Following an ongoing customer consultation programme, Clarion Gaming has responded to requests from its international community of stakeholders and taken the extremely difficult decision to postpone the co-located 2021 editions of ICE London and iGB Affiliate London which were scheduled to open at the end of June.
Based on requests from its customer base the next edition of ICE London will take place at ExCeL London (1-3 February 2022) alongside iGB Affiliate London (3-5 February). An expanded and enhanced edition of the flagship iGB Live! will retain its traditional dates (28 September-1 October, RAI, Amsterdam) and in the process help kick-start the recovery for gaming communities in Europe.
Stuart Hunter, Managing Director, Clarion Gaming, said: “Both the ICE London and iGB Affiliate London brands have been successful because they have consistently worked with, and listened to, the needs of their respective customers.
“The soundings we’ve taken and the ongoing conversations we are having with exhibitors of all sizes across both events have shown continued and significant uncertainty about the year ahead. Exhibitors have expressed a desire to put the experiences of the last 12 months behind them and instead focus their collective energy and creativity into making the 2022 editions into memorable in-person celebrations.”
The decision to return in February 2022 has been welcomed by industry leading brands. Aristocrat Gaming’s General Manager – EMEA, Erik van den Berg, said: “Aristocrat has maintained market leading investment in the design and development of new slot content and hardware throughout the global pandemic and has a number of new innovations we’re excited to share with our operating partners.”
“Nevertheless, we are fully behind Clarion Gaming’s view that people’s safety and comfort must always come first and we therefore welcome this decision. Returning ICE to its traditional February window offers much more chance of a return to normality with a vibrant, business-led event that truly reflects the exciting sector we all serve.”
Andrew Ludlow, Managing Director of gaming technology provider, NRM Group, said: “I’ve always believed the industry is at its most impressive when it gets together and talks about product, discusses the future and how it can collaborate on new projects and new opportunities. One of the best places to achieve that is at exhibitions and the best exhibition to get a cross-section of opinion from every possible angle is ICE London. From an NRM perspective, I’m pleased that we have this clarity and can instead plan for ICE London ’22 when the immunisation programmes will have taken place, travel will not be such an issue and the world will be a lot safer and a lot calmer. This is a pragmatic and sensible response from the organisers.”
Adam Azor, Global Head of Marketing at Sportradar added: “The industry has certainly missed participating in key live events such as ICE London but given the current landscape, we believe that working towards ICE London in February 2022 represents the best option – for everyone. By following this path forward there is clarity for 2021 and we can return to the most influential show in the world in 2022, ready to meet the opportunities that lie ahead.”
Reflecting on the announcement in relation to iGB Affiliate London, Shona ODonnell, Head of Strategic Events at Better Collective, commented: “LAC remains a highly important event in the iGaming affiliate space, and while we are very sorry that this year’s postponed edition will not take place, we fully support the team at Clarion Gaming in making this difficult decision. As a global business, industry events not only allow us to meet with clients and partners, but also offer the opportunity for the Better Collective global teams to come together.”
“We are now focussed on iGB Live in September and look forward to seeing our industry colleagues face to face for the first time in over 18- months and to supporting the iGB team in Amsterdam.”
Stuart Hunter concluded: “As a team we cannot wait for what will be two momentous events, and we are totally focused on helping all sectors of the industry bounce back from what has been an horrendous year. ICE London and sister event IGB Affiliate London both stand shoulder to shoulder with their communities and the team is ready and primed to help our loyal stakeholders wherever they are and, in any way possible.”
“To best service our customers during the pandemic, we have magnified our digital offerings and expanded our digital publishing portfolio. Thanks to a significant financial investment in the development of new commercial channels for our customers, the team has spent the last nine months developing, market-testing and refining what is an integrated technology platform to serve the international gaming industry year-round, alongside the launch of invitation-only executive summits, matching key buyers and sellers, curated to meet the needs of all sectors of the business”
“Our next major live trade shows will be IGB Live and IGB Affiliate Amsterdam. Everyone is excited to get the gaming community back together at a physical event and our autumn shows are well placed and on a safe timeline to do that. We will be vastly expanding the product offering at those shows and introducing many new features. I am looking forward to introducing a series of exciting new developments to the industry over the next few weeks.”