The first MAS Cathodoluminescence Topical Conference was hosted October 24–28, 2011 by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, MD. This conference was sponsored by the Microbeam Analysis Society (MAS), and was co-sponsored by the Australian Microbeam Analysis Society (AMAS). The four day program included a pre-conference tutorial targeted for the CL novice on October 24th. The remaining three days included a combination of technical presentations, hands-on laboratory demonstrations and a contributed poster session. Presentation topics included: CL theory, data quantification, advances in instrumentation, analysis and databases. Applications in geological, semiconductor and nanomaterial disciplines including sample preparation and Correlative CL in conjunction with complementary techniques such as EBIC and EBSD were also addressed.