LASER 2007.World of Photonics has closed its doors, and organizers are saying it was the most successful since the trade show began in 1973, with the number of visitors up more than 10 percent and a more than six percent increase in exhibitors. The four-day trade fair, held every two years, attracted more companies and individuals working in optical technology fields than ever before, with 1008 exhibitors (a 6.3 percent increase over 2005's 948) and more than 25,000 visitors (up more than 10 percent from 2005's 23,310) representing many of the top companies working in the industry. More than 25,000 visitors and 1008 exhibitors made LASER 2007. World of Photonics the most successful show in the fair's 35-year history.(Photos: AlexSchelbert.de) The theme of this year's show was "Light at Work," and with its exhibition, workshops, conference and special show, it promised to cover every facet of laser manufacturing, with many opportunities for attendees to see, inspect and discuss the latest technology from top manufacturers. "LASER 2007.World of Photonics ran excellently. With this outstanding result, the trade fair demonstrated once again that it is the leading event globally for optical technologies. Increased attention to applications has paid off, and exhibitors and visitors were extremely satisfied with this. The scope of applications, which were shown here, and the pioneering character of the trade fair oriented to the future are unique in the world," said Klaus Dittrich, managing director of Messe München GmbH, which organizes the event. Exhibitors echoed Dittrich's sentiments about the show. "LASER was the ideal trade fair for us. The global field of customers has again proved to be the key to success," said Matthias Schulze, director of technical marketing at Coherent. Jens Bleher, managing director of Trumpf Laser Technology Business Div. at Trumpf GmbH + Co. KG, agreed, saying, “LASER 2007.World of Photonics is demonstrating a very good development. The number of trade fair contacts has increased considerably compared to the last event. We are very satisfied with the quality of visitor contacts.” Both exhibitors and visitors felt positive about the future economic development of the industry, according to an on-site survey conducted by market research company tns infratest. Organizers said 94 percent of visitors and 92 percent of exhibitors rated the industry's economic future as excellent to good. Also, organizers said, numerous business transactions proved that concrete investments were made at the trade fair, and they were a lively topic of discussion during the event. LASER 2007 also proved to be the meeting place of top managers in the industry, with 90 percent of visitors reporting themselves as "decision-makers," with 30 percent of those saying they had final decision-making powers. Many of these top industry professionals were drawn to a major highlight of the show, the CEO Round Table discussion on “Driving Forces for Innovations in the Photonics Industry.” An audience of approximately 200 attended the panel discussion with John R. Ambroseo, president and CEO of Coherent; Benoit Bazire, CEO of Qioptiq; Peter Leibinger, vice chairman of the managing board and head of the Laser Technology and Electronics Div., TRUMPF GmbH + Co. KG; Rüdiger Müller, president and CEO of Osram Opto Semiconductors; and Liekki Corp. CEO Per Stenius. A highlight of LASER 2007.World of Photonics was the CEO roundtable discussion on market forces driving photonics industry innovations. Pictured are (l-r) Per Stenius, CEO, Liekki Corp.; John R. Ambroseo, president and CEO, Coherent Inc.; Peter Leibinger, vice chairman of the managing board and head of the Laser Technology and Electronics Div., Trumpf GmbH + Co. KG; moderator Sabine Beckmann; Rüdiger Müller, president and CEO, Osram Opto Semiconductors GmbH; and Benoit Bazire, CEO, Qioptiq SAS. The fact that the trade show has not lost sight of the increasing number of applications in optical technologies and seeks to include more with each show was not lost on exhibitors. "Osram has been pursuing a strategy of showing product applications for years. Consequently, we welcome the orientation of LASER. World of Photonics to applications," said Jörg Heerlein, senior manager for high-performance laser diodes at Osram Opto Semiconductors. The variety of applications is an essential success criterion for Bernd Fischer, head of corporate communications at Kuka Roboter, which took part in the trade fair for the first time. “We put a very high value on the fact that we meet visitors from other industrial application fields here,” he said. Thomas Deiwiks, sales manager for Limo Lissotschenko Mikrooptik, said of his LASER 2007 experience, “The trade visitors can identify better with the application orientation of the trade fair. We redesigned our booth correspondingly and paid more attention to solutions.” Günther Braun, CEO and president at Rofin Sinar Technologies Inc., agreed, saying, “We are extremely satisfied with the course of the event until now. The somewhat changed trade fair concept in the direction of user orientation seems to pay off.” "With its application orientation and its very distinctive international profile, LASER.World of Photonics definitely meets our strategy as a world-wide operating company," said Musa Saydi from Turkey-based Ermaksan Machinery, a first-time attendee. The World of Photonics Congress, held in conjunction with LASER 2007 and organized by Messe München International and several international science societies, also recorded substantial growth, organizers said. Leading scientists from throughout the world -- including 2005 Nobel Laureate for Physics, Theodor W. Hänsch -- presented their research in six individual World of Photonics conferences. They showed the future scenarios of optical technologies in more than 2300 speeches and presentations, up from 1800 in 2005. Applications also played a larger role there than in previous years. The presence of the Congress helped attract highly skilled visitors to booths, exhibitors said. "The Congress is very important to us. A total of 50 percent of inquiries at our booth came from the scientific field," said Thomas Renner, head of sales and marketing at Toptica Photonics. "The conferences not only ensure fast knowledge transfer between the disciplines, but they also attract a highly skilled public to the trade fair," said engineer Gerhard Holst, who works in science and research at PCO AG. The US and Great Britain placed first and second in terms of having the highest number of exhibitors from outside Germany, followed by China with 55. The next LASER.World of Photonics will take place at the Munich Trade Fair Centre June 15-18, 2009. See also: Laser Products Debut , Show Theme 'Light at Work'