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Anaheim Convention Center
Anaheim, California, United States
26 - 30 April 2020
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Provide the benefits and seek approval early

SPIE Defense + Commercial Sensing 2020 offers opportunities to share your latest technical advancements, find new business opportunities, network with others, and more. However, in order to participate, many people need to justify their attendance. Here are 5 simple steps you can take to develop a strong request for approval.

 • Plan to submit your request in a timely manner
 • Identify key topics and program features
 • Outline the main benefits
 • Estimate your costs
 • Show the ROI


Step 1: Plan to send your request in a timely manner

It is important to make travel and education funding requests as early as possible. Note these potentially key dates for seeking approval.

 Time to event      Date
 6 months  25 October 2019
 120 days   28 December 2019
 90 days  27 January 2020
 45 days   12 March 2020





Step 2: Identify key topics and program features

Priorities and needs vary, however below is some general conference information and links to find more specific details. What is most relevant to you and your organization?

Find applicable topics, some of the most prevalent topics in the SPIE Defense + Commercial Sensing program are sensors, infrared technology, laser systems, spectral imaging, radar, and LiDAR. View the online Conferences to learn more about the individual conferences, tracks and program details.

Courses cover current approaches in lasers and applications, sensors, imaging, IR systems, optical & optomechanical engineering, and more. View course information.

The Expo features over 300 exhibiting companies showing sensors, infrared, lasers, imaging, optical components, camera, and more. Review the current exhibitors.

Step 3: Outline the main benefits

Help justify participation by finding the most compelling reasons you will attend. We recommend identifying 3-5 reasons and below offer some ideas you may want to consider.

  • Advance scientific understanding on fundamental aspects of sensors, optics, imaging, lasers, and related technologies.
  • Network among other scientists, researchers, program managers, and company representatives to gain new connections and develop business opportunities.
  • Interact with leaders in the field who are addressing the very same problems to challenge current thinking and obtain actionable advice.
  • Develop new ideas by hearing a broad spectrum of other work in progress.
  • Hear from key leaders who provide the latest on new advancements, technologies, strategies, and key governmental department missions.
  • Access Proceedings to review additional in-progress research and documented results after the conference.
  • Present research to enhance the technology area and share knowledge.
  • Publish a paper in the SPIE Digital Library, the world’s largest collection of optics and photonics research.
  • Publish an accepted paper in an SPIE journal, such Optical Engineering or the Journal of Electronic Imaging.
  • Gain practical skills, learn new methods, and earn CEU’s by taking a course.
  • Gather competitor insights in both conference sessions and the expo.
  • Meet new vendors and see what is currently available in the marketplace.

Step 4: Estimate your costs

All costs are estimates

2019 Standard Registration Fees*
Registration Type SPIE Member Non-member
Speakers & Authors $945 $1,005
Non-author Attendees $1,020 $1,080
Students $620 $640

*2019 standard fees are provided as a reference for general pricing. 2020 early bird pricing will be available in January 2020.

SPIE Membership
Length of Time Cost
1 year $125
3 years $350
Lifetime $995

Airfare to Southern California
From Round-trip cost
East Coast $500
Mid Country $400
West Coast $300

Other Potential Daily Costs
Expense Cost per day
Parking $15-$40
Meals $51
Hotel TBC

Estimate driving @ $.535/mile

Step 5: Show the ROI

How will your attendance benefit you and your organization?

Many times conferences are a cost-effective way to accomplish several goals in one trip. We suggest identifying at least 3 ways to show the ROI of your participation. Don’t forget to follow up after the event with the results and promised data.

  • Explain how attendance will contribute to organizational, departmental, or personal goals.
  • Fulfill ongoing professional development requirements by taking a course and earning CEU’s.
  • Set a goal of bringing back 5 specific, implementable ideas and present them to the appropriate leadership after the conference.
  • Offer to bring back one new piece of information/idea/etc. that can be shared with a broader team.
  • Estimate the number of meetings you hope to schedule during your trip in your initial request. Then track every meeting held, whether they were scheduled or spontaneous and make a special note if the meeting was with a new contacts or yielded the desired results. Follow up with a report to appropriate leadership after the event.
  • Establish or strengthen your relationship with a particular organization or person(s) involved in the conference (speaker, contractor, etc.).
  • Visit additional contractors, colleagues, or other applicable business connections while in the area—combining trips to save time and travel costs.

Rising Researchers
Announcing January 2020

Author Notification
20 December 2019

Manuscripts Due
1 April 2020

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