Identifying and meeting your needs

The decisions, both everyday and long-term, that cabling-system end users must make are, in many cases, staggering.

This month, I will head to the cabling industry's largest annual event, the BICSI Winter Conference. Already, my calendar is beginning to fill up for the week of the conference.

There has been a buzz about this event for several weeks now. BICSI itself will unveil some new and beneficial programs for industry professionals there. For example, BICSI members are eligible for discounted rates on both business and personal insurance programs, including errors-and-omissions and business property and liability coverage as well as health and dental plans. I'm sure they will have more information available at the show and on their Web site, and I'm confident that many small-business owners in the cabling industry will be interested in hearing more about these opportunities.

I'm also looking forward to meeting with members of the recently organized Category 6 Consortium while at the conference. I don't want to sound like a sycophant here, but from what I know of the Consortium, its members include some of the most advanced engineering minds in the industry—professionals that this magazine relies on frequently to impart the latest technical information to you, the readers.

Another reason I'm looking forward to the event is it's an opportunity to get saturated with ideas and comments from other members of the industry's food chain—system designers, installers, and users. In the fiscally dismal times we've existed in over the past year-plus, there are no boondoggles. Attendees at industry events are there to sharpen their business edges with technical and tactical information. Without fail, I walk away from an event like this one with new insights into the challenges and ingenuity of this industry's consumers.

Over the past seven years, PennWell, the publisher of Cabling Installation & Maintenance, has had the fortunate opportunity to partner with BICSI on an event serving the cabling industry. The Cabling Workshop and Cabling Installation Expo, launched in 1996, has been a collaborative effort between the two organizations. Traditionally held in the fall, the event has been located on the East Coast since its founding, with host cities including Charlotte, NC; Atlanta, GA; and Providence, RI.

On behalf of PennWell, I'm pleased to report here that we will continue our working relationship with BICSI on the production of an industry event in the fall timeframe. A few things about the event will change this year, including its name. The Cabling Systems Conference & Exhibition will be held September 22-24. And the event is moving west. This year's host facility is the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA.

Other changes with the event will affect the conference content. This year, we at Cabling Installation & Maintenance will produce the conference program. Up until now, BICSI has organized the Cabling Workshop content. The conference will include a distinct track, with information specifically aimed at the cabling-system end user. The decisions, both everyday and long-term, that cabling-system end users must make are, in many cases, staggering. Our intention with this conference track will be to address directly the technical and business issues of the ultimate customer in the cabling supply chain.

We have other plans for the event as well, including information specifically for the cabling contractor. In short, it's our intention to make this event a worthwhile use of your time. And I personally encourage all of you to let me know what it will take to make it so.

Drop me an e-mail if you'd like; my address is at the end of this page. Or, if you're at the BICSI conference this month, I'd be happy to speak to you personally about the upcoming Cabling Systems Conference & Exhibition.

Wwe're looking forward to providing an information-filled event that meets your information needs. I sincerely appreciate the opportunity to do so.

Patrick McLaughlin
Chief Editor

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