Chapter B

The IMS Symposium

IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Symposium

Guidelines and Procedures Manual

 

Prepared by Edward C. Niehenke

Updated by Donn Harvey and Fred Schindler

Updated by Dick Snyder 2003, Karl Varian 2004, Charlie Jackson 2005, John Barr 2006,  Wayne Shiroma 2007, Joy Laskar 2008,  J. K. McKinney 2010, Jeff Pond 2011, Ke Wu 2012, Tom Raschko 2013, Larry Dunleavy 2014, Vijay Nair 2015, Amarpal (Paul) Khanna 2016, and Wayne Shiromo (2017).

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

1.      Purpose

2.      IMS Schedule

3.      IMS Statistics

4.      General Symposium Requirements

5.      Exhibition Management and Related Services

5.1.   Introduction

5.2.   Services and Contact Information

6.      Professional Meeting Planning Assistance

7.      Hotel Block

7.1.   Introduction

7.2.   Hotel Contracts

7.2.1.      Room Rates

7.2.2.      Release Date

7.2.3.      Complimentary Accommodations

7.2.4.      Open Meeting Space

7.2.5.      Option Date

7.2.6.      Menus

7.2.7.      Master Account

7.2.8.      Technology

7.2.9.      Cancellation Clause

8.      Financial Management

9.      Protocol

10.  Special Considerations for the Handicapped

11.  IMS Innovations

            11.1 IMS2009

            11.2 IMS2010

            11.3 IMS2011

            11.4 IMS2012

            11.5 IMS2013

            11.6 IMS2014

            11.7 IMS2015

            11.8 IMS2016

            11.9 IMS2017

12.  Conclusions

13.  IMS Recent Reports

13.1.                    IMS2007

13.2.                    IMS2008

13.3.                    IMS2010

13.4.                    IMS2015

13.5.                    IMS2016

13.6           IMS2017

 

14. Multiyear IMS History Statistics

1. Purpose

The purpose of this manual is to serve as a guide for future IMS Steering Committee members. At best this manual is merely an outline of the major tasks to be accomplished with some high level pointers. Hopefully this manual will be updated each year and will eventually become more complete. The best information on how to run the symposium is in the minds (and computers) of past Steering Committee members. It is imperative that Steering Committee members for future symposia contact their counterparts from previous years. In typical engineering fashion you will get an honest answer to your questions, a few Megabytes of raw data files to back it up and will likely make a new friend.

 

The purpose of this section is to present a high level overview of the International Microwave Symposium. This section should be required reading by all Local Steering Committee members. In this section we will attempt to summarize the typical major events in Microwave Week, provide a statistical snapshot of attendance trends and give a high level summary of the physical space requirements for the conference. Section 5 has a summary of the agreement between MTT, IMS and MP Associates as updated in 2008. This agreement is central to the operation of the IMS and it is critical that Local Steering Committee leaders understand it. Section 6 covers Professional Meeting Planning assistance which is also central to the operation of the IMS. Section 7 summarizes the important elements of Hotel Blocks and Contracts and the final section is a brief overview of the IMS Protocol expectations which is really a guideline for the very extensive gift giveaways and freebee allocations. Section 8 covers how budgeting and financial management is handled.

 

The purpose of the MTT‑S International Microwave Symposium (IMS) is to hold an annual event where MTT‑S members and associates meet from all over the world to exchange ideas and stimulate growth and advancement in the state of knowledge and commercial activities in the field of microwave theory and techniques. This conference has maintained a high level of excellence over the years.

 

The IMS consists of technical sessions, an interactive forum, workshops, special sessions, a historical exhibit, and a commercial exhibition. In addition to the International Microwave Symposium (IMS), the Radio Frequency Integrated Circuits (RFIC) Symposium is held during the same week as the IMS, with some joint sessions with IMS. The RFIC Symposium was formed to promote this new emerging technology. The Automated RF Techniques Group (ARFTG) also holds one of its two annual meetings at the IMS through an Agreement of Affiliation. The combination of all the conferences, the exhibition and related activities is known as Microwave Week.

 

The microwave exhibition gives engineers the opportunity to see the latest products in the field and to show products from his or her organization. This microwave exhibit is managed by MP Associates by a contract with MTT‑S. A description of MP Associates role, as defined in the contract, is provided in Section 5.

 

The local steering committee plays a vital role in maintaining the excellence of the IMS.

2. IMS Schedule

A listing of major events associated with the Microwave Week is shown in Table B‑1.

 

The MTT‑S Administrative Committee (AdCom) meeting generally precedes the IMS and is held in conjunction with ancillary meetings, Saturday and Sunday.  The Society President determines the AdCom meeting schedule, and it is useful for the President and the IMS Chair to coordinate the AdCom meeting schedule with various IMS activities. This interaction should begin at the January AdCom meeting and continue as necessary. The Society Secretary typically interfaces with the Steering Committee Local Arrangements team to finalize the plan. The Secretary will post the AdCom meeting schedule well in advance of Microwave Week.

 

On-site IMS Registration begins on the Saturday afternoon preceding the IMS from 2 pm to 6 pm and continues throughout the week of IMS at 8 am to 5 pm Sunday through Thursday and 7 to 9 am on Friday of the IMS. The Radio Frequency Integrated Circuits (RFIC) Symposium is held on Monday and Tuesday of Microwave Week. IMS technical sessions are held Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of Microwave Week. There is usually a reception for the RFIC Symposium Sunday evening immediately following the RFIC Plenary Session. There are variations to this schedule some years either to address a specific local issue or in an attempt to make an improvement.

 

The Welcome Reception for all attendees is on Monday evening, the day prior to the IMS. If the IMS Plenary Session is held Monday evening, the Welcome Reception follows immediately. Refreshments and substantial hors d’oeuvres are served. The Chair's Dinner for AdCom, past presidents, members of the symposium steering committee, new fellows, award recipients, etc. is also held Monday evening. Transportation is provided for the Chair’s Dinner guests from the headquarters hotel. Typically attendees of the Chair’s Dinner are not able to attend the Welcome Reception because of time constraints. In the past there have been attempts to allow people to attend both, necessitating transportation from the Welcome Reception to the Chair’s Dinner. The invitations to the chair’s dinner are protocol items, discussed in Section 9.

 

Workshops can be held throughout Microwave Week. There are always some on Sunday, Monday and Friday. Workshops can be held during IMS sessions (Tuesday through Thursday), particularly if conflicts in technical content can be avoided. In 2009, for example, some RFIC and ARFTG related Workshops were held on Wednesday. The cost of the workshop includes lunch. It has also been customary to include breakfasts for workshop attendees in morning or full day workshops.

 

The IMS Plenary Session is the official opening event of the IMS. Historically it has been held Tuesday morning, either first thing or after the morning break so late registrants will not miss it. In 2009 it was held early Monday evening, directly before the Welcome Reception. This freed more time for technical sessions on Tuesday for IMS and RFIC. The Plenary program consists a welcome to the IMS by the Chair of IMS, the MTT‑S President, and the IMS Technical Program Chair. A number of awards are given and recognitions made. IEEE level awards, including new Fellow recognitions, are normally given at the Plenary Session. Generally, a keynote speaker presents a topic of interest. No IMS or RFIC technical events are scheduled in conflict with the Plenary Session.

 

There are generally six or more parallel sessions at the IMS. The hours are typically 8 am to 5 pm with a lunch break. There is also a session break in the morning and one in the afternoon.

 

Panel Sessions are typically held during lunch breaks, with attendance open to all technical registrants. A box lunch is sold separately. Often the IMS has a Panel Sessions on Tuesday evening. This is typically on a lively topic of broad interest and is called a Rump session. Beer, wine and light hors d’oeuvres are typically served.

 

Table B-1

The International Microwave Symposium

Sat

Sun

Mon

Tues

Wed

Thu

Fri

AdCom

Meeeting

RFIC

Symposium

 

 

RFIC

Symposium

Reception

 

Workshops

 

Microwave Symposium & Exhibition

 

 

Workshops

 

Workshops

Microwave

Journal

Reception

 

Luncheon/Evening Panel Sessions

ARFTG Meeting

 

 

IMS

Chair’s

Dinner

Chapter

Chair's

Reception

And

Dinner

TPC

Luncheon

Student

Award

Luncheon

 

 

 

 

 

Industry-

Hosted

Cocktail

Reception

Optional Thursday Night Event

 

 

 

 

 

MTT-S

Awards

Banquet

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMS

Chair’s

Reception

 

 

 

3. IMS Statistics

Table B-2 IMS_Symposium_Statistics.xls is a summary of statistics for the IMS which will help in planning. Copies of the complete registration report should be obtained from the previous years for detail planning.

 

Note: The total attendance numbers for 2000 and 2002 through 2009 are counts after duplicate registrations are removed in a process referred to as dedupping. The quality and accuracy of dedupping has improved over these years, so confidence is higher in the most recent data.

 

4. General Symposium Requirements

The size of the IMS requires a convention center to house the various events. In addition to the meeting rooms required for the technical sessions, floor space is required for the microwave exhibition and many other events. The following table is a listing of typical space requirements for Major IMS and RFIC events. This is not a complete list. It is recommended that the “daybook” be obtained from the most recent symposium for a more up to date listing of events. The MTT-S Site Inspection and Negotiating Committee (SINC) maintains a set of general facility requirements which may also be useful.

 

 

 

Table B-3. Major, IMS and RFIC Space Requirements

Event

Date

Location C=Convention

Center or H=Hotel

Requirements

 

S

M

T

W

T

F

 

IMS Plenary Session

 

C/H

C

 

 

 

The Plenary session has traditionally been held on Tues morning. In 2009 it was held Monday evening. If held on Monday evening it should be in convenient proximity to the Welcome Reception. If held on Tuesday it should be in the Convention Center. It is a formal and large event. It should be held in a room that seats at least 1000, theater style. The set of the room should have a large stage and multiple screens.

IMS Technical

Sessions Meeting

Rooms

 

 

 

C

C

C

 

Generally

6 or 7 meeting rooms of varying size rooms (seating 150 to 700), for each of the  parallel sessions. Theater style seating is normal, though classroom style seating is sometimes used. A compromise is to have the front half of the room classroom style seating and the remainder theater style seating Rooms should have high ceilings (at least 16 ft) so that projected image is large.

RFIC Plenary Session

C

H

 

 

 

 

 

The RFIC Plenary session should be held in a room set for at least 400 theater style. It should be held in convenient proximity to the RFIC reception and can be held either in the Convention Center of a Hotel

RFIC Technical

Session Meeting

Rooms

 

C

C

 

 

 

150 to 600 seats for attendees in up to 4 rooms for parallel sessions. Seating configuration and room parameters are the same as for IMS technical sessions.

Workshops

C

C

 

C

 

C

Hotel can be used if additional space is required.

Panel Sessions

 

C

C

C

C

 

Typically 1 or 2 per day, usually large rooms seating 300. Classroom style seating is preferred to accommodate lunches

Interactive Forum

 

 

C

C

C

 

Can be one large or multiple smaller rooms. Rooms are set up with “pinwheels” of free standing 8” bulletin boards where each author uses one quadrant. IMS2009 a total capacity of 54 papers set in 2 rooms of 10,250 total square footage.

Speakers'

Preparation

Room

C

C

C

C

C

C

Data projector, computers with PowerPoint,  PDF viewer and CD-R drives, internet access.

Audio Visual

Headquarters

C

C

C

C

C

C

 

Press Room

C

C

C

C

C

C

Exhibition manager is responsible for these requirements. In IMS2009 a 1,600 sq. ft. room was used. Internet connections is required.

Historical

Exhibit

 

 

C

C

C

 

-4000 sq. feet, usually on the exhibit floor.

Registration

Area

C

C

C

C

C

C

Exhibition manager is responsible for these requirements. This is usually set up in a prominent location convenient to the main entrances to the Convention Center.

Exhibits Space

 

 

C

C

C

 

About 900 to 1000 booths 10x10 ft booths plus refreshment areas, MicroApps theater, Historical Exhibit etc. In 2009 a total 260,000 sq. ft. of exhibit hall space was used.

Steering Committee Room

(War Room)

C

C

C

C

C

C

Computers, printers, copy machines, telephones. Work tables, secure storage (gifts), snack service, security. Typically more than one room is preferred so a serious workspace can be segregated from the social space, food etc. In 2009 a suite was used with an entry foyer and main room of 1,100 sq ft and a back room of 700 sq ft.

Exhibit Manager Office

C

C

C

C

C

C

Typically set up with temporary walls in or near the registration area. The exhibit management staff also makes use of the War Room, especially for meals and refreshments.

Meeting

Rooms for

Exhibitors, etc

C

H

C

H

C

H

C

H

C

H

C

H

These rooms are managed by the Exhibition Manager. C rooms are sold by IMS to exhibitor. H rooms are sold directly to the hotel to the exhibitor only after Exhibition Manager verifies the exhibitor status. Obtain as many complimentary meeting rooms at hotels as possible. Have rooms at C for requests.

Guest Hospitality Suite

 

H

H

H

H

 

Guest of IMS attendees have come to expect this suite. It is typically in the headquarters hotel, best away from other IMS traffic so IMS attendees aren’t tempted to come in.

 

5. Exhibition Management and Related Services

5.1 Introduction

Since the inception of a major exhibition in association with the International Microwave Symposium in 1977 through 2008 the exhibition management has been provided by Horizon House Publications, Inc. through the staff of its publication, the Microwave Journal (MWJ). MP Associates, Inc. has been contracted to provide exhibition management beginning in 2009. The selection of Exhibition Manager for the IMS and negotiation of contracts for such services is the responsibility of the IMS Executive Committee, which operates as part on the Society Administrative Committee.

 

MP Associates address is shown below:

 

MP Associates, Inc.

1721 Boxelder St. Suite 107

Louisville, CO 80027 USA

Tel. 303-530-4562

Fax 303-530-4334

5.2. Services and Contact Information

MP Associates will provide the following services:

Exhibition Management

Sponsorships Sales

Registration Services

Promotion

Press Relations

Exhibitor/Attendee Experience

 

Contact names for the various services are:

 

Exhibition Services:

Lee Wood, co-President, lee@mpassociates.com

Susie Horn, Exhibition Manager, susie@mpassociates.com

 

Registration Services:

Kevin Lepine, co-President, kevin@mpassociates.com

Nannette Jordan, Registration Manager, nannette@mpassociates.com

 

Publicity Services:

Lee Wood, co-President, lee@mpassociates.com

 

Our primary contact at MP Associates is Lee Wood, so all other and all general questions should be directed to him.

