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SPIE Photonics West achieves successful return to in-person meeting

07 Feb 2022

Report on last month’s in-person gathering details attendees’ positive experiences at biomedical optics, quantum, AR-VR and laser technology meetings.

SPIE welcomed the international photonics community back to San Francisco’s Moscone Center during 22-27 January for the resurgent Photonics West. The largest annual photonics conference and exhibition, including its BiOS, LASE, and OPTO symposia and the AR|VR|MR conference, garnered more than 10,000 registered attendees, hosted more than 950 exhibitors, and included 2,100 technical presentations.

After a two-year hiatus, SPIE once again hosted its flagship event, requiring proof of vaccination and wearing of masks for all attendees following the local regulations and national guidelines for hosting an event of Photonics West's size.

“We very much appreciate all the support from exhibitors, attendees, volunteers, and presenters who truly made the event a success,” commented SPIE CEO Kent Rochford. “Everyone embraced San Francisco's health and safety protocols, resulting in a safe meeting. There’s nothing like coming home to Photonics West, and the enthusiasm we witnessed throughout the week proves that there is nothing like in-person events.”

In addition to breakthrough science and engineering conference presentations throughout the week, both the BiOS and Photonics West exhibitions enjoyed a robust flow of returning, new, and potential customers eager to discuss requirements face-to-face with the world's top suppliers of optics and photonics technology.

Exhibitor experiences

“Being back in person has been great," said Zygo Director of Digital Global Marketing and Communications Virginia Foley. "We really enjoyed the face-to-face interaction. We've seen a lot of clients that we haven't seen in two years, so that has been fantastic for us. And I think that most people have felt that it's been very safe, and that it's been really nice to catch up with people. The overall experience has been fantastic.”

Noted Syntec Optics Business Development Manager Tallon Rood, “It’s been wonderful meeting our customers and vendors again in person. We've been talking about the problems that we're trying to solve in the industry, all of the challenges that everyone's been overcoming over the last few years, and how everyone is navigating the situation. It's been fun hearing different perspectives.”

LaCroix Precision Optics Customer Service Manager Sam Burchfield commented, “The people who attended, they’re actually looking for a solution instead of just kind of looking, so it's been really good for us. We’re excited to see what comes from it in the next few weeks. We're based in Arkansas, so for us the next customer might be six hours away. Being back in person, seeing these customers and seeing the vendors, it's been really good just to kind of get that positive charge again.”

“It’s felt so good to get out and meet with our colleagues and our customers and new potential customers here,” said Rocky Mountain West regional sales manager for Lumibird Kent Greer. “It's been a tremendous experience. Thank you so much to SPIE for putting this on — we can't be more grateful, and we look forward to more shows this year and being back here in 2023 as well.”

‘Industry showcase’

With the annual Prism Awards honoring the top new optics and photonics products on the market and the dynamic Startup Challenge pitch competition, SPIE Photonics West showcased and recognized the best optics and photonics technologies, trends, and entrepreneurial opportunities.

The new SPIE Career Hub offered four days of professional development panels, tips, and networking opportunities. In addition, Quantum West — organized in partnership with the Quantum Economic Development Consortium (QED-C) — featured experts and invited speakers discussing market prospects and the path toward a quantum-focused commercial ecosystem, complementing the strong technical program. During a special event, SPIE and the University of Rochester announced the establishment of the $1 million SPIE Graduate Fellowship in Optical Sciences and Engineering.

Following the in-person week, on-demand access to the conference presentations will be available for all paid attendees between 21-27 February as part of an extended SPIE Photonics West On-Demand program. The nearly 3,000 online presentations will include those recorded live during Photonics West, as well as pre-recorded presentations from authors who were unable to travel or attend in person.

In addition to the conference recordings, posters and poster preview videos and all recorded plenary and keynote presentations will be available for viewing. Registration is also available for anyone who couldn't attend or participate and would like to access the on-demand content of SPIE Photonics West.

SPIE Photonics West 2023 will take place 28 January-2 February at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. The call for papers for the 2023 event will open in Spring of 2022.

Cobolt ABChangchun Jiu Tian  Optoelectric Co.,Ltd.DIAMOND SASPECTROGON ABHÜBNER PhotonicsHyperion Opticsart Photonics GmbH
© 2022 SPIE Europe
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