Wednesday is opening day of the 30th International WorkBoat Show in New Orleans. The show has come a long way since its inception in November 1978 when 4,000 visitors showed up and 180 exhibitors displayed their wares in 291 booths. This year, over 12,000 visitors are expected to walk the floor of the Morial Convention Center as they check out what 950 exhibitors in 1,900 booths have to offer.
For me, it is not only a chance to catch up with friends, colleagues, peers and others, but an opportunity to check the pulse of the workboat industry. It is, so to speak, one-stop shopping — an annual ritual where I touch base with vessel builders, operators and designers and the companies that supply the vessels with products and services. The show is also where I get some of my best story ideas for the coming year and a place that brings together people from all walks of the workboat world, from mariners to shipyard foremen to CEOs and CFOs.
So, if you haven’t done so already, you can still register for a free WorkBoat Show exhibit hall pass. Just go to www.workboatshow.com. I hope to see you there.