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How to host

Any organization planning to host a 3GPP meeting should take into account the following information.

 

 In advance of the meeting

Choice of venue

Meetings may be hosted in hotels, in conference centres, or on the host organization's own premises. The choice will be governed by parameters such as the number of groups to be hosted, the anticipated population of each group, the number of parallel streams for subgroups, and also by the need for accommodation and feeding of delegates. Planning needs to start as early as possible: many popular hotels take reservations for their conference facilities a year or more in advance.

The town should be situated within a reasonable distance from a major airport which is either a major hub in its own right, or has good connections to at least one major hub. Ideally, most delegates should not require more than three - ideally two - flight legs to reach the venue.

The venue should be accessible by reasonably priced public transport (train, bus, tram, shuttle, taxi) from the nearest airport.

If the venue is a hotel, accommodation prices should be in line with those commonly found acceptable for 3GPP meetings. If in doubt, check with recent meeting invitations (which normally remain available on the 3GPP web site indefinitely, in the invitation subfolder for the meeting).

If the venue is not a hotel, a suitable hotel should be within easy reach - preferably walking distance - of the site.

It is usual for the host to negotiate with the hotel a special room rate at a lower price than the "public" rate and to reserve a block of rooms corresponding to the number of delegates anticipated. This block reservation will normally have a cut-off date some days or weeks (or even months) before the start of the meeting, after which the negotiated reduced rate may no longer apply.

Some delegates are on a tight budget and might welcome the availability of nearby hotels with a lower room rate than the meeting venue.

It is very strongly recommended that all guestrooms have broadband internet service, either wired or wireless. Whilst many hosts arrange that the cost of internet connection is included in the room price, this is not obligatory, and guests may have to pay the usual connection fees.

Preparation of the invitation

The 3GPP Working Procedures require that the invitation be available to delegates at least four weeks before the start of the meeting. However, since some delegates will need to undergo lengthy formalities to obtain a travel visa, it is usual to issue the invitation at least three months, and often as much as six months, in advance. Indeed, once the contract with the venue is established, the invitation should be issued as soon as possible.

The invitation should be based on the stock template but can be modified to show the host organization’s logo, and be tailored at will. The essential ingredients are given in the template, and include information about the need for hotel room reservation, room rates, electric power sockets and voltage, LAN or wifi provision in the guest rooms. If in doubt, consult other invitations to recent 3GPP meetings.

A vital element of the invitation is a clear request that delegates register their intention to participate in the meeting via the 3GPP web on-line registration tool. A hyperlink to the relevant page must be given. Where multiple groups will meet, a separate registration link needs to be provided for each one.

It is not acceptable to levy a participation fee from delegates.

Visas

As mentioned above, a number of delegates will need to obtain travel visas, and to provide these, embassies and consulates will very often require the host organization is issue a personalized letter of invitation to each such delegate. The host must be prepared to issue such letters, and it is usual to provide a request form as part of the meeting invitation with fields for the data typically requested by visa-issuing authorities. Some hosts will offer an on-line visa letter request form. See, for example, the pro forma letter offered by ETSI on behalf of the European Friends of 3GPP.

Provision of delegates’ badges

From 1 January 2016, delegates are responsible for printing their own identity badges using the link provided in their registration acknowledgment email.

There is no obligation on hosting organizations to provide badges. However, hosts should provide a relatively small number of badge holders suitable for containing a single-sided paper badge of 9 cm wide x 6 cm high (4 7/16 " x 2 5/16 "). Delegates are encouraged to retain their badge holders and to re-use them for each 3GPP meeting, but hosts should reckon on at least 15% of delegates having lost or forgetten them. Delegates must register on the 3GPP site to obtain their badge. It is the delegate's responsibility to print his own badge - the host is under no obligation to provide an on-site printer for this purpose.

Participation in 3GPP meetings is strictly limited to those authorized to attend. There is no concept of specially invited guests, but organizations with a legitimate interest in participation can register - in advance - as Guests. Delegates representing such Guests may attend.

