Chapter D1


IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Symposium

Guidelines and Procedures Manual


Prepared by Tom Ruttan

Reviewed by Barry Perlman

Table of Contents

1.      Purpose and Duties

2.      Suggested Membership Structure

3.      Timeline of Events

4.      Description of Events

5.      Problems Encountered

6.      Suggestions and Recommendations

7.      Conclusion

8.      Recent IMS Reports
8.1. IMS2003

8.2    IMS2004

8.3    IMS2005

8.4    IMS2006

8.5    IMS2008

8.6    IMS2009

8.7    IMS2010

8.8    IMS2011

8.9    IMS2012



9.  Multiyear Workshop Statistics



1. Purpose and Duties

The purpose of the Workshop Committee Chair(s) is to organize and coordinate the IMS Workshops and related publications.

Duties include:

·         Recruiting if the Workshop Committee (WC) members.

·         Overall management and coordination of the Workshop Committee (WC) activities.

·         Provide periodic status reports and coordinate activity with the TPC Chair(s)

·         Develop a strategy and policy for determining the workshop focus areas and selection criteria.

·         Generating information and insuring distribution of the Workshop call for proposals in the IMS Call for Papers.

·         Work directly with relevant MTT Technical Committee Chairs (TCC) and TCC Chair for help and guidance with determining workshop/tutorial topics and potential Workshop Organizers (WO).

·         Work with the IMS Webmaster to insure that the Workshop Submission System (WSS) (that is typically part of the TPC Paper Submission System (PSS)) is working properly for the Workshop proposals and the individual workshop presentations.

·         Create a guide for Workshop Organizers (WO) and presenters with all necessary information and insure it is put on the IMS website.

·         Interact with potential WO to supply them with information, encouragement and presenter recruitment ideas.

·         Screen and validate the workshop proposals with the WC and TPC members and select the final workshops and tutorials.

·         Coordinate input on the workshop proposals and solicit proposals from the relevant MTT Technical Committee Chair (TCC) and the RFIC TPC.

·         Coordinate the submission of the workshop presentation with the WO to insure they meet the deadlines, have the correct mix of presenters and that the content is acceptable for IMS.

·         Develop a statement of work, select suppliers (typically the CDROM supplier is the same as used for the Symposium digest) and obtain price quotations for the CDROM and workshop notes.

·         Work with the suppliers, TPC Webmaster and WO to compile all the workshop/tutorial presentations from the WSS files for the Workshop CDROM and Workshop notes.  This includes obtaining signed permission-to-publish forms from all the presenters.

·         Provide budget estimates and final cost information to the TPC Chair(s) for all Workshop expenses.

·         Provide information on Workshop/Tutorial descriptions, abstracts, presenter detail and all other necessary information to Horizon House and the Publications subcommittee for inclusion in the IMS advanced program and digest.

·         Develop and negotiate Workshop/Tutorial conference room availability and size with the appropriate IEEE and conference center representatives.  This is an ongoing process that begins with a rouge estimate when the initial Workshop/Tutorial proposals are submitted to a finalization based on registration numbers the day before (or sometimes the day of) the beginning of the Workshops.

·         Insures the final deadline and deliveries are met for the CDROM Workshop digests and the Workshop notes.

