BICSI has welcomed thousands of attendees to the Tampa Convention Center for the 2017 BICSI Winter Conference & Exhibition. ICT professionals from all over the world began gathering at the venue on Sunday and Monday for Pre-Conference seminars and exhibits.

The Exhibit Hall opened on Monday with a performance by steel drum band The Island Boys, as well as a ribbon-cutting ceremony with BICSI President Brian Ensign, RCDD, NTS, RTPM, CSI; BICSI Executive Director & CEO John D. Clark, Jr., CAE; and BICSI Exhibitor Liaison Committee Chair Kurt Templeman, RCDD. The show floor was full of activity, hosting nearly 180 exhibitors and droves of evening visitors. The Exhibit Hall hosted vendor presentations and networking opportunities, as well as the New Product Pavilion.

BICSI's New Product Pavilion gives attendees a sneak peek of conference exhibitors' latest products and services in a single area just inside the entrance of the Exhibit Hall. Exhibitors who participate in the New Product Pavilion are given an additional opportunity to engage with industry stakeholders and professionals. Attendees are also able to vote on their favorites in the New Product Pavilion, and the overall winner will be awarded the title of Best in Show.

Also featured in the Exhibit Hall is the annual Cabling Skills Challenge, which is celebrating its tenth anniversary. During Exhibit Hall hours on Monday and Tuesday, 18 Installers and Technicians raced against the clock and each other to complete several cabling installation tasks. The overall winner will take home the title of BICSI Installer of the Year and a check for $5,000.

On Tuesday morning, President Ensign officially opened the conference and highlighted some of BICSI's newest offerings, calling 2017 The Year of the Installer. At the beginning of the year, BICSI released the latest edition of its award-winning Information Technology Systems Installation Methods Manual (ITSIMM). This manual will serve as the foundation for BICSI's updated ICT Cabling Installation Program curriculum and examinations, which will be released on March 27.

Following President Ensign's opening remarks, Opening Keynote Speaker Jeff Havens delivered an energetic presentation. Havens spoke about acheiving success in leadership, customer service, communication, generational issues and corporate culture using an informative, funny approach.

After the Keynote and a technical presenation came the Annual Membership Meeting, where the 2017 BICSI Board of Directors was presented to the membership. Board members are:

  • President Brian Ensign

  • President-Elect Jeffrey Beavers

  • Newly elected Secretary Carol Everett Oliver

  • Treasurer Christy Miller

  • Newly elected Canadian Region Director Greg Porter

  • Newly elected Global Region Director Rick Ciordia

  • U.S. North-Central Region Director Chris Scharrer

  • U.S. Northeast Region Director Matt Odell

  • Re-elected U.S. South-Central Region Director Todd Taylor

  • Newly elected U.S. Southeast Region Director Mel Lesperance

  • Newly elected U.S. Western Region Director Pat McMurray

Tuesday's General Session technical presentations included "Best Practices for Networking Intelligent Devices: Zone Cabling and Coverage Area Planning," "Infrastructure Challenges and Solutions for IoT and Intelligent Building Integration," "Build SMART, Not Hard...The Application of Technology in Today's Smart Building Environments," and "Digital Video for BICSI Folks."

Attendees have enjoyed the conference program thus far. "The presentations have been enlightening and engaging," said Dwayne Henderson, RCDD, of Chesterfield, Michigan. "I'm looking forward to the next presentation. BICSI has changed with the times and it is always refreshing."

The 2017 BICSI Winter Conference & Exhibition continues through Thursday morning.