A Look at GV Expo 2015: Drones, Guitars, Body Cams, Prizes and More

The wrap up of a whirlwind show
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Steve Jacobi (L), winner of a 15-minute drone lesson, learns how to fly a DJI UVA from Stampede's Eric Jameson. (Photos: Mary Ellen Dawley)

National Drone Show: It was clear from the large, attentive crowds on the exhibit floor that drone technology was the big buzz at this year’s Government Video Expo and National Drone Show.

Discussions on drone operations at the Presentation Theater were similarly crowded, with one session – The Rise of the Drones: A Producer’s Panel for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles – drawing a standing-room-only crowd. Presented by the Television, Internet and Video Association of DC (TIVA-DC), the session delved into the use of drone technology for aerial cinematography and other markets.

Those issues were also up for debate during the session Command & Control for Drones. As a drone whizzed by in the flying cage next door, panelists discussed the complexities of communicating with and controlling drones, touching on internal operations, bandwidth, the increased use of panoramic displays and the importance of antenna selection.

“We’re really excited to be here and we see this as a great opportunity for commercial AV integration companies to move into this category,” said Eric Jameson, product manager for Stampede, sponsor of the National Drone Show. “We see this as a category of commercial AV, not as a separate industry. It’s going to be a booming industry over the next couple of years and this is the best time to get involved.”

Distance Learning: Also at this year’s show, GV Expo partnered with the Federal Government Distance Learning Association, which offered sessions on workplace learning and trends in distance learning. Dr. Jolly Holden, executive director and co-founder of the FGDLA, said that participating in the GV Expo has allowed the organization to bridge a gap between its instructors and high-end video producers. “[Distance learning] needs good video, production-quality video,” Holden said. “The trainers may say, ‘I’ve got this content, and it’s boring. I need video. Help me; how do I make it more interesting?’ We have the trainers with content, and here at the show are the video producers. This conference brings them together. It’s symbiotic.”

The organization also honored individuals and organizations in the federal government who put innovative learning technologies to use at the 2015 FGDLA Awards Ceremony & Reception.

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John Fanelli holds the Fender Stratocaster guitar signed by Tom Petty that he won in the Stephen Arnold Music drawing. Dave Baumann and Alice Smith from Stephen Arnold Music join Fanelli.

Keynotes: GV Expo 2015 welcomed in three strong keynoters who touched on the role of body cams in U.S. police departments as well as the importance of Public, Educational and Government TV (PEG) programming channels. Fairfax Police Capt. Bob Blakleykicked off the first keynote presentation by punctuating his talk with video clips showing the value of policy body camera video, while cautioning about issues of cost and privacy. The following day, Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy Lanierdiscussed her department’s work on the logistics of setting up a police body-worn camera program. Finally, DCTV President and CEO Nantz Rickardspoke about the ways that PEG channels can help those with a message reach a wider audience.

On the Show Floor: Thoughtful presentations aside, there was plenty of action at exhibitor booths as well. Exhibitors reported strong interest from visitors, who were actively researching needs and seeking solutions. Technology on display included drones, 4K cameras, fiber transport, IP streaming technology and more.

Prizes: At the end of the GV Expo’s first day, attendees walked away with raffle prizesfrom companies such as Blackmagic Design, Grass Valley, Telestream, DPA Microphones and Marshall Electronics. Day 2 saw an attendee snag what might be described as the biggest prize of the night: a Fender Stratocaster guitar, signed by rock legend Tom Petty.

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