2. Suggested Membership Structure

  • WC Chair(s)
    Coordinates the activities of the WC; insures the key milestones are met; insures good link up and coordination with the TPC and other IMS groups; reports progress to TPC Chair(s); and fills in whatever capacity is needed.
  • Publicity Coordinator
    Insures Workshops are publicized in all appropriate IMS publications; communicates and coordinates information exchange between WO, WC, presenters, TPC, TCC; communicates acceptance/rejection notices of Workshop/Tutorial proposals; provides any other needed communication between individuals and groups to insure the success of the Workshops; reviews and provides inputs on the Workshop proposals and presentations.
  • Workshop Publication Editor
    Works with WO to get their material in on time and with proper content and format; work with the CDROM and Workshop notes suppliers to coordinate their production; insure the Workshop digest and notes are published and distributed on time; reviews and provides inputs on the Workshop proposals and presentations; this is a very big job that requires someone that will be committed to this task, particularly during the publication deadlines prior to IMS.
  • Workshop Day Owners (3)
    One person assigned to each of the Workshop days (Sunday, Monday and Friday) to coordinate logistics with the respective WO; provide guidance and assistance to the WO; insure the Workshops/Tutorials are successfully presented during the Symposium; reviews and provides inputs on the Workshop proposals and presentations.
  • MTT TCC Representatives
    One or more TCC representatives to provide guidance and support to the WC to identify workshop topics, WO prospects and review of workshop proposals and content.

3. Timeline of Events

Most of the WC activities were linked to the TPC activities and deadlines, but here is a more detailed look at the WC deliverables:

Time (before IMS)    Task

24 months                   Attend IMS and shadow their Steering Committee

~17 months                 Workshop Committee members signed up 

14 months                   First Call for Papers ready to go to press w/ Workshop/Tutorial suggested categories

12 months                   TPC June meeting

12 months                   WC members shadow their WC at IMS

12 months                   Finalize the WC membership

9 months                     Workshop proposals submitted

8 months                     Workshop proposals selected

8 months                     TPC membership finalized

7 months                     PSS ready for paper submissions

6 months                     Workshop schedule finalized, including commit list of presenters and all presentation abstracts

4 months                     Workshop inputs for Advanced Program complete

3 months                     All material ready for Workshop notes and CDROM printers

5 weeks                       Final Workshop notes/CDROM proofs reviewed

2 weeks                       Workshop notes and CDROMs ready to ship to Convention Center

During IMS                 Coordination, attend meetings and parties, handoff

3 months after IMS     Final report complete


4. Description of Events

  • Initial Planning and Learning the Tasks
    Early discussions with prior year’s Workshop Chair and committee members is very useful.  There usually a lot of general concepts and ideas that can help to understand what needs to be done and to identify some of the pitfalls.  Shadowing the WC members for the prior IMS is also very helpful.  One can get a general idea of the size of the tasks and how well the workshops are organized and executed.  I found that this was where I formulated a number of my core ideas and determined what worked well and where changes needed to be made to improve the process.  This also takes some of the mystery and ambiguity out of the job, since one gets a much more tangible concept of the tasks ahead by observing your predecessor’s in action.   Recruiting as many of the WC members by this time to attend this IMS is also very beneficial so that the team has had the same experiences.
  • Identify Workshop Categories and Solicit Proposals
    It is important to get the WC together as early as possible to brainstorm ideas and develop a list of topics or categories for workshops and tutorials.  This will draw form the collective experiences of all the WC members to come up with timely and relevant topics.  Many of the topics will be carried over from year to year, based on the desires of the various MTT technical committees (TC) and the popularity of the subjects.  We felt that it was important to open this up to draw in new ideas and subjects to compliment the more traditional categories.  By opening this up, we were able to get a large number of proposals and some new topics that were very relevant to the industry for the time period for IMS 2002.  Traditionally many of the workshop proposals come from the Technical Committee Chairs (TCC’s) and this remains as a key source of proposals, but we found it was also productive to solicit proposals from other sources, such as WC member industry contacts, and of course, from the Call for Papers.  The process that we used also called for the authors of the workshop proposals to try to get sponsorship from one or more of the MTT TC’s .  This did not always happen and we did not automatically reject a proposal just because it did not have a TC sponsor.  We also worked with the RFIC TPC to gather and integrate their proposals into this workshop effort.
  • Screening and Selecting the Workshop/Tutorial Proposals
    The first task, of course is to receive enough proposals so that there is enough to choose from to make good selections.  The process outlined in the previous section should hopefully yield enough proposals.  In our case, we had enough so that we had about a 50% acceptance rate.  Part of this selection process is to determine how many workshop and tutorial slots are available.  This determination was made in discussions with the WC, IMS TPC, RFIC TPC, and an assessment of number of available conference rooms at the Convention Center.
    A key resource for this and the completion of all the presentation material was the Workshop Submission System (WSS) and the interaction with the Webmaster who owns this.  It is critical that this system is set up and functioning properly 4-6 weeks prior to the proposal deadline.  This is well in advance of the Paper Submission System (PSS) for the IMS papers, but will use basically the same structure.  We worked very hard in the with the Webmaster 10-11 months before IMS to design and debug all the features necessary for the workshops.
    The criteria we used to select the proposals was based on 1) technical merit; 2) perceived symposium attendees interest level; 3) fit within the scope and technical topics of IMS and RFIC; 4) credibility of the proposal, i.e. is this a credible proposal based on abstract, endorsements, speaker list and breadth of companies represented?; 5) would the evaluator attend this workshop or tutorial?  In addition to the WC, other reviewers were some IMS TPC members and the RFIC TPC.  I attempted to get inputs from the relevant TCC’s for the proposals that did not have a sponsor, but only received responses from about 40% of those asked.
  • Material Ready for Workshop Notes and CDROM Printers
    This was probably the hardest task of the entire effort.  Critical ingredients to make this work properly included 1) a well functioning WSS; this worked very well for us and made is possible to review and compile all the material in the required time (the Workshops/Tutorials was like a good size conference by itself with approximately 250 presentations spread over 27 workshops and 3 tutorials); 2) A dedicated Workshop Publication Editor (and others on the WC willing to put the time in); this requires many hours of reviewing editing and compiling to have everything ready for the production deadline; 3) CDROM supplier with the knowledge and willingness to help with this task.

