Clarion Gaming has confirmed that the cities of London, Barcelona, Madrid and Paris will bid to become the host of its flagship ICE conference from 2025-to-2029.
The announcement sees Clarion Gaming undertake the biggest strategic review of ICE since the tradeshow’s enlargement in 2009, which saw it absorb the International Gaming Expo (IGE) and Amusement Trades Exhibition International (ATEI).
The review has been supported by expo and bid specialist Equimore, providing guidance to determine the future location of global gambling’s biggest tradeshow, catering to a capacity of +35,000 daily attendees.
Media has been informed that Clarion Gaming has identified London, Barcelona, Madrid and Paris as cities “which meet the exacting criterion set out in the process.”
Alex Pratt, Group Managing Director, Clarion Gaming, stated: “This robust process is customer-centric and the decision will be taken in the best interests of our stakeholders and of the global gaming industry.
“The four short-listed cities will progress through a selection process with the help of the experienced and knowledgeable team at Equimore which is overseeing every aspect of what is a robust programme.”
London has hosted ICE since the tradeshow’s inception, originally held at Earls Court Exhibition Centre, with its venue transferred to the Docklands Excel in 2013 to meet its delegate and exhibitor demands.
.In 2022, ICE remerged from its two-year ‘COVID hiatus’, returning to the Docklands Excel in April, reflecting a change in its standard dates of early February.
The decision saw gaming machine manufacturers such as Novomatic, Merkur, and TCS opt-out of ICE 2022, due to “logistical challenges brought on by the change of dates”.
Prior to today’s announcement, speculation had mounted as to whether Clarion would review London as host city of ICE. International exhibitors had previously expressed concerns about mounting costs and increased Brexit-related logistics attached to showcasing their products at the London conference.
Clarion Gaming cited that it would factor all concerns and considerations from diverse stakeholders in its upcoming decision.
Pratt concluded: “By pursuing all due diligence we will identify the city that’s best equipped to not only host an event which continues to play such a central role in helping to create opportunity and prosperity for gaming businesses of all sizes, across every vertical and in every global jurisdiction, but also demonstrate its leadership in the sector.
“In the interests of transparency Clarion will not be making any further comment during the official process.”