The host should refuse entry to anyone who cannot demonstrate a legitimate claim to be a valid delegate. In cases of doubt, the host should contact the MCC person on site (the meeting secretary) for guidance. In principle, only those delegates whose name appears on the participant list on the 3GPP web site may enter the meeting room.

 Meeting room facilities

Reception desk

A large table should be provided outside the meeting room(s) - eg in the coffee area - to serve as the hospitality desk, on which the meeting badges can be laid out in alphabetical order by delegate's family name, facing the delegates. This table can also serve as a collection point for meeting related information (eg list of restaurants, meeting timing, city maps, ...)

Size and layout

Obviously the meeting room must be large enough to accommodate the group concerned. You can consult the confirmed participants lists from previous meetings of that group to see the likely number of delegates who will attend. Beware of checking only the registration list for the meeting to be hosted: there will always be delegates who forget to register, and others who have registered but do not turn up, so prior to the meeting, the attendance list can be taken as a guide only.

Where a group splits into subgroups, which have parallel streams and therefore need two or more rooms, the host may need to consult the relevant MCC project manager or the group’s chairman for more details.

For most meetings, "classroom" layout is required, with a chairman’s table on a posium. For working group meetings, the "top" table needs to accommodate only the chairman and the secretary and, ideally, have room for a guest presenter. For TSG meetings, it also needs room for three vice-chairmen. The height of the podium is a function of the number of rows of delegates: the more, the higher. Conference centre staff will be familiar with such requirements.

3GPP meetings, other than "workshops", seldom need a lectern.

Normally, conference centre staff can advise on the most appropriate layout (e.g. narrow and deep vs. wide and shallow), as a function of the room’s facilities and the number of delegates.

Tables and chairs

Delegate’s positions need to have sufficient space for cables to hang down from their PCs and not impede the passage of delegates moving to and from their places along the rows. The distance from the back of one row’s tables to the front of the next row’s tables needs to accommodate this. Bear in mind that some westerners are rather larger in girth than most eastern delegates, and the hotel must leave adequate gaps between rows: around 1m50 is ideal. The width of each delegate position also needs to be considered: anything less than one metre can make them feel cramped.

Electric power

Hosts must provide at least one mains power socket per delegate, with at least four additional ones on the top table. The conference centre should take care to partition the mains feeds carefully to avoid overloading circuit breakers or fuses. Bear in mind that each PC can consume up to 100 watts: Meetings or TSG RAN and WG RAN1 have around 200 delegates: 20 kW. In addition, there will be several wireless access points for the LAN, typically placed in each corner of the meeting room. These will need power sockets too, and ideally should be within easy reach of a LAN wall-socket. The display projector will also need a dedicated socket.

Hosts do not need to provide plug adaptors: delegates will bring their own.

Heating, air-conditioning

You can please some of the people all of the time, all of the people some of the time, but never all of the people all of the time. In fact, it is very easy to please none of the people all of the time.

The meeting room needs a good flow of air, but avoiding draughts. Delegates feel drowsy when there is an inadequate supply of oxygen, but can be relied on to complain if they are in a cold down-draft from a ceiling ventilation grille. A good guide to the right temperature (of course, there is no such thing, since some delegates like arctic conditions, other prefer the tropics) is when about one third of the delegates have removed their jackets: more jackets being worn means it is too cold, more jackets on the backs of chairs means too warm.

Be prepared to regulate the temperature several times during the meeting, bearing in mind the body heat given off by delegates and their PCs, plus the display projector, etc.

Microphones, loudspeakers

It is preferable to have wired microphones, either one mic for every two people - which can work out rather expensive - or a number of microphones on stands in the aisles. In this latter case, plan for one microphone for every twenty delegates. These stand mics need cables long enough for delegates to be able to take them back to their places, since they will often have to refer to their PCs while speaking.

Avoid wireless microphones which operate in the ISM bands and which can be interfered with by - and can interfere with! - the 3GPP wireless LAN. If the use of wireless microphones is unavoidable, the host should coordinate with MCC to ensure that the microphones operate on different channels from those used for the 3GPP wireless LAN. For reference , the LAN normally uses channels 1, 6 and 11 in the 2.4 GHz band. (Interference in the 5 GHz band is rarely a problem.)

