Drone Focus

Drone Focus Conference – May 31-June 1, 2017

Curious about the world of autonomous vehicles and UAS? Looking to connect with other professionals in the industry?

Join us for the 3rd annual Drone Focus conference in Fargo, North Dakota.

Drone Focus Conference Speaker Lineup

What can I expect at Drone Focus Conference?

This conference is designed to serve as a platform for you to build your business, your knowledge and simply get you in a room to network with fellow enthusiasts and learn more about what’s going on in our region. Wondering how that’s possible? Take a peek into our event highlights:

  • Industry Professionals – We are bringing together experts from all areas of the unmanned system’s spectrum. From drone use in construction to an autonomous vehicle friendly corridor and autonomous tractors, we will have something for every attendee. Check out our speaker lineup below.
  • Student Pitches – Students are invited to pitch their latest drone or unmanned systems idea for a chance to present on main stage right in the middle of the conference.
  • Drone Focus Fest – What’s the point of a drone conference without getting some live drone action? Think drone races, autonomous vehicle and tractor shows and new consumer product launches – all from the comforts of the Fargo Microsoft campus.
  • Focused Lunches (add-on $15 per person) – Select from one of our focused lunches and network with the right people over lunch and a presentation on May 31st.
    • Agriculture use – led by Peterson Farms Seed with panelists from across the industry focusing on UAV’s in agriculture.
    • UAV’s at work -RDO Equipment Co. hosts this focused lunch, featuring panelists who will speak to the real business impact of UAS technology, including how drones have changed workflow and seeing ROI with drone use.
    • Autonomous Vehicles – Panel discussion with Marlo Anderson and Dave Blair to discuss the future and potential of Autonomous Vehicles in our state and region
    • Women and Drones – All female led discussion, focused on the diversity with the UAS and Autonomous Vehicle industry. Open to all, not restricted to women.
  • Drone Focus Film Festival – With submissions from all over the world, prepare to be transported to a variety of destinations, packed full of incredible shots all filmed from drones. Plus, if you’re a Drone Focus attendee, you’ll get two votes towards your favorite film.
  • Part 107 training – The Fargo Jet Center has partnered with Drone Focus to offer Part 107 training for conference attendees at a discounted rate the day before and after the conference. Just think, all the money you’ll save by signing up for the class, you can put towards the purchase of your next drone.
  • National Autonomous Vehicle Day – May 31st is officially being announced at Drone Focus as National Autonomous Vehicle Day with our friends at National Day Calendar. Yes, it’s a big deal. And yes, we’re trying to get Elon Musk to attend. (Speaking of, if you have any connections to our hopeful guest, let us know. Asking for a friend…)

As you may have gathered, this isn’t your typical conference. You’ll not only get to hear from industry professionals, but you’ll have opportunities to interact with them and others in the room. Chances are, you’ll spend more time networking than sitting in a chair. With intentional breaks woven into the schedule, this conference is all about connection. Connection to your next business partner. Connection to someone who shares your love for the industry. Connection to an ecosystem looking to help leverage your ideas. Will you join us?

Schedule of Events

Part 107 Drone Ground Training Course – May 30th & June 2nd

In partnership with Drone Focus, the Fargo Jet Center is offering Part 107 training the day before and after Drone Focus conference at a reduced rate. When you registered for Drone Focus and Part 107 training together, you received $100 off the Part 107 course.

Topics Covered: Airspace, Airport Operations, Aviation Weather, sUAS Regulations & more!

This one-day course will help you prepare for the Unmanned Aircraft General (UAG) written exam. With this, you’ll be one step closer to becoming a safe and knowledgeable remote pilot. Take the course on May 31st and you will be able to complete your Unmanned Aircraft General (UAG) written exam on June 2nd. Otherwise, you will be able to complete your exam at a licensed testing center, a list of testing centers will be provided.

For more information, please contact Tajae Viaene at drone@fargojet.com.

Register for Part 107 training and Drone Focus Conference here; be sure to select DroneFocusCon Pass + Part 107 Training. During registration, you will be allowed to select either May 30th or June 2nd.

Drone Focus Conference National Student Pitch Contest


DroneFocusCon’17 will again feature a student pitch competition. Students are invited to form a team and compete with a project, in which the only criteria is that it be innovation in the drone or unmanned systems industry.  This can mean developing an attachable camera to building an actual new-and-improved drone itself. This program is designed and led by Innovation Fellows at North Dakota State University’s Research and Tech Park.

Competitors are expected to develop teams, research their idea, and present it in a short 3-5 minute pitch on the day of the conference. Following the presentation, there will be a Q & A session with the judges as well.

Each  pitch should include:

1. Team Introductions.
2. An explanation or demo of your idea.
3. Who is your potential consumer?
4. What are your measures for success?
5. What are your next steps?

Read this article about last year’s competition for more details. Registrations for 2017 are closed. 

*Additional prizes are currently being secured, interested in sponsoring the student pitch contest or making an in-kind donation for a prize? Let us know at dronefocus@emergingprairie.com

Sponsorship, Media, and Booth Opportunities

Interested in potential sponsorships, media partnerships, or  industry booth opportunities, let us know at dronefocus@emergingprairie.com

*Booth Spaces are SOLD OUT*


Delta Air Lines is pleased to offer airfares for your event travel. Refer to your Meeting Code NMQ6Z to purchase your tickets and your negotiated discount may be applied.

Reservations and ticketing are available via www.delta.com/meeting or by calling our Delta Meeting Network Reservations at 800-328-1111.

When booking online, select Book Your Flight and this will bring you to the Book A Flight page. Enter the meeting code NMQ6Z in the box provided.


Drone Focus Conference is located at the Fargo Civic Center which is conveniently attached to the Radisson Fargo through the skyway system.

Hotel rooms are now available at the Radisson (201 5th St N, Fargo, ND 58102), located just a short walk through the skyway from the Civic Center. Ask about the DRONE FOCUS room block and rate of $134. Limited rooms available: May 30 – June 1, 2017. Rooms must be booked by April 30th to receive the group rate.

Click here to book your room. 

Register to attend Drone Focus

Everything you need to know about your Drone Focus registration.

Attendee Registration Fees and Passes

*Groups of 3+ have the option of direct invoicing. For more information, please contact dronefocus@emergingprairie.com.

Attendee Registration Details

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