The ECOC 2002 exhibition, des-cribed by organiser Nexus Media as "Europe's flagship optical communications event", has experienced record bookings for this year's Copenhagen event, signposting what Nexus believes is a revival for the beleagured industry.
"Record levels" of stand space were sold at the Bella Center. Demand was strong despite the organiser securing nearly 50% of additional stand space compared to ECOC 2001 in Amsterdam.
"Reaction has quite simply been fantastic," said ECOC marketing manager Lucy Van Renselar.
"We confirmed more exhibitors than actually attended last year. This reflects a mood of great optimism about prospects and the general outlook for the market," she added.
The exhibition is being staged for the seventh year, taking its place alongside the long established conference which runs 8-12 September. Together, the events have emerged as a powerful forum, uniting academia and industry in discussion and display of the latest and future optical communications components, products, systems and services.
More than 2,000 visitors from over 60 countries attended last year's event in Amsterdam, and the organiser predicts a substantial increase this year.
Attendance to the exhibition is free and pre-registration has been made easy by the introduction of an official ECOC website, which can handle everything from simple registrations to exhibition stand bookings and an appointment management system ('My ECOC').
Ahead of this year's conference, a record-high number of papers was submitted. The 50 members of the Technical Programme Committee faced a difficult job of selecting 400 papers for oral or poster presentation.
Since the number of submitted papers grew from 470 at last year's ECOC in Amsterdam to this year's 778 it has been necessary to include one more parallel track, so ECOC is now running in six parallel tracks for four days.
The large number of overseas papers also demonstrates that ECOC is attractive for researchers worldwide, says Nexus, since there were 151 papers submitted from both USA and Japan; followed by Germany (60), UK (58) and host country Denmark (42).
Also the number of submitted post-deadline papers is high, with 96 papers submitted. This means that the 28th ECOC conference will boast the highest number of papers ever submitted.