I’ve been attending the Inland Marine Expo (IMX) in St. Louis since its inception in 2014 (except two years ago because of Covid-19 and last year because of a scheduling conflict).

The conference’s sponsor and owner, The Waterways Journal, announced recently that this would be IMX’s final year in St. Louis — at least for now.

I like St. Louis. I like the arch, the Budweiser Brewery, and Busch Stadium, where I’ll be tonight watching the Cardinals. I’ve had a lot of good times here during those years.

IMX debuted at Union Station, a revamped 1894 train station that’s now a multi-use facility. But it quickly outgrew the venue.

I liked the show better when it was at Union Station before it moved to the Convention Center. The conference program and trade show floor activity has improved, but there was just a different energy level at the old train station for whatever reason.

As I sit here on my Southwest Airlines non-stop flight to St. Louis, I’m looking forward to seeing some old friends, learning something I don’t know now, and spending a couple of hours with the Cardinals and Blue Jays.

Next year, we’re off to Nashville, Tenn., for IMX 2023. Is Nashville more of an inland waterways town than St. Louis? I look forward to gauging my colleagues’ opinions on the topic.

For now, it’s time to close and lock my tray table and put my seatback in its upright position.

Ken Hocke has been the senior editor of WorkBoat since 1999. He was the associate editor of WorkBoat from 1997 to 1999. Prior to that, he was the editor of the Daily Shipping Guide, a transportation daily in New Orleans. He has written for other publications including The Times-Picayune. He graduated from Louisiana State University with an arts and sciences degree, with a concentration in English, in 1978.