I am convinced that the International Workboat Show keeps getting better and better each year, and this year was no different.

The sheer size and scope of the trade show floor is astounding. Just being on the exhibit floor is a treat and something that I look forward to year after year.

Here are my other highlights from this year’s show held in New Orleans in November:

  • The seminars and speakers are always interesting. This year the Inland Waterways & Passenger Vessel Program was particularly informative. It highlighted Army Corps of Engineers projects, financial needs and priorities for our inland rivers, vessel design trends, and even tips on how to survive a Coast Guard inspection. WorkBoat is able to focus in on the top items of the day and attract great speakers to come and speak to the diverse audience that this show attracts.
  • The attendees and exhibitors. For those like myself who have spent their careers in the maritime industry, we don’t always get the chance to see or talk to each other during our work time. Thus, it is a homecoming week for me to see many of my fellow mariners and suppliers. I even run into a few loyal readers of this column. So, going to New Orleans for these three days is always a great time to catch up with everyone.
  • My final highlight was the foot traffic. This year’s show was particularly busy for us at the Passenger Vessel Association (PVA) booth, which served as my headquarters during the show. The PVA booth saw almost nonstop traffic and visitors. Information and business cards were exchanged at a rapid pace. With Subchapter M regulations now coming into force, many of the small towing companies were asking questions about Coast Guard inspections. PVA members have been inspected by the Coast Guard for many years and we are pleased to share tips and advice.

And let’s not forgot another big plus of attending the WorkBoat Show — the food. At the end of a long day at the show, I look forward to experiencing the culinary delights served up by New Orleans’ countless fine restaurants.

I look forward to seeing you at the show next year.

A collection of stories from guest authors.