Once you have a mission established and secured the ability to fly in the area of interest, the real work begins. The planning phase of an event is where success is often determined. This is where you'll assess the environment, identify the resources, define your teams, and prepare for contingencies. Without this advance work, your team can be left flat-footed and unprepared.
Know Your Environment
Much of your event plan will depend on the size and physical parameters of the event. For example, a larger area might require more drones to provide full coverage, dense urban environments might require drones with better battery life or more robust network capabilities, while large open spaces might require gimbals with greater zoom capabilities. Assessing the environment ahead of time will help drive the resources you need to be effective.
The first step is to map the area of operations. You'll need to understand the physical characteristics of the area as well as how attendees will likely flow through the event. Identify heavy traffic areas, places prone to congestion, and key sight lines.
Pay extra attention to the vertical elements of the environment – power lines, tall buildings, parking structures, trees, signage and event banners, and so on. These factors will help you identify how many drones and deployment areas you'll need.
When choosing where to set up your teams, don't forget the basics: egress, physical security, personnel facilities, restrooms, parking, and so on. Also spend time identifying good locations for overwatch, including locations with optimal RTH pathways. For example, hovering your drones above a tree is often an ideal location for visual line of sight while reducing risk to pedestrians below should the drone experience a mechanical failure.
Know the event schedule and prepare well ahead of time. Conduct dry runs when possible.