Discussions are to be announced early in 2022, once due diligence potential dates have been carried out.
In a communication to exhibitors Clarion Gaming managing director Stuart Hunter said the business had been working closely with ExCeL London to secure new dates in April this year.
“We have seen good progress over the last few days and now have a preferred date we are working towards, but we will require some additional time to iron out some operational challenges prior to confirming the final dates with you and the wider gaming industry,” Hunter explained.
“This work needs to continue through the Christmas period and we will then be in a position to confirm the selected date during the first week of January.”
He said that following the announcement on Friday (17 December) that each show would move from the originally scheduled dates, Clarion had hoped to confirm the new dates today (22 December). ICE was due to take place from 1 to 3 February, with iGB Affiliate London following from 2 to 5 February.
However, the migration of events of ICE and iGB Affiliate London’s size and scale was “hugely challenging” and required dialogue with each show’s contractor base, and other UK organisers with a tenancy at the ExCeL. This, Hunter explained, would ensure the international gaming industry can meet with minimal disruption.
“I would like to thank you for your continued support and patience, it is hugely appreciated and I look forward to working with you closely in the new year towards ICE in April 2022.”
The decision to push the dates back from the originally scheduled timelines, amid an evolving situation caused by the Omicron variant of Covid-19, was welcomed by leading industry associations.
Marcus Prater, executive director of the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers (AGEM), said