Chapter Z: Audio Visual

IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Symposium

Guidelines and Procedures Manual


Prepared by Dogan Gunes of IMS2009

Table of Contents

o       IMS2006

o       IMS2009



Purpose and Duties

The IMS AV Chair is responsible for A/V activities for all IMS meetings and RFIC, IMS, and the ARFTG sessions:

Audio / Visual Support (within Local Arrangements) for

The A/V Chair needs to interface with the liaisons from RFIC and ARFTG.

Also interface with the chairs of all the above activities and the IEEE Liaison. Elsie Cabrera.

Suggested Membership Structure

An Audiovisual chairperson working with the IEEE Liaison (Elsie Cabrera), the Local Arrangements chair and an A/V assistant (especially as the conference nears) is suggested.

Timeline of Events

20 February: Generate list of A/V equipment for each day and input to the IEEE Liaison, Elsie Cabrera, who will get quote from contracted A/V company.

April:  Review quote provided by the IEEE Liaison, Elsie Cabera, which includes cost of rental equipment as well as man hour costs to setup and operate equipment.  Make sure that the A/V does not include superfluous equipment and man-hour charges.  Man hour charge effort should be minimal as this cost could be in the same order of magnitude  as the rental cost.

Input special services request when received


Provide training in the use of equipment to session chairs at speaker session breakfasts

Provide instructions to student volunteers

Inspect all rooms well before activities start and make sure equipment is there and ser-up properly and room is unlocked

Typical Equipment

PC with monitor, projector, screen, laser pointer, microphones (podium, lavaliere, aisle, wired or wireless), mixer box. One note about wireless microphones: While they are convenient for their portability, they are also an item that requires high maintenance mostly due to battery life. You may think that it will be convenient to pass them around to the audience for asking questions but in practice the stand microphoness in the aisles work better. (There is really no responsible operator in each room to tend to the microphones anyway.) The only wireless microphones  you absolutely need is the lavaliere microphones. And, wireless microphones are more expensive.

Suggestion: It works best to have a few standard equipment set-up configurations (e.g. one for the regular presentation rooms and one for the workshops and tutorials, and one for panel sessions) rather than customized set-ups for each room. This prevents confusion and improves set-up time even though it may cost a little more than optimizing for each room.

Specifications and Quotes

We discovered that it is helpful to have a complete list of equipment set-up for each event on each day. This is based on the Daybook and used as a reference during the event in addition to planning. A quote is the easily generated based on this list of requirements. Please refer to the attached files (IMS 2009 Specifications and PPT IMS 2009 Quote).

Recent Changes in Electronic Services

Beginning in 2009, the session presentations were downloaded to the session room computers over the in-house network. The speakers were instructed to either upload their presentations on the web beforehand or bring them in on electronic storage media into the speaker ready room before the sessions. Loading of the presentation files in the session rooms were not allowed, except in rare circumstances. The A/V personnel are involved in checking to make sure that the presentation files were loaded in their proper locations and working properly at the beginning of each day.

Description of Events

Training: Although the presentation instructions are sent ahead of time, the operation of the session computers, the location of the uploaded files and other A/V equipment (microphones, timers, etc.) may benefit from an explanation to the session chairs to ensure smooth operation. This may be arranged at the breakfast gatherings.

During the conference:

The A/V duties require physical effort – the A/V volunteers need to be present throughout the conference and especially in the morning of each day before the sessions begin. The morning preparations are the most intense part of the day since the setups in each venue must be completed before the sessions begin. Although an effort is made not the change room setups as little as possible, there are scheduled events (e.g. workshops) that require a different setup per the schedule. It is suggested that the A/V chair have at least one additional volunteer A/V person to help. Depending on the conference center, they should be prepared to walk a few miles each day to check and verify all the equipment.

The A/V provider should plan to have one professional for every five conference rooms, especially the first day.

Some suggestions: You may be able to solve simple problems quickly yourself by carrying a few extra laser pointers and AA batteries with you for wireless microphones (which need frequent battery replacement, especially if they are accidentally left on overnight.)

Student volunteers: If available, student volunteers are given the task of reporting problems in their respective rooms to the A/V personnel. A/V volunteer can respond or inform the A/V professionals in charge of the equipment.

Professional A/V Company: The A/V volunteers need to work very closely with the A/V professionals contracted to provide the equipment and services for the conference. This is critical to the success of a smooth running conference. The contact will increase as the conference nears (about two months out). Before that, they will be busy with other conferences and you will mostly see the sales representative. During the conference, the working relationship will get smoother as the week progresses. But pay special attention in the beginning (the day before and the day of) the conference, when things are likely to be very hectic.

Special services: These are likely to present the most problems. Some events may ask for special equipment (e.g. video cameras and flat panel displays, special hook-up cables) that are not standard. These one of a kind items often slip through the cracks and are likely to require attention on the spot. Fortunately the A/V companies (especially if they are in-house), have extra equipment available that they can bring in or borrow.


Recordings for the Virtual Participation program: For this, the A/V chair and the Virtual Participation chair have to work closely together. The recordings require access to the sound mixer panel. The sound levels need to be compatible with the portable computer that was being used for recording. There are a number of outputs from the mixer panels, some have fixed levels and some have variable levels that depend on the master or individual mic level settings (sliders). Furthermore, the available outputs may require special connectors and cables. This called for a lot of special effort and attention during the 2009 conference. If the recording set-up is delayed, that sometimes resulted in a request to delay a session (such as a workshop).

Problems Encountered

Your text here.

Suggestions and Recommendations

Much can be learned from the current year’s A/V chair and activities. If possible, attend the current symposium and observe the activities live and first hand. Unfortunately, this is not widely practiced.


The audio visual services is an essential part of the IMS as attendees need to see and hear the presentations.  

Recent IMS Reports