There is always a great deal of energy and excitement when the maritime industry gathers each year in New Orleans. Whatever workboat industry segment you hail from, there is plenty to keep you busy during this important three-day event.

Each year, I am amazed at all the different people that I run into. We are all busy in our daily lives in business and sometimes lose touch with colleagues. But at the WorkBoat Show, everyone seems to pick up immediately where they left off the year before. Because of this, there is a great deal of catching up to do and good information that is exchanged. I always learn about company changes, expansion plans, new trends and even business opportunities.

I also receive face-to-face feedback from individuals who read this column. Some stop to offer praise for a position I have taken or an opinion that I have expressed. Others take me to task for something I wrote that they disagree with. I always enjoy these exchanges and definitely welcome all of the feedback. 

I always learn something new at the WorkBoat Show. There is, after all, aisle-after-aisle of vendors exhibiting the latest products and services for the maritime industry. 

For example, this year I learned about a new technology that had piping that can be installed without welding and is approved by the Coast Guard. I learned a great deal about alternative energy sources, something that is definitely on the minds of all operators today. I saw space-age designs for commercial vessels of the future and the latest navigation and marine electronics that impressed and amazed me. 

Of course, the world’s major engine companies were again present at the show and showcased the latest propulsion products that will deliver needed power along with reduced emissions. Everything you need for a vessel and crew was at the WorkBoat Show again this year, and it was more than anyone can see in just three days.

A collection of stories from guest authors.