But they did: LAGCOE organizers said Thursday afternoon LAGCOE 2015attendance passed 16,400, LAGCOE'ssecond-largest attendance ever. And that was only part of the story.
Many of the 448 vendors who rented space at LAGCOE 2015 said this year's three-day show at the Cajundome was a matter of quality as well asquantity.
"The quality of (business) leads here was very, very good," said Kevin DeVries, branch manager of HiTech Seals in Conroe, Texas. "People had issues that had to be fixed."
"I prefer this show to OTC," Houston's Offshore Technology Conference, an annual show that draws some 50,000, DeVries said. Leads were more "viable," and people have more time to focus on business.
Lani Boudreaux, business development manager for LAPCO Manufacturing in Morgan City, a 25-year-old company thatproduces flame-resistant work clothing, said LAGCOE was "a really good show" for much the same reasons cited by DeVries.
"People wanted to talk business," she said. She attended the 2013 show and said she hopes for expanded booth space in 2017.
That was the overall assessment by many vendors, whose booths featuring goods and services for the oil and gas industry covered the first floor at the Cajundome and the first and second floors at adjacent Convention Center. Vendors also showed products in booth space on the grounds.
"People had more time to talk," said Meredith Domingue of Delta Rigging and Tools of Broussard. "Traffic was good Tuesday and Wednesday and, although it was slower today, I had a couple of good appointments."
Vendors cited other objectivesfor attending LAGCOE. Sean Robeau and Chas D. Rost of Martin Energy Services, which sells marine fuels and lubricants, said they weren't looking for leads. They were more intent on seeing their steady customers at the show and keeping in touch with them.
"Traffic was good," Robeau said. "We did the show in 2013 and we'll be back."
Attendance included visitors from 46 countries and 49 states, LAGCOE said in an issued statement Thursday. In addition to vendors, participants saw eight technical presentations, seven international presentations and five special events.
"We are very pleased with the number of attendees and exhibiting companies at LAGCOE 2015, given the state of the industry," Angela Cring, LAGCOE executive director, said. "It is evident that networking, innovation and preparing the next generation are critical components to our industry especially in lean times."
"The show was great," said LAGCOE chairman Steve Maley, operations manager for Badger Oil. Some 300 volunteers were involved in staffing the exposition.
LAGCOE 2017 will be held Oct. 24-26, 2017.