SPIE drew a record attendance of more than 6000 from 42 countries to its annual meeting and symposium in San Diego. Approximately 3600 technical attendees, 1200 exhibit representatives and 1200 exhibit-only attendees flocked to the San Diego Convention Center. Some of the more popular conferences included those investigating extraterrestrial life forms, astronomical optics and sensors. The conferences on zoom lenses and applied optics also drew large crowds. The large number of technical attendees appeared to be active shoppers in the new economy. SPIE will hold its 1998 annual meeting July 19 through 24 at the San Diego Convention Center.