 

Chairs of future IMS Symposia should contact the Chair of the IMS Executive Committee to obtain a copy of the Exhibition Management Agreement which delineates detailed tasks to be performed the Exhibition Management provider.  The IMSEC chair is typically the 2 year past IMS chair and the vice chair is the previous year IMS Chair. The present chair and vice chair are J. K. McKinney and Jeff Pond respectively. Contact information is listed below:

MR. J.K. McKinney                           Dr. Jeffrey M. Pond

Dura Sales of Southern CA                Naval Research Laboratory

23555 Golden Springs Drive                   Microwave Technology Branch, Code 6850

Suite F                                                 4555 Overlook Avenue, S.W.

Diamond Bar, CA 91765                    Washington, DC, 20375

USA                                                                     USA

j.mckinney@ieee.org                          j.m.pond@ieee.org                             

t. +1-909-612-1044                             t. +1- 202-767-2862

f. +1-909-612-1047                             f. +1- 202-767-0455

 

 

6. Professional Meeting Planning Assistance

 

Since 2001 the IMS steering committee has been contracting a professional meeting planner to assist with local arrangements. Typically IEEE has been contracted to provide these services, though there have been exceptions. To date the use of a professional meeting planner is at the discretion of the Local Committees, though this may change. The IMSEC is considering multi-year contracting for these services. You should verify the status of meeting planner contracting with the IMSEC before pursuing your own contract.

 

The following is a summary of  the major tasks assigned to the meeting planner:

a)      Overall local arrangements contract negotiations including obtaining IEEE approval where necessary

b)      Hotel Contract negotiations

c)      Food and Beverage contract negotiations

d)     Social Event contract negotiations

e)      Ownership and maintenance of the Convention Center and Hotel Daybooks

f)       Overall logistical coordination of local arrangements activities with onsite staff

g)      Headcounts for all significant meetings during the IMS, including all technical sessions

h)      Review of the major Hotel and other invoices for accuracy.


The Meeting Planner SOW used in 2009 is linked.

 

7. Hotel Block

7.1. Introduction

 

Contracting a hotel block is a key element of the IMS, but has become increasingly challenging. Many attendees plan to book rooms via the IMS housing bureau in one of the hotels in the block. In recent year the ease of booking at favorable rates via the internet has become every more common. This has put a strain on the traditional hotel block. It is critical to negotiate favorable hotel rates for the block, and even then it is often possible to fine lower rates via the internet.

 

The hotel block and the contracts with the hotels in the block serve important purposes beyond just convenient booking for some attendees. Hotels typically offer a number of concessions in these contracts including a number of complementary rooms and suites, staff rate rooms (50% discounted), and commissions. The complementary and staff rate rooms are important for both critical volunteers but also for paid staff. The IMS must pay the travel and housing expenses for the staffs of the exhibit manager, the meeting planner, badge scanner company, public relations firm and others. Providing staffers with free or discounted rooms directly benefits IMS finances. Room commissions of up to 10% are used to offset the cost of the meeting planner. It is advantageous to include at least a portion of the room commission income as part of the meeting planners compensation. This gives the meeting planner an incentive to help IMS fill rooms and to verify usage of the block amongst our attendees. In 2009, for example, the meeting planner received a 5% room commission. While 10% is the normal commission rate for hotel rooms, sometimes it is lower. In 2009, for example, we were able to negotiate proportionally lower room rates with some hotels by reducing commissions to 5%. This was not possible with all hotels, so 2009 had some hotels with a 10% commission and some with a 5% commission.

 

Obtaining good rates is critical to ensure good pick-up of the block. When negotiating with hotels, typically low room rates need to be the priority. The headquarters hotel in particular can expect substantial food and beverage (F&B) income. Rather that negotiate a high F&B discount, emphasis should be put on the room rate. Other hotels in the block will not be able to benefit as much from F&B, but will need to keep their room rates in line with the headquarters hotel.

 

The negotiation of hotel contracts is led handled my the meeting planner, with overall direction given by the Local Arrangement and/or General Chair. Hotel contracts must all be signed by IEEE and countersigned by the General Chair.

 

The first item to determine is how many rooms are required, including the room distribution during Microwave Week. A Historical Hotel Statistics file is linked. This is a useful guide, and should be taken into account with the general economy, local conditions, the attractiveness of the local site to travelers and their families, and any adjacent holidays.

 

7.2. Hotel Contracts

 

The essential elements of a hotel contract is presented below. The meeting planner should be the focal point for contract negotiations with the hotels. At least one member of the Steering Committee (usually the Local Arrangements Chair or General Chair) must be involved and set the priorities. Ideally this should be someone who has previous experience.

 

Note that the MTT Site Inspection and Negotiating Committee (SINC) will begin negotiating with hotels at the time of site selection. Typically hotel contracts are not finalized until much later. There is no set optimum time to finalize hotel contracts, though they must be in place a year in advance at the very latest. It is often best to finalize negotiations at a time when the IMS has a strong bargaining position or when the hotels have a weaker bargaining position. An economic downturn may be such an occasion.

 

The starting point for the written contracts with each hotel should not be the hotels standard contract. It should be either the IEEE’s standard hotel contract or SINC’s standard hotel contract. Using our contract as a starting point makes it clear when the hotel wants different terms. Further, each hotel chain has its own standard contract with widely varying language which makes it very difficult to maintain or manage terms across the block.

7.2.1 Room Rates

 

Typically a single standard room rate is negotiated with each hotel even if the hotel has a variety of room type (e.g. Standard, Superior, and Deluxe). This is the rate that the hotel will charge the attendee. IMS does not purchase the rooms and resell them. The hotel sells directly to the attendee.

 

In the past room rates were often quoted on a percentage of rack rate. Rake rate is the (fictitious) standard room price. More typically a standard price at a specific date is set, with a maximum escalation factor per year. The specified date is usually that year the contract is negotiated, but it is usually to our benefit to try to set it as far forward as possible. It can be useful to check AAA and internet rates for the same time of year. Note that the hotel does not consider these analogous rates. For AAA the hotel is willing to sell a small number of rooms for a specific price throughout the year. For the IMS the hotel is selling a large number or rooms, perhaps the majority of its inventory, for just one week. Many of our attendees will see AAA and similar discounted rates so it is certainly relevant to us and can be a useful point of negotiation.

 

There should be a provision that the hotel will not sell rooms at a lower price than our rate during the conference. There are often ways for the hotel to circumvent such a clause such as using an internet reseller, or offering more restrictive terms such as non-refundable payment at the time of reservation.

 

A rate for government employees should be included in the contract. Try to negotiate the government per diem rate.  Try to negotiate at least 75 government rooms total.

 

Final room rates are locked at a specific date. This should be as late as possible but synchronized with the housing bureau opening and advance program publication date.

 

7.2.2. Release Date

 

This is the date when the hotel releases the rooms from the block for sale to the general public. This date should be as close to the conference date as possible ‑ no less than 14 to 30 days. Make sure that if reservations are obtained past the cutoff date, IMS still gets credit for each room sold.

7.2.3. Complimentary Accommodations

 

The hotel will offer complimentary rooms based usage, typically one complimentary room night per every 50 room nights actually used. These rooms are important to the IMS, so the number of comp rooms should be maximized. Typically complimentary  large and small suites are also negotiated, especially at the headquarters hotel. In hotels where we contract for the majority of the room inventory, suites are often freely included by the hotel. Staff rooms must also be included, usually one 1 room night per 40 room nights used at a cost of 50% of the negotiated rate.

7.2.4. Open Meeting Space

 

During the IMS, space is required at hotel for AdCom meetings, evening sessions, vendor hospitality suites, banquets, dinner meetings, and socializing. This primarily take place at the headquarters hotel. This space is generally provided free of charge in consideration of the F&B spending planned. A tentative listing of open space requirements should be negotiated.

 

7.2.5. Option Date

 

This is the date you must make a decision to use the facilities. This date should be as late as possible.

7.2.6. Menus

 

Obtain confirmation of food and beverage (F&B) prices in effect on January 30 of the IMS. A percentage discount from menu prices can be negotiated. It may be possible to trade (F&B) discounts for room rates, in which case it is typically in the best interest of the IMS to negotiate the lowest room rates. Prices for non‑IEEE sponsored events are not covered by this agreement. The menu shall be submitted 60 days prior to the event. Final revisions and head count for banquet functions are due 48 hours prior to the event.

7.2.7. Master Account

 

The hotel shall provide the IMS steering committee with a Master Account. Charges are to be authorized by designated representatives only (with signatures required in all cases). The Meeting Planner typically serves as this IMS representatives with authority to sign for charges, though it is at the discretion of the general chair. It is usually possible to have multiple master accounts, one for IMS, AdCom and RFIC activities.

 

7.2.8. Technology

 

Internet access and audio visual equipment are required for many events. Basic capability can generally be negotiated at minimal or no cost.

 

7.2.9. Cancellation Clause

 

Try not to include a cancellation clause in the contract. If this is not possible, there should be no penalty for any reason if cancellation occurs more than 2 years before the IMS.

 

8. Financial Management

 

All IMS finances, including the exhibition, are managed in a unified chart of accounts. (Prior to 2009 the exhibition was managed separately and IMS received a royalty.)  A comprehensive chart of accounts has been created and is updated year after year. Financial operations are all done with QuickBooks Enterprise (QBE). The chart of accounts has been implemented within QBE. Bob Alongi has been contracted to provide financial management support and continuity year over year. It is highly recommended that future IMS steering committees continue for contract with Bob Alongi.

 

The chart of accounts supports matrix reporting of microwave week. Services are listed in one dimension of the matrix. Services include such things as printing, food and beverage, audio visual, etc. The other dimension is for events, where events includes such things as the call for papers, steering committee meetings, panel sessions, the digest, etc. Arranging accounts in this manner allows for very flexible and informative reporting of expenses. Matrix accounting has been used in prior IMSs, most notable IMS2004 and IMS2007.

 

Although the entire IMS is managed with a single chart of accounts, 2 bank accounts are used. One is managed by the steering committee (typically the Finance Chair and Bob Alongi) and the other by the Exhibition Manager. The Steering Committee account is typically an IEEE Concentration Banking account, which offers very favorable terms. The Exhibition manager sets up a independent business account at a convenient institution. Both the Steering Committee and the Exhibition manager have access to QBE, and both parties record all transactions in QBE.

 

The first financial management step is too create a budget. This must be submitted to the MTT Budget committee by January the year prior to the IMS for approval. An excel spreadsheet tool has been created to develop the budget within the chart of accounts structure. You should start with the budget prepared by the prior years IMS, and the final financial results of the 2 year prior IMS. The budget needs to take into account the impact of the particular local environment, expected economic situation etc. In general prior year budgets are only useful for guidance, and are not directly applicable. Since the 2 year prior IMS should have complete or near complete results, it serves as the most useful guidance. Bob Alongi should assist in the budgeting process.

 

The Budget and the Chart of Accounts include separate areas for IMS, RFIC, ARFTG and AdCom. This allows spending and income for each of these separate events to be tracked. RFIC and ARFTG need to be involved in the budgeting process. Thereafter, their finances are primarily managed by IMS. AdCom meeting related expenses are tracked separately and are reimbursed by the MTT Treasurer.

 

Once the budget has been approved and the IMS finances are operating, periodic forecasts should be made. The forecasts should attempt to show the best current outlook for the financial results and should be compared to the budget. The budget itself is not replaced or revised, the forecast takes care of that. Forecasts should be shown to the MTT Budget committee at each of their meeting up to and including the week of the IMS.

 

The Steering Committee will need to spend money long before it starts to generate any income (income begins in August of the year before the symposium). This money is mostly used to host steering committee meetings and for publicity items including the Call for Papers. The general chair should make a request for a conference loan to the MTT Budget Committee. Typically 50 to 75k in total loans are required. The request to the Budget committee should ask for the approval for the total anticipate loan amount, but should ask for piecemeal transfers from the MTT Treasurer as actual need grows.

 

The contract with the Exhibition Manager provides for transfers of money from their account to the Steering Committee account once the IMS starts to generate income for exhibit sales. This is in August of the prior year. Later on registration income is also transferred. In case there is an expected cash shortfall in the Steering Committee account after August of the prior year, a larger or early transfer can be requested from the Exhibition Manager.

 

Once the IMS is completed it will take a number of months before accounts can be closed as various final expenses are paid. Thereafter accounts need to be reconciled, expenses for AdCom meetings and meetings held by other group need to be reimbursed, and surpluses for the various conferences need to be determine. ARFTG receive a portion of the ARFTG conference surplus per agreement with MTT. Once all finances are complete, an audit is required. It is recommended that the IEEE is used as the auditor. Final financial results should be reported to the MTT Budget Committee and AdCom once the audit is complete.

 

9. Protocol

 

Protocol is one of the thorniest areas to be dealt with in the IMS. A key is for the General Chair to appoint a qualified Protocol Chair. It is best for this to be someone active and with stature in the MTT AdCom, and who has enough time to dedicate to the task. Even with the best Protocol Chair, the IMS General Chair will have to spend time on protocol if only to make decision on protocol issues. The Protocol Committee’s responsibility is to implement and track the decisions made by the IMS Chair.

 

A detailed protocol spreadsheet was developed by Wayne Shiroma for IMS2007 and has been subsequently maintained and handed down from IMS to IMS. It is shared from one set of General and Protocol chairs to the next. Because of it’s sensitive nature it is not included here. General guidelines are included in the table below, from the linked file.

 

Protocol consists of appropriately allocating a wide range of gifts, perks and benefits to various participants. The array of offerings and list of people continually grows. Key items that need to be allocated are the Chair’s (or VIP) Gift, Rooms, Complementary Registrations (with or without digests), Chair’s Dinner and Chair’s Reception invitations, Banquet tickets, and transportation.

