The return of ICE London to its traditional February time slot, and without international travel restrictions, saw the world’s biggest gaming industry trade show hit new heights in 2023.
The fully-fledged return of ICE London has been run and done, with this year’s show breaking all sorts of records along the way in a sure sign that major industry trade shows have been sorely missed.
The first full-sized ICE since 2020 – with the 2021 show cancelled and a smaller version held last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic – organizer Clarion Gaming had confirmed even before opening on 7 February that ICE 2023 was the largest ever ICE by scale, covering 51,466 square meters of net space at ExCeL London to exceed the previous high of 49,690 square meters set in 2020.
However, the final result exceeded even the most optimistic of expectations with Clarion confident there were more than 40,000 attendees across the three show days, pending an independent audit.
“Furthermore, the number of visitor days, which measures return visits, stands at 79,000,” said Stuart Hunter, Managing Director of Clarion Gaming, in a statement released shortly after ICE concluded.
“Clearly these are really significant numbers, and I believe they reflect the huge importance and value that visitors attach to their ICE experience.
“From a sector perspective we know that 50% of ICE 2023 attendees operate both land-based and online, with 50% online only. Casino and Games was the primary area of operation for 20,000 attendees, with 13,000 focussed on sports betting.
“The growing importance of Payments was evident with 5,000 attendees citing it as their main focus and reason for attending. Additional standouts include an overwhelmingly positive response to ICE VOX which sold-out for the first time.”
Inside Asian Gaming enjoyed its strongest ever ICE presence as well, with a team of four flying to London where our booth was a hive of activity throughout the three show days.
Vice Chairman and CEO Andrew W Scott and Managing Editor Ben Blaschke also appeared on the ICE365 Live studio broadcast on the mornings of Tuesday 7 and Wednesday 8 February to discuss the latest news and offer their views out of Asia. The Tuesday morning slot focused on Macau, specifically the recent re-tendering of gaming licenses and the city’s rapid recovery since the easing of border restrictions. Wednesday then saw Andrew and Ben delve into other markets, namely key regulatory developments in the Philippines, Singapore and Australia.
Certainly ICE London was back with a bang in 2023, with Clarion promising even more in a year’s time.
“2024 will see further expansion of this important area to facilitate increased content and capacity,” said Hunter. “Significantly more than 80% of available stand space for the 2024 edition was re-booked by 4pm on Thursday.”
ICE London returns to ExCeL from 6 to 8 February 2024.