The room was filled to the gills with big fishes and those just learning to cast their lines for the annual Standards Plenary on Tuesday. In fact, the vast majority of the room was comprised of first timers. In a thoroughly executed theme for the day—fishing—members of the Standards Steering Committee were adorned with big fish stickers as the captains of the proverbial standards ships.

“So let’s go fishing,” Ann Brigida, Director of Standards for InfoComm, declared to embark on the day.

“We are approaching a place in our industry where things are rapidly changing about the way our talents are recognized,” Bridiga explained in her opening remarks. “We’re moving the focus to outcome-based education and an outcome-based emphasis on what we do,” pertaining to the performance of systems in their entirety.

So what was on the menu? A “casting” session where each standards committee outlined general status updates of the process they are currently in, with some in the 45-day public review period. A “deeper dive” was presented in 20-minute roundtable sessions. The day was rounded out with case studies, a wrap up, and a party to recognize the hard work of volunteers and to have some fun.

In explaining the format, Brigida said, “We’re not going to stand up here and have person after person tell you about every standard.”

Instead, there were printed sheets conveniently achieving just that on each table. “The intent here is for you to go back to your offices or organizations with something you can apply. We’re going to let YOU go fishing for the information that you need because everyone in this room needs something different.”

She also emphasized the need to have fun as part of the program, “because let’s face it, standards are kind of nerdy and they’re a little bit boring,” she conceded. “We want to make the words come off the page for you because a lot of people did a lot of work to make it better for you.”

The importance of the InfoComm standards on the AV community-at-large cannot be overstated. “Standards is a core aspect of what we do as an association,” said David Labuskes, CTS, CAE, RCDD, Executive Director and CEO, InfoComm International. “The people that develop our standards are some of the most engaged volunteers that we have. Not a single standard would be published by InfoComm without hundreds of volunteers that contribute time—sometimes just almost unbelievable amounts of time and effort in a selfless fashion towards these standards.”