SAN JOSE, Calif., Feb. 2, 2006 -- A record number of attendees -- 16,533 -- and more than 1000 exhibitors participated in Photonics West 2006 this year, according to officials from event sponsor SPIE, the International Society for Optical Engineering, making it the most successful year ever for the photonics industry's largest annual trade show.
Photonics West, held this year from Jan. 21-26 in San Jose, has become North America's largest commercial exhibition on optics, lasers, biomedical optics, optoelectronic components and imaging technologies. This year more than 1000 exhibitors were on hand to feature their products and services ranging from laser diodes to applications for chemical and biological sensing to inspection, metrology and process control tools used to produce microchips and nanoscale devices. That number shatters last year's record of 876, which represented an impressive increase over the number of exhibitors in 2004.
The conference sessions also drew a record 16,533 delegates, an increase of more than eight percent over last year, and all of the plenary talks attracted standing-room-only crowds.
Delegates crowd the aisles at the Photonics West 2006 Exhibition in San Jose in January. More than 1000 vendors took part in the photonics industry's largest annual trade show. (Photo: SPIE)
Vendors at BiOS 2006, the Biomedical Optics and Optoelectronic Symposia and exhibition which took place on Jan. 21-22, increased by 50 percent from last year, which SPIE organizers attributed to the increasing use of light and lasers in medicine and biology. More than 2000 people attended BiOS 2006, which featured the presentation of 1200 technical papers on research and innovations in biomedical optics and photonics. Other symposia held in conjunction with Photonics West 2006 were LASE 2006, on lasers and applications in science and engineering; OPTO 2006, on integrated optoelectronic devices; and MOEMS-MEMS 2006, on micro- and nanofabrication. Technologists, engineers and scientists unveiled 2800 photonics-related research papers during heavily attended conference sessions.
"Exhibitors are expressing satisfaction with the results in general; lots of conferences filled their rooms and spilled into the hallways at times, the plenary sessions were jammed and the industry forums were very well received," stated SPIE's Photonics West Event Manager Marilyn Gorsuch.
One reason for the significant increase in exhibitors, according to SPIE organizers, is the opening of the new 80,000-sq.-ft South Hall this year, which was expressly built to accomodate the show's growth by housing an additional 300 exhibitors. While there was some initial concern that attendees wouldn't be aware of the additional location, the South Hall was very well attended during the week and exhibitors surveyed there expressed satisfaction with the amount of traffic in the hall and the business it was generating.
"We've had non-stop traffic since the exhibit opened. We've had lots of interest in our products and are confident it will translate into sales," Lisa R. Vitali of Hallstead, Pa.-based Snake Creek Lasers said when asked how business was on the last day of the trade show.
Photonics West 2007 will be held from Jan. 20-25 in San Jose. For more information, visit: www.spie.org