By the time most folks read this, the IEEE's annual Microwave Theory & Techniques Society's (MTT-S's) Symposium & Exhibition will be winding down to a handful or workshops and the biannual Automatic RF Techniques Group (ARFTG) meeting on tacking test and measurement issues. For those who attended the technical sessions, hopefully they come away with new perspectives on design and technology. And those on the exhibit floor, hopefully, have had a chance to reconnect with old friends and make some new contacts for specifying products.
The real value of the MTT-S event comes several weeks after the show, when it is time to sort through that stack of business cards and remember which booths carried which promises. Those with excellent memories will have little problem in remembering their priorities on who to contact first. But for most of us, a little extra help is needed. One trick that has worked well in the past is the "five-star" rating system, with a single star denoting a booth with nothing new and five stars reserved for products that fall into that "best of show" category. By marking the back of a card after leaving a booth, the task of reviewing the importance of all those booth visits becomes a bit simpler especially for those of us with fading memories.