Judy Warner
Judy Warner RSS FeedRSS

Judy Warner

Judy Warner is the western regional and RF/microwave market director of business development for Zentech Manufacturing, a contract manufacturer that offers fully integrated supply chain solutions for mil/aero, RF/microwave and medical markets. Zentech is based in Baltimore, MD near the high technology corridor of the Mid-Atlantic/Pentagon region. Judy has over 20 years of experience in the electronics industry, and has spent the past four years focused exclusively on RF and Microwave technology solutions. Judy also sits on the advisory board of eSurface technologies and contributes articles to a variety of microwave and electronic industry trade publications, including 3 years as a contributing guest blogger for Microwave Journal.


Packing your bag for IMS 2014

May 21, 2014

Not a single year of the MTT-IMS show goes by where I don’t feel completely inundated going in and overwhelmed coming out. It reminds me of feasting at a massive buffet in which I must pace myself, plan ahead and choose wisely.  The only thing that saves me is careful packing—and I don’t mean my toothbrush and dental floss!

I’m referring to packing a metaphorical “backpack” and thoughtfully filling it with tools to equip me for my weeklong trek through Microwave Week. I like to imagine this virtual “backpack” like the ones they pass out of RFMD every year. Not the small ones with wimpy little strings. No, I mean a backpack that a boy scout could love, with pockets, zippers, pouches and padded shoulder straps. Conscientious preparation is my only defense against being swallowed whole by the magnitude of this amazing conference and trade exhibition.

BackpackA Personal Roadmap: Walnuts First
I believe it was Steven Covey who introduced the idea of beginning with the end in mind. I try to approach Microwave Week with the same philosophy by asking myself: “What are the non-negotiable things I want to take-away from this week? What people do I want to meet with, what questions do I hope to answer, what information gathered, what connections made?”

If you’ve ever heard the walnut-and-rice-in-a-jar illustration—you get what I mean. You need to put the whole, unshelled walnuts in the jar first and then pour in the rice, letting it fill the space around the walnuts. If you put the rice in first, the walnuts will never fit into the jar no matter how hard you try. For this reason, I identify my “walnuts” and put them in writing and assign dates and times, if possible to my non-negotiable to-do list.

Afterwards, I make my want-to-do list and prioritize it as well. This is the “rice” I will be packing in around those imperative must-do “walnuts.”

Of course, what makes up the imperative and non-imperative will vary wildly from person to person. So, setting your own specific priorities and goals for the week is an absolute must.  So, first thing to pack: A good, highly personalized, roadmap!

Guidebook and Compass
Number two on your packing list ought to be the best guidebook and compass you can find. One of the first places to look is on the MTTS-IMS website.  There is a boatload of helpful information on every page designed to help you navigate all aspects of your show experience as well as your stay in the Tampa Bay area.

Personally, I would bookmark the Moblie Apps and Social media page. Why? Well because you can download white papers on your phone, for heavens sake! There’s a timesaver! Instructions for installing the IMS app can be found there. You can also tune into the show’s live twitter feed and connect to the show’s Instagram and Facebook pages. You can have some fun and win prizes by becoming and IMS Insider—if time allows. I find the show can be more engaging and less like drudgery if I participate in some fun along the way.

I also recommend you subscribe to Microwave Journal’s Onlisne Show Daily, which offers real-time news all week and keeps you fully informed of all aspects of the show including a Twitter Feed, articles from the chairs of each conference, new products and more.

In the front pocket of everyone’s real backpack at IMS should be the IMS show edition of the Microwave Journal. For many of us, this is the IMS show bible. During the exhibition days you can go through the exhibitor list by aisle location in the product showcase section. My hard copy of this edition will be highlighted, torn, marked up and dog-eared well before I head to Tampa. For me—this is my go-to “compass” for the show since most of my interest revolves around the exhibition and fellow exhibitors. Don’t want to carry around a bulky magazine? No problem! Just upload the Microwave Journal Mobile App on your smartphone or Ipad—problem solved!

No, not a real walkie-talkie from Radio shack, I’m taking about Twitter, of course. If you haven’t yet created a Twitter account, you are missing out on a whole invisible (wireless) layer of the show! So, do yourself a favor and get yourself a twitter account, if you don’t already have one, and install the twitter app on your smartphone. Unlike a walkie-talkie that offers short-range 2-way communication, Twitter plugs you into hundreds of conversations of your choice—with no distance limitation. It’s like tuning into the IMS party line!  Make sure you follow the official show twitter feed @MTT_IMSas well as track the hashtag #IMS2014. They are both invaluable sources of real-time show news both professional and social.

I also invite you to follow Transline Technology and me @TranslineJudy. I will be narrating my show experience, findings, and our booth give-away news throughout the show. (We are featuring a Sheldon Cooper and Big Bang Theory theme and daily giveaways, which are sure to add some humor and fun to the show!)

Smartphone: Your GPS and fun-finder
Now that you have your Roadmap, Guidebook, Compass and Walkie-Talkie packed, time to pack for fun and leisure! Your smartphone will be your most resourceful tool for work and pleasure during Microwave week.  Not only will you use it to get around Tampa, using apps like Google maps, I also recommend you get the Yelp app to help you find the best pubs, restaurants and venues around Tampa in which to break bread with friends and colleagues. When you find someplace great, tweet about it, using the hashtag #IMS2014, and share what you find. Others will do the same and it’s a great way to share hot spots you find along the way. Look for other apps related to the Tampa Bay area, and install them ahead of time, to help you save time and make the most of your free hours.

Full Backpack=Successful show
I hope this guide to packing your metaphorical IMS “backpack” helps you to strategically prepare for a very full week. Although I never do it perfectly, and invariably leave town with a few lingering regrets—with a little pre-packing and preparing, I am getting better at gleaning all I can from this impressive show. 

I would like to thank the steering committee, Dr. Larry Dunleavy and the small army of show planners and volunteers for so generously giving of your time and talents to plan what is sure to be a phenomenal MTT IMS in Tampa.

I would also like to acknowledge the amazing team at the Microwave Journal who work so tirelessly to keeps us all connected and informed. The MTT IMS show and the Microwave industry at large is elevated by all you do—we are all grateful!

Wishing everyone great success and enjoyment during this year’s IMS 2014! I hope you will stop by the Transline Technology booth #326 and say hello. It’s always a delight to meet you in person—now get packing!!!

Judy Warner

You must login or register in order to post a comment.