For the top table, each person needs to have easy access to a microphone: that is, there must be a sufficient number and the cables must allow the mics to be moved around. If at all possible, a sound technician should be available throughout the working day to adjust sound levels and rectify faults and breakdowns.

Projectors and screens

All meetings require at least one projector and a screen, for the display of documents or of progress through the agenda. Meetings of TSGs RAN and SA need two projectors (and two screens).

Positioning of the projectors can be quite tricky: they must provide an image easily legible from the back of the room, but must not be placed amongst the delegates. Ideally, they should be on dedicated tables just in front of the first row of delegates. Choose projectors which are as quiet and cool as possible in operation, compatible with the size and brightness of image demanded. If it is not possible to angle the screen so that it is easily readable from the top table without its occupants having to turn right round to do so, then it is most desirable that a large flat-screen LED or plasma display run in parallel with the projector is provided at floor level for the benefit of the top table.

Where the projection screen is fixed in the centre of the wall behind the top table, it will be necessary to move the top table towards one side or the other, and to angle it to enable the chairman and secretary to see both the screen and the delegates.

For those meetings which require two projection screens, these should be placed either side of the top table, and the projectors need separate feeds with leads long enough to allow any occupant of the top table to plug them into his own PC. The flat-screen "feedback" display should be in parallel with the projector on the auditorium right (chairman’s left).

Cables

All cables - electricity, microphones, LAN - running on the floor need to be well secured with gaffer tape. This is not just for reasons of safety, but to ensure that service is not interrupted by feet scuffing cables and connectors and causing accidental disconnection.

Water

By all means provide water to the chairman’s table, but: in bottles with screw caps, not in open jugs. For the body of the delegates, avoid placing water on the tables: there simply is not room for this, and if there are glasses and jugs on delegates tables, they will get spilt onto their computers and they will fall to the floor causing floods, electrical danger, and potentially the hazard of broken glass. Rather, provide water on tables at the back or side of the meeting room, with plenty of space for delegates to abandon their empty glasses after they have quenched their thirsts.

Other facilities in the room

In former times, an attendance sheet was prepared by MCC and delegates will be asked to sign it. At the choice of the secretary, the attendance register would either be circulated amongst the delegates and returned to the secretary, or taped to a table or to the wall at the back of the room, from where the secretary would retrieve it at the end of the meeting. The host would check with the group's secretary which method he prefers. However, this paper mechanism has now been almost entirely superseded by on-line check-in, which the delegates do from their own computer.

Access to the meeting rooms

MCC will need to set up the meeting network (wireless LAN, local file server, etc - see the separate section on IT facilities) in advance of the meeting. Experience has shown that this set up time can take anything from an hour to half a day or more, depending on how well the venue IT professionals have understood 3GPP's needs.

For this reason, it is strongly recommended that MCC have access to the meeting rooms from at least the afternoon of the day before the meeting start day.

 

 IT facilities

The 3GPP network

MCC will install a dedicated wireless LAN in the meeting room(s). Each meeting room will require between one and six WiFi access points depending on the anticipated number of delegates. A local file server will normally be located in one of the meeting rooms or, if an MCC IT technician is on site, in the corridor outside the rooms. The server will need a dedicated table (and chair!), and the internet connection (see later) should be routed to this point.

Ideally, it should be possible to use building LAN wiring to distribute the 3GPP LAN throughout the meeting rooms. If need be, MCC can provide a switch to be located in the patch room to enable this. If the venue has its own managed switch, this can of course be used, but the host must take great care to disable its own DHCP service on this VPN, since the MCC server will run DHCP for the 3GPP network.

However, if building wiring is not available, MCC will run cables within and between the meeting rooms to distribute the 3GPP LAN, and the cooperation of the conference suite staff will be appreciated in routeing and taping down of these cables.

Many meetings involve separate meetings of several 3GPP working groups, and some groups split into multiple parallel streams, thus a sizeable number of separate rooms will be employed. It is ESSENTIAL that all these rooms can be connected to the 3GPP LAN, since all groups and subgroups share a single local file server and a single internet connection.

