Billy's Blog

There’s an old adage that “size doesn’t matter,” but you wouldn’t know that from walking the show floor at LASER World of PHOTONICS 2019 in Munich, Germany.

Some of the industry’s heavy hitters like MKS Instruments, Laser Components, Opto Sigma, Hamamatsu, and Edmund Optics, among others, definitely made their presence felt with mega-size booths chocked full of technology and the personnel to demonstrate it (See the photos below). And for the most part those personnel were non-stop busy dealing with a steady stream of potential customers visiting those booths.

Why is that significant? Because those of us who lived through — and covered — the most recent recession remember a time when you could drive a truck down the aisles of trade shows like Photonics West and LASER World of PHOTONICS and not hit anybody. And you would’ve had trouble parking that truck because many of the booths were smaller!

an aerial view of the 2019 Laser World of PHOTONICS exhibit hall in Munich, Germany
A view from the top of the 2019 LASER World of PHOTONICS in Munich, Germany (Image Credit: Bruce A. Bennett)

Contrary to accepted marketing wisdom, when times are tough, companies cut advertising and promotional budgets including trade shows. When times are good, the opposite is true. The fact that many companies wanted to show their strength this year by investing in huge, costly mega-booths and paying the salaries and travel expenses it takes to staff them is a sure sign that the industry is once again thriving. But an even better sign is the steady flow of attendees visiting those booths. Not a single exhibitor I spoke with questioned the wisdom of exhibiting this year. And it’s only Day 2 of a four-day show!

the MKS Instruments booth at the 2019 Laser World of PHOTONICS in Munich Germany, at the exhibit hall

the Edmund Optics booth at the 2019 Laser World of PHOTONICS in Munich Germany, at the exhibit hall

the Laser Components booth at the 2019 Laser World of PHOTONICS in Munich Germany, at the exhibit hall

the Opto Sigma booth at the 2019 Laser World of PHOTONICS in Munich Germany, at the exhibit hall

the Physik Instrumente booth at the 2019 Laser World of PHOTONICS in Munich Germany, at the exhibit hall