New visions for ICT excellence, connected technologies seen at BICSI 2020 Winter show

Feb. 24, 2020
BICSI recaps its annual Winter Conference & Exhibition, held from Feb. 9-13 in Tampa, FL.

BICSI, the association for advancing the information and communications technology (ICT) profession, announced the highlights of its annual Winter Conference & Exhibition held earlier this month during the week of Feb. 9-13 in Tampa, FL.

For the trade show, ICT professionals from all over the world traveled to the Tampa Convention Center for what the association termed "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 past 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 association's 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 of paramount concern 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 conference exhibit hall was full of activity as 167 exhibitors showcased the latest technical products and solutions in the ICT industry. The event's Technology Showcase was a crowd favorite as attendees got an up-close look at new and evolving telecommunications technologies, and where "Best in Show," as voted by attendees, was awarded to Altronix for its Tango1B Power over Ethernet (PoE)-driven power supply/charger.

Also featured was the exhibit hall's PoE Lighting Pavilion, where exhibitors were able to showcase their PoE lighting solutions in a walk-through environment. Also, the hall's 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 the perennial, and popular, What's New, What's It Do? demonstrations.

Attendees and exhibitors alike were pleased with the quality of the event's 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, OR. “Every year, the BICSI conference goes above and beyond our expectations,” added Steve Casaletta of Fiber Instrument Sales in Oriskany, NY. “The presenters, the venues and the staff are always top-notch and provide a great exhibition to connect with friends both old and new.”

Notably, for the 13th year in a row, installers and technicians from around the world participated in the BICSI 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.

More technical sessions began the morning on Thursday, followed by BICSI Cares, the charity arm of BICSI, presenting a donation to the Apollo Beach, FL-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 volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) environments.

New BICSI president Todd Taylor closed the conference by thanking attendees for coming and inviting everyone to visit both the BICSI Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Conference & Exhibition, from April 13-15 in Dubai, UAE; and the BICSI Fall Conference & Exhibition, from September 27 - October 1 in Las Vegas, NV. Learn more at www.bicsi.org.

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