Return of energy trade show LAGCOE to Lafayette in 2022 rightly places the event back at home base.
The Louisiana Gulf Coast Oil Exposition was created in Lafayette and remained a mainstay for tourism from 1955 until 2017, when a continuing industry downturn convinced LAGCOE’s leadership to take the show to New Orleans in 2019. Better travel connections, hotel space and proximity to oil and gas corporate offices there would help recover LAGCOE’s dwindling participation in a new site, some believed.
But advantages to leaving Lafayette were not better than returning home. The 2019 show at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orealsn was appealing, visually and in content, and but with the energy industry remaining flat, crowds remained slender.
LAGCOE’s leadership this week announced it would return the biennial show to Lafayette Oct. 19-21. Mayor-President Josh Guillory initiated an erstwhile late-summer effort with LAGCOE leaders and other stakeholders to return LAGCOE 2022 to the Cajundome and Convention Center. Lafayette government spokesperson Jamie Angelle said negotiations and accommodations were made — he was uncertain about specifics — but he said Guillory convinced all involved that LAGCOE’s home is in Lafayette — its offices never left the Oil Center — and that the show ought to be there, too.
Angelle rightfully called the agreement “a huge win” for Lafayette.
Lafayette should celebrate this happy news. For 70 years, LAGCOE’s success benefited Lafayette with full hotels, robust restaurant business and sales tax receipts. Its success testified to Lafayette’s longstanding reputation as an energy center.