Despite the economic downturn, Photonics West, held Jan. 19 to 25 in San Jose, Calif., was a great success. SPIE reported a total attendance of 14,674 at the exhibition, down slightly from 15,362 in 2001. The number of technical attendees fell to 4576, from 5991. At 6378, the number of exhibit-only attendees, however, exceeded the 6208 mark set last year.Scott Walker, event project manager for the show, found this year's Photonics West reminiscent of the first one in 1992. "At that time, the industry was working to emerge from a deep recession, and confidence was low," he said, but attendees encountered "the beginnings of a rebirth. This year, very few people expected the high level of turnout or the excitement that developed over the week. Photonics West 2002 was fun, full of energy and, quite literally, a surprise."