Oct 22, 2013 7:30 PM by Akeam Ashford

LAGCOE: Smaller Companies Say They Can Compete

The Louisiana Gulf Coast Exposition, better known as LAGCOE, kicked off this morning with the ribbon cutting for a new exhibition space.

The expo welcomed mpre than 400 exhibitors from 47 states and 27 countries.

Even though theres more room for larger companies like Conoco Philips and Chevron at this year's expo, smaller companies like Begneaud Manufacturing say they have strong products which help them compete globally.

"I can tell you one of the things I am so proud of Lafayette for, our revenues. We bring in more revenues from out of the state. We are bringing in dollars from other states, and other countries right here to lafayette," says Begneaud owner Donald Begneaud.

Even with the growing space, there are over 400 companies who remain on the wait list.

David Wright of Wright's Manufacturing was finally able to get his company into the expo.

"It took us two years to get from the waiting list to be able to get a spot," says Wright.

Before he was able to display his products at the expo, Wright says 10 years ago he developed a relationship with the Eaton Oil Tools company.

"They've always been an outstanding company; fair and easy to work with," says Wright.

George Eaton, owner of Eaton Tools says his family has been a part of the expo from the very beginning.

He credits the success of his company in the oil and gas industry to the contacts he's developed over the years.

"We try to pass ourselves off to giving good personal service to all the customers," says Eaton.

Since the show is held in Lafayette, it gives these local firms the home field advantage in dealing with larger companies.

Tonight from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., LAGCOE welcomes international visitors from across the globe at the UL alumni center on St. Mary Boulevard.

Tomorrow, the LAGCOE future energy professionals program will guide junior and senior high school students for hands-on experience through the expo.



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