“The best exhibition I have been part of in over 20-years working in the business and a total vindication of our re-location to ExCeL” is how Portfolio Director Kate Chambers, reflected on the international gathering of gaming professionals who took over the heart of Olympic London for ICE Totally Gaming 2013.
Reflecting on the figures Kate Chambers said: “I’m absolutely delighted that our re-location to ExCeL London was so well received by both exhibitors and visitors. It is clear that those who attended spent much more time on the show floor which is a tribute to the quality and breadth of the thousands of product innovations being displayed by ICE exhibitors. Whilst the outline attendance of unique visitors is a 4.3% increase on 2012, the aggregate number of visitor days, which stood at more than 40,000, is an important metric to bring in to play and one which illustrates the calibre of those who attended.
The evidence, suggests that the 22,247 who attended ICE came with a serious purpose in mind and not simply to spend some time out of the office. The independent research we commissioned supports this view, with more than nine out of ten visitors to ICE involved in the purchasing process, confirming its status as a serious business event for international buyers. The ICE Conferences, which represent the best learning programme anywhere in gaming, was a stand-out feature of the week. The sold-out sessions featured some 170 of the industry’s most eminent thought leaders and received great acclaim from delegates.”
She concluded: “I’m delighted for our 481 exhibiting companies who backed the vision for ICE Totally Gaming, delighted for our loyal visitors 54% of whom travelled to London from outside the United Kingdom and extremely proud of my team who brought the ‘Think Big’ creative proposition to life. The high proportion of non-UK visitors coupled with the fact that 71% of exhibitors are based outside of the host nation, confirms the show’s status as the only global event for the gaming industry.”
The positive mood was echoed by Jens Halle, managing director of Austrian Gaming Industries who said: "ICE Totally Gaming began its 'new era' by actively embracing the change of date and location factors to provide what was a truly excellent show for Novomatic. Such issues as arose were dealt with effectively and many lessons - for both exhibitors and the organising team - can now be addressed and carried forward in order to ensure that ICE Totally Gaming remains the world's biggest, and best, event for the international gaming industry in future years."
Kevan Moretti, head of Racing Post’s B2B Services, whose stand was the centre piece of the new Sports Betting Village feature at ExCeL, commented: “Our stand was inundated with visitors. Business-wise ICE is an essential part of our calendar and the overseas exhibitors and attendees are a critical part of the show. Racing Post B2B will be announcing three new projects in the coming months, all originated or progressed at this year’s show. The whole show was a triumph for Clarion and the decision to move to the ExCeL.”
Project, who returned to ICE after a three-year absence, were impressed with the opportunities the event generated to engage with international buyers. Managing Director Tony Boulton confirmed: “We met representatives of organisations that we would otherwise never have been able to identify let alone meet with. Events like ICE remove the barriers to international trade and I think the upbeat response that we received at ICE helped to give us one of our best ever starts to a year.”
The gaming media, which plays such an important role in promoting ICE to a global audience, were equally upbeat. Gary Roudette, CEO of Players Publishing said: “Congratulations on what must have been the best ICE I have ever been to. I have been in this industry since 2000 and without a doubt ICE 2013 was the best industry show I have ever been to anywhere in the world. I worked in the motor industry for eight-years and even with their amazing budgets and spending power they never managed anything like you achieved at ExCeL.”
ICE Totally Gaming’s reputation for being an event where business is completed and deals are done was put into sharp focus with news that giant US corporation and ICE exhibitor Esterline completed the acquisition of Gamesman, one of Europe’s leading components developers at the start of ICE week and confirmation that Sceptre Leisure agreed a 1,000 machine order for the Gauselmann Genie series for the British pub market on the middle day of ICE when 16,000 people were on the show floor.