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One term ends, another begins

Richard Smith named BICSI's new Canadian Region Director. He takes over in January at the annual winter conference.


November 1, 2006  


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The BICSI Winter Conference is traditionally the largest BICSI conference held each year with the highest attendance, the most exhibitors and the largest number of pre-and post-conference activities.

This month’s column will be a primer for first-time attendees, and will give those of you who have attended a BICSI conference in the past some ideas on seeing it differently.

The conference will be held Jan. 22-25 at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.

I have attended more than 20 BICSI conferences over the years, and I never fail to learn or experience something new or interesting at each one.

As a Region Director, all of the meetings and duties that surround a BICSI conference don’t allow me much extra time to just hang out. But I do make time at each conference to explore and see what’s going on.

Lay of the Land

Conference Registration and Information Desk: Staffed by BICSI employees and volunteers, this is where you can get conference information, your attendee bag (with the Conference Program, Pocket Schedule and other useful materials), name badge and passes to get into the exhibit hall.

BICSI Central: Here you can pick up your conference gift and speak to BICSI product and service experts. This is also where you can inquire about and purchase BICSI manuals.

BICSI Cyber Lounge: Complete with computer kiosks, wireless access and free Internet service. Use this resource to keep in touch with the office, access the Internet, view the conference roster or request a conference attendee certificate.

Exhibit Hall: The exhibit hall is open when the presentations are not in session, generally in the morning before presentations begin and in the evenings after presentations end. Specific times will be listed in your Conference Program and Pocket

Presentations: BICSI conferences offer numerous presentations to choose from on various topics and are separate from the exhibits. They are typically technical in nature, but we do integrate some non-technical speakers to inject a business aspect, personal development and even some fun. Pay attention.

Ask questions. Provide your input and experience — the speakers enjoy being challenged and attendees appreciate hearing about your experiences. As with the exhibitors, pick presentations that you don’t know about and learn something new.

Pre- and Post-Conference Training: To maximize your educational experience, courses are offered by BICSI before and after the conference. The Sunday and Monday before the conference officially starts offer additional opportunities to attend seminars and shorter courses. Register early to ensure seating. Check out the BICSI Web site at www.bicsi.org to see what classes are being offered.

Committees: There are many different committees at BICSI — Standards, Membership and Marketing, Codes — to name just a few.

These committees could benefit from your understanding of the market and your willingness to provide direction to the members and our industry. All committees meet during the conference, typically on the Saturday and Sunday before the start. If you are at all inclined, contact chammersley@bicsi.org to see how you can get involved.

Region Lunches: On the Wednesday of the conference, each BICSI Region Director holds a region lunch. This is an ideal opportunity to find out what’s going on in your region, meet your Region Director, ask questions and network with peers.

BICSI Cares: This is our way of helping others. We have all benefited from our involvement in BICSI and the ITS industry; BICSI Cares helps those who have not. A different local children’s charity is supported at every conference. So do your part and help make it a success.

Conference Basics: In an effort to show respect for the presenters, as well as those around you, please try to avoid using cell phones and talking during a presentation. Turn ringers off or place your cell phone on the vibrate mode, and hold your discussions until during the breaks after the presentations.

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The election results are in and Richard Smith, RCDD/NTS/OSP, is BICSI’s new Canadian Region Director.

He is currently on the BICSI’s Codes Committee and has participated in the coordination of two BICSI Canada Region meetings, two Registration and Specialty Supervisory Committee (RSSC) examination programs and successfully completed the BICSI Residential Cabling program in 2002.

Smith also acted as chairperson for BICSI’s efforts in producing a Canadian version of the Telecommunications Quick Reference Guide for Code Officials.

He will be inaugurated into his new position during the Winter Conference. I thank all BICSI members who participated in the elections.

I’ve certainly enjoyed serving as the Canadian Region Director and wish him the best of luck for his term.

Roman Dabrowski, RCDD, is the Canadian Director of BICSI. He can be reached via e-mail at rdabrowski@bicsi.org.