If you want to tour the world of photonics, flip through the technical program and exhibitor list for SPIE Photonics West. The annual trade fair brings together a wide-ranging conference program, a professional development program with 50 courses, two exhibitions, and numerous networking and special events, all focused tightly on photonics, lasers and biomedical optics. Each year, more than 19,000 people from all sectors of the photonics industry – researchers, exhibitors, technologists, students and industry leaders – flock to California from more than 50 countries to attend the event. The 2012 trade show and conference will be held Jan. 21 to 26 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. The technical conferences are organized around four symposia: BiOS (Biomedical Optics), LASE (Lasers and Applications in Science and Engineering), OPTO (Integrated Optoelectronic Devices) and MOEMS-MEMS (Micro- and Nanofabrication). These symposia comprise more than 85 conferences – with 4100 research papers. The Photonics West exhibition and technical conferences draw a diverse crowd from all sectors of the photonics industry. The LASE program includes the following themes: laser source engineering; nonlinear optics; semiconductor lasers and LEDs; laser micro-/nanoengineering; and laser applications. The program for MOEMS-MEMS includes micro-/nanofabrication and devices/applications/reliability, and the OPTO conference will highlight optoelectronic materials and devices; photonic integration; nanotechnologies in photonics; advanced quantum and optoelectronic applications; semiconductor lasers and LEDs; displays and holography; and optical communications, from devices to systems. The BiOS conference program tracks include photonic therapeutics and diagnostics; clinical technologies/systems; tissue optics, laser-tissue interaction and tissue engineering; biomedical spectroscopy, microscopy and imaging; and nano-/biophotonics. A special Green Photonics virtual symposium will highlight the latest photonic tools and materials that will reduce energy consumption, lead to cleaner manufacturing and produce new power generation for a variety of applications. The research discussed at the technical conferences inspires and supports the technology, materials and applications seen on the exhibition floor, where more than 1150 exhibitors present their latest products and developments. The BiOS expo draws more than 180 exhibitors to connect companies on the forefront of industry growth with those researchers responsible for the latest developments. Another highlight of the event will be the annual Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation, sponsored by SPIE and Photonics Media, which will be presented at a gala ceremony during the trade show.