Event planning guide: tips to crush it at the SPIE Photonic West  Conference

The SPIE Photonics West conference is a premier event in the field of photonics and optics, covering a wide range of topics including biomedical optics, biophotonics, industrial lasers, optoelectronics, microfabrication, MOEMS-MEMS, displays, quantum technologies, and other related areas. The conference is designed to attract a focused and engaged audience of scientists, engineers, and business leaders, who are looking to stay up-to-date with the latest developments and trends in the field.

Additionally, the conference is co-located with the SPIE AR | VR | MR conference, which is focused on creating the future of augmented, virtual, and mixed reality. This conference brings together researchers and engineers, investors and entrepreneurs, customers and suppliers to discuss and showcase the latest technology and trends in AR, VR, and MR. The conference provides a platform to learn about the latest hardware and enabled content, as well as hear from visionary industry leaders from the largest AR-VR-MR companies, startups, and suppliers. This event is a must-attend for anyone looking to stay ahead of the curve in this rapidly evolving field and discover the hardware that will enable the metaverse. Here are some tips on how to make the most out of your time at the conference.

SPIE Photic West Conference Schedule

First and foremost, it’s important to have a plan. Before you even set foot in the conference, take the time to research the conference schedule, attendees, and events. The conference includes several unique tracks or programs that are designed to attract a focused and engaged audience of scientists, engineers, and business leaders. Some of these tracks include:


This track focuses on biomedical optics and biophotonics and covers topics such as optical coherence tomography, optical diagnostics and therapeutics, and optical methods in neuroscience.


This track focuses on industrial lasers and laser technology and covers topics such as laser materials processing, high-power lasers, and laser microfabrication.


This track focuses on optoelectronics and microfabrication and covers topics such as photonics and electronics integration, micro- and nano-photonics, and novel materials and devices.

AR | VR | MR

This track focuses on augmented, virtual, and mixed reality, and covers topics such as AR/VR/MR hardware and software, display technologies, and human factors.

Quantum 2.0

This track focuses on the latest developments in quantum technologies, including quantum computing, quantum communication, and quantum sensing.

SPIE Photic West Conference Networking

Networking events are also a great opportunity to connect with others, so make sure to attend as many as possible. These events can take many forms, such as receptions, meetups, and parties, and are often hosted by companies, organizations, and groups within the photonics industry. Take advantage of these opportunities to expand your professional network, learn about new opportunities, and gain insight into the industry from a diverse group of people.

When representing your company, it’s important to keep in mind that first impressions are everything. Make sure your booth or display on the expo floor is eye-catching and professional. Highlight the unique aspects of your company, its products, and services, and be ready to answer any questions that attendees may have. And always have a team member present to answer questions and provide information.

Startup Challenge
This event is designed for startups and entrepreneurs to showcase their ideas and technologies in front of a panel of investors and industry leaders.
Prism Awards
This event is a competition where companies showcase their new products in the field of optics and photonics and winners are awarded.

Host a sponsored company event at SPIE Photic West Conference

If you’re looking to make a big impact at the SPIE Photonics West conference, hosting your own company event can be a great way to connect with other professionals in the field, attract new customers, and build relationships with existing clients and potential business partners. There are a variety of venues that can be used to host these events, from traditional options like restaurants and bars to more unique venues like high-tech escape rooms. Regardless of the venue, it’s important to make sure it’s an enjoyable and memorable experience for your guests.

Restaurants are a great option for hosting events, especially in a city like San Francisco where the culinary scene is diverse and vibrant. It’s a great opportunity to showcase your company’s culture and create a memorable experience for your guests. Bars are also a great option, offering a more relaxed and casual atmosphere, perfect for networking and socializing.

High-tech escape rooms are a unique and fun option, they are a great opportunity to build team-building and problem-solving skills. They also offer a great icebreaker and a way to break the ice with potential partners or customers. Glitch is particularly suited for the conference as it includes VR and other advanced technology relevant to the field of photonics and optics.

Escape room SF

Technical Discussions at SPIE Photic West Conference

Another way to showcase your company is by participating in the technical sessions and submitting papers to be presented at the conference. It’s a great opportunity to share your company’s expertise and research with the community and to gain visibility and credibility within the industry.

Educational Opportunities at SPIE Photic West Conference

Lastly, don’t forget to take advantage of the educational opportunities that the conference offers. Attend the keynote speeches, sessions, and tutorials to learn about new technologies and trends in the field, and to gain new skills and knowledge that can benefit your company.

Technical tours
These tours provide attendees with the opportunity to visit local companies and research institutions to see firsthand how their technologies are being used in real-world applications.
Symposia and workshops
These events provide attendees with the opportunity to learn about new developments and trends in specific areas of photonics and optics, as well as to network with other professionals in the field.
Short courses
These courses provide attendees with in-depth training on specific topics related to photonics and optics.
Student activities
These activities are specifically designed for students and provide them with the opportunity to learn about new developments in the field, to connect with other students, and to gain insight into career opportunities in the field of photonics and optics.


In conclusion, the SPIE Photonics West conference offers a unique opportunity to learn about new developments, connect with professionals and showcase your own expertise in the field of photonics and optics. Maximize your impact at the event by taking advantage of side events, and hosting your own company events to network and make the most out of the event for professional and personal growth.