TAMPA, Fla., Feb. 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- BICSI, the association advancing the information and communications technology (ICT) profession, hosted its annual Winter Conference & Exhibition in Tampa, Fla. ICT professionals from all over the world traveled to the Tampa Convention Center for the ultimate BICSI Conference experience.
BICSI President Jeff Beavers, RCDD, OSP, officially opened the conference Tuesday morning, highlighting conference activities and noting some of BICSI's latest educational releases, as well as milestone accomplishments achieved over the last year. Of note was the recent release of the Telecommunications Distribution Methods Manual (TDMM), 14th edition, BICSI's flagship manual and the blueprint for ICT cabling infrastructure design.
Tuesday morning's schedule continued with a panel discussion on ICT and public policy and the BICSI Annual Membership Meeting, where the 2020 Board of Directors were sworn in, including new President Todd Taylor, RCDD, NTS, OSP, and the first female BICSI President-Elect, Carol Everett Oliver, RCDD, ESS, DCDC. During his Presidential Address, Taylor shared his desire to bring BICSI to the next level with a new vision and direction for membership value and growth, credentialing, event experience and mentorship.
Education was paramount throughout the week, with more than 30 technical presentations covering important ICT topics including 5G; data centers; PoE; smart cities; the Internet of Things (IoT); AV; wireless and distributed antenna systems (DAS); building automation; passive optical networks (PON); and more.
The Exhibit Hall was full of activity as 167 exhibitors showcased the latest technical products and solutions in the ICT industry. The Technology Showcase was a crowd favorite as attendees got an up-close look at new and evolving telecommunications technologies. Best in Show, as voted by attendees, was awarded to Altronix for their Tango1B Power over Ethernet (PoE)-driven Power Supply/Charger. Also featured was the PoE Lighting Pavilion, where exhibitors were able to showcase their PoE lighting solutions in a walk-through environment.
The First-Time Exhibitor area showcased exhibitors who were brand new to BICSI Conferences, and the BICSI Theater gave attendees the opportunity to enjoy brief presentations on the latest ICT products during "What's New? What's It Do?" demonstrations.
Attendees and exhibitors alike were pleased with the quality of educational content, exhibits and networking opportunities. "This is my 23rd BICSI Conference, and what I'm most pleased about is all the different opportunities being presented to us to grow our companies. Whether it's opportunities in PoE information or audiovisual, there's a great future path for all of us," said Ray Young, RCDD, of Lightspeed Technologies in Tualatin, Ore.
"Every year, the BICSI Conference goes above and beyond our expectations," said Steve Casaletta of Fiber Instrument Sales in Oriskany, N.Y. "The presenters, the venues and the staff are always top notch and provide a great exhibition to connect with friends both old and new."
For the 13th year in a row, Installers and Technicians from around the world participated in the Cabling Skills Challenge. The arena in the Exhibit Hall was buzzing with excitement as competitors raced against the clock and each other in areas such as structured cabling installation, copper and fiber cable termination, firestopping, bonding and grounding, cable assembly, and troubleshooting. Thomas Pate, INSTC, INSTF, of Bay District Schools, took home the title of 2020 BICSI Installer of the Year and a check for $5,000.
Conference activities continued Wednesday and Thursday with technical presentations and the honoring of ICT industry leaders at the Annual Awards Banquet. The following awards were given during Wednesday night's Banquet:
- Harry J. Pfister Award for Excellence in the Telecommunications Industry, presented by the University of South Florida: David Landphair
- Presidential Eagle Award: AT TOKYO Corporation
- David K. Blythe/University of Kentucky Award for Outstanding Member of the Year: George Fewell, RCDD
- Global Outstanding Member of the Year Award: Gautier Humbert, RCDD
- Larry G. Romig Committee Member of the Year Award: Betty Bezos, RCDD, DCDC, ESS, NTS, OSP, PE, PMP
- BICSI ICT Woman of the Year Award: Betsy Conroy
- Emerging ICT Professionals Award: Jayme Wright, RCDD
The Banquet concluded with a performance by comedian Tim Wilkins.
More technical sessions began the morning on Thursday, followed by BICSI Cares, the charity arm of BICSI, presenting a donation to the Apollo Beach, Fla.-based BuddyBall.org. Throughout the conference, BICSI Cares collected donations from attendees, exhibitors and visitors, and donated the full amount to the charity.
Closing Keynote Speaker Eugene Seah, CEO, Founder and Chief Coach at Trainium Academy in Singapore, spoke to attendees about "The Three Biggest Mistakes We Can Make to Sabotage Our Future," where he shared three powerful steps anyone can take to become future-ready in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) environment.
President Todd Taylor closed the conference by thanking attendees for coming and inviting everyone to both the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Conference & Exhibition, 13-15 April in Dubai, UAE, and the Fall Conference & Exhibition, 27 September-1 October in Las Vegas.
BICSI is a professional association supporting the advancement of the information and communications technology (ICT) profession and currently serves more than 26,000 memberships and credentials. BICSI is the preeminent resource for the Connected World. Headquartered in Tampa, Florida, USA, BICSI membership spans nearly 100 countries.