by Matt Alderton | May 16, 2014

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) -- otherwise known as drones -- have traditionally been deployed by the military for defense and surveillance purposes. Event production company Freeman, however, wants to use them to help meeting planners source venues.

Last week, Freeman announced that it is using drone technology to capture real-life, "in-room" views of meeting spaces and facilities that it will use to provide enhanced virtual tours in PLANTOUR, its web-based venue-planning tool.

According to Freeman, the company will use drones to capture multiple facility views, which it will immediately convert to a high-definition virtual tour that meeting planners can use see meeting room configurations and plan for available sponsorship opportunities.

Depending upon the venue, PLANTOUR users will be able to experience the facility through a combination of fly through videos, user-controlled 360-degree imagery with interactive hotspots, photo galleries and 2D facility renderings, providing what Freeman promises will be a "fully immersive experience."

"By improving key features and functionality within PLANTOUR, we make it easier for meeting planners and show organizers to plan their events and to maximize sponsorship revenue, while providing exhibitors with an easy way to view and purchase those sponsorship opportunities," Vice President of Product Development William Collins said in a statement. "We recognize that we must continue to make investments in our technology solutions to meet the needs of our customers, becoming a true extension of their marketing and operations teams."