High-frequency design engineers gathered by the thousands in Fort Worth, TX earlier this month as part of the annual industry get-together known as the Microwave Theory & Techniques Symposium (MTT-S). While the exhibitors were many, and attendance at the technical conference was strong, attendance at the exhibition area was sporadic at best, especially during the second and third days of the event. Given the business struggles of the high-frequency industry over the last several years, this was to be expected, although most exhibitors would have liked greater activity on the show floor.
Sadly, the MTT society (and their supporting cast for the exhibition hall, Horizon House), does not allow job search and recruitment activities at the event, even though such activities are clandestinely conducted throughout the show floor and meeting rooms. And even though such activities could greatly benefit individuals in an industry that has suffered considerable consolidation and loss of jobs during the last few years.
Microwaves & RF was not an exhibitor during the recent MTT-S due to an unfortunate misunderstanding about its role in promoting a technology-hiring event in the vicinity of the Fort Worth Convention Center. The event was managed by on-line search specialist Talware Hiring Events (www.talware.com), and publicized by Microwaves & RF and sister publication Wireless Systems Design, but neither magazine was actively involved in the event. These magazines exist to serve their readers and their industries. And publicity about a hiring event that might provide jobs is part of that service. Unfortunately, the action was not viewed as such by the MTT, even though a not insignificant number of its members may be out of work or might benefit from a hiring event. The MTT's ban on job recruitment at its events is meant to discourage "headhunters" from preying on its members, and as such is not a bad thing. But given the many in need of work, some middle ground may represent a wiser strategy for future shows.
On a lighter note, tens of thousands gathered in this month in New York City's Jacob Javits Center to attend the rapidly growing Medical Design & Manufacturing (MDM) East show. Although addressing many of the non-electronic needs of medical suppliers, the show also featured exhibitions from no less than 50 electronic contract design and manufacturing companies along with booths from numerous high-frequency original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). The medical electronics area, of course, represents a growth market for many high-frequency firms capable of meeting its miniaturization and performance needs. Of note at the show, ARC Technologies featured high-performance lines of EMI/RFI shielding materials, Advanced Test Equipment Corp. displayed its capabilities in RF and microwave test equipment, and HEI Inc. described their many capabilities in medical devices based on radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology. Don't miss the July issue of Microwaves & RF for a summary of both shows.
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