    Leading up to the reviewing, editing and compiling this material was getting the workshop and tutorial presenters to submit their presentations on time.  The majority of the WO owners did an excellent job of managing their presenters and meeting the submission deadline, but as usual, the 80-20 rule applies.  20% of the presentations took 80% of the time.  Motivating and cajoling the delinquent authors and WO’s to respond and meet the deadline was the most frustrating and difficult part of this whole experience.  In order to publish the presentations in the CDROM for distribution to the workshop attendees, each author was required to sign a permission to publish form.  This proved to be a fairly difficult logistics problem, and also required last minute cajoling of some authors in order to include their material in the CDROM.  In the end, there were only a very few presentations that did not make it into the CDROM or workshop notes.
  • IMS Show
    Once the material had been submitted for CDROM and workshop notes printing, most of the work was done.  There was a lot of coordination required in the TPC meetings in the 2-3 month leading up to IMS to insure that there was enough conference rooms of the correct size assigned to the workshops and tutorials at the Convention Center.  We monitored the admission numbers prior to and during IMS, and some last minute, on site room assignment adjustments had to be made.

    One of our biggest concerns at IMS was insuring that the workshop notes and CDROM digests were delivered to the Convention Center on time.  This required frequent communications with the suppliers, shippers and customs (our CDROM where produced in Australia) to solve any last minute problems and insure on time delivery.  When the material was delivered, we coordinated the distribution with the Convention Center personnel and the team of IMS volunteers so that the CDROM’s were delivered to the registration area and the proper workshop notes were delivered each morning and afternoon to the workshops and tutorials.

5. Problems Encountered

·         The biggest problem we face was delinquent and unresponsive presentation authors.  There were only a few that caused the problems, but they required a tremendous amount of time and effort.  We had deadlines, that we driven by the production deadlines for the workshop notes and CDROM digest, but we wanted to get as many of the presentations into publication as possible.  Perhaps enforcing the deadlines more aggressively with stern warnings to the authors ahead of time might have helped.