Wireless APs will be deployed in each of the meeting rooms, and each will require a dedicated tall "cocktail-type" table in 
the vicinity of a LAN outlet (if using building wiring). Normally APs are placed near the walls of the room, which makes 
feeding the LAN to them easier. In addition, a power outlet must be provided to each AP table.

MCC will furnish the file server, router, switches and wireless access points. MCC can also supply any necessary Cat-5 (future Cat-6) cabling, though any cabling which can be provided by the meeting venue will be appreciated to reduce the amount MCC needs to bring.

Internet supply

3GPP meetings require a single internet line terminated in an RJ-45 connector accessible to the server table (see above).

The internet service needs to offer a single, public, IP address, and the host is asked to let MCC know the following 
parameters well in advance of the meeting:

*- fixed public IP address
*- address mask
*- gateway IP address
*- DNS IP addresses

The internet service must not be subject to firewall, traffic shaping, packet limiting, billing equipment, unnecessary routers which might limit the number of simultaneous connections, etc which might reduce the effective bit rate. Many delegates will wish to run VPN back to their employers’ networks, and there should be no limitation on such connections.

The bit rate of the service is a function of the total number of delegates anticipated to be at the venue:
Internet bitrate = 1.5 x number of delegates x 50 kbit/s
For example, a meeting where 300 delegates were anticipated would need an internet supply of at least
1.5 x 300 x 50 = 22500 kbit/s = 22.5 Mbit/s

The supply should provide the appropriate bit rate symmetrically (same rate upload and download), and be exclusively 
dedicated to 3GPP use (ie not shared with, for example, hotel guest rooms).

A typical meeting configuration is shown in the following figure.

typicalNetwork

3GPP WiFi

MCC’s wireless APs will offer service on both the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands. To avoid excessive interference with existing WiFi 
service, it may be desirable to turn off the venue’s own WiFi service in the vicinity of the meeting rooms for the duration 
of the meeting.

IT questionnaire

Hosts are requested to complete the IT questionnaire at least one week before the start of a meeting.

 Outside the meeting room(s)

Reception desk

The host should provide a person to issue badges and any local information sheets to delegates on arrival. Those who turn up without having registered, and therefore do not have a badge, must be asked to register on line. There is no obligation to provide such delegates with a badge.

Coffee breaks, lunch breaks

Normally the meetings are split into four more or less equal sessions of 1h30m each, starting at 9h00. Coffee breaks are at 10h30 to 11h00 and at 15h30 to 16h00. Lunch is normally from 12h30 to 14h00. However, according to the progress of the meeting, the Chairman might decide to start earlier (as early as 7h30 is not unknown) and finish later than the nominal 17h30; in fact, it is not uncommon for evening sessions to carry on till 20h or beyond.

Coffee breaks, too, are a movable feast, and can often be delayed by 20 minutes or more: if this happens, do not let the catering staff clear away coffee etc until the meetings have actually resumed! Delegates appreciate a light snack of fruit, biscuits, cake, etc at coffee break time. For lunch, it is good to prepare a list of cafés and restaurants in the area where a light lunch can be had rapidly. Many delegates will want to get out of the hotel at lunch time (weather permitting), but not to travel very far.

It is also appreciated if a more extensive list of restaurants can be prepared for dinner time.

Printer

At meeting where a vote is to be held, a printer is essential.

At other meetings, a printer on site is useful but not essential. If the hotel’s business centre allows ready access to a printer at all reasonable times and at reasonable cost, this can be a viable alternative.

 Social event

The meeting host is NOT expected to organize or fund a social event during the meeting period. However, if the host or a member organization wishes to offer a social event, delegates are always most appreciative! There is no set pattern and, with the understanding that any such social event will not eat into the working day, any event is entirely at the discretion of the organizers.

 


Page last updated:

2017-08-23: Attendance list aspects brought up to date. (JMM)
2016-01-18: Badge printing regime change. (JMM)

 

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