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Photonics Europe shines in France

06 May 2004

Reactions and images from the first Photonics Europe, which opened it doors in Strasbourg last week.

Over 2300 scientists descended on Strasbourg and passed through the doors of SPIE’s inaugural Photonics Europe last week. A total of 850 papers from 43 countries were presented in 17 technical conferences while a total of 168 exhibitors were on hand to show off their latest products and innovations.

But did the meeting live up to SPIE’s expectations? According to Karin Burger, SPIE’s event manager for Photonics Europe, the answer is a definite yes. “We achieved what we set out to do: to create a European event that will allow networking across all disciplines and in a central location that could easily be reached by all those interested,” she told Optics.org. “We anticipated around 90 exhibitors and a total of 1300 attendees and both numbers were exceeded.”

In addition, Burger says that the number of walk-in attendees exceeded SPIE’s initial expectations by a third in terms of both exhibition-only and technical registrations.

The technical conferences formed the backbone of the event. Things kicked off on April 26 with a day-long plenary session called “Hot Topic in Photonics”. Attended by over 400 people, eleven speakers discussed breakthroughs in fields including quantum dots, terahertz photonics and fluorescence microscopy.

The next day saw the start of the targeted conferences. SPIE says that sessions on organic optoelectronics, micro-optics, VCSELs and biophotonics proved to be popular amongst attendees and were standing-room-only at times.

The conferences were supplemented by a series of special events which included a business management program and a photonics innovation village as well as the main exhibition.

So after its first attempt at a conference-driven European meeting, was SPIE confident that it would be holding the same event in two years’ time?

“Yes, we are planning to hold Photonics Europe again in 2006,” said Burger. “At this stage we are not considering any other venues as experience shows that an event of this size benefits from being anchored in a particular city and Strasbourg with its central location is ideal to get to for attendees.”

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Author
Jacqueline Hewett is technology editor on Optics.org and Opto & Laser Europe magazine.

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