 

 

                       IMS Protocol Guidelines

see details from previous IMS Chair

 

 

 

 

 

Complimentary

 

 

 

Chair's

 

 

 

Affiliation

Potential Number

Room*

Registration

Digest

Banquet

Transportation

Gift ***

Dinner

Reception

Resvd Banquet Table

 

Award, Career

1-2

AdCom

Yes

Yes

Yes

AdCom

Yes

Yes

Yes

CD

 

Award, Application

1

AdCom

 

 

Yes

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

CD

 

Award, Distinguished Service

1

AdCom

 

 

Yes

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

CD

 

Award, MW Prize

1-5

AdCom

 

 

Yes

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

CD

 

Award, W.W. Cox

1

AdCom

 

 

Yes

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

CD

 

Award. Pioneer

1

AdCom

 

 

Yes

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

CD

 

Award, Dist. Educator

1

AdCom

 

 

Yes

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

CD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AdCom President

1

Suite

 

 

Yes

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

CD

 

AdCom Vice President

1

 

 

 

 

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

CD

 

AdCom members **

21

 

 

 

 

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

CD

 

AdCom, Past Presidents

20-25

 

 

 

 

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

CD

 

Distinguished Microwave Lecturers

6

 

 

 

 

 

Yes

CD

CD

CD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ARFTG President

1

 

 

 

Yes

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

CD

 

ARFTG Conf Chair

 

 

 

 

CD

 

CD

CD

CD

CD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exhibit Manager

1

Yes

 

 

 

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

CD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fellow Recipients

5-12

CD

 

 

Yes

 

 

Yes

Yes

CD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Honorary Life Members

6

 

 

 

 

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

CD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MTT Grad Fellowship Recipients

8

 

CD

CD

Yes

 

 

 

CD

CD

 

MTT Undergrad Fellowship

16

 

CD

CD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Student Paper Finalists

20

 

Yes

Yes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RFIC Chair

1

 

 

 

 

 

Yes

Yes

CD

CD

 

RFIC Sr. TP Chair

1

 

 

 

 

 

Yes

Yes

CD

CD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steering Committee Chair

1

Yes

 

 

Yes

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

CD

 

Steering Committee Members

40-80

Yes

 

 

Yes

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

CD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prev. IMS Chair

3

 

 

 

 

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

CD

 

Prev. IMS TP Chair

1-2

 

 

 

 

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

CD

 

Succeeding IMS Chair

3

 

 

 

 

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

CD

 

Succeeding IMS TP Chair

1-2

 

 

 

 

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

CD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Special Guests

0-20

CD

CD

 

 

CD

CD

CD

CD

CD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plenary Speakers

1-2

 

CD

 

CD

CD

CD

CD

CD

CD

 

Legend

CD

CD=Chair's Discretion; AdCom = MTT-S Adm. Committee's Discretion and Expense

 

 

*

The complimentary room does not include incidentals such as food, telephone, etc.

 

 

**

Includes MTT publications editors

 

 

 

 

 

 

***

Chair's Gift is optional.  If given, its value should not exceed 50% of registration

 

 

 

and should depict the theme or Symposium location.

 

 

 

10. Special Considerations for the Handicapped

 

 

During a technical conference, the IEEE is required to make a good faith attempt to provide reasonable accommodations for handicapped individuals.  A good faith attempt involves expending resources, such as money or time, to provide reasonable accommodations.  Reasonable accommodations are those accommodations necessary so that a handicapped individual may obtain similar benefits of the conference as those of non-handicapped individuals.   

 

For the IMS2005 conference, an agency representing hearing impaired individuals telephoned the IEEE chair.  The agency requested that the IEEE provide a sign language interpreter for a hearing-impaired individual attending the conference.  The IEEE chair contacted local companies to sponsor a sign language interpreter.  A large aerospace company sponsored one interpreter.  The IEEE paid for a second interpreter.  Please note that the interpreter has to be skilled in technical discussions and due to the tedious nature of the technical translations, more than one interpreter may be required.  For example, at various times, one interpreter signed for a technical speaker while another interpreter signed for a song and dance routine during a dinner banquet.

 

However, please note that if a good faith attempt is made to provide such reasonable accommodations, and none is available, then the IEEE is not obligated to provide such accommodations.  Consequently, the chair needs to make sure that a good faith effort is expended to obtain these reasonable accommodations and document these efforts. 

 

 

 

11. IMS Innovations

 

Many IMS Steering Committees decide to innovate in one or more area. Some of these innovations have led to permanent enhancements of how the IMS operates. Innovations do need to be tempered. The IMS is a very successful event, and we certainly don’t want to damage it by making dramatic changes. At the same time, we also risk the long term success of the IMS by failing to innovate. Innovations should not be so great as to disorient long time participants.

 

It is also important to maintain reasonable continuity. Specific changes should not oscillate in and out of the IMS plan for several years. It is best if a successful innovation is adopted permanently instead. IMSEC plays an important role providing year to year consistency. The IMS should be considered a franchise that each Steering Committee operates for one year.

 

In earlier versions of this manual each IMS listed its key innovations. Most of them have become mainstream parts of the IMS, and no longer need to be highlighted. Below there is a list of some of the things IMS2009 tried, an assessment of their success, and in some cases opportunities for further improvements. Some of the IMS2009 innovations are variants of ideas tried in previous years, where the optimum approach had not yet been found.

 

11.1 IMS2009 Innovations

 

Abstract Book – the inclusion of an abstract book has been tried in various forms over the past several years. There has always been a debate as to it value give the time and cost associated with creating it. For 2009 the Steering Committee decided to create a single pamphlet size book covering all 3 days. (Prior IMSs had tried a separate booklet for each day.) It was produced at modest cost with B&W pages and a color cover. Since IMS 2009 attendees were surveyed, we know that 77% of respondent for the Abstract Book somewhat useful or very useful.

 

Workshop CD/DVDs – an all workshop DVD (or CD) has been used for many years. Originally it was given to all attendees of any workshop. A number of year have also created individual CDs for each workshop to be distributed with that workshops printed notes. The All Workshop DVD was then offered as an additional cost item where the price has varied considerably. The 2009 All Workshop DVD was offered at a relatively high cost bundled with workshop attendance, or at a more modest price without any workshop attendance. Both options sold well, with slightly more purchasing the bundle with attendance, so both are worth continuing.

 

Complimentary Workshop Registration – For several years there has been a controversy raging over charging registration fees to workshop speakers, with merit on both sides of the argument. IMS2009 attempted to address this issue and solve another problem at the same time. Complimentary registration was offered to all workshop speakers who submitted their notes on time, and to all workshop organizers who ensured that all their authors submitted their notes on time. This was very well received and very successful. For this policy to continue to be effective it is imperative that complimentary registrations not become the default and are only awarded if the author truly does summit his or her notes on time.

 

Midweek Workshops – Workshops have traditionally been held on Sunday, Monday and Friday, so as not to conflict with the main technical sessions. In 2009 some workshops were also held on Wednesday. An effort was made to ensure that they did not conflict with Weds technical sessions. Only 4 of a total of 30 workshops were held on Wednesday. The average attendance for the Weds workshops was somewhat lower than for other days, but within the normal range. The choice of topics may have as much to do with the attendance and the day of the week. It was demonstrated that workshops can successfully be held midweek. 45% of survey respondents liked the idea of Weds Workshops, 10% though it was a bad idea, 46% were neutral.

 

Short Courses – Five short courses were held during IMS2009. As the name implies, these differed from Workshops; a single speaker was used for each course and was paid a portion of the proceeds. Overall the concept worked well. Depending on the subject matter attendance varied from modest (11) to very good (55).

 

Interactive Forum Schedule – The IMS has been struggling for year with how best to schedule the Interactive Forum (poster) sessions to avoid conflicts with other sessions and to avoid having the authors feel like second rate participants. In 2009 the break between podium sessions was expanded to 60 minutes and the podium session were shortened to 80 minutes. The 60 minute breaks were used for the poster sessions with posters set up in rooms adjoining podium session rooms on similar topics. The modified schedule worked very well. 68% of survey respondents liked the new schedule, 6% did not like it and 27% had no preference.

 

Plenary Session – The Plenary Session is typically held on Tuesday morning either before or after the mid-morning break. A number of years ago RFIC moved it Plenary Session from Monday morning to Sunday evening with great success. IMS 2009 used that as a model and moved the IMS Plenary to Monday night, immediately preceding the Welcome Reception and in an adjacent room. Instead of the usual 2 plenary speakers, only one was invited to keep the session within 75 minutes. It worked very well, and freed Tuesday morning for more regular sessions for both IMS and RFIC. The change was heavily publicized, but according to post symposium surveys 41% were not aware of it. The headcount in the session was 570, but there are no headcounts to compare from previous years. 30% of survey respondents like the change, 17% did not and 52% had no preference.

 

Sponsored Monday Welcome Reception – In the past the Monday evening welcome reception was sponsored by Microwave Journal, who also managed the exhibit. Since the Microwave Journal is no longer involved in managing the exhibition, they declined to continue this sponsorship. Attempts to sell this event to other firms were unsuccessful. A terrible economy may have been partially to blame, but it also became clear that Monday night is not attractive to exhibitors since the exhibit is not yet open. In the end Agilent offer a modest amount to co-sponsor, with the other sponsorship being given to the MTT Society and the Society’s Microwaves Magazine.

 

Industry Hosted Reception on the Show Floor – the Industry Hosted Reception is traditionally held Weds evening before the Banquet in an adjoining room from 5:45 to 6:45. IMS2009 instead held it on the show floor from 5 to 6:30. It was neither a success nor a failure. Many felt it was too long. Also, food and beverage stations were few in a very large area resulting in some areas with concentrations of people and large areas with no one. There are opportunities to improve this concept, and IMS2010 is attempting to fine tune it. Should the Weds reception revert to a room adjoining the Banquet, it may be a more attractive sponsorship option than the Monday Welcome Reception.

 

Thursday Evening Social – in some years the IMS has held a social event on Tuesday evening. Ideally Tuesday is held open for exhibitors to host clients. IMS2009 decided to hold a dinnertime harbor cruise Thursday evening, primarily to encourage people to stay to the end of the conference. Often the last technical session on Thursday afternoon are desolate. While the number of people available on Thursday afternoon is fewer than Tuesday, there were no conflicts and many appreciated the event. A total of 181 participated, with 372 tickets sold. Poor weather likely contributed to reduced turnout. 40% of survey respondents liked the Thursday Evening Social idea, 6% did not, and 54% had no opinion.

 

Print on Demand – Print on Demand (PoD) for technical papers has been tried by previous IMSs with limited success. Since print digests are no longer offered, PoD gives attendees the opportunity to have hard copies of papers when they attend session. After much discussion, IMS2009 decided to provide unlimited and uncontrolled PoD capability with dedicated PoD kiosks throughout the convention center. The kiosks were well used, operated very well, and there were no indications of abuse. This was a highly successful approach and should be continued.

 

Virtual Participation – Virtual Participation (or Presentations Online) is an attempt to make symposium content available 2 groups – 1) people unable to physically attend the IMS and 2) people who physically attend but would like to participate in 2 events scheduled at the same time. For IMS2009 some sessions and workshops were recorded by a set of volunteers using Camtasia software. The resulting recordings were made available via IEEE.tv, some for free, others for a fee. The quality of the recordings was highly variable due to equipment, facility and personnel issues. Very few people have viewed the recordings on IEEE.tv. This experiment was not completely successful. Quite a bit was learned and can help guide future attempts.

 

Bus Fee – In an attempt to encourage participants to book their hotels in the IMS block, IMS2009 imposed a fee of $75 for all those that booked outside the block to access the IMS bus system. This was somewhat complex to arrange logistically and resulted in a large number of complaints. While the idea has merit, it needs to be implemented every year for any benefit to be realized. There are IMS sites where no busing is required, which undercuts this.

 

Feedback – IMS2009 contracted with a survey company to both get measurements of presentation quality and feedback on the IMS. This process worked well and the expense was modest. It is highly recommended that this continue.

 

Headcounts – IMS2009 had its Meeting Planner count heads at every event. This provides very useful data for planning future events. All future IMSs should do this. The complete IMS2009 data is linked.

 

Student Volunteers – IMS2007 and 2008 made considerable use of student volunteers. This was continued for IMS2009. Not all student volunteers were local. All student paper authors were invited to volunteer. Funding was made available to support student volunteer travel and dorm rooms were made available at a local college at low or no cost. There was a student volunteer room in the convention center with food and beverages provided. All student volunteers received complementary IMS registration and tickets to he Thursday night social. We made very good use of the volunteers to help run AV, record session for Virtual Participation and misc other tasks. The was a very successful program and benefited all involved.

 

Student Job Fair – IMS2009 held a Student Job Fair on Thursday afternoon after the exhibition closed. Participation was modest and the Fair was not a success. The very difficult economic environment was a significant factor. We were are late in arranging the Job Fair and somewhat disorganized. It likely could have been successful under other circumstances.

 

Information Management – MTT has a Sharepoint site managed by the Society Webmaster, currently Tim Lee. IMS2009 used this site to store all relevant IMS materials including all meeting materials. It also served as a convenient method to transfer large files from one person to another. It is a convenient and very useful tool. The primary limitation is that each member of the Steering Committee needs a userid and password, and these are only issued by the Society Webmaster. This often led to delays when Steering Committee members were added and confusion. Eventually a read only account was created that could shared with everyone. Each Steering Committee should use Sharepoint, but the mechanism managing accounts needs to be improved.

 

Three Registration Periods – Traditionally there has been an advanced registration period ending 3 to 4 weeks before the opening of the IMS, then on-site registration once the IMS opened. With the new registration system provided by MP Associates there was no need to close registration for a period of time. Therefore a new intermediate registration tier was inserted. This worked very well, though there is no data to show that it resulted in higher attendance on income.

 

Local Promotions and Special Offers – IMS2009 made special efforts to attract local attendees. These included: Free Weds Exhibit Only Registration, Exhibit Only Passes in the Microwave Journal with a drawing, Exhibit only Passes distributed by Local Reps with a contest, 1 free one day technical pass for every 5 full IMS early bird registration for companies in New England, offers to 50% subsidize busing for large local employers (only BAE Systems participated).  The MWJ Pass drawing was a random selection from all registrants using the passes. The Rep contest rewarded the two rep firms that yielded the largest number of actually attendees. In both cases the prizes were a pair of Red Sox tickets. These promotions all worked well, though it cannot be demonstrated that attendance was substantially increased.

 

11.2 IMS2010 Innovations

 

IMS2010 Goals and Objectives - There were several key points that the IMS2010 Steering Committee attempted to highlight and promote through all activities.

 

These included:

- Focus on Benefits to All Attendees,

- Provide Appropriate Level of Service,

- Avoid Waste in all areas,

- Build lasting relationships within the Southern California support base,

- Strengthen and promote membership and attendance with MTT-S and IEEE, and

- Promote an atmosphere of enjoyment through service.

 

The general consensus from feedback is that these goals were achieved. It is going to take some time to see the full results and if these goals were truly obtained.

 

Improved Features / Lessons Learned

 

The relationship between the first three key points is vital to understanding decisions the IMS2010 Steering Committee made.

 

The Steering Committee set their focus on all attendees. This included IMS, RFIC, ARRFTG, Exhibitors, and service partners. While individuality and specific interests could not be totally eliminated, focus was clearly on doing what is right, just, and appropriate for All Attendees. To this end, the Steering Committee focused on providing an outstanding overall value, at minimum cost points, while attempting to avoid waste.

 

It should be pointed out that strong efforts were placed on keeping the service standards high as possible. Even to the point of exceeding expectations. Once a level of performance expectations was established, the focus shifted to provide this level of service at lower than historical cost.

