After a short stint in New Orleans, the Louisiana Gulf Coast Oil Exposition is coming home.

After hosting one event in the Crescent City, LAGCOE will return to Lafayette and the Cajundome in 2022. That event is scheduled for October 19 through 21.

"We're excited!" LAGOE executive director Sara Bourque said. "(The return) was in part due to the tremendous support we received from Mayor-President (Josh) Guillory and community leaders like (Lafayette Travel President/CEO) Ben Berthelot who wanted to see LAGCOE return to its community roots."

According to Bourque, next year's LAGCOE will look a different from previous events. That's because the body that organizes the exposition is taking the advice of its vendors and sponsors. It's also because LAGCOE wants to find new ways to boost attendance.

"First and foremost, we received feedback from our exhibitors and sponsors, and one way we will transition is that all of our activities will take place on our show floors," Bourque said. "It's going to be vibrant and have a festival feel.

"We will have headliners come in, whether it be world-renowned keynotes or attractions, but we will work to get the community more involved. And the feel of the show will be different than in the past. When you come, you will be there for the overall experience. You'll be there for the business connections, but we're also there to insure that it's an unforgettable experience, and we're adding elements to the show to ensure that."

Berthelot says the conversations to bring LAGCOE back to Lafayette began about a month-and-a-half ago. He says this will be a major boon for the local service industry, especially on days during which their business is typically slow.

"What's great about LAGCOE is that it's always been midweek business for us," Berthelot said. "The idea of having a midweek event anytime we can have one is good news for our hotels. There were so many emotions when they left to go to New Orleans. They did what they thought what they had to do at the time. We wanted them back home, and it's good to have them back home."

The 2022 LAGCOE will also feature scholarship giveaways, student competitions, and energy pitches. According to Bourque, those are just a few examples LAGCOE continuing to grow its roots in the community.

"LAGCOE's headquarters have never left Lafayette," Bourque said. "The organization is ensuring the success of the Lafayette community.

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