The annual ICE trade show in London tags itself as “Totally Gaming.” The organizers know what they’re talking about, because it perfectly describes ICE, which is itself an acronym for International Casino Exposition.
At ICE, you won’t find companies displaying those non-gaming amenities that are a growing part of the international casino business. But you will find gaming of every stripe. From land-based slot manufacturers to social casino developers; from systems providers to sports betting machines; from data analytic programs to the latest in online bingo; ICE is the place to go if you want to buy, sell or trade anything related to gaming.
Because of the uncertainty of legal iGaming in North America, there are dozens of exhibitors that would not appear at a U.S.-based gaming trade show. But at ICE, there’s room for everyone. And that spells growth.
This year’s version of ICE featured a total of 119 companies making their first-ever appearance at Europe’s largest gaming trade show. That represented 23 percent of the trade-show floor ICE organizer Clarion Gaming called the “Gaming Technopolis.”
Jo Mayer, marketing director for ICE, said the growing number of first-time exhibitors reflects the overall growth of the show. “The distribution of our new exhibitors, which are drawn from all parts of the gaming landscape, is equally as significant as their number,” Mayer said. “Our 119 debut exhibitors are traveling to London from an amazing 43 countries, including long-haul journeys such as South Africa, Anguilla, Hong Kong, India and Australia.”
Clarion also announced that it is renegotiating its contract with London’s ExCel Centre to rent the remaining 12 halls of the facility over the show’s next four years, and from the 2020 edition onward to occupy the entire ExCel Centre facility.
“We will have to look at it in the light of what is best for our exhibitors and our visitors,” said Kate Chambers, managing director of Clarion’s gaming division. She said the show grew by 4,000 square meters (43,000 square feet) this year alone, taking up two additional hall sections.
Chambers said over the next four years, the show will occupy the entire site, with next year’s show adding 8,000 square meters and four more halls. “We have enough space for the next few years, unless something dramatic happens within the industry, either positively or negatively,” she said. “Our current contract with ExCel runs out in 2019, so clearly, we will have to re-evaluate everything before then.”
Clarion recently bought out rival show organizers iGaming Business, giving it control of Super Show, the internet gambling event held in Amsterdam, while Clarion has its own show for that sector, EiG, which was held this year in Berlin.