 

This “lower than historical cost” paradigm caused some learning curve issues. The Steering Committee is a volunteer organization. Membership is a function of available time and desire. This is a different criteria than used by businesses. Some members readily embraced the concept of negotiating and finding alternative paths to accomplish the desired objective.

 

Several features that materialized during this process are:

- Establishment of the Emerging Technology TPRC Committee,

- Real time adjustment of papers into the TPRC Committees,

- Direct Publishing of the Program and Digest from the TPMS Database,

- Plenary Session Tuesday Morning

- Real time streaming of Plenary Session and MicroApps

- USB Drives as Attendee Gifts and Media Distribution Method,

- Badge Cash, and

- High School Students attending the Plenary Session.

 

The details of these are addressed in the sub committee reports.

 

Would like to compliment Dr. Madhu Gupta for the establishment of the Emerging Technology TPRC Committee. The effort it took to arrange, find appropriate reviewers, and coordinate was significant. The benefit to the Society will be lasting as this practice is continued.

 

Emerging Technology TPRC Committee allows MTT-S to embrace new topics and areas as they are originally being reported. These areas will easily become strong contributors to the growth and well being of the Society. This is a clear positive result of focusing on benefit to all attendees.

 

The remaining three key points are believed to be health indicators of the Society. We need strong local support communities across the world. We need our MTT-S members and our attendees to experience, and acknowledge, the value of their time spent. It is important for these areas to grow and expand. By so doing, the future of the IMS will continue to flourish.

 

To promote the health of the Steering Committee and Society following were done:

- Steering Committee meeting focused on team building activities,

- Steering Committee Thursday Relaxation Event,

- Steering Committee Celebration Weekend, and

- Strong focus on volunteers during Chair's Dinner.

 

The Chair’s Dinner has grown over the years. The attendee list has expanded to a point where it is almost the size of the MTT-S Award banquet. At this level of participation, the distinction between the Chair’s Dinner and the Society Award Banquet is questionable.

 

One can make the case that a main function of the Chair’s Dinner is to say thank you to the Steering Committee for their service. It allows them quiet, personal time to interact with each other and MTT-S Leadership.

 

One of the noted elements of prior Chair Dinners, was the unique and special location. Most of these locations were where one would typically not be able gain entrance to, or consider, for a formal dinner. None were a “typical” ballroom setting.

 

Looking at historical attendee list, and potential venues around Anaheim, it was evident that there was going to be an issue. Either it was going to be a protracted commute to a venue that could house 300 plus, use a headquarter hotel ballroom, or limit the attendee list. After considering the options, and keeping with the key points of the Steering Committee objectives, it was decided to limit attendance.  In the end, receiving an invitation was based on one’s volunteer efforts to the betterment of the MTT-S. This did provide a clear, defendable, criteria for receiving an invitation.

 

 

Areas for Continued Improvement

 

There are several areas where continued improvement is possible.  These included the following:

 

- Unified Branding Efforts,

- Integrated Advertising and Press Campaign,

- Integration of the Microwave Magazine into planning,

- Badge Cash “Check Out“ process,

- Guest Program,

- Budget Process,

- Perceived Entitlements, and

- MicroApps.

 

 

It is well understood that collectively we do a good job of promoting the IMS within our core technical and industry bases. Where we may not do as well is within fringe areas that could benefit from attendance. This is where a unified and concerted branding, and promotion, will help attract new, non-traditional, attendees. To do so effectively requires integration of all aspects of promotion and marketing.

 

Badge Cash worked better than planned for. For the younger members, this “cash less” system is typical. With continued improvement and refinement, this aspect will allow the Society to save significantly while providing a better customer experience.

 

The IMS2010 Guest Program did not function as expected. There are several theories about why. In the end, the sign up rate was not sufficient to guarantee the minimums. This now marks the second time in two years that all tours were canceled prior to the start of IMS.

 

The Budgeting process could benefit from continued refinement. IMS2010 was the second year after the change in exhibition management companies. One of the positive results from this the total exposure of the operating budget. This is a good thing. However, the physical structure of the current budget framework can be improved. It is difficult to dissect the budget to capture details used to arrive at the sum presented. This will improve over time as refinements are made. However, until this is done, the potential for large budget performance variation exists.

 

One area that should receive mention is entitlements and who should receive them. We need to be aware of prior contributions. These need to be kept in balance with the needs of the whole.  End the end, there is a fiduciary responsibility to the MTT-S and IEEE.

 

 MicroApps is an area where we can do a whole lot more to increase show attendance and generate interest within our exhibitor base. Highlighting and promoting MicroApps allows the exhibitors a valued platform for their products and services. Continued evolution of this will benefit the overall health of our industry. We should also strive to seek balance and ensure that this venue does not become a MTT-S supported marketing function for a select few.

 

11.3 IMS2011 Innovations

Double-Blind Reviewing:

For the first time IMS instituted a double-blind review process.  This was done because there has been a perception on some within the technical community that only those with an “inside track” had a reasonable chance of having their papers accepted at IMS.  While the Steering Committee never believed this to be the case, due to the relatively low acceptance rate of submitted papers, the Steering Committee believed that by going to a double-blind process that the IMS could counter this fallacious assumption and create the appearance of a more open and fair selection process.  In spite of concern about non-compliance on the part of the authors, this proved to be a relatively minor problem (less than 10%) and all authors modified their papers to be compliant.  Some reviewers claimed this made their task more difficult.  Overall, IMS2011 believes that this was a positive step for IMS.

 

Technical Program:

 For IMS2011 several innovations were introduced to the technical program.  The first was to use both 100-minute and 80-minute sessions.  Traditionally, all sessions had been 100-minutes in length.  In 2009, Boston used 80-minute sessions.  In 2011, Baltimore used 100-minute sessions in the morning and 80-minute sessions in the afternoon.  This 100/100/80/80 approach gave more session scheduling flexibility than 100/80/100/80.  The advantage of different session lengths is that it gives the Technical Program Committee more flexibility in allocating time based on the number of papers received by each subcommittee.  Furthermore, in 2011 the breaks between morning sessions and breaks between afternoon sessions were shortened to 15 minutes and the afternoon sessions were scheduled to end at 5:20 PM rather than the more traditional 5:10 PM.  This allowed IMS2011 to schedule a very long mid-day break between the oral technical sessions.  The perceived advantages of this are that with a 2 hour and 40 minute “lunch break” attendees would have a large block of time to attend the exhibits, attend the Interactive Forum Sessions (which, for the first time, did not overlap with the oral sessions), and “network” over a relaxing lunch.  Thus, the only overlap in the Technical Program schedule was the lunchtime Panel Sessions with the Interactive Forums.  Of course, the Panel Sessions were much shorter so that the both could be attended.

IMS2011 also introduced International Coordinators who specifically worked to encourage the submission of technical papers from traditionally underrepresented parts of the world.  To encourage this effort, two Focus Sessions entitled “Microwaves Around the World I & II” were scheduled.

IMS2011 also substantially changed the pricing structure for the All-Workshop “Digest”.  The IMS2011 General Chair is of the opinion that the All-Workshop “Digest” was being sold far too cheaply and that this was actually sabotaging Workshop Registration. In 2011 an attendee was first required to register for three full-day workshops (or equivalent) before the attendee could purchase the All-Workshop “Digest” for an additional $50.  For the first time in years Workshop registration increased, and by an encouraging 10%.

At IMS2011 a new policy was implemented that required that Student Design Competition be defined, including judging parameters and methodologies, in early Fall prior to the conference.  The Steering Committee felt that in the past these competitions had been announced far to late for many students to have a fair chance of participating.  While there were some complaints about moving the deadline earlier in the year, IMS2011 did have a record number of Student Design Competitions.  It is believed that these results justify the changes implemented.

 

Smart Phone Apps:

In addition to being IMS2011 Webmaster, S. Kirchoefer introduced an IMS first in the form of smart phone apps for both the iPhone and Android-based phones.  This proved quite popular even though many folks did not know about it.  It will probably grow considerably in popularity in the next few years.

 

Green Initiatives:

IMS2011 took substantive steps to reduce paper.  These steps included:

1.         More extensive reliance on the IMS2011 web site.

2.         A 50% reduction in the size of the Call for Papers

3.         Hard-copy Workshop notes had to be purchased separately and were only available in advance.  Not unexpectedly, many attendees were unaware of this change in spite of extensive attempts to make this change known.  Thus, there were complaints.  The General Chair believes it was the correct decision and this is just the type of “flack” one can expect whenever you make changes from what people have gotten used to.

4.         Reduction in pages in special event brochures.

5.         For the first time the paper abstracts were included in the Program Book.  A focused attempt to reduce wasted white space resulted in a Program Book that was the same size as 2010 but also included all abstracts.  This meant that there was no need to publish a separate Abstract Book.  IMS2011 estimates that this saved about 350,000 pages of paper.

6.         Bundling the Program Book with the Microwave Magazine Special Issue for IMS2011.  Working with K. Remley, we were able to print and ship the Program Book with the Symposium Special Issue of the Microwave Magazine.  This had advantages for both in that the Magazine no longer needed to worry about printing all the schedule information and meant that we could de-duplicate several mailing lists and not need to print and send out duplicate copies to many people.  This did require some hard work on the part of members of the Steering Committee as the schedules for the publication and shipping of these items left very little time margin.

 

Closing Ceremony:

For the first time IMS instituted a Closing Ceremony.  For a first-time event that many attendees were not aware of, we had very respectable attendance (estimated at close to 400, in comparison the Monday evening Plenary Session had an attendance close to 900).  While the event was promoted on the web and in the Program Book, it initially looked like attendance was going to be quite light.  Several members of the Steering Committee roved the Convention Center during the 20 minutes prior to the start of the Closing Ceremony encouraging everyone to attend.  The decision to offer snacks and beverages at this event was made during the week and probably ultimately helped improve the draw.

 

Graduate Student Challenge:

While the inspiration for this came from the European Microwave Conference, both R. Snyder and A. Mortazawi provided the initial drive to include this new student competition at IMS.  The IMS2011 Steering Committee worked with AdCom proponents to initiate this new student competition at IMS.  The project was a little late in getting organized and publicized but seems to have been successful.

 

Awards Presentations:

At IMS2011 we made an attempt to refine the way different awards are presented and the venues used for the presentation of awards.  The presentation of awards is always a difficult balancing act as it is appropriate to recognize the contributions, both technical and service, of a large number of individuals, but, at the same time, if the process becomes to long and drawn out, attendees will not pay attention and give the proceedings the dignity it deserves.  In 2011 we made the decision that AdCom service recognition awards would be presented at the AdCom Dinner and that we would, for the first time, print a special brochure to commemorate the event.  This approach seemed to please AdCom and, I think, elevated this event from what it had been in the past.  The Plenary Session was reserved for IEEE level awards.  The Awards Banquet was reserved for major MTT-S awards.  The Closing Ceremony was the venue for presenting Symposium/Conference service awards, some minor MTT-S awards, and the Student Challenge award.  The Student Awards Luncheon was the venue for all other student awards.  For all five of these events IMS2011 produced booklets commemorating the event that hopefully demonstrated that all were fully appreciated and recognized in a dignified manner.  Copies of these five booklets are attached (IMS2011StudentAwardsBooklet.pdf, IMS2011PlenarySessionBooklet.pdf, IMS2011ClosingCeremonyBooklet.pdf, IMS2011AwardsBanquetBooklet.pdf,  IMS2011ADCOM_DinnerBook.pdf ).

Integrated Publication Distribution: In 2010, J.K. McKinney had the vision of integrating all the distributed material on a USB drive.  The initiative was undertaken too late to implement.  2011 really liked the concept so we actually implemented it.  IMS obtained buy in from RFIC and ARFTG.  Thus, one USB drive would be distributed per attendee, which would contain only those Digests and Notes for which they had paid the Registration fee.  This USB would also be the attendee gift as it contained a ballpoint pen and a laser pointer and LED flashlight that would recharge via the USB port.  Unfortunately, the vendor who promised the ability to customize the content based on the attendee’s registration selections was unable to perform as promised.  While the basic idea appears to be great, this needs to be more fully developed and debugged before it is ready for prime time.

 

Companion Program:

Some major changes were introduced to the Companion Program:

1.         The Local Arrangements Committee in conjunction with IEEE MCM and the Baltimore Convention and Visitors Bureau put together information on self-guide tours and things to see and do.  Also, discount tickets for these activities were provided.  These opportunities were articulated on the IMS2011 website and given considerable advance notice so that attendees traveling with companions could plan ahead for what might interest them.

2.         Formal tours were limited to just three events.  In recent years many of the formal tours have been cancelled.  There were several reasons for this including: offering too many tour options and having the tours be too expensive.  When too many tour options are offered during the same day, none of them get enough people to sign up to be viable and thus they get cancelled.  When the costs of the tours exceed $100 there is a psychological barrier.  Our Local Arrangements Committee, particularly K. Wright, did an excellent job of subcontracting our own tours.  By not going through organized tour companies but dealing directly with coach companies, restaurants, etc., IMS2011 but together tours that included lunch for between $65 and $80 for full day tours.  In contrast, for the previous few years the costs of equivalent tours were in the range of $100 to $120.  In addition, we ended up offering a $15 per tour discount to anyone who purchased a Guest Badge.  Furthermore, by limiting the number of tours offered, none were cancelled and even at the reduced price we were able to keep this from being a money losing activity.

3.         Guest Badges: For the first time, IMS charged for Guest Badges ($60 for IEEE members during Early-Bird Registration). In previous years the cost of providing the Hospitality Suite was working out to about $350 per guest who used it.  The General Chair was of the opinion that this was indefensible to the average attendee (how can you justify such high Registration Rates when you are giving the few attendees who bring a companion so much for free) and that companions of attendee who wished to take advantage of the Hospitality Suite should contribute a small amount of the benefit (<20%) they receive.  The General Chair’s decision to implement this was greeted with less than universal acclaim.  In spite of some controversy and pressure the fee was retained.  In fact, during the AdCom IMSEC meeting the weekend before IMS2011, IMSEC voted unanimously to support a modest fee.  The other advantage of charging for the Guest Badge was that in contrast to previous years where there were several hundred Guest Badges, in 2011 we only had 69.  Traditionally, there have been about 65-70 Guests who take advantage of the Hospitality Suite.  There have also been many anecdotal reports of Guest Badges being inappropriately used to gain access to Technical Sessions.  Charging for Guest Badges helps to control that particular problem.

 

Problems Encountered

There were several problems worth mentioning.  Some have been covered above in the Innovations section. Specifically:

1.         The integrated USB for publication distribution didn’t work.  The customized content process was a failure and the vendor was not competent to handle things on site.  While the General Chair still believes this is a great way to disseminate the information the attendee is purchased, the process needs to be debugged much more completely that was done for 2011.  That was probably our biggest headache at the IMS.

