Some thoughts fresh off my visit to the BICSI Winter Conference, which was held February 9-13 in BICSI’s hometown of Tampa, FL …
More than anything else, I was grateful to be there—probably even more than usual. It is a pleasure and honor to meet in person your peers (and you as well, if I was lucky enough to do so), who make this industry run. I come away from each such encounter with a strong sense of gratitude. This time around, that gratitude was amplified simply because we all had the opportunity to get together. The BICSI Winter Conference was held the same week that the organizers of Mobile World Congress decided to cancel their 2020 event out of an abundance of caution surrounding COVID-19, the Coronavirus. My understanding is that only three exhibitors who had planned to be at BICSI did not attend. All three are based in Asia and reworked their plans to be at the association’s Fall Conference in late September.
The conference’s keynote panel made it clear that the legislative issues related to the installation of cabling for remote powering/Power over Ethernet transmission are not over. 2020 could be a year of similar legislative undertakings, and every professional in the industry will be well-served to stay on top of their state’s or their municipality’s activities.
Smart buildings were a theme throughout the week, from preconference half-day and full-day seminars, to the final technical presentation of the week moderated by Anixter’s vice president of technology, Andy Jimenez. The old joke is that we’ve been 18 months away from having smart buildings for the past 18 years. All joking aside, to whatever extent the spaces in which we work or live become intelligent, you are the professionals who will enable that intelligence through the well-planned design and installation of the physical layer.
We might not be sure exactly when buildings will be smart—maybe it really will be in 18 months—but there’s good reason to be optimistic about the future of our industry, evidenced by the impressive display of intelligence by many who gathered for the conference. There are so many names to mention, I know I’ll slight many by citing just a few who were honored during the association’s annual awards banquet. From the Harry Pfister “lifetime achievement” award recipient, David Landphair, to the ICT Woman of the Year, Betsy Conroy, and from Global Member of the Year Gautier Humbert to Committee Member of the Year Betty Bezos and Installer of the Year Thomas “TJ” Pate—the industry is in good hands, and is endowed with countless professionals who are both intelligent and ambitious.
May 2020 be your best year yet.