Chapter G10

Guest Program

IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Symposium

Guidelines and Procedures Manual


Prepared by Mike Florian and Dorothy C. Sparks

Reviewed by Dorothy C. Sparks

Table of Contents

1.     Major Guest Program Milestones

2.     Tour Program

2.1.  Selection of Tour Company

2.2.  Notification of Tours

3.     Guest Program Hospitality Suite

3.1.  Location, Amenities and Staffing

3.2.  Refreshments

3.3.  Sinage

4.     Special Event for Spouses

5.     IMS Recent Reports

5.1.  IMS2003

5.2.  IMS2004

5.3.  IMS2005

5.4.  IMS2008

5.5.  IMS2010

5.6.  IMS2011

5.7.  IMS2013

1. Major Guest Program Milestones


  • As soon as Steering Committee is formed, one or preferably two individuals should be chosen to oversee all aspects of Guest Program and to act as representatives to Steering Committee.
  • Tasks should be broken down with one responsible for Tours and other responsible for Hospitality Suite.
  • Decision should be made early whether or not to use a Destination Management Company, engaging services of IEEE personnel or to rely on volunteers. In the event a Destination Management Company is chosen, it will be necessary to coordinate with the Local Arrangements Committee relative to need for bus service from hotels to conference sites, tours and special events To avoid excess management fees by Tour Companies, find one that will take full responsibility for all costs with no charge to Conference (i.e outsource this activity). If any contracts are anticipated, any that exceed $25,000.00 must be signed off by IEEE.
  • As date of Symposium nears, other individuals should be asked to serve on the Tours and Hospitality Suite sub-committees as needed.
  • Decide whether or not you wish to send out an advance mailing to usual Guest Program Attendees. Survey for names, addresses and e-mail information can be obtained at prior Symposia as well as suggestions for tours.

2. Tour Program

2.1. Selection of Tour Company

  1. Three to four years prior to Symposium begin interviewing not less than three Tour Companies and/or Destination Management Companies.
  2. Have a list of specific questions as to tour suggestions, lead time needed to arrange tours as some must be arranged a year or more in advance. Also ascertain all fees and services to be included in contract especially bus service for tours, and that a competent and knowledgeable guide will be available on each bus.
  3. At least two years prior to Symposium obtain from tour companies a comprehensive list of tours they suggest. Using this information, survey attendees at current Symposia to see what may be of most interest to them at your particular location.
  4. Based on information obtained from survey, choose Tour Company that will best meet needs. Make sure chosen Tour Company is FLEXIBLE and can reduce or increase number of buses as needed. You buy the bus whether or not it is full and it may be necessary to cap sale of tickets.
  5. Make sure you get a detailed contract, including a breakdown of costs for fees and services, from Tour Company. Have it reviewed by Local Arrangements Chair and if approved, signed by appropriate individual.
  6. Buses should be air conditioned with windows that are large and easily accessible. Rest rooms should be available on buses for all day tours, and if possible, consider availability of snacks/beverages.
  7. The price of tours should reflect any additions of food and beverages. It is customary to include lunch on all-day tours. Half-day tours without lunch may be offered to keep expenses down for individuals not wishing to take full-day tours. Luncheon menus should be kept light and simple. Vegetarian meals should also be available for those requesting them.
  8. Bus travel should not exceed 1-1/2 hours in one direction.
  9. To give guests time to prepare for evening events, tours should be timed to return not later than 4:00 PM, especially on the day of the banquet.
  10. Tours should be purchased through the Advance Registration Form. Requests subsequent to this should take place only in the general registration area at the Convention Center. The Hospitality Suite is not equipped to handle ticket sales, though information should be available.
  11. Tours generally run Monday through Thursday. For those arriving for weekend-events, a half-day Tour on Sunday can be arranged.

2.2 Notification of Tours

  1. Track deadlines for Advance Program printing. Make sure there is an adequate description including how much walking, duration of tour, special details. Tour Company should provide you with detailed description of tours. You will have to edit to fit space allotted in program. If possible, the Symposium Advance Registration Software should allow you to track names and number of Guests signing up for tours. This will allow you to cap a tour if necessary. Additionally if the Symposium attendee has not picked up his/her registration packet prior to Sunday, having name of tour attendee available is helpful if they do not yet have tour ticket.
  2. Tour numbers will not be very useful until 3-4 weeks prior to Symposium.
  3. Deadlines are also necessary for those writing the Registration Forms to include your tour selections on the form.
  4. If any Evening Tours are offered, decide early to provide descriptions and costs for Advanced Program and to become part of the Registration Form.

3. Guest Program Hospitality Suite

3.1. Location, Amenities and Staffing

  1. The Hospitality Suite should be located in the same hotel from which tours depart.
  2. The room chosen should be attractive, well lighted, with an overview of the city and of ample size to accommodate at least 10 round tables seating 10 with additional chairs available.
  3. Centerpieces for the tables should be attractive and long-lasting. Dish gardens are a suggestion or anything that would provide local color.
  4. The buffet tables should be situated so that attendees can move freely along both sides to avoid congestion. Other tables for tea/coffee service and toaster should be located away from main buffet table.
  5. Hours are 7:30 AM 4:30 PM Sunday through Friday.
  6. A sign-in table should be located at the entrance to the Hospitality Suite. Guests should sign-in both in the morning and in the afternoon when returning from tours. Include number of adults and children attending. This is necessary to track consumption of refreshments so that the hotel does not over charge and to provide attendance figures for the Steering Committee and future Symposia. This table is also an ideal location to obtain survey information for future Symposia Guest Programs.
  7. Guest Program Badges should be checked to prevent unauthorized persons from using the Hospitality Suite. This area is for Guests only. However, exceptions can be made for engineers wishing to have breakfast with their families instead of at the Convention Center where breakfast is generally provided to members of the MTT Society.
  8. A separate area in the Hospitality Suite should be set aside for a Kids Korner including a TV with video tapes, comfortable sofa and/or chairs, story and coloring books, crayons, etc.
  9. Another area should include a few computers for e-mail only to Guest Families. These computers should not be used for business purposes, nor should they be used by children.
  10. Volunteer Local Hostesses should be on hand at the sign-in table at all times. It is helpful to have two assigned for mornings from 7:00 AM Noon and two others assigned from Noon to 4:30 PM. One Hostess on each shift should be responsible for re-ordering refreshments as necessary. A representative from the Tour Company could also be on hand if there is no additional charge.
  11. Information, maps and brochures for area attractions as well as public transportation schedules should also be available. If a Hostess is unable to answer specific questions, Guests can be directed to Hotel Concierge.

3.2. Refreshments

  1. Approximately two weeks prior to the Symposium the Hotel will require menu selections and expected attendance. Reordering is more costly than placing order ahead of time. They will probably require 24-48 hours notice of any major increase or decrease in requirements. The figures from the Advance Registration should be somewhat helpful.
  2. A Continental Breakfast is served in the morning usually consisting of carafes of fruit juice, bagels and cream cheese (regular and lo-fat), some muffins or pastry. On high attendance days (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) the addition of assorted cold cereals and Dannon or Columbo Yogurt and whole fresh fruit is appreciated. Regular and decaf coffee, tea and bottled water should be offered daily.
  3. For Afternoon Snacks, which should not serve as a lunch substitute, serve cookies, brownies, assorted soft drinks, bottled iced tea, bottled water, regular and decaf coffee and tea and whole fruit. On high attendance days you could also have specialty snacks such as popcorn, ice cream pretzels or local specialties.
  4. You should not be charged by hotel for any unopened items such as bottled water, bottled ice teas, sodas, yogurt, ice cream bars, etc.

3.3 Signage

  1. It is extremely important to have adequate signs directing Guest Program attendees to the Hospitality Suite. These signs should give location and hours of operation.
  2. Other signs needed to list Tours, departure and return times as well as signs directing Guests to tour departure areas.
  3. These signs should remain in place throughout the week.
  4. In the event the Hospitality Suite is moved on Friday to another location due to fewer attendees expected, signage should be provided for this as well.

4. Special Event for Spouses


It has been customary for the spouse of the Symposium Chair to host a special event for spouses during the Saturday evening AdCom meeting prior to the IMS Symposium. The list should include spouses of:

  • AdCom elected members
  • AdCom committee members
  • Former MTT-S presidents
  • Chair/Co-chair of Guest Program for former year
  • Prior and present IMS chair
  • Present local arrangements committee


This has been the custom for many years. In 2003, the AdCom meeting is being held on Saturday afternoon, with the AdCom reception and dinner in the early evening in 2003. This then left the evening open for AdCom members except those who would be attending special meetings. In 2003, the IMS Local Steering IMS Committee was not informed to this change and the special event notices for spouses and arrangements were already made. In the future, based on the time of the AdCom meeting, a special event should be arranged for the spouses to coincide with the timing of the AdCom meeting. If the AdCom meeting is not being held in the evening, an afternoon tea would be appropriate. It should be noted that this get together serves as a way for the spouses to renew friendships and it is not necessary to have formal entertainment.


This is usually held in their suite or at another convenient location. Invitations are sent to the spouses of Elected AdCom Members, AdCom Committee Members, Past Presidents, present Local Arrangements Committee, and the Chair or Co-Chair of the Guest Program the prior year. This involves approximately 55 women, but only 20-30 usually attends. This invitation to this event (Refreshments and Conversation with or without additional entertainment) can be mailed.


5. Recent IMS Reports

5.1 IMS2003


IMS2003 GuestProgramReport.doc




5.2 IMS2004

guest program 2004a.doc






5.3 IMS2005

Golf course maps.ppt

IMS2005 Golf Tnmt - final report.doc

IMS2005 sponsor posters.ppt

IMS2005 sponsor thanks.ppt

Skylinks Golf Course 'blurb' ver 2.doc

Golf sponsorship promotional letter.doc


Catalina Island Trip.htm



Golf Outing.htm



5.4 IMS2006


5.5 IMS2008

IMS2008_Reports\Tour Summary - 2008.pdf

IMS2008_Reports\Tour Summary - Revenue.pdf

5.6 IMS2010

IMS2010_Reports\GUEST PROGRAM Final Report.doc

5.6 IMS2011




5.7 IMS2013