A new poll finds London as the most popular location to host ICE 2022, as shown by a 75% preference, in a study conducted among ICE attendees, over two-thirds of whom are based in continental Europe.
The findings respond to independent market research conducted by Explori on behalf of show organizer Clarion Gaming. An online survey was carried out between 25th June and 14th July 2021, in which ease of travel (61%), the convenience for international visitors and exhibitors (59%) and the ability to attract the right mix of customers and suppliers (53%) were cited as the key features of holding the gaming expo in London, revealed Clarion in a press release.
Clive Morris, Research Director at Explori, said: “The ICE London Location Review survey was completed by 684 gaming professionals, with representation from across the globe and from both online and offline gaming operators across all the main categories.”
Moreover, with half of respondents at C-Suite or VP level and 91% involved in purchasing decisions, the survey provides “detailed insight from a robust cross-section of senior industry figures.”
The most frequently cited reason among the 10% who did not felt that London should host the event was the impact of Brexit, with concerns regarding regulations and export considerations. A 51% of this group expressed a preference for Amsterdam as host.
But Stuart Hunter, Managing Director of Clarion Gaming, believes the research and the overwhelming preference for London demonstrate “the importance that ICE attendees place on the choice of host city,” with London being “much more than just the venue” for the event.
“The research has shown that while visiting London, 82% of respondents also participate in at least one other business or social activity,” said Hunter. “These range from participating in meetings away from the ExCeL Exhibition Centre and attending sponsored events to visiting tourism sites and meeting with family and friends.”
On the results showing Amsterdam as the second most preferred location, the Managing Director said that “there’s no doubt that Amsterdam’s a great city”, with Clarion Gaming hosting iGB Live! and iGB Affiliate Amsterdam at the RAI. However, it does not currently have “the capacity to accommodate an event the size of ICE or allow for any future growth plans”, with a RAI-hosted ICE being circa 10% smaller than one at ExCel London.
Further findings of the study show that 81% of respondents said they would be comfortable returning to in-person events once restrictions are lifted, with 72% saying they planned to attend ICE in February. The most common area of focus for respondents was casinos (49% of respondents).
“Our sole objective is to provide the best possible platform for the international industry to meet, network and do business: sense checking our host city with our stakeholders is central to achieving this,” further added Stuart Hunter.
The upcoming ICE edition is set to take place February 1-3, at ExCeL London alongside iGB Affiliate London (3-5 February). To best service clients during the pandemic, Clarion has expanded its digital offerings.
Last year’s ICE show gathered around 35,000 professionals from over 150 countries to witness the progress of the gaming industry, demonstrated by 600+ leading solutions providers across all sectors.