2.         Attendee knowledge and understanding of Badge Cash is still a problem.  In spite of a concerted effort to provide more signage and giving prominent visibility to the Badge Cash process in publications such as the Program Book, many attendees simply did not understand the process.  There are probably several things at work here: attendees don’t encounter this at other conferences so it is not a concept they are used to, attendees have some unreasonable expectation that vendors ought to be able to process hundreds of people through a line in 15 minutes (people wait in a long line a Starbucks rather than walk down the hall a little ways to a different vendor, attendees don’t read signs or other information that the conferences tries to provide them to enlighten and enhance their experience.

3.         Charging a nominal fee (about 20% of the cost of the benefit received) for Guest Badges that allowed entry to the Hospitality Suite created considerable controversy.  While the General Chair would concur that a better name might be Companion Suite rather than Hospitality Suite, the General Chair still strongly believes that it is wrong that certain select attendees receive such a valuable perk that is subsidized by the average attendee.

4.         Workshop organizers and presenters did not read and follow instructions.  There were many failures to comply with the requirements for the Workshop fee waiver.  The General Chair enforced the rules.  Many did not think that the rules should be enforced.  Workshop committees should not presume that Workshop organizers communicate effectively with Workshop speakers.  Future IMS’s should make sure to be proactive in having the Workshop Committee communicate requirements directly to the Workshop speakers.

5.         Again, as mentioned earlier, accurate budget forecasting proved to be a big challenge.  The initial forecast provided was accused of being far too optimistic so was scaled back from a little over $800,000 to a little over $600,000.  In the end, the surplus (as of this writing) is over $1.4M.  While it is far better to exceed a forecast surplus by approximately doubling it rather than end up at $0, it does indicate the difficulty of predicting the economy 18 months in advance as well as account for the differences in venues and their associated costs.  A note of caution: the IMS2011 General Chair has total confidence in R. Alongi and the financial tools he is developing.  It should be remembered that the first year of that effort was IMS2009 which the first symposium to feel the effects of the economic problems.  IMS2011 had only IMS2009 upon which to base its forecast.

6.         There were not enough Program Books on-site.  Either attendees did not realize there was a copy in their registration package, or they did not bring the one mailed to them or both.  This may have been exacerbated by the decision not to print a separate Abstract Book.

7.         IMS2011 rejected on Student Design Competition proposal.  This generated a fair amount of controversy.  The proposal rejected was basically an award for the best paper that had been published in an MTT-S sponsored publication during the previous year on a particular area represented by one of the MTT-S Technical Committees.  The reason this was rejected is that IMS2011 did not feel that it had the authority to make an award for “something” that did not happen at IMS.  Since the “something” was an article in an MTT-S sponsored publication, it is the MTT-S Publications Committee and Awards Committee who have the charter to determine when and if an award can be issued.

Suggestions and Recommendations

Be involved in all aspects of organizing the IMS.  Each IMS has to have a vision.  While many people will contribute to that vision, it is the general Chair who distills all of it into an overall integrated theme.  For example, our Technical Program Committee wanted to make a concerted effort to increase the global reach of IMS.  As discussed elsewhere, concrete steps were taken to solicit and showcase contributions from traditional underrepresented regions of the world.  Our Local Arrangements Committee wished to emphasize regional Chesapeake Bay specialties when it came to many of the social activities.  The Steering Committee as a whole wished to emphasize “green” initiatives. While it may appear somewhat challenging to reconcile these, a logo was developed which helped bring everything together.  The projection map of the world, of course, represents the IMS2011 theme “Microwaves for the World”.  By centering the world map on Baltimore, the uniqueness of and focus on Baltimore and the Chesapeake Bay area could be emphasized through our slogan “IMS2011 in Baltimore: A Perfect Match”, which, of course, is reinforced by the Smith Chart with Baltimore at 50 Ohms.  The colors chosen for the logo are significant as well.  The green and blue of land and sea, respectively, symbolize our “green” initiatives and reinforce the motto of using microwaves to benefit the world.  The other four colors in the logo; black, white, red, and gold, are those that appear in the Maryland state flag and the Baltimore city flag.  Furthermore, the colors of the logo were selected so that the logo could be reproduced in both gray scale and black and white and still be usable.  As a final note on the logo, the General Chair had a great time designing the logo and any attempt to correlate the colors in the logo to his undergraduate (Michigan State University – Green and White) and graduate (University of Michigan – Maize and Blue) educational institutions will be denied.

While you can absolutely count on IEEE MCM and others to do a great job in organizing events, if other volunteers and vendors, such as caterers, see that the General Chair takes a very personal interest in what they are doing you are much more likely to get the results you want.  The IMS2011 General Chair was probably considered guilty of micromanagement by members of the 2011 Steering Committee.  In most cases, however, the General Chair would actually dive in and do the work with the Steering Committee member rather than just direct it to be done over again.  Hopefully this approach offset some of the annoyance of being micromanaged

One suggestion made by the IMS2011 General Chair was that the AdCom meeting be moved to weekend after the symposium.  For 2011 inquiries were made about doing this but it was too late to consider the change.  Reasons for doing this are that it would likely help bolster Friday workshop attendance and keep people on site for Thursday evening activities.  It would also help to eliminate the conflicts between the various AdCom meetings and the Sunday workshops.  It would also allow more time for AdCom committees to schedule working meetings during Microwave Week.  IMS2012 liked the suggestion sufficiently that they received AdCom’s concurrence to try this in 2012 in Montreal.

The Exhibit is just as important as the Technical Program in spite of what some might say.  You have a large portion of the Steering Committee devoted to the Technical Program and you will interface with them continuously.  You have MP Associates who will manage the Exhibit and Sponsorships.  They will do a great job.  However, in the same way that you need to have “face time” with caterers, hotel staff, convention center folks, etc., you need to have “face time” with MP Associates and the exhibitors themselves.  This is probably one area where the IMS2011 General Chair believes he should have been more proactive.

Continuously reach out to RFIC and ARFTG.  While 2011 made good progress on working well with those Steering Committees to make the overall Microwave Week experience better for everyone, there is still more that can and should be done.  In 2011 we invited the Chairs of these committees to be members of the IMS2011 Steering Committee.  This worked much better that having a liaison.  Pick up the phone and talk Chair-to-Chair and things can be accomplished much faster and more efficiently and it results in overall increased goodwill.

Work closely with R. Alongi on budget forecasting and expense tracking.  Now that R. Alongi has been refining the financial tools for a few years they should be getting more and more accurate and useful in identifying trends that will help in controlling costs and predicting revenues.

Branding is important.  Over the years the symposium has been referred to as “IMS200X” and “IMS 200X”.  Sometimes both would occur on the same page.  In researching old websites, etc. it appeared that “IMS200X” was more common that “IMS 200X”.  The 2011 General Chair made a policy decision that only the form “IMS2011” should be used.  There ended up being a few slip ups but, in general, 2011 was much more consistent than previous years.  This was then a topic of discussion with IMSEC where it was decided that “IMS200X” should be the format used.  Frankly, it just looks amateurish to have both floating around.

IMS2011’s approach to Workshops (pricing of the All-Workshop “Digest” and requirement for attendee interactivity) finally reversed the trend in declining Workshop attendance, which rose approximately 10% compared to 2010.  If the General Chair were able to revisit the workshop attendance issue, the other changes that would have been made in 2011 would have been:

1.         Decrease modestly the cost of attending a Workshop.

2.         Base fee waivers for speakers and organizers on attendance numbers rather than getting notes in on time.

There are many IMS attendees who have been attending IMS for years and even decades.  They tend to think they know the process so well that they don’t need to pay attention to any of the information that the Steering Committee tries to disseminate.  Thus, any attempt to innovate or change the way things are done will be met with some angry responses.  IMS2011 tried everything we could think of to reduce this problem.  We were not as successful as the General Chair would have liked.  While the General Chair would not claim that more could not have been done, there comes a point when, as General Chair, you have to realize that “you are not going to make everyone happy, so don’t worry about it”.  This may not be an exact quote, but it was one of the best pieces of advice that the IMS2011 General Chair ever received - thanks John Barr.

The above paragraph reinforces the earlier stated advice; discuss your ideas with IMSEC and IEEE MCM and MP Associates.  All of these folks want you to succeed and want you to Chair the best IMS ever.  Take advantage of their experience and expertise.

Take it seriously but keep a sense of humor.  The personal motto adopted by the IMS2011 General Chair was “the worst thing that can happen is that they will never ask me to do this job again”.  Try to enjoy it while it is happening.

 

Conclusion

Being General Chair was one of the best experiences ever.  It will be intense a lot of the time.  However, when it all comes together and all the teamwork is visible, it is a very gratifying and satisfying experience.  The key is to assemble a great Steering Committee, give them some basic guidance and challenge them to brainstorm to improve the experience for the average attendee.  Lead by example and be willing to dive in and do some grunt work wherever and whenever needed.  Demonstrate to your Steering Committee that you are willing to work long and hard and not just try to delegate all the work to others.

Remember who your customers are.  They are the average attendee and the average exhibitor.  I found it very useful and informative to mingle with the average attendee.  I specifically did not wear a ribbon so that I could talk to them attendee to attendee.  Most attendees will not realize you are the General Chair unless you wear a sign proclaiming the fact.  You will learn a lot about how they view the conference and what they think of their experiences if they think you are just one of them.

Use IMSEC, IEEE MCM, and others to vet your ideas for innovation.  Again, the focus should be on providing the best experience for the average attendee.  Do not try to innovate just to do something different.  Innovate because it will make the IMS a better experience.  One final caution, however, remember that anything you change will affect subsequent years as well.  Try to look at the long-term effects of your changes not just how they will affect your IMS.  Future General Chairs will be grateful if you look beyond just your year.

As a final comment, remember that as General Chair it is your responsibility to create a memorable experience.  While many people come to Microwave Week for the technical papers of the symposia and to see the new technologies on display at the exhibit, that is not what will make a particular IMS memorable.  For example, in 10 years no one is going to remember if that great GaN power amp paper by Prof. Eminent was presented at IMS in Anaheim, Baltimore, or Montreal.  Similarly, no one is going to remember which of those years the XYZ Corp. introduced their great new test and measurement system.  What they will remember is an event like the Crab Feast that has become a Baltimore tradition.  Create events and experiences that will make your IMS unique and special.

 

11.4 IMS2012 Innovations

 

Background and Summary

This post-conference General Chair’s Final Report briefly presents the profile of and key reflections on IMS2012 with emphasis on innovations and new features as well as problems and bad lessons we have learned with respect to our organization of this flagship conference of the MTT-S and the entire Microwave Week as a whole. Since this was the second time in the 60 years history of IMS that this conference was organized outside the USA, a large number of interesting features and innovations were thought and debated by the IMS2012 Steering Committee members during the early preparation stage, some of which have been successfully implemented for the IMS2012 programs and activities. These were designed to build a better IMS, not just a larger IMS. Some of the key innovations and features have been already explained and detailed in various committee reports and also in the Article “What’s New in Microwave Week”, which was published in the IEEE Microwave Magazine, pp. 30-31, IMS Special Issue, May 2012.

As always in previous years, the IMS2012 Steering Committee was striving to organize a successful, well-received, well-attended, issue-free and memorable symposium. This was made possible in collaboration with the committees of two other sister conferences (RFICs and ARFTG) as well as other entities for the entire Microwave Week. Considering the fact that 2012 represents the special 60th anniversary of the MTT-S (officially recognized) as well as the special 60th anniversary of the IMS (unofficially recognized), the IMS2012 Steering Committee created more celebration-related programs for the Microwave Week. The non-US conference site, featured by two official languages, was used to highlight the international nature of the symposium through the motto: Microwaves without Borders or Microondes sans Frontières in French, which was well reflected on the IMS2012 logo design and website development. Exceptionally, IMS2012 presented two logos: one for IMS and the other commemorating the 60th anniversary of the MTT-S. The efforts of the IMS2012 Steering Committee for attracting international attendees were successful, which were evidenced through many record numbers, e.g., a record number of technical paper submissions.      

During the stage of IMS2012 preparation, the Steering Committee decided to create the IMS2012 with the following considerations and objectives in mind:

(1)           Attract more international and first-time attendees and exhibitors,

(2)           Focus on positive and unique attendees’ experiences,

(3)           Provide appropriate level of services to all parties,

(4)           Enhance interactions of attendees and exhibitors,

(5)           Promote MTT-S memberships and services among the attendees,

(6)           Develop and explore unique on-line services and mobile agents,

(7)           Train local volunteers through interactions of fresh and experienced committee members,

(8)           Build memorable and lasting souvenirs of IMS2012 within the community. 

The general consensus from feedback is that those goals were well achieved even though it may be too early to judge all aspects. At least, the IMS2012 Steering Committee has received a very large number of positive feedbacks, impressions and comments on the Symposium organizations, programs, services and activities.

 

Innovations and New Features versus Problems and Good Lessons

In the following, the General Chair will provide a general overview of key innovations and new features that were added to the IMS2012. Narrative and brief descriptions of a number of problems and good lessons learned from the Symposium organization and post-conference reflections are also given to highlight the needs for future IMS organizers to consider some of those points in their IMS preparations. To simplify the presentation, the typical four aspects are covered as follows: Operations and Features, Technical Program, Publication and Publicity, and Local arrangements.

 

Operations and Features

The first action and also the most important decision of the General Chair were to assemble and organize an effective Steering Committee, which generally consists of local and active MTT-S volunteers. This task was not easy for IMS2012 because the local MTT-S volunteer basis was quite limited and some of those members never attended IMS or had no experiences with IMS. Therefore, the General Chair decided to create a Steering Committee that was composed of blended experienced and fresh members from Canada and the US in regions close to Montreal. The general rule of selecting members is that they must be willing to serve and to make themselves available. Ideally, those selected members should be located within short driving distances. Some US members were reachable within about one hour flight distance. Nevertheless, the committee interactions and experiences suggested that the distance was not a major problem but the personal willingness and motivation is the true indicator for services and effectiveness. The blended membership structure allows the effective training of local volunteers, which is important for the long-term development of MTT-S in the region. It is important for the General Chair to have a balanced committee structure with appropriate ratio of committee members from academic institutions and practical sectors including governments. It is imperative to have a good representation of women in the committee, which would have a very positive impact on the development of IMS programs and activities.       

It is important to mention that the structure of the IMS2012 Steering Committee went through some delicate change because of a legal conflict between some members. Thanks to the advices and suggestions of legal counsellors of the IEEE headquarters and senior AdCom members, this issue was solved nicely and all parties seemed to be satisfactory.        

