Questions to ask when hiring a drone company to cover your event.
You’ve decided to hire a drone company to cover your event – it’s a fun, on-trend way to capture the goings-on and will provide you (or your client) with a great memory. Now what?
Each event is a once-off experience so it’s important to be sure that whoever is covering it (in whatever media) knows what they are doing and will aim for the best possible result. Before signing up to hire a professional drone company, you need to make sure you have the right operator for the job – an organisation that can deliver on your project requirements and goals.
Five questions to ask before hiring a drone company
1. What commercial certification do you have?
To operate drones commercially in South Africa, the operators need to hold five licenses, including registration of all drones that will be used for commercial purposes. Operators must meet the legal requirements set out by the SACAA (South African Civil Aviation Authority) and are audited regularly for compliance. Illegal operators and their clients face harsh penalties so have a look at the relevant certificates, cross-check all references, and make sure all the paperwork is in place before takeoff.
2. What insurance do you have?
While drone operation tends to be very safe, accidents can happen. A reputable drone provider will have an active insurance portfolio, aimed at covering any liabilities as the result of an accident. Take time to talk to the operator about the levels of risk involved in your project – a professional operator should be able to offer you a risk assessment based on your project needs and make suggestions and adjustments as required.
3. What is your area of expertise and how long have you been in business?
If you want your project carried out safely and professionally, you need to work with an operator that has the necessary qualifications and experience. Ask to see their portfolios or examples of their work so that you can gauge whether their offerings are suitable for your project. Then ask for referrals from clients with similar professional drone photography projects – see if you would be happy with these projects if they were yours and ask the referral client about their level of satisfaction with the work and the service they received. Remember that being able to fly a drone is not the same as being an eagle eye photographer or creative film maker – necessary skills for creative projects like filming product launch events.
4. How do you handle safety and compliance concerns?
No matter how long an operator has been working, safety and compliance (and all related procedures) need to be top of mind in every flight. Due diligence is essential when flying in any populated area or in restricted air space. All commercial pilots should be licensed to fly, comfortable with the flight space, and aware of any restrictions that might have an impact on getting the job done.
5. Where’s your contract and what are your terms?
Designed to protect both you and the operator, a contract is a must for any professional project. It will outline the requirements, timings, restrictions, and the expectations of each party and can be used to track progress and deliverables. Paperwork might seem like a pain, especially for a once-off event, but it is necessary for settling disputes and ensuring everyone does the job they were hired to do.
Looking to hire a professional drone company with aerial media expertise? Look no further than Drone Media! Fully legal and compliant, we use the latest in aerial capture technology and work with only the best operators in the market to get you the product you want.