·         Final review and compiling of the material for publication took a lot of effort.  This was made easier by the WSS and electronic correspondent in general, but the burden fell mostly on the Workshop Publication Editor and the CDROM supplier.  Perhaps a better way to do this would be similar to the IMS paper review at the January TPC meeting where all the WC members and the CDROM supplier meet for a day and complete the final editing and compiling.  This would spread the work over more people in a focused, concentrated time frame.

·         Since the CDROM’s were produced by an off shore supplier, we had to deal with US customs for the CDROM delivery.  The supplier did a good job in managing this process and was mostly a smooth process, but two of the shipments were delayed in customs in the last week before IMS due to a paperwork problem.


6. Suggestions and Recommendations

·         The electronic submission system is essential for success of this project.  Start early and work closely with the Webmaster to insure all the features are in the system for ease of submission and ease of access by the WC.  Test the system thoroughly prior to use.

·         Track the shipments of the CDROM and workshop notes to the Convention Center carefully and proactively.  Make sure you know where they are and how they are getting to the destination.  Allow enough time for the shipping to accommodate unanticipated problems.

·         Choose the Workshop Committee members carefully.  This is difficult since it is a volunteer activity, but try to recruit and pick people you know and have worked with previously.  The Publicity and Publication editor are particularly key positions.  Both of these positions require dedicated and reliable people.  The Publicity person will do a lot of the communications and interactions (along with the WC Chair) up front at the beginning of the project (usually until the presentation material has been submitted) and the Publications Editor has a very big job and the end.  In the case of the IMS2002 WC, there were excellent people in these jobs and it made the WC Chair’s job much easier.

·         Remember that this is an all-volunteer team, and everyone is there because they want to help and contribute to the success of IMS.  It is a big job that requires a lot of organization and coordination, but it should be a fun and rewarding experience for everyone.  It helps to stay on top of things, anticipate as much as possible, and motivate in a positive manor and with a sense of humor.

·         Establish good relationships and communication links with the other members of the TPC.  They will be a great source of help and guidance through this project.

7. Conclusion

The Workshop Committee Chair was a very time consuming and demanding job.  I found it to be very rewarding because of: 1) the sense of accomplishment of successfully completing a challenging task; 2) working with and getting to know a lot of very talented people; 3) establishing new professional contacts in the industry; and 4) making an important contribution to the profession.

8. Recent IMS Reports

8.1 IMS2003


8.2 IMS2004

IMS2004 Workshop_Slide_Guidelines_v5.ppt

Workshop Statistics 2004-5.xls

Workshop Statistics 2004-5-11.xls

Workshop Statistics 2004-8.xls

Workshops 2004 11-03 Update Rev 03.ppt

Workshop-Tutorial-Daily Final+1.xls


B&W PDF File Creation Rev1b.pdf

8.3 IMS2005



8.4 IMS2006









IMS2006_Reports\Website_Material Submission_200X.doc



8.5 IMS2008

IMS2008_Reports\IMS08 WS Analysis-Comments_WS09.pdf

IMS2008_Reports\IMS08 WS-TCC-Organizers_emails .pdf


8.6 IMS2009








8.7 IMS2010

IMS2010_Reports\WORKSHOP Final Report.doc

8.8 IMS2011


8.9 IMS2012



8.10 IMS2015















IMS2015_Reports\IMS2015_Workshop_Detailed_Reports\IMS2015_Slide Template_Workshops_Logo_Lower_Left_corner_10Feb2015.pptx


IMS2015_Reports\IMS2015_Workshop_Detailed_Reports\Instructions_for_ Finalizing_IMS_2015_Workshop_Presentations.pdf









8.11 IMS2017

IMS2017_Reports\2200 Dive into IMS2017 Workshops and Short Courses!.pdf

IMS2017_Reports\2230 IMS2017 RF Boot Camp.pdf

IMS2017_Reports\6300.1 New for IMS2017 - Exhibitor Workshops.pdf

IMS2017_Reports\6300.2 IMS2017_Exhibitor_Workshops_Schedule_and_Abstracts.pdf





9.0 Multiyear Workshop Statistics