From the very beginning of the IMS organization, the General Chair recognized that it was critical to make use of gender-neutral languages and titles such as “chair” instead of “chairman” to comply with the new rules and new bylaws  of the IEEE and MTT-S. Still, some gender-sensitive languages were sporadically used during the IMS organizations even though they were corrected afterward.

The IMS2012 celebrated the 60th anniversary of MTT-S. The initial plan was to develop a full scale of video clips showing the evolution and journey of the MTT-S through the last 60 years. The committee realized one year before the opening of IMS that this intended task became very heavy as it required the collection of various artifacts and materials and also involved many human resources. A last-minute decision was made to accommodate what the sub-committee of 60th anniversary could have accomplished within the timeframe. A refined static PowerPoint presentation was developed to show during the opening ceremony and reception the historical development of our community as well as selected emerging technical fields in connection with the MTT-S interests. This setting was proved to be right, which received an appraisal from the IMS attendees. Nevertheless, the quality and resolution of images and photos used in the PowerPoint show were not very good enough for the presentation of large screens during the opening ceremony. It is critical for future IMS Steering Committee to avoid this problem through much early tests.

The invitation of high-profile keynote speakers is one of the most important and time-sensitive tasks for the IMS Steering Committee. Generally, this is the job of the General Chair, Vice Chair and TPC chair with the recommendation of others including non-committee colleagues. For the IMS2012, one of the hardest lessons for all of the IMS, RFICs, and ARFTG committees was to have invited one keynote speaker, who is very much in demand, for the IMS2012 who was also invited by the RFICs committee. This was not supposed to have happened but it actually happened during the 2012 Microwave Week. Fortunately, the invited keynote speaker agreed to talk about two different subjects on two different occasions (IMS and RFICs). The two speeches were very successful and very well received by both audiences. In addition, two other keynote speakers for the IMS2012 and RFICs came from the same company, which were not very much desirable. To avoid such similar problems, the General Chairs of the IMS, RFICs, and ARFTG committees should absolutely communicate with each other on this subject prior to inviting the keynote speakers.

One major decision made by the IMS2012 General Chair was to have scheduled the AdCom meeting after the Symposium. This re-arranged committee meeting schedule has three purposes: (1) it allowed the AdCom members and other MTT-S VIPs to join all attendees for the Symposium reception instead of the inclusive Chair’s Dinner. This was critical because the social and professional networking among colleagues is a very important component of IMS. The presence of those AdCom members and VIPs in this event is a must for our MTT-S healthy development; (2) it allowed various AdCom committees to get better prepared for the post-Symposium AdCom meetings because those committee members can exchange for reporting during the Microwave Week; (3) it allows an immediate and effective reporting of the IMS2012 by our AdCom members and others during the post-Symposium meetings. This is because all of us still had a fresh impression of the IMS programs and activities.

Of course, the Chair’s Dinner was then scheduled in the evening of Thursday so that the AdCom members and invited VIPs were able to enjoy this night event without the Symposium schedules in mind. However, some AdCom members were not ready to stay for the post-Symposium weekend and  this also created some problems for those who just wanted to attend the RFIC s but who were required to stay for the AdCom meetings.

In the end, the committee meetings were re-arranged for a more flexible schedule and a better conclusion of the Microwave Week but this may be perceived differently by some of us. In any case, there is no perfect solution for the scheduling. This is also closely related to the habits of the AdCom meeting attendees and the culture of the AdCom meetings. More years are needed to assess the pros and cons of this re-scheduling.

For the family members and companions of the IMS2012 attendees, they enjoyed services and foods of the Guest Lounge for a nominal fee (previously called Hospitability Suite). This name change was reflected in the fees payment for its access. The only problem was that the Lounge was located in Hyatt that was the second headquarter hotel with a short walking distance from the Palais des Congrès. The intention was that Hyatt is located within a nice shopping mall close to the Place des Arts and other amenities.

The budget committee has done a great job with a much more complicated situation in connection with the use of two different dollars and Canadian/Quebecer tax systems. This was a very special situation for the IMS2012. The tax rebates involved significant efforts of IMS Steering Committee members. For the local government grant applications, the Steering Committee went through painful experiences even though there was a partial success. Now, it is hard to say whether the committee efforts became worthwhile or not for the amount of money the IMS2012 collected.

It is important to recommend that future IMS committees take appropriate pictures of all signage and displays for records in connection with any grants and sponsorships. That may be required for the reporting to the governments.

The IMS2012 Steering Committee was proud of having presented a number of wonderful and memorable social events such as receptions and banquets and Chair’s Dinner. The comments on those events are extremely positive. For the opening reception, the General Chair had to make “real-time” decisions on the release of more funds for providing more foods and quick services to the attendees.

The IMS2012 Steering Committee had regular weekly meeting calls (over a period of 9 months) and monthly Steering Committee meetings (over a period of 2 years). The monthly meetings were organized in a zig-zag alternated way to have either physical face-to-face meeting or teleconference. The Steering Committee meetings were called by the General Chair, who was responsible for agendas, and the events were managed by the Symposium secretary/coordinator. Weekly meeting calls involved all sub-committee chairs and vice-chairs as well as key players in the committees and event operators. The most difficult parts during those meetings and their follow-ups are the development of minutes, which were very heavy and difficult to record. Future committees are recommended to think about strategies to make the life of all volunteers easier without losing track of the events.   

 

Technical Program

A substantial discussion and presentation was made by the TPC Chair in his report. The IMS2012 Steering Committee is proud that an outstanding technical program was presented during the Symposium with several record numbers such as the submitted papers. The Committee made several initiatives and surveys during 2010 and 2011 to attract more paper submissions and improve the technical program, which can be summarized as follows:

(1) Reduction of the paper length to three pages to encourage timely reporting of the latest industrial research and development results. In addition, university students and researchers had better opportunities to expand their papers for possible journal publication. The maximum allowable file size was extended to 2 MB to allow the publication of good quality figures.

(2) Clarification of the policy for publishing material from IMS papers in IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques (special and regular issues), in collaboration with the editor in chief. This supported the initiative of 3 pages and sent a clear message to any potential authors  encouraging them to submit papers. Of course, the number of full expanded paper submissions to the T-MTT remains to be seen with respect to the 3-page Symposium paper effect.

 

(3) Comprehensive outreach activities to attract and encourage new authors (emerging leaders in microwaves industry and academia, from all parts of the world) to contribute to the technical, workshop, and short course programs. This job was done in close collaboration with the Publication and Publicity Committee and everyone in the Steering Committee.

 

(4) Significant expansion of the Technical Program Review Committee (TPRC) to handle a record number of submissions to the technical program, including the addition of two new subcommittees to review papers in the following two emerging areas: (a) wireless power transmission, and (b) radio frequency (RF) devices for wireless health applications and biosensing. In the expansion of our TPRC, the Steering Committee emphasized the need for recruiting new bloods and more non-US-based TPRC members.

 

In addition to the 3-page paper submission, the General Chair wanted to reform the score systems used for the TPRC in the acceptance/rejection of submitted papers. First of all, a conference or symposium just provides a basic platform for authors to exchange and debate new and emerging ideas. Symposium cannot replace Journal or Transactions as a venue of publication because all papers are not subject to very rigorous review and editorial process. Authors should be able to formulate his/her idea clearly with 3-pages space. The adopted 3-pages paper submission allows a more speedy review process. To make an effective review and review decision as well as to accept more new ideas and innovation papers, the current equal-weighting score system should be revised to highlight the predominance of novelty. The General Chair raised this issue during the 2011 TPRC meeting but it was not well received because it was not explained. More discussions are needed to reformulate an appropriate scoring system for IMS paper review process.   

 

The General Chair proposed the development of a submission process for late news papers but it was not materialized as it was too late and too complicated. The General Chair believes that the format of late news papers is particularly suitable for hardware and technology-oriented conferences or symposia such as IMS. Therefore, the future IMS Steering Committees are recommended to examine this possibility and implement this new paper submission.

Upon the request from the TPC Chair, the food services and qualities were improved and also a large number of seating tables were provided for the attendees and speakers of short courses, workshops and panels. This allowed a very dynamic interaction among all participants. The General Chair and Steering Committee felt that it would be better to differentiate short courses and workshops in two different sections in the registration form. Appropriate format of short courses and workshops for preparation and presentation should be devised and recommended for future speakers and organisers. Future committees should keep the last 3-year records of short courses and workshop to avoid any repeated materials and new speakers and presenters should be encouraged.

 

Publication and Publicity

The IMS2012 seriously took advantages of the rapid development of smart phone services and emerging mobile internets to enhance its services and access to the attendees, exhibitors and others. The IMS2012 Publication and Publicity Committee had worked very hard, under the strong leadership of its Chair, to advertise and promote the IMS2012 whenever and wherever possible in the world and to render great services and useful information to the professional community including attendees and exhibitors. The most remarkable achievement and legacy of the IMS2012 team for future committees is the development of a beautiful and informative program book, which sets up a new standard for many years to come.

The following are just major new features and innovations brought by the IMS2012 Publication and Publicity Committee:

(1) A mobile Web version for iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, and Android devices to enable convenient access to the entire Web site of the symposium. This platform was still to be improved but did provide an effective service to the attendees and others before, during and after the Symposium. Some devices such as Blackberry need to be updated.

 

(2)  A more complete searchable program book and personalized schedule on the Web site, including features such as:

-               a searchable data base, allowing attendees to search papers by author, title, session, location, etc.

-               a personalized scheduler of symposium activities that enables attendees to coordinate among different paper presentations and other events while checking for schedule conflicts.

-               available on desktop and mobile devices (iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, and Android devices).

 

This service was the first attempt made by the IMS2012 team. Of course, not all attendees and exhibitors have smart phones and this service will become popular once smart phones will be used by all attendees. More Apps will be seen in the future and future IMS committees need to pay attention to evolving interests of attendees/exhibitors and emerging features of smart phones.

 

(3) New online discussion forum for IMS2012 participants to continue technical dialog with authors and other attendees beyond the time slots of the technical sessions, providing an extra opportunity for technical exchange among IMS attendees. This service was enabled by an early version of a commercial package that is still under scrutiny. The use of this service was the first essay, whose implementation and advertisement were too late. The response of attendees was a little bit slow, as anticipated. To generate a more enthusiastic participation in the future IMS, the future Steering Committee should advertise this feature much earlier and prepare and educate the attendees for its use.

 

(4) Early access of advance program information including symposium information and preliminary session information (Program Book at Glance) on the website, available in February 2012. This Program Book at Glance stimulated interests of potential attendees and attracted potential exhibitors. This on-line publication was important because the IMS2012 was held in Canada, which asked attendees and exhibitors to get prepared earlier for any potential unknowns. Future IMS committees are recommended to continue this practice.

 

(5) Unique features in the final program book make it more reader friendly and the trip to IMS2012 more memorable. Large session grid and new tabs for easy viewing of symposium program and social events; attractive designs of local tourism information; interesting facts on the theme “Microwave Without Borders” and the MTT anniversary to get attendees excited about the microwave community, and more. The IMS2012 team spent a substantial time to produce this beautiful program book and many refined features were added such as technical sessions are identified or coded by flower designs. The Program Book is truly colorful. The IMS2012 Steering Committee developed multiple language-based information sheets for some parts of the Program Book but this interesting feature unfortunately failed to get produced by the designated printing company because of the software incompatibility with non-English texts. The future IMS committees are recommended to look into this feature and examine the possibility with the printing company.

 

(6) The IMS2012 Publication and Publicity Committee specially designed and developed advertisement strategies and presentation materials for IMS2012 promotions in various venues and journals/magazines, in addition to the conventional call for papers. This had a huge success in various fronts. Furthermore, a series of on-line messages and regular newsletters (Insider) were published to call for paper submissions, attract potential attendees, invite interested exhibitors, and create IMS visibility. The experiences of such internet-based publications were great but  keeping the publications on-time was very difficult. A minor typo error was even discovered in one of the printed posters for IMS2012 advertisements but it was too late. Future committees should make multiple-checks prior to printing those materials and clearly double-check was not enough.

 

Note that the IMS2012 General Chair was a three-year Distinguished Microwave Lecturer (DML) from Jan. 1st, 2009 to Dec. 31, 2011. This position allowed him to travel around the world to promote and advertise the IMS2012. The very positive outcome was obvious for paper submissions and international attendance since he was able to effectively talk and pass IMS2012 messages to many groups and peoples in various microwave hotspots.        

 

Local Arrangements

The IMS2012 had a very dynamic and well-prepared Local Arrangements Committee under a strong leadership. All Local Arrangements Committee members are locally based and they were very familiar with Montreal and also IMS requirements. This committee has provided very critical supports to daily operations and social events of the IMS2012 and Microwave Week. The most striking events of the Local Arrangements Committee left in the memory of attendees were the unique entertainments selected. 

 

One of those supports was to assemble an effective student volunteer body of over 100 graduate students from various regions and provided them adequate training and guidance as volunteers as well as supervised them during the entire Microwave Week with their assignments of tasks and operations. Those tasks and operations nearly covered all aspects and all corners of the Microwave Week.

 

Some of the changes that the Local Arrangements Committee has brought to IMS2012 can be briefly described as follows:

 

(1) All attendees reserving their hotel room through the IMS Web site will receive a complimentary public transport weekly pass, valid for Montréal city circulations within Microwave Week, thanks to the sponsorship of Tourisme Montréal. This special perk was used to encourage the stay of the IMS official hotels and also to provide the local transportation from hotels to the Palais de Congrès. This is also an ecological consideration through the use of frequent public transportation services. Fortunately, Montreal can do that. Of course, this was also to offer  better opportunities of visiting Montreal during the Microwave Week.

 

(2) All social activities were held on Tuesday, all in close proximity. Since this is the first time for many attendees to visit Montréal, it was hoped that the attendees would spend time visiting the beautiful city of Montreal with the specially tailored guest tour programs. Still, the close proximity was not really close enough:  the General Chair  had to walk quickly in order to attend all social events, and yet  he failed to attend two of them in person. Therefore, future IMS committees should think about this issue and it is not always true that some of those social events should be completely separated. Joint events may still be a better option such as putting together or at least close to each other.

 

(3) Our welcome (opening) reception on Monday evening was more dynamic for social networking and meeting with MTT-S AdCom members and VIPs. A large crowd of attendees created a problem of space for the foyer area in the beginning of the reception. All attendees used the coupons to collect the drinks, which make the place a little chaotic. The General Chair decided to give up the use of coupons and ordered the service to be completely open to all through the release of funds. That decision had to be made very quickly without any delay. Future General Chairs are recommended to look at space available and anticipate how to manage the crowds once the opening ceremony is over and everyone comes out, being directed to the same reception place.

