An estimated 4000 photonics professionals turned out for what could be Photonics East's last appearance at the Hynes Auditorium in Boston. Next year the conference and exhibit will change its name and venue. Photonics East will become Boston Photonics and will be held at the Marriott Hotel on Boston's fabled Route 128.
Crowds filled the aisles as the technical exhibit opened at Photonics East.
Beyond 2001, the show might move further east -- to Europe, perhaps, say those close to SPIE's thinking on the subject.
The show, though large by most standards, fails to match its bookend counterpart Photonics West in size, and at its present location suffers the problems associated with any conference in Boston: Impossible traffic conditions and high-priced hotel space.
If this indeed is the show's final run in downtown Boston, it has the look of success. A full menu of events including 40 conferences, 50 short courses and two halls holding more than 200 exhibiting companies is in full swing.
While the conference began with technical sessions on Sunday, the Technical exhibit opened on Monday with a rush of attendees waiting at the doors at the unusual hour of half-past noon.