A press release from the Gauselmann Group, one of the event’s largest exhibitors, is questioning the choice of London as the best location for the ICE show.
The company reacted to the recent release of the ICE Location Analysis, a survey conducted by independent company Explori on behalf of the show organiser, Clarion Gaming.
The survey appeared to point firmly at an overall preference for London as the destination for the show, having been taken from a cross-section of ICE exhibitors and visitors.
Gauselmann Group demurred, however. In its release, the company said that the survey had “reignited concerns among several leading exhibitors that London can perhaps be seen as no longer fit for purpose beyond its 2022 edition.”
The company reopened the debate, which it said that been going on for some time in the background after the first Covid-19 postponements and the cancellation of ICE 2021. The company said that the survey had been directed only at attendees, not exhibitors.
“As one leading industry executive noted: ‘The exhibitors pay the bills and create the show’s profits, but it seems that our opinions on London as the continuing venue for ICE after 2022 do not matter’.”
The executive went on to note the lack of both a meaningful information flow and personal contact from Clarion. “We feel that we have been left in the dark and while the events of this year are both disappointing because of the pandemic and everything that has entailed, we have to look forward and that includes considering a reset of London as the host venue of ICE beyond 2022.”
The release from Gauselmann admits that ExCeL is “a magnificent venue,” but its location in the Docklands is “the exact opposite.” The company also cites difficulties brought on by Brexit as a problem and the costs of travel and transport for non-UK exhibitors.
It also raises concerns at the costs of accommodation, social events and exhibiting space when compared to events based on the European mainland.
The company release concluded: “The issue refuses to go away and it is clear that those exhibitors who are concerned about the future of the global gaming industry’s biggest and arguably best B2B exhibition must come together, express those concerns openly and engage in a dialogue to find a solution.”