BICSI, the association supporting the information technology systems (ITS) industry with information, education and knowledge assessment, hosted the 2012 BICSI Fall Conference & Exhibition September 16-20 in Anaheim, Calif. Thousands of industry professionals gathered at the Anaheim Convention Center for several days of education, networking, technical presentations and exhibits.
During the Opening General Session on Tuesday morning, BICSI President Jerry L. Bowman, RCDD, RTPM, NTS, CISSP, CPP, CDCDP, spoke about BICSI’s newest credential, the Registered Telecommunications Project Manager (RTPM). The RTPM was established to support those who oversee and coordinate the interaction between designers, engineers, installers, and technicians when new ITS projects are being developed or are undergoing construction. The first exam for this new credential was also held during the conference.
Bowman also mentioned the release of BICSI’s new Conference Mobile Web App, a mobile version of BICSI’s conference website. By visiting m.bicsi.org on a smartphone or tablet, conference attendees can access the conference schedule, see a map of the Exhibit Hall, view their conference transcripts, request a conference attendance certificate and more.
“BICSI volunteers and staff take great care to provide the ‘BICSI Experience’ to each and every conference attendee,” Bowman said. “The new Conference Mobile Web App helps to enhance that experience by giving attendees’ quick and easy access to all of their need-to-know conference information throughout the week.”
Following Bowman’s remarks, Ross Shafer, a six-time Emmy Award-winning comedian, writer and TV host, delivered a rousing Opening Keynote presentation. Since 1994, Shafer has turned his energies and enthusiasm toward the corporate and association world. As a lifelong student of human behavior, he has written and produced 14 human resource training films on customer service, motivation and leadership.
“This is my first BICSI conference, and the Opening Keynote Speaker was very informative and entertaining,” said Carey Crowder, RCDD, of Chrysler Group, LLC, in Auburn Hills, Michigan. “He provided us with a point of view from an outsider’s perspective of our industry. I’ve liked the setup of all the educational opportunities here, and I’m looking forward to what tomorrow has to offer.”
The Opening General Session continued with presentations on green data center cabling; updating TIA® and ISO data center standards to reflect industry changes; the new wireless utility at Scripps Health; the emergence of lighting as a low-voltage network application; and a government relations update.
The quality of the conference was praised by attendees. “These are the industry’s top events! The BICSI conferences are always great places to learn about new ITS products and emerging technologies,” said Ron Cauchi of Ewing-Foley, Incorporated, in Cupertino, Calif.
On Sunday evening, President Bowman, BICSI Executive Director & CEO John D. Clark, Jr., CAE, and BICSI Exhibitor Liaison Committee Chair Kurt Templeman, RCDD, held a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony to signal the opening of the Exhibit Hall. The Exhibit Hall offers attendees the opportunity to explore the booths of more than 130 exhibitors and receive information on products and services that will benefit attendees in their careers.
“Anaheim’s been a blast,” said Kevin Kearney, RCDD, NTS, of Quiktron in Albia, Iowa. “We’re getting great leads for our classroom AV products. We have been exhibiting at BICSI Conference for at least 15 years and have always loved it. It’s our sweet spot.”
Throughout the conference, more than 20 educational sessions were featured, including the two closing general session technical presentations on Thursday, September 20: “When Networks Meet — New Business Opportunities in the Cloud,” by Steve Van Till of Brivo System, LLC, in Bethesda, Maryland; and “Helping the A/E Team Understand Information Transport System Design Needs,” by William Todd, RCDD, OSP, of DataCom Design Group in Houston, Texas.
The Closing Keynote Presentation was given by Jim Abbott. Born without a right hand, Abbott rose to athlete stardom with the New York Yankees by throwing one of the most dramatic no-hitters in major league history. His motivational sports stories of how he overcame adversity, as well as anecdotes from his career as a professional baseball pitcher, sent a powerful and inspirational message to the audience.
Overall, the Fall Conference was well received by enthusiastic conference attendees. “For the past 25 years, my experiences at BICSI conferences seem to get better and better. This conference, like all of them, is highly educational and is helping to expand and improve my career,” said Manuel Gaitan, RCDD, of AT&T in Gardena, Calif.
Dave Newcomb of ComDangles in San Jose, Calif., saw great results by being a conference exhibitor. “We’re a start-up [company], and this is our third BICSI conference. BICSI’s proven to be our best single source for new business. Each time, we pick up more end users and distributors.”
Throughout the conference, BICSI Cares, BICSI’s charitable arm that supports children’s charities, collected donations from attendees. All funds collected were presented to the Erika Kate Foundation, a charity that helps to ease the emotional and spiritual burdens felt by parents of children with life-threatening heart disease, and to provide short-term financial support.
President Bowman brought the conference to a close Thursday, thanking everyone for attending and announcing the dates for BICSI’s 40th anniversary conference—the 2013 BICSI Winter Conference & Exhibition. The Winter Conference will be held January 20-24, 2013, in Tampa, Fla.