 

(4) A specially organized reception was offered to all attendees after the Closing Session on Thursday afternoon. During the same period, the Chair’s Dinner was organized for the AdCom members and VIPs. During this Closing Session, the announcements of key Microwave events in the world were made such as IMS2013 in Seattle, EuMW2012 in Amsterdam, and APMC2012 in Taipei, followed by one of the two Keynote speeches. It is important to observe the timeline for the whole afternoon. A slight delay could cause some trouble for the organization of the  event that follows.

 

During the IMS2012, technical session rooms were decorated by flowers that were described in the Program Book. However, it was very laborious and difficult to preserve those flowers and move them around among those rooms. If the condition is not appropriate, future IMS committees are recommended to avoid those unnecessary decorative flowers and other ornaments.              

   

During the period of February-June 2012, there were daily organized student protests against the government of Quebec around the symposium hotels and Palais de Congrès. This protest was labeled as a “delicate situation” by the US consulate in Montreal, and a “travel warning” to the US citizens by the US State Department. This warning was quite negative to the American attendance of the IMS2012, in particular, potential attendees from the US governmental agencies, US military/defense industries and contractors, and other sensitive institutions.

 

In addition, another adverse effect on the attendance was high travel cost because the airline tickets from the US and other parts of the world were quite expensive when traveling to/from Canada. This was also a negative factor for those who wanted to come but who are limited by the availability of budget.      

 

 

Conclusion

Nothing could be perfect in this endeavour. However, every thought and every action from all Steering Committee members and other volunteers were the building elements to the success of such a gigantesque event. This final report presents those efforts, thoughts and actions, which could only cover key points and issues. Each Steering Committee has learned from previous counterparts and it is also my hope that the bad and good experiences described in the report will be useful for our future colleagues and committees.   

Finally, let me say that it was a wonderful and once a lifetime experience to work as the General Chair of IMS2012 outside the US thanks to the support of attendees and exhibitors, who came from around the world. 2012 was a special year for many events and organizations including the 60th anniversary of MTT-S. I was very fortunate to have a great Steering Committee, unconditionally backed by our MTT-S AdCom, our TPRC, our student and other volunteers, our Exhibit Managers of MP Associates, our Meeting planner IEEE, our sponsors, and our media partners. I would like to express my appreciation and gratitude to all of you. I really enjoyed working, debating, laughing and joking together with my Steering Committee members. Their efforts, time, and dedications were truly outstanding for organizing such unforgettable and successful IMS and Microwave Week. Thank you.

 

11.5 IMS2013 Innovations

 

General:

 

New Website Platform: The Website and Mobile apps continue to evolve.  Since 2013 was the first year for new platforms and adherence to IEEE website norms, there were some growing pains associated with training, schedules and expectations.  The older version of the web editing tool Joomla 1.5 was buggy and hard to use.   A switch to Joomla 3.0 happened late in the process, it was disruptive and created training issues.  However, Joomla 3.0 did provide a much more robust environment. 

The roles involved with web site have changed significantly, the committee members are no longer creating the website, but are inserting content into web page templates.  This is a change that we were not initially aware of and would have made adjustments to the committee earlier had we known.

 

Wireless Industry Day: We hosted an event cosponsored by the Seattle Section and MTT-S that we called “Wireless Industry Day”.  The topic of the event was tailored to increase local participation in IMS with significant number of wireless carriers, service providers and hardware developers within 10 miles of the convention center.  Personnel there, if they are members of the IEEE, tend to be members of the COMM society, but their work involves technology in the MTT area of interest.  By including content that the local wireless community found relevant we were able to increase participation in Microwave Week by approximately 75 registrants, an increase of 3% or so.  Likely it increased participation by Seattle area technical personnel by 30% or more. 

Additions to Microwave Week can have practical and political ramifications.  This event came at a cost of careful consideration of where to locate it, how to sponsor it, and how to select speakers so as not to upset a variety of individuals with interest in various aspects of IMS.  We had the conflicting goals of increasing registration and, therefore, participation in IMS by local engineers, without interfering with the IMS technical program and the TPC’s prerogatives.

 

Hospitality Suite:  We continued to charge for the Hospitality Suite.  This has been an issue of the last several years with strong supporters and detractors. The fee is intended to restrict use of the Hospitality Suite to only those that it is intended for.  Perhaps a better way of handling this is to eliminate the charge, but reduce the offerings of the Hospitality Suite so that it is not a magnet.

Having heard many stories about the suite, I decided to staff the suite with paid personnel.  We received only one comment about that, and I believe it spared volunteers a possible negative experience.

 

Program: The steering committee opted to not send out a program as a promotional mailer (instead it was available on the website). This was an opportunity to optimize the program for use on-site while in the past it had conflicting needs for the mailer and on-site uses. The major change was to organize the program by time with individual sub-books for each day included with a master book with core material (needed daily). Feedback was mixed perhaps in part due to the significant change. Much of the negative feedback was regarding the lack of an advance, mailed program, but this allowed the flexibility mentioned above and save a considerable amount of postage.   Other comments were regarding corner use-cases, but did not coalesce to a common, addressable need. There were many positive comments as well and overall we will claim it as a success. 

 

TPC:

 

Three Page Summaries: We asked for 3 page summaries in the call for papers, but allowed either 3 or 4 pages for the final paper. Past thinking was that academics would like to publish a short 3 page conference paper and reserve the balance of the content for a journal article. Our thinking was that other authors might prefer the longer format to provide a more complete write-up of work particularly where the IMS paper was to be the concluding publication. Feedback on this choice was very positive and surprisingly an informal check suggests that many (majority?) of the academic papers used 4 pages.

 

Double Blind Process: We opted to continue the double-blind submission as in past years. Our goal was to make reviewers unaware of authors and affiliations prior to the TPRC meeting (i.e., during the scoring process). We found that a very high percentage of authors failed to provide double-blind compliant submissions despite our many attempts to publicize the requirement and to include very specific guidelines and templates. Much more time than anticipated was required to request updates for double-blind compliance (and other things like paper-length and format). This is a very big effort, but it is hard to do in advance with the late arrival of most submissions.

 

Sub-Committee Paper Assignment: Authors were asked to provide three choices of sub-committees for review. A small percentage actually provided three distinct choices with many entering the same SC number for every choice or leaving a choice blank. This is an opportunity for more experienced authors to control their destiny and an opportunity for the inexperienced to get into a situation that hurts their prospects.

Submission numbers to the various sub-committees were very imbalanced. Two committees were split into two and we did try to level paper numbers by using the authors’ second choice and (very rarely) third choice of review committee.

A weakness of the leveling process is that it is very difficult to appreciate the nuances of all of the boundaries between committees. We did receive a report that a set of submissions were reviewed and accepted after being moved during leveling while the original committee reportedly would not have accepted them.

 

Author Affiliations: Reviewing final submissions for consistent author affiliations was a time consuming task for a large group of people with far from perfect results. There is no accurate list of correct affiliations and often variations occur so frequently that such a list may be only theoretical and never achievable. We were left wondering if this 20+ person-day exercise could have been omitted without significant impact.

 

QR Codes: We asked authors to use QR codes for IF talks to provide links to supporting websites. Examples and links to code readers for smart phones and tablets were supplied in the program book. This saw little use, but was a necessary sowing of seeds for the future.

 

11.6 IMS 2014 Innovations

New for IMS2014

  • IMS2014 STEM Program (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) – Goal: Introduce pre-college teenage students to Microwave Electronics technology /careers/ networking).
  • IMS Connect – Goal: develop technical interests in RF/wireless and encourage graduate school amongst junior/senior-level undergraduates in groups with minority representation in the field (including women, HBCU and MSI).
  • WAMICON / ARFTG Combined Conference Friday – to include Thursday evening WAMICON/ARFTG poster session/reception
  • Significantly enhanced attendee/exhibitor experience  - in areas of Kickoff Celebration, Sponsored Hospitality Suite and Ample Areas for Badge Cash use.

Comments, Suggestions and Recommendations

Plan Early

Among the suggestions is to start planning and organizing executive committee early and brainstorm on what you want to have as your “spin” or your unique value add to the IMS experience.

 

Team Building

Team building I would say is important as positive team dynamics and communication were something I think that IMS2014 SC and my job as chair benefitted from. Heck it was a fun, responsible and professional group of people Tom and I had the honor to work with in pulling off IMS2014.

 

IMS Committee Members

I like to call the WAMICON organizing committee a “loose collection of friends”. But among that collection are many real “get-er-done” types and I can say that about all of our executive committee, which also included some recruits like TPC co-chairs Sanjay Raman and Scott Barker from another circle of friends (affectionately known as “the Michigan Mafia”). They did an awesome job and I never worried about any aspect of the Technical Program.

 

Continuity Committee

Overall the continuation committee consisting of Amanda, Elsie and others at IEEE conference management, Bob Alongi and the MPA associates team, was a huge benefit and made my job as chair of IMS2014 much easier than I thought it would be. It is important to decide where you want volunteers to contribute and where you want the “autopilot” effect to kick in. By this I mean the continuity committee will make sure that things happen for the most part, but not necessarily in the style and way that you may have in mind without your committee being involved in that thing (whatever it is). So it is important to decide what is important and have a lot of communication. Sometimes you may need a sit-down and be very specific about what is important to you, what you

want to influence and what you are happy to have them “make happen” using their best judgment. Generally, all of the continuity team are very budget conscious and what you should seek is the best balance between the attendee experience of your vision and the doing so with due attention to the cost involved. The continuity team has the experience, in my view, to give you good input and trade-off scenarios. We did this a lot!

 

Budget

On budget I can say that between Jim Culver and Bob Alongi, with Elsie’s great experience negotiating with hotels and “right sizing” catering orders and selections we did excellent coming out very close to our original projections for revenues, expenses and margins. A special thanks this team and along with Amanda that formed an “inner circle” of sorts to try to keep our spending appropriate and on-track while accomplishing the attendee-minded mission we sought to accomplish.

 

Vice Chair

I want to especially thank Vice-Chair Tom Weller, who despite his usual “quiet performer” approach to things did an outstanding job as the Master of Ceremonies for the Opening and Closing sessions in addition to many other contributions including handling all the keynote speaker arrangements.

 

Conclusion

All our executive committee worked well together and the committee chair/co-chair teams really carried their weight in each area and helped us come through with what by many measures and comments was an excellent well run event. What was anticipated as a stress-filled week by some of us turned out to go surprisingly smooth and for me personally was a very rewarding, enjoyable and valuable experience.

 

Problems Encountered

Nothing significant

 

11.7 IMS2015 Innovations

 

1.      RF Boot Camp

a.       A one a special program was introduced for the first time

b.       Target Audience: Newcomers to the microwave world, such as new engineers fresh out of school, engineers changing their career path, and college students lacking practical experience.

c.       Topics:  Network Analysis; Modular Instruments; Signal Generation and Analysis; RF Simulation Fundamentals; Basic RF Analog Receiver Design and Analysis etc.

d.      Wednesday, May 20 from 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM

e.       Attendees receive pass to vendor exhibition hall and industry hosted reception

This was a huge success; about 100 attendees signed up

2.       ‘Bring a Friend’ Program 

a)      IMS2015 introduced this initiative to bring in new attendees to IMS.  This allowed any MTT-S member to bring a new attendee to IMS2015 at a discounted registration fee (50% reduction). About 150 new members made use of this program.

3.      Wearables and Wireless Pavilion

a.       Wearable Pavilion was opened at the Exhibit floor with the help of Industry Sponsors. Many wearable gadgets were exhibited and provided hands on experience for the attendees. According to post IMS survey it was one of the highly attended event

4.      Mind Controlled Race Car Experience

a.       For the first time a mind control car race was introduced at the exhibit floor. This was a very popular attraction. Many attendees participated in this race and a prize was awarded to the fastest driver.

5.      Student Experience Committee

a.       This new committee was formed at the IMS2015 chair staff level to provide better visibility to IMS programs that are related to students:  PhD Students to middle school students and also to promote diversity. Please see separate report on this elsewhere in this document.

6.      Ph.D Initiative- See details below

7.      IMS Connect- See details below

8.      Thursday: Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM )

a.       114 Middle School Students from 8 Schools in Arizona

9.      High School Science Invitational

a.       24 Projects,  66 students and Teachers

Details of some of these program are summarized below. More information could be found in the Student Experience committee report.

For MTT-S and IMS to attain the next level of growth it is necessary to attract students from universities and high schools to the technical fields of interest to MTT-S. It is equally important to promote diversity by facilitating participation of students from the under-represented minorities at IMS and by bringing in topics of interest to Women in Microwaves.

The IMS2015 team was very enthusiastic in supporting and expanding these programs. In order to give better visibility to this a new subcommittee called “Students Experience” was at the staff level.

 Separate programs to increase university and high school graduate participation and diversity were organized.

(a)     Student Paper Contest organized to solicit high quality papers authored by university graduate students.

(b)   A Student Design Competition to promote system design and demonstration by the students.

(c)     PhD student sponsorship Initiative, is sponsored jointly by MTT-S administrative committee (ADCOM), IMS2015 and RFIC2015. This program was offered to all 1st and 2nd year PhD students and Masters Students on PhD track worldwide. Students who meet the selection criteria were given complimentary hotel accommodation and registration to attend IMS.

(d)   Educational program ‘IMS Connect’ was also sponsored this year. The objective of IMS Connect is to increase the participation of students from underrepresented minorities in International Microwave Symposium, and better prepare them for careers in science and engineering. IMS2015 expanded this program that was started at IMS2014 by bringing in more students and increasing opportunities to participate. 

(e)    Additionally, two programs were organized on Thursday of the Microwave Week to encourage High School and Middle School students to take science and engineering as their major field of study.

                                            i.             STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). This program introduced students to the field of microwave engineering and technology through STEM-focused “day at a conference” experience.

                                          ii.            A second program initiated at IMS2015 is High School Student Science and Engineering Invitational.  The goal of this program is to showcase high school science & engineering talent of students studying in metropolitan Phoenix area. This one-day event provided opportunities to showcase students’ Science Fair Projects, to interact with engineers and graduate students and to experience a leading IEEE   conference like IMS. All the students participating in these two events were given a pass to go to the exhibit floor, talk with experts at the booth explaining operation of design tools and instruments and to meet with graduates showcasing university projects at the exhibit floor.  

(f)      To promote Diversity, IMS2015 Women in Microwave team organized a focused session and a panel session. Leading professionals practicing RF and microwave technologies presented technical papers during this session. This was followed by a panel session to discuss ‘Diversity in Microwaves – Let’s Talk about the Demographics!’

11.8 IMS2016 Innovations

Publicity & Publications                                                                                          

1  Introduced Marketing Videos (Click to view):

             What's Up With All The Wires,  The Gateway to the Wireless Future

    Videos for keynote speakers:

            Dr. Cooper  

            Dr. Truckhard

            Professor Rabley                                

2  Introduced  Marketing Posters and Brochures for the conference for local companies and events, as well as for distribution at other conferences.

