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Trade Shows Are Back!

Trade Shows Are Back!

This month, two major trade shows and conferences are returning after a couple of years of disruption due to the pandemic.

On April 12-14, ICE returns at the ExCeL Centre in London. ICE Vox, the accompanying conference, will start a day earlier on April 11. The events were postponed from early February as concerns were raised about Covid impacts, but the change of date did little to ease that concern. Many major gaming vendors decided to wait until 2023, but the show goes on. In fact, it’s going to be even stronger, if pre-registration numbers are accurate. Even with some defectors, there still will be over 450 suppliers exhibiting at ICE, with more than 160 expert speakers and at least 50 networking events.

Stuart Hunter, managing director for organizer Clarion Gaming, says the changes have been well publicized but it hasn’t prevented attendees from registering, pointing out that registrations are up 26 percent over 2020 as of mid March.

“Industry professionals registering now know about our temporary April dates and are aware that the show floor will look and feel different compared to previous years,” he says. “Other metrics confirm that the audience will comprise a higher proportion of senior C-Level executives as well as those industry professionals that are part of the decision-making and purchasing process. I should add that the overwhelming majority of ICE attendees register in the last 30 days prior to the event.

“Despite the difficulties facing the industry and the unavoidable problems concerning our enforced temporary dates, ICE London 2022 will be the biggest gathering of the international industry since the last edition of ICE two years ago. We are in close contact with our community of exhibitors and visitors, and to a person they are looking forward to being able to reconnect with their customers and suppliers in a live environment… Data from the broader events industry confirm that nearly seven out of 10 buyers (69 percent) will recommend brands that they have engaged with at live events, and there’s no doubt that the return of in-person represents a major opportunity for businesses to bounce back post-Covid.”

ICE will return to its normal dates of early February in 2023.

Five days after ICE ends, an event co-produced by Clarion and the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA), Indian Gaming 2022, will kick off in Anaheim, California, April 19-22, the first visit to that city by the trade show. Celebrating its 35th anniversary, the show is the largest gathering of tribal leaders and casino executives in the country. The Indian Gaming Tradeshow & Convention is both the meeting place where the community gathers to learn, network and exchange industry-specific ideas and a cultural celebration of success, strength and self-reliance.

Two golf tournaments start the events on Tuesday, April 19, ending that day with the Chairman’s Welcome Reception at the House of Blues. The education sessions launch on Wednesday, with NIGA membership meetings and regional caucuses being held as well.

The trade show opens at 10 a.m. on Thursday and caps off with the show floor reception at the end of the day. The trade show continues on Friday right up to the final keynote address that closes the show at 3 p.m.

Indian Gaming 2023 is tentatively scheduled for March 27-30 at the San Diego Convention Center in California.