Optical components

OFC/NFOEC Bids Goodbye to San Diego

OFC/NFOEC goers who fell in love with San Diego might want to skip this story.

Go on, look at our photos from 2008 (in two parts) and 2010. Nice place, isn't it?

Now, for everyone else...

OFC/NFOEC will be in Los Angeles for the next two years and will remain in non-San Diego cities through 2014, an The Optical Society (OSA) spokeswoman confirms.

Why the change? The official line is simple: San Diego got booked up. With no dates available in OFC's traditional February/March timeframe, organizers chose to look elsewhere.

OFC/NFOEC was housed in downtown L.A. in 2004, to much griping from the attendees, and most people Light Reading has talked to don't want to go back. (See OFC/NFOEC's Next Home.) Our message boards even hint at a boycott.

But the convention center area is different now, spruced up with shops, hotels, and restaurants. Downtown L.A. even has its own promotional Website that makes the area look awesome. Websites never lie, right?

After L.A., OFC/NFOEC will do another turn in Anaheim, Calif., before moving to San Francisco in 2014. San Francisco has a reputation as an expensive conference destination, but an analysis of key metrics reveals it to be an excellent venue.

Table 1: Objective Site Analysis
Year OFC/NFOEC Location Approx. Driving Time from Convention Site to Nearest Amoeba Music Outlet Easy Drive from Craig's House?
2011, 2012
Los Angeles
30 mins., even with traffic (Sunset Blvd., Hollywood)
1.5 hours (Hollywood)
San Francisco
15 mins., parking gods permitting (Haight & Stanyan, S.F.)
Sources: OSA, a guy from L.A., me

Besides, things could be worse. Remember that Supercomm camped in Atlanta in June for multiple years, apparently because, as one source put it, the surface of the sun was booked. And hey -- it's not Vegas.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 4:39:44 PM
re: OFC/NFOEC Bids Goodbye to San Diego

This totally shatters my dream of OFC/NFOEC slipping 2-3 weeks, into April, so that we'd be in San Diego in time for baseball season and that gorgeous downtown ballpark.

I'm sure no other conferences have thought of that, right?  Right?

Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 4:39:43 PM
re: OFC/NFOEC Bids Goodbye to San Diego I was sort of dreading the fact that next month's cable show is in LA, but, despite the notion that there's an OFC boycott in the works, your mention that the convention center in La-La-Land is benefitting from vast improvements offers me some hope. JB
Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 4:39:37 PM
re: OFC/NFOEC Bids Goodbye to San Diego

Send pictures (seriously).

Note that at no point did I say "improvements."  :)  What little I know about the conv. center area makes me think of a Downtown Disney vibe, and whether that's an improvement is debatable...

I will say I've been to Little Tokyo recently (a couple miles north or northeast from the conv. center, i think) and it really is nice.

Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 4:39:32 PM
re: OFC/NFOEC Bids Goodbye to San Diego Right, sprucing up something still makes the notion of improvement a subjective call... but i'll be surprised if it's any worse than before. But I'll get my camera warmed up and provide what visual proof i can... and make final judgments from there . JB
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