3  Engaged Sales Rep in active marketing.

Provided  them necessary collateral to distribute. It included printed posters, brochures as well as a couple of ppt slides file. Some reps preferred only soft copies.  Gave them a code with which their customers could

get complimentary registration for exhibition and discount on conference registration.   One SC member should be designated to manage the publicity through sales reps exclusively (we did not have that).   

4 Designated a SC member to attend IEEE and non-IEEE meetings in the Bay Area and spread the word with a couple of slides & Brochures                                                                          

5 Printed Business Cards for IMS Chair and Key Sub-Committee Chairs.

                                                                                   

Technical Program

1  The TPC implemented new software for technical paper submission and review. Initiated the process from the outset - RFQs, review of bids and vendor selection.

Worked through the entire process working out the major issues and ironing out bugs that are present with any new implementation.       

2 Introduced Best Industry/Advance Practice Paper Competitions

3  Held workshop on Entrepreneurship

4 Introduced use of LED Monitors for open forum instead of posters.                                                                               

5 Rump Session on IoS                                                                                  

 

Exhibition Floor                                                                                           

1 Wireless Wonders Pavillion: A designated space to show consumer wireless products                                                                

2 IEEE Virtual reality demo                                                                          

3 Replaced "Beer with Steve Cripps" event to "Beer with Legends" on the exhibition floor, during exhibitord reception.                                                                               

4 Experimented with a booth for Apple for recruitment. Mixing recruitment formally with exhibition is not recommended.                                                                                   

 

Operations

1. Introduced Entertainment in Chair's dinner (An Illusionist)

11.8 IMS2017 Innovations

 

The 2017 IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society (IEEE MTT-S) International Microwave Symposium (IMS2017) was held 4–9 June 2017 in Honolulu, HI, USA.

This was the 60th year that MTT-S has organized this symposium, but only the second time that it was held off of the North American continent – the first time being 2007 when it was also in Hawaii.

Hawaii has a unique role in the history of radio and wireless technologies. The Opana Radar Station on O‘ahu was the site of the first operational use of radar by the US in wartime, detecting the first wave of Japanese warplanes en route to-ward the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941. Thirty years later, in 1971, the University of Hawaii demonstrated ALOHAnet – the first public demonstration of a wireless packet data net-work connecting computers via radio communications.

 

The theme for IMS2017 – “Hawai‘i 5G: Catch the Wave” – built on this proud heritage while looking forward to the cut-ting-edge technology and research presented at this year’s conference, particularly those related to fifth-generation (5G) wireless technologies.

 

Attendees from around the globe caught the wave while enjoying outstanding weather and experiencing the aloha spirit in this world-renowned destination. Numerous activities included 85 technical sessions (an all-time high in the 60-year history of IMS), 5 panels, and 66 workshops (another all-time high); an exhibition featuring 449 companies; the inaugural IMS Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Competition; the IEEE 5G Summit and the 5G Executive Forum and Reception; the Stu-dent Design,  Student Paper, Industry Paper, and Advanced Practice Paper Competitions; MicroApps, RF Boot Camp, and the first-ever IMS Exhibitor Workshops; networking events for Young Professionals and Women in Microwaves; Project Connect and a STEM program for middle school and select high school students; and the first-ever IMS Hackathon.

 

As always, the highlight of the conference was the Technical Program, representing the latest advances in the state of the art in microwave theory and techniques, presented by a truly international array of speakers. A total of 1081 papers from 42 countries were submitted to the IMS2017 Technical Program Committee (TPC), chaired by Olga Boric-Lubecke and Ryan Miyamoto. Of those submissions, 562 papers were accepted (a 52% acceptance rate) for presentation in podium and interactive-forum settings. These conference papers were carefully reviewed and selected by 270 dedicated members of the IMS2017 Technical Paper Review Committee through a double-blind review process. All of the conference papers are available for download on IEEE Xplore.

 

The IMS2017 Steering Committee – consisting of the Technical Program, Marketing / Promotion / Publicity / Publications, Local Arrangements and Operations, and Focus Groups Committees – were composed of ~100 dedicated volunteers, ~60% of whom were Young Professionals and students. IMS2017 was a success due to the tireless efforts of these Steering Committee volunteers and dedicated support staff.

 

 

WAYNE SHIROMA, IMS2017 General Chair

Department of Electrical Engineering

University of Hawai‘i at Manoa

Honolulu, HI 96822 USA

                       

13. Conclusion

 

After reading this section you should have a good idea of the major structure of the International Microwave Symposium. The following sections will have much more detail on the procedures and guidelines recommended by past Steering Committee members. Local Steering Committee members should carefully read the sections  that pertain to them and use the information as a starting point for questions to solidify their understanding of their tasks.

 

 

13. IMS Recent Reports

13.1 IMS2007

IMS2007_GiftFinalReport.doc

IMS2007_UniversityExhibitsFinalReport.doc

IMS2007_UniversityExhibits.xls

UniversityExhibitsHorizonHouseLetter.pdf

UniversityExhibitors_2006.xls

UniversityExhibits2003_2005.xls

University Exhibits Email List2007.xls

UniversityExhibitsRequest2007.doc

 

13.2 IMS2008

IMS2008_Reports\Exhibitor Support.doc

IMS2008_Reports\IMS08_Letterhead.doc

IMS2008_Reports\IMS2008UniversityExhibiitForm.jpg

IMS2008_Reports\UniversityLetterFINAL.doc

 

13.3 IMS2010

IMS2010_Reports\ARFTG 2010 - Anaheim Hilton specs (with Catering 4-22-10).xls

IMS2010_Reports\AWARDS DINNER AND ENTERTAINMENT Final Report.doc

IMS2010_Reports\CHAIRMANS DINNER Final Report.doc

IMS2010_Reports\GUEST PROGRAM Final Report.doc

IMS2010_Reports\HAM RADIO SOCIAL Final Report.doc

IMS2010_Reports\HISTORICAL BOOTH Final Report.doc

IMS2010_Reports\HOSPITALITY SUITE Final Report.doc

IMS2010_Reports\IMS 2010 Audit Report-2.pdf

IMS2010_Reports\IMS Chairman 2010 Final Report.doc

IMS2010_Reports\IMS2010 Final Report - ARFTG (rev 2).doc

IMS2010_Reports\INTERACTIVE FORUM FinalReport.doc

IMS2010_Reports\INTERNATIONAL LIAISON Final Report.doc

IMS2010_Reports\Microwave Magazine Special Issue.doc

IMS2010_Reports\PANEL SESSIONS Final Report.doc

IMS2010_Reports\PHOTOGRAPHY  Final Report.doc

IMS2010_Reports\PLENARY SESSION Final Report.doc

IMS2010_Reports\PUBLICITY AND PUBLICATIONS  Final Report.doc

IMS2010_Reports\REGISTRATION Final Report.doc

IMS2010_Reports\RFIC Summary for IMS2010.doc

IMS2010_Reports\Setup_ Arftg Exhibits.pdf

IMS2010_Reports\INTERACTIVE FORUM FinalReport.doc

IMS2010_Reports\INTERNATIONAL LIAISON Final Report.doc

IMS2010_Reports\Microwave Magazine Special Issue.doc

IMS2010_Reports\PANEL SESSIONS Final Report.doc

IMS2010_Reports\PHOTOGRAPHY  Final Report.doc

IMS2010_Reports\PLENARY SESSION Final Report.doc

IMS2010_Reports\PUBLICITY AND PUBLICATIONS  Final Report.doc

IMS2010_Reports\REGISTRATION Final Report.doc

IMS2010_Reports\RFIC Summary for IMS2010.doc

IMS2010_Reports\Setup_ Arftg Exhibits.pdf

IMS2010_Reports\SHORT COURSES Final Report.doc

IMS2010_Reports\STUDENT PAPER COMPETITIONS Final Report.doc

IMS2010_Reports\TECHNICAL PAPER PROGRAM Final Report.doc

IMS2010_Reports\UNIVERSITY EXHIBITION BOOTHS Final Report.doc

IMS2010_Reports\VIP PROTOCOL Final Report.doc

IMS2010_Reports\WEBSITE Final Report.doc

IMS2010_Reports\WOMEN IN ENGINEERING Final Report.doc

IMS2010_Reports\WORKSHOP Final Report.doc

 

13.4 IMS2011

IMS2011_Reports\General_Chairs_Final_Report.doc

IMS2011_Reports\IMS11TaskSchedule_gh1.xls

IMS2011_Reports\IMS2011_Chair_Presentation_to_AdCom_14Jan2012.ppt

IMS2011_Reports\IMS2011_Presentation_Chair_Awards_Banquet.ppt

IMS2011_Reports\IMS2011_Presentation_Chair_Closing_Ceremony.ppt

IMS2011_Reports\IMS2011_Presentation_Chair_Plenary.ppt

IMS2011_Reports\IMS2011_Special_Events_Cue_Lists8June2011.xls

IMS2011_Reports\IMS2011_Steering_Committee.xls

IMS2011_Reports\IMS2011ADCOM_DinnerBook.pdf

IMS2011_Reports\IMS2011AwardsBanquetBooklet.pdf

IMS2011_Reports\IMS2011ClosingCeremonyBooklet.pdf

IMS2011_Reports\IMS2011PlenarySessionBooklet.pdf

IMS2011_Reports\IMS2011StudentAwardsBooklet.pdf

IMS2011_Reports\IMS2011_Program_Book.pdf

 

13.5 IMS2012

IMS2012_Reports\AwardsBanquet-FNL-forweb.pdf

IMS2012_Reports\ClosingCeremony-FNL-forweb.pdf

IMS2012_Reports\General_Chair_Final_Report.docx

IMS2012_Reports\General_Chair_Message_Microwave_Magazine.pdf

IMS2012_Reports\IMS2012_Benefits_Presentation.pptx

IMS2012_Reports\IMS2012_five_slides_AD_Apr2012_v4.pptx

IMS2012_Reports\IMS2012_June_22_Montreal.pptx

IMS2012_Reports\IMS2012_June_22_Montreal_a.pptx

IMS2012_Reports\IMS2012_one_slide_AD_Apr2012_v4.pptx

IMS2012_Reports\IMS2012_Program_at_a_Glance_FINAL.pdf

IMS2012_Reports\IMS2012_ProgramBook_Round9_Final_Apr4_2012.pdf

IMS2012_Reports\IMS2012Presentation_Closing_Chair_v1.pptx

IMS2012_Reports\IMS2012Presentation_Plenary_Chair_v3.pptx

IMS2012_Reports\plenarysession-FNL-forweb.pdf

IMS2012_Reports\What'sNew_Microwave_Magazine.pdf

IMS2012_Reports\IMS2012_Benefits_Presentation.pptx

 

13.6 IMS2015

IMS2015_Reports\IMS2015_chair_Magazine_article_Vijay.pdf

IMS2015_Reports\IMS2015_chair_MWJournal.pdf

IMS2015_Reports\IMS2015_chair_Repor_Vijay.docx

IMS2015_Reports\IMS2015_chair_welcome_final.pdf

IMS2015_Reports\IMS2015_chair_welcome_revised.docx

IMS2015_Reports\IMS2015_chair_writeup _Magazine_Final_Vijay.docx

IMS2015_Reports\IMS2015_FallAdcomUpdates_final .pptx

IMS2015_Reports\IMS2015_May ADCOM_Updates_VN.pptx

IMS2015_Reports\IWS2015summaryadcom.ppt

IMS2015_Reports\IMS2015_Plenary _Updates_Vijay_1.pptx

IMS2015_Reports\IWS2015summaryadcom.ppt

IMS2015_Reports\IWS2016summarymspreso.ppt

IMS2015_Reports\Presentation1_Tampa2014.ppt

IMS2015_Reports\Timeline_for_IMS_Steering_Committee.doc

IMS2015_Reports\IMS2015PlenarySessionsReport.docx

IMS2015_Reports\IMS2015_Closing_Ceremony_Slides.pptx

 

13.7 IMS2016

IMS2016_Reports\2016_IMS_KeynotePoster_Print.pdf

IMS2016_Reports\AmateurRadioActivities-IMS2016.docx

IMS2016_Reports\general_chair_welcome_web-PaulK-LT.docx

IMS2016_Reports\IMS2016_Brochure_Print.pdf

IMS2016_Reports\IMS2016YoungProfessionalActivities.docx

IMS2016_Reports\InteractiveForumreport_IMS2016-part1.docx

IMS2016_Reports\InteractiveForumreport_IMS2016-part2.pdf

IMS2016_Reports\Khanna_HighFrequencyElectronicsApril16.docx

IMS2016_Reports\Khanna_IMS2016_ADCOM_Presenttaion_May22_16.pptx

IMS2016_Reports\Khanna_IMS2016_KickOff_May21_2016.pptx

IMS2016_Reports\Khanna_IMS2016_STEM_Presentation.pptx

IMS2016_Reports\M&RF_Article__April2016.pdf

IMS2016_Reports\Microwave_Magazine_Article_April2016.pdf

IMS2016_Reports\MicrowaveJournal_April2016.docx

IMS2016_Reports\WebBlog_May2016_HistoricallySpeaking.docx

 

13.8 IMS2017

IMS2017_Reports\IMS2017 Innovations.docx

 

 

 

14. Multiyear IMS History Statistics

MultiyearIMSHistory\collection_of_logos_and_themes.docx

MultiyearIMSHistory\IMS_location_history.docx

MultiyearIMSHistory\IMS_Symposium_Statistics.xls

MultiyearIMSHistory\Multiyear_IMS_Exhibit_booth_month_to_month_booking.xlsx

MultiyearIMSHistory\Multiyear_IMS_Exhibit_Royalty_Analysis.xlsx

MultiyearIMSHistory\Multiyear_IMS_gift_history.xlsx

MultiyearIMSHistory\Multiyear_IMS_hotel_stats.xlsx

MultiyearIMSHistory\Multiyear_IMS_Key_People.xlsx

MultiyearIMSHistory\Multiyear_IMS_Registration_Fee_Charts.xlsx

MultiyearIMSHistory\Multiyear_IMS_Registration_History.xlsx

MultiyearIMSHistory\Multiyear_IMS_student_paper_competition_winners.docx

MultiyearIMSHistory\Multiyear_IMS_TPC_statistics.xlsx

MultiyearIMSHistory\Multiyear_IMS_Weekly_Registration_tracking.xlsx

MultiyearIMSHistory\Multiyear_IMS_Workshop_stats.xlsx

MultiyearIMSHistory\Multiyear_IMS_Financial_History.xlsx

MultiyearIMSHistory\collection_of_logos_and_themes.docx