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    Welcome Guide: Get to Know Photonics West 2012

    Whether this is your first time at the event or your tenth, SPIE wants
    to ensure that your week is as productive and engaging as possible.
    This online guide will answer common questions and provide a general
    overview of the event.

    On this page:
     • Key Event Info
     • Getting to Know Photonics West
     • Registering for the Event
     • Planning your time
     • Getting to the Moscone Center
     • San Francisco

     • Key Event Info
     • Download the Final Program
     • Registering for the Event

    Photonics West Conferences + Courses: 21-26 January 2012
    Times for conference and courses vary. Please reference your program or the website for the schedule.

    BiOS Weekend Expo

    Saturday, January 21          12:00 noon to 5:00 pm
    Sunday, January 22            10:00 am to 5:00 pm

    Photonics West Exhibition

    Tuesday 24 January            10:00 am to 5:00 pm
    Wednesday 25 January       10:00 am to 5:00 pm
    Thursday 26 January          10:00 am to 4:00 pm

    Onsite Registration Hours / Badge Pick-Up Moscone Center, North Lobby

    Saturday 21 January 7 am - 5 pm
    Sunday 22 January 7:15 am - 5 pm
    Monday 23 January 7:15 am - 5 pm
    Tuesday 24 January 7:30 am - 5 pm
    Wednesday 25 January 7:30 am - 5 pm
    Thursday 26 January 7:30 am to 4 pm

    Tip!: Have an iPhone or Android? Download the free SPIE Conference App and schedule your week. Papers, people, topics, courses, exhibitors: build your customized schedule.



    BiOS - Biomedical optics
    1,800 Papers | Hot Topics | Plenaries | Courses | Poster Sessions

    OPTO - Optoelectronics
    1,500 Papers | Plenary Presentations | Courses | Poster Sessions

    LASE - Lasers and Applications
    715 Papers | Plenary Presentations | Courses | Poster Sessions

    MOEMS-MEMS - Micro and Nanofabrication
    220 Papers | Plenary Presentations | Courses | Poster Sessions

    Green Photonics - Virtual symposium
    50 Papers | Green Photonics Awards


    BiOS Expo
    195 Companies

    Photonics West Exhibition
    1,150 Companies | Job Fair | Product Demos | Industry Sessions

    Special Forums and Events

    Industry Sessions
    Executive Perspective Sessions | Prism Awards Banquet | And more...

    Social and Networking Events
    Women in Optics | Photonics West Welcome Reception | Student Events | And more..

    Professional Development Events
    Biophotonics and OPTO Start-up Challenges | Career Paths Seminar | Panel Discussions | And more...

    Membership Events
    Fellows Luncheon | Members Reception | Members Breakfast

    Student Events
    Leadership Luncheon | Socials | Networking Events


    The first step in attending Photonics West is registering to attend. Your registration cost will be dependent on what type of attendee you are.

    Are you attending only the BiOS Weekend Expo and/or the Photonics West Exhibiton?

    • You are an Exhibit-Only Attendee. Your registration is free and will gain you access to both the BiOS Expo and Photonics West Exhibition

    Are you attending the conferences?

    • You are a Technical Attendee. Pre-register by 6 January 2012 and save $100 on your registration. You can register online or onsite
    • Are you attending a course too? When you register for your conference you can add a course on as well

    Are you attending a course only?

    • You are a Course-Only Attendee. You can register online or onsite

    What do I get with my registration?

    Conference registration (Technical Attendee) includes:

    • Admission to all conference sessions, plenaries, panels, technical group meetings, industry sessions, and poster sessions
    • Admission to the BiOS and Photonics West Exhibitions
    • Receptions and other social/networking events
    • Coffee breaks
    • Dessert snacks (in the exhibition halls) on Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday
    • A choice of proceedings (excluding student registrations)

    Courses and Workshops are not included with conference registration.

    Free Exhibition Registration (Exhibit-Only Attendee) includes:

    • Admission to both BiOS Expo and Photonics West exhibition, industry perspectives sessions, and Job Fair

    Course-Only Registration includes:

    • Selected course(s)
    • Course notes
    • Coffee breaks
    • Admittance to the exhibitions
    Courses and workshops are priced separately.


    With 4,200 technical papers, 2 major exhibitions, 65 courses, and many special events, Photonics West has a lot to choose from. One of the best ways to get the most out of your week is to plan your time in advance. There are several tools available to help you plan your time.

    Online tools:

    Onsite visit the iZone in the lower level of Moscone North. There you will find kiosks and staff to help you plan you time and to answer any questions you may have about the event.

    Tips for planning your schedule:

    • Choose which conferences, courses, and/or events you want to attend first. Then populate your schedule around those key events
    • Looking for specific products or exhibitors at the exhibition? Use the exhibitor directory to help you find exactly what you are looking for
    • Check the location of the conferences, courses, and events you want to attend to ensure that you have enough time to walk to them
    • Wireless internet is only available in select areas of The Moscone Center. Make sure you have a hardcopy of your schedule

    General Schedule

    Sat Sun Mon Tues Weds Thurs
    BiOS Expo 12 pm -
    5 pm
    10 am - 5 pm

    Photonics West Exhibition

    10 am - 5 pm 10 am - 5 pm 10 am - 4 pm


    MOEMS-MEMS Conferences

    9 am -
    12 pm

    OPTO Conferences

    8-10 am

    LASE Conferences

    10 am - 12:30 pm

    BiOS Conferences Hot Topics 7-9 pm

    Special Events

    Welcome Reception 7-8:30 pm
    Prism Awards 7-11 pm



    Find out more information about The Moscone Center and San Francisco in the Travel and Venue section of the website.

    Flying to the event?

    San Francisco is serviced by two international airports, San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and Oakland International Airport (OAK).  San Francisco International Airport (SFO) is located approximately 15 miles from downtown hotels. Oakland International Airport (OAK) is approximately 20 miles from SFO downtown hotels.

    There are several options to get to the city from the airport:

    Planning to take mass transportation? Use the transit trip planner

    Did you know? Caltrain's Baby Bullet Express Service makes it possible to travel between San Francisco and San Jose in less than an hour.

    Driving Directions and Parking

    Whether you are renting a car or are driving into San Francisco from a nearby area, plan your parking in advance to ensure availability and best rates near your hotel and The Moscone Center.



      Onsite at The Moscone Center SPIE staff will be available to help you find your way. Find staff at both registration areas in the North and South lobbies, at the SPIE Bookstore on the lower level, and at the Speaker Check-In Desk in the Esplanade foyer (upper level, accessed from South Lobby).


    San Francisco is a unique and breathtaking metropolis. From the famous icon of the Golden Gate Bridge to the exquisite art galleries at SFMOMA, the city takes pride in its unrivaled attractions, renowned museums, and its unique neighborhoods which are treasures of their own. Discover the variety of sites, shops, and restaurants that reflect the city's great ethnic and cultural diversity.

    Explore all San Francisco has to offer

    1.    Visit the world-famous Golden Gate Bridge

    2.    Take a ride on one of San Francisco's old time cable cars (

    3.    Spend a day exploring Alcatraz, the notorious former prison located on an island of the same name in the middle of San Francisco Bay. (

    4.    See the sea lions at Fisherman's Wharf

    5.    Shop in Union Square and see an amazing array of boutiques and department stores

    6.    Walk to the top of Telegraph Hill and see the wild parrots and an amazing view. (

    7.    Walk through the entrance to Chinatown at Grant Avenue and Bush Street and be transported to an amazing city within a city.

    8.    Dine in some of America's top restauarants

    9.    Hear great live music throughout the city any night of the week

    10.  Explore the California Academy of Sciences (