies, on brand awareness.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Alex Levandovskiy: You know, things are not so simple in our industry. The competition is more between companies that are already organizing drone shows. We are the creators of technologies that make it possible to organize these shows. And here, we must understand well that we can compete only with companies that, like us, sell software and solutions for the development of the drone show business. And there are very few such companies. Therefore, today our secret is that we are constantly developing our technology and offering our customers professional support and new solutions. Thanks to this, customers trust us, and the main confirmation of this is the shows that they safely run every weekend around the world. By the way, just recently, we announced a new technology that allows you to quickly and easily create choreography for a drone show – Drone Show Creator.
Your final thoughts?
Alex Levandovskiy: I believe in our industry, and I am confident that it will continue to grow rapidly. Our team knows for sure that interaction and mutual assistance within the community of professionals are the main factors for the drone show industry to become more sustainable and always remain safe and give joy to the viewer.
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