The ECOC Exhibition is the largest optical communications exhibition in Europe, held each September in a different European city, the event is the key meeting place for decision makers from across the fibre optic communications technology industry.
Now running for over 25 years, the exhibition attracts over 6,000 decision makers from all around the world – bringing together manufacturers, suppliers and service providers to networking, gain insights on the latest developments, new products and trends in the industry.
Alongside over 300 international exhibitors, the exhibition is full with interactive features and seminars. The extremely popular Market Focus theatre includes thought provoking presentations from some of the most innovative and forward-thinking companies working in optics today discussing the key issues facing the market and Product Focus theatre covering the latest innovative products, live demonstrations and technology announcements.
This really is the place to be for a company like us, its where the industry meets and its where ideas are shared, its where people are discussing the status of the industry and what is going to come next in the next 2-3 years.
Giacomo Losio - ProLabs
The very first ECOC Exhibition joined the conference in Brussels, Belgium back in September 1995 and has grown to become the largest optical communications exhibition in Europe and the key meeting place for decision-makers from across the fibre optic communications technology industry.
The first exhibition in Brussels opened with just 110 exhibition stands to 100 visitors. Originally known as the EEOC (European Exhibition on Optical Communications), the exhibition quickly grew in success and by September 2000 it had grown to include over 220 exhibitors with a further 200 companies on the waiting list!
The ECOC Exhibition was grouped under the ECOC name in 1999 and the exhibition floor was completely sold out from 1996-2000 and in Amsterdam in 2001 the show reached its biggest show so far – attracting a huge 2100 visitors and welcoming 397 companies to the exhibition, which is still the highest number to date! However, the Telecoms Crash of 2000/2001 had a dramatic effect on the exhibition, sending both visitor and exhibitor numbers tumbling.
Two new feature areas
By 2005 (Glasgow, Scotland) the exhibition was back on track and in 2006 in Cannes, France, two new feature areas were added to exhibition – the Market Focus Theatre and the FTTx Resource Centre.
Market Focus was introduced to the exhibition hall as a way to provide key information on the latest developments within the fibre optics industry. The theatre was launched with 9 sessions which were a success with both visitors and exhibitors alike. The FTTx Resource Centre was led by the Light Brigade and provided a central point where visitors could view products, meet with the experts and gather FTTx-related literature.
2007: Record year!
After the success of the exhibition following the introduction of two new feature areas, 2007 (Berlin, Germany) was a record year with 4700 visitors to a sold-out exhibition. A huge increase on the 100 visitors to the 1995 event and 2100 visitors to the 2001 exhibition.
An additional feature was added to the program for the exhibition, with CTTS Training providing intensive hands-on training sessions throughout the three days of the exhibition. The ECOC Forum magazine was also launched in 2007, providing visitors and exhibitors with a round-up of the latest industry news and product developments as well as articles from some of the top people from within the fibre optic communications community.
2009: ECOC TV is launched
2009 (Vienna, Austria) saw the launch of ECOC TV, the official TV news channel, which featured news coverage from the show, interviews with Market Focus speakers and exhibitors on a range of emerging issues.
In the space of just three years, the popularity of Market Focus meant that the programme grew to include 17 sessions running across three days and for the first time a full Market Focus theatre was constructed within the exhibition.
In 2011 (Geneva, Switzerland), the FTTx Resource Centre was relaunched by CTTS Training to become the FTTx Centre featuring an interactive FTTx Village, live engineering demonstrations and a chance to browse FTTx products in 5 dedicated zones.
ECOC returns to Amsterdam
In 2012 the show returned to Amsterdam for yet another hugely successful year, with 4491 visitors to the exhibition and 321 companies exhibiting, the new FTTx Centre featured a record 65 products from different companies in the FTTx zones which had now grown to 11 zones.
2012 also saw the relaunch of the ECOC Forum in to the Optical Connections magazine, which has now become a stand-alone news website, newsletter and magazine.
In 2013 the event came to London, home of the exhibition organisers, Nexus Business Media, for the first time. Held close to central London, the exhibition attracted 4607 visitors to a packed exhibition programme, with 29 Market Focus sessions, four new live demonstrations in the FTTx Centre and a busy exhibition floor.
25 Years of ECOC Exhibition in 2020
Our 20th-anniversary show in Valencia was one of the most popular exhibitions since 2001 and the success has continued with the exhibition travelling to Dusseldorf, Germany in 2016, followed by sell-out events in Gothenburg in Sweden in 2017 and Rome, Italy in 2018. In 2019 the event travelled to Ireland for the first time, taking place at the RDS Venue in Dublin.
2020 was our 25th-anniversary event and whilst we would have hoped to be able to welcome our visitors, exhibitors and attendees to the exhibition halls in Brussels – the location of our very first exhibition in 1995 – due to the restrictions and circumstances beyond our control due to the covid-19 pandemic, both the ECOC Exhibition and ECOC Conference had no alternative but to move online to become a fully virtual event.
Bordeaux, France in 2021 saw a return to the exhibition halls, but with covid creating travel restrictions for many of our exhibitors the event was smaller than in previous years but many of our attendees were extremely pleased to be attending events in person once more.
We are continuing to look ahead to the next 25 years of the ECOC Exhibition and always welcome your feedback on how we can continue to develop and improve each event in the future.