With more than 24,000 registered, Photonics West 2024 showcased a robust and expanding industry

The largest annual optics and photonics event of the year, which includes the rapidly growing Quantum West conference and the co-located SPIE AR|VR|MR, encompassed more than 1,500 exhibitors and over 5,000 technical presentations
08 February 2024
SPIE Photonics West 2024 at San Francisco's Moscone Center.
SPIE Photonics West 2024 hosted an enthusiastic crowd of optics and photonics professionals at San Francisco's Moscone Center.

BELLINGHAM, Washington, USA — SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, held an impactful and vibrant Photonics West last week at San Francisco’s Moscone Center, with 24,000-plus technical professionals registered from more than 70 countries across the international optics and photonics community. The largest annual photonics conference, which ran from 27 January to 1 February, hosted over 1,500 exhibitors, and featured over 5,000 technical presentations across an interactive and engaging week that included BiOS, LASE, OPTO, Quantum West, the BiOS Expo, the Photonics West exhibition, the Quantum West Expo, and the co-located AR|VR|MR conference and exhibition.

“Photonics West heralds the beginning of the optics and photonics calendar each year for good reason,” said SPIE CEO Kent Rochford. “The invigorating energy and high levels of enthusiasm throughout the Moscone Center characterized a truly exciting week. AR|VR|MR continues to grow by leaps and bounds, and the addition of a standalone exhibit to the Quantum West program reflects the growing impact of the technology. We were also delighted by the success of our brand-new SPIE Global Business Forum, a packed event that drew top industry executives together for high-level presentations and conversation. Altogether it was a pleasure to be part of the networking, research-sharing, and collaborative discussions among world-leading scientists, engineers, students, and businesspeople and I’m already looking forward to Photonics West 2025.”

As always, the dynamic week showcased the latest innovative technologies and discoveries stemming from a diverse and thriving optics and photonics community, bringing together researchers, innovators, engineers, entrepreneurs, and business leaders from across the globe. Over 100 distinct technical conferences paired perfectly with the four exhibitions held during the week, bringing researchers and companies together to further science, technology, and applications. The week also included a wide range of live product demonstrations on the exhibition floors as well as a job fair.

The inaugural SPIE Global Business Forum was a resounding, sold-out success. With the 16th annual Prism Awards honoring the top new optics and photonics products, and the fast-paced Startup Challenge pitch competition, SPIE Photonics West recognized the best optics and photonics technologies, trends, and entrepreneurial opportunities, while the Quantum West Business Summit featured talks and panels that provided key insights into that expanding commercial ecosystem.

In addition, a program of 56 educational courses offered expert-led technical training and learning, which complemented the dozens of professional development and networking sessions. From Lunch and Learn programming focused on EDI, to networking and social events that provided many opportunities for in-person conversations and possible future collaborations, Photonics West featured a packed calendar of special events.

While the week held myriad opportunities for attendees to learn, network, and share their latest advancements, it was the buzzing exhibitions that best showcased the increasingly vital photonics industry and the importance of in-person meetings.

“The Global Business Forum made it clear that the optics and photonics industry is in the midst of a remarkable era of growth and innovation,” said Stratos Kehayas, PhD, Chief Product & Technology Officer, G&H. “The industry's collective enthusiasm at Photonics West underscores the pivotal role this trade show plays in driving collaboration, fostering innovation, and shaping the future.”

“This has been arguably one of the most productive Photonics Wests we've had in the last five years,” said nLIGHT Vice President and General Manager, Semiconductor Lasers, Matthew Randall. “It’s been very engaging, with lots of people coming through, and we're seeing new things at our booth and at other booths that make this particular show a positive experience. We are definitely seeing way more innovation now than in the last couple of years and that's been incredibly positive not only for nLIGHT, but for the entire photonics industry.”

“The week has been very good,” said MKS Instruments Senior Director of Marketing, Photonics Solutions Division, Vincent M. Issier. “The traffic has been very high and the attendance is incredible this year, and we are very happy with the level of engagement from people here.”

“The week has been great,” said IPG Photonics Director of Product Management, Beam Delivery, UV, Green & Ultrafast Lasers, Mustafa Coskun. “There was nice traffic coming through and it was really nice to connect with colleagues as well as our customers and other visitors. And this is what we're here for: to listen to our customers and understand what their problems are and how we can help them. This Photonics West has been great.”

“This year we were quite busy, even just walking around the show with so many people we know here and so many companies we are in touch with,” said TNO Business Consultant, Optics Manufacturing, Bart Snijders. “It’s great to see them all again. We’ve enjoyed being busy on the floor, busy with meetings. I would always like the show to be six or nine days long, because time is always too short for me here.”

During the Photonics West week, SPIE also announced its latest partnership — this one with The University of Manchester — in the  SPIE Endowment Matching Program.

SPIE Photonics West 2025 will take place 25-30 January at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. The call for papers for the 2025 event will open in Spring of 2024.

About SPIE

SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, brings engineers, scientists, students, and business professionals together to advance light-based science and technology. The Society, founded in 1955, connects and engages with our global constituency through industry-leading conferences and exhibitions; publications of conference proceedings, books, and journals in the SPIE Digital Library; and career-building opportunities. Over the past five years, SPIE has contributed more than $24 million to the international optics community through our advocacy and support, including scholarships, educational resources, travel grants, endowed gifts, and public-policy development. www.spie.org.


Daneet Steffens
Public Relations Manager
+1 360 685 5478


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