January 26, 2007 19:32 ET

SPIE Photonics West Surpasses Expectations as Visitors Exceed 17,000

Sold-Out Exhibition, 3,000 Presentations, 70 Courses and Record Attendance Indicate an Upbeat Optics and Photonics Industry

BELLINGHAM, WA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- January 26, 2007 -- Photonics West concluded yesterday and SPIE -- the event organizer -- reports that the technical conference, courses and exhibition attracted over 17,000 people during the week-long event. Photonics West continued the distinction of being the largest optics and photonics exhibit in the USA and the largest photonics technology conference anywhere in the world.

Photonics West drew this audience with over 3,000 technical presentations, over 1,000 exhibiting companies, 70 professional development courses and a career fair with recruiters from 20 world-class companies. Associated events included plenary talks, market seminars, technology road-mapping workshops, standards group meetings, technical poster sessions and dozens of receptions hosted by industry leaders and government agencies.

"This year Photonics West set a new high-water mark in terms of the quality of the conference and the quantity of presentations, exhibitors, conference attendees and exhibition visitors," said Janice Walker, director of events at SPIE. "This translates into more scientific breakthroughs, more new products, more new jobs and more buyers than ever before. The record-setting numbers, along with the recent billion-dollar IPO by one of our corporate members, IPG Photonics, sets a very optimistic tone for the entire industry."

SPIE technical conferences bring engineers and scientists together to network and learn what's new in optics, photonics and imaging technologies used in biomedicine, communications, solid-state lighting and other application areas. This interdisciplinary dialogue is helpful to people like Patricia Marafino, an optical engineer with Kaiser Electronics, who said, "This gives us a chance to find the latest laser technology and see what others are doing in this area. Photonics West is the place to do that."

The mood within the exhibition halls was more exciting than any time since 2000. "As a result of the great product offerings and great audience at Photonics West, we talked to more potential customers than ever before," said Greg Hollows, senior application engineer with Edmund Optics. "Photonics West is the #1 event in our industry. Here people can see the leading edge of science, see the technology that enables new applications and see basically the entire industry in a few days. It's terrific."

More information about Photonics West is available at and papers presented at symposia will soon be downloadable at the SPIE Digital Library at

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