SAN FRANCISCO, May 21 -- A total of 5824 had attended the 2004 Conference on Lasers and Electro Optics/International Quantum Electronics Conference (CLEO/IQEC) as of this morning -- a six percent increase from last year -- according to Colleen Morrison, media relations manager for the Optical Society of America, which sponsors the conference, held this week in San Francisco. Morrison reported standing-room-only attendance sessions about high-powered fiber lasers, attosecond photonics, the 50th anniversary of the maser celebration and plenary speeches, among other highlights. "The general buzz around the conference was upbeat," she said. "Participants were excited about the news, announcements and information brought forth at CLEO/IQEC and PhAST this year." PhAST (Photonic Applications Systems Technologies) featured a series of presentations featuring networking opportunities with industry leaders in specialty areas including lasers in manufacturing and photonics in homeland and national security. CLEO/IQEC featured educational sessions, special "application-focused" forums, a diverse exposition showcasing both industry leaders and new ventures, and networking and social events.