2006 BICSI fall conference breaks records

Sept. 29, 2006
September 29, 2006 -- Billed by BICSI as its "largest fall conference ever," over 3,000 attendees and exhibitors and an additional 1,800 visitors were registered for the event.

September 29, 2006 -- Drawing more than 3,000 information transport systems (ITS) professionals and exhibitors from around the industry, the 2006 BICSI Fall Conference was held September 18 - 21 at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas. Billed by BICSI as its "largest fall conference ever," over 3,000 attendees and exhibitors and an additional 1,800 visitors were registered for the event.

The conference offered an educational line-up of interactive seminars, presentations, courses, and exhibits, with topics from the latest developments in wireless network designs and firestop systems to advances in Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology and audio/video applications.

On Monday morning, September 18, a total of 124 attendees took the RCDD exam. Fifty-one examinees became new RCDDs on this day. Specialty exams were also given. Eight preconference seminars on Sunday and Monday provided depth to the educational content of the conference, providing an extra opportunity to learn, earn CECs and network. The seminars discussed Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS), video signals and transmission, enterprise cabling systems, business management, sound design dynamics, smart cards, network edge devices, 10 Gb fiber networks optimization and Category cables. Two first timer's sessions also took place on Monday, where BICSI Past President and Governmental Relations Representative Dick Reed gave tips to the first-time attendees on how to maximize their conference experience.

The traditional BICSI Golf Tournament took place on Monday, with an 8 a.m. shotgun start. A total of 140 participants signed up to play on the manicured greens of the Stallion Mountain Country Club. This event was billed as an opportunity for BICSI Conference attendees to network with peers and clients. The winners were David St. George, Carmen Jara, Steve Jones, and Chrissy Olsen.

On Tuesday, BICSI president John Bakowski, RCDD/NTS/OSP/WD specialist, opened the conference with a presentation of BICSI's most important ventures. He spoke about BICSI board of director elections that are now open. Members can vote until October 15. Bakowski also gave an update on the BICSI Executive Director search, stating that BICSI will select the Executive Director before January 2007.

As part of the new BICSI strategic plan, Bakowski spoke about the "inverted funnel project," which focuses on trying to determine the feasibility of specialty designations leading to RCDD designation. Currently, one must become an RCDD, before they are able to achieve the Network Transport Systems (NTS), Outside Plant (OSP) or Wireless Design (WD) specialties. Bakowski then briefly discussed recent BICSI developments in Europe and around the world.

Scott McKain, vice chairman of Obsidian Enterprises, delivered the Keynote Address after John Bakowski's opening remarks. Six general sessions that followed, providing information about fiber optic networks, information management, campus wirecell, pre-terminated cables, fiber and copper, electromagnetical shielding effects of metal trays, and RF interference.

Following several presentations during the general session on Tuesday, September 19, conference attendees had the opportunity to design their own schedules on Wednesday from over 16 breakout session presentations. The morning's session topics included cable sharing, OSP permitting issues, NENP connector technology, WLAN, shielded and un-shielded cabling, wiring closet cooling needs, communicating with the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ), and FTTE and implementation.

The afternoon sessions on Wednesday featured topics such as in-building Wi-Fi, residential and commercial wiring opportunities, smoke leakage, Master Format 2004, RFC2544, laser-optimized fiber, RoHS, and contamination problems and prevention.

Evenings at the event closed with the BICSI reception and exhibits, where a total of 172 exhibitors displayed the latest industry products and services. This was an opportunity for the attendees to mingle and learn more about the companies on the showfloor. Many BICSI members arranged meetings and get-togethers either on the floor or nearby to do business, while enjoying drinks and food. Close to 1,800 people came through the doors of the exhibit hall; on Monday evening, the attendance at the reception climbed to a total of 2,800 attendees, visitors and exhibitors. Two product forums scheduled for the evening allowed vendors to briefly speak about their products, giving individual attention to the vendors, and new information to the audience.

The morning of Thursday, January 26 opened with presentations by Gregg Kelley of Lynx Broadband and Richard Reed, consultant for BICSI Government Relations. Kelley presented "Television on Twisted Pair Cable," highlighting the extensive benefits, multiple applications, and relative low cost of such systems versus coaxial installations. Reed summarized the major efforts taken on BICSI members' behalf throughout the year in the governmental relations report.

BICSI Cares, Inc. was also present at the conference, collecting contributions from BICSI conference attendees, to donate 100% of the contributions to the Children's Heart Foundation of Las Vegas. CHF received a total of $23,500 from BICSI membership and conference attendees.

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