- OFC Leads Industry With Innovative Programming and Exposition
WASHINGTON, Jan. 10 -- "The Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exposition (OFC) maintains its strong position in the optics field. With a nine percent increase in technical paper submissions over 2002, OFC is on target again to be the largest and most significant event in optical communications," said Cynthia Gady, OFC senior director of meetings and exhibits.
Gady said that despite lagging industry trends, more than 850 exhibitors had already signed up to attend OFC 2003 by December.
"We are very pleased with the increase in paper submissions, as well as the fact that 80 percent of our exhibit floor sales were completed nearly a full half-year in advance of the conference. Unlike other industry events, OFC's technical sessions and post-deadline papers undergo a rigorous peer-review process. It is the strength of the conference's programming that sets it apart from those that have suffered setbacks during these tough economic times. We are confident that this year's OFC will be the priority event for the optical communications industry."
"We recognize that in difficult economies, exhibitors have stretched budgets and must choose conference opportunities carefully," Gady added. "For the companies that have signed on and the audience that will be present, OFC is on the short-list of the 'must-attend' events."
This year's OFC conference will be held March 23-28 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. Now in its 28th year, OFC has evolved into the key meeting for the presentation of the most recent optical communications applications and research available. Exhibiting companies often use OFC as a backdrop to make corporate announcements, unveil new products and share up-to-the-minute research.
The Georgia World Congress Center is located in the heart of downtown Atlanta. There are a number of amenities located within walking distance to the Congress Center including restaurants, shops, hotels and attractions.
"While we're thrilled with the number of exhibiting companies we already have signed on, we also anticipate that we may continue to grow this number later this year and early next year," said Melissa Russell, senior manager of OFC sales/sponsorships. "The trends that we have seen indicate that companies are reserving marketing decisions -- like booth space -- until much later. Companies are still participating in their industry's most significant events, and OFC certainly is a leader within the optical communications category.""
To meet the varying interests of its attendees, OFC 2003 will add new services that respond to the increasing demand for innovative information. Of note is the Service Provider Summit, a day-long program shaped around the needs and interests of carriers and service providers. Kicking off with a keynote presentation by Bill Smith, chief product development and technology officer, BellSouth Corp., the summit will include panel discussions, a targeted exhibit floor tour and an evening reception. The summit was designed particularly for CTOs, network architects, network designers and technologists of service provider and carrier companies.
"OFC is one of the leading events in our industry," said Smith. "This is the first year the conference designed programming to specifically meet the needs of the service provider sector. The Service Provider Summit is just the innovative, refreshing forum that our industry needs. The panel discussions, education and networking opportunities make for an intriguing, comprehensive event. I was honored to be asked to serve as the summit's first keynote speaker and look forward to discussing relevant industry issues and trends."
This year, the conference itself will also address emerging trends and industry developments with OFC's Market Watch: Business and Technology. These panels will focus on innovative applications, business strategies and key advancements. All programming will have an emphasis on "real-time" applications and practical ways to prepare and prosper in the near future. Topics include: global market potential, telecom trends -- analyst and investor views, business and management topics, tunability in the network, broadband access, customer-owned optical networks and the future of video services. Panel organizers include such prominent figures as Milton Chang, Incubic; Serge Melle, Infinera; and Mat Steinberg, Ample Communications.
While strong technical programming and a top-tier exhibition are the foundations on which OFC is built, the conference also specializes in developing its Plenary Session to meet the broad interests and technical expertise of the thousands of attendees it draws. Prominent speakers will also set the tone for the meeting, introducing new research and sector trends that will be of significance to attendees.
OFC provides an enormous array of programming options so that attendee and exhibitor schedules may be customized and tailored to specific information needs and interests, and the conference Web site's "online scheduler" enables these attendees to plan their activities well in advance. Additionally, amenities including an Employment Center, hotel shuttle bus service, cyber kiosks and an international lounge staffed with multilingual interpreters, are just a few of the many extras OFC attendees can expect on-site. For complete, up-to-the-minute information on the conference's programs, exhibits, sessions, workshops, amenities and more, visit
MORE FROM PHOTONICS MEDIA