As this year’s International Casino Exhibition, recognised as the industry’s biggest ever event, drew to a close Clarion Events announced it would be renegotiating its contract at Excel for 2020 so that it would be able to fill all of the remaining exhibition halls.
This year’s exhibition increased in size by another 4,000sq.m, taking up two more sections of the halls but still 12 halls are left unoccupied.
Kate Chambers, Managing Director of Clarion’s gaming division, revealed that in 2017 four more halls will be taken, amounting to another 8,000sq.m of space. She believes that whilst there is currently enough space to house the exhibition in its existing format, in ‘four or five years’ time’ the current rate of growth could see the exhibition fully occupying the entire site.
Clarion’s current contract with ExCel expires in 2019. It has recently bought the i-gaming Super Show, the internet gambling event held in Amsterdam, which could be added to the mix.
Nick Harding, CEO of the Gauselmann owned gaming operator, Praesepe, described the London show as being ‘a billion dollars worth of thinking concentrated in just one venue’.
“There’s no doubt that ICE is a massive show and this year I believe it’s physically the largest on record, occupying most of the halls at ExCe,” he said. “The Americans will always claim that G2E is the biggest show in the world but I no longer think that’s the case. ICE will host 529 exhibitors from 62 nations and of course our parent company Gauselmann Group will be one of the largest exhibitors there, with representation from all the different manufacturing businesses within the group.
“Clearly, with an event this big, it’s not a question of just rolling up and walking around. Without wanting to sound too regimented you really do have to go there with a plan and a set of objectives. My senior team is going to be at ICE and they will each have their own particular responsibilities and interests. From my own perspective I will be particularly interested in discussing security and regulatory measures around the world and will undoubtedly form my own view as to where the global gambling industry is heading.
“Whilst all trade shows are important to us, I think ICE is different because the sheer scale and diversity mean that there is always going to be some idea or innovation that we can either buy into and trial for ourselves or that sparks a separate thought process within our business and produces an idea or concept that can help us stay ahead of the competition. ICE is a really valuable resource in so many ways and for those reasons, it simply can’t be ignored.”