The first edition of ICE Africa has been declared a milestone event by delegates, sponsors and organisers alike. 1,597 visitors from 79 countries, including 23 African nations, attended the historic two day learning and senior level networking event, which was the first occasion the world renowned ICE brand has been exported outside of its UK home.
With the outline figures exceeding first year projections and attendee feedback confirming a strongly positive response to the inaugural event, Kate Chambers, Managing Director of Clarion Gaming, is already planning for the second edition of ICE Africa. She stated: “When we launched I went on the record to say that our vision was to create a showcase event that Africa could be proud of and one that would provide a focal point for the development of socially responsible and sustainable gaming economies throughout the continent. With 66 percent of the overall attendance drawn from Africa I believe that we have gone some way to fulfilling that aspiration.”
She continued: “It was the industry that first asked us to bring the ICE brand to Africa and I am delighted that we have been able to work in partnership with so many facets of the business based in Africa to make that vision a reality. Throughout the development and planning process there has been a deep and extremely genuine enthusiasm to make this event a success and we look forward to working further with our stakeholders to develop the ICE Africa brand and take it to the next level.
“With launch events not everything will go smoothly and my team at Clarion Gaming, which did such a good job in making ICE Africa a reality, is already working on fixing those as well as building on the undoubted successes that everyone experienced. Overall, these are very exciting times for the development of the gaming industry in Africa, and very exciting times for the ICE brand which has demonstrated its international appeal and its exportability.”
The positive response was echoed by Adedoyensola Abitoye, Head of HR- Lagos Lotteries board in Nigeria, who stated: “The people we have met here at ICE Africa, have been of high quality from all around Africa and not just South Africa which is very good. What we have come here to accomplish, we have achieved on the first day through speaking to people we’ve never had the chance to speak to before.”
Echoing the enthusiastic mood EP Smit, Dallmeier (Senior Enterprise Solutions) South Africa, said: “It’s been a truly wonderful experience, we’ve met a number of key people – from operators to regulators and, crucially, people who want to invest. It’s a great avenue to network and see what other countries are doing, to ensure that the gaming industry keeps getting better. I love it here!”