It has always been this industry's focal point--typically held in June, but earlier this year. Although the IEEE's Microwave Theory & Techniques Society (MTT-S) now call it the International Microwave Symposium (IMS), it is still known as the MTT-S to many oldtimers.

On the surface, it is just another trade show: buy a booth, set up shop for a couple of days, attend a technical presentation or two to catch up on technology, and grab some business cards from visitors who might or might not have a real requirement. Most trade shows are plagued by what are often called "trick or treaters," those who travel from booth to booth to collect literature or give-aways but have already made up their minds on where to buy their components. Still, during a good IMS, companies have written up new business and made valuable new contacts.

Perhaps more significantly, the IMS/MTT-S is a chance to see some familiar faces, competitors and friends (sometimes one and the same), and to chew the fat about the industry and the state of the business and the technology. Sometimes, it is that one and only chance during the year to catch up with colleagues and to trade notes on which markets are hot and which are not.

Although not every company attends IMS/MTT-S, it is a large show and difficult to cover in even three days. So that you don't miss something important, this year Microwaves & RF will e-mail special versions of this newsletter each day of IMS/MTT-S (Monday through Thursday) next week. Check those e-mails and help us enhance your IMS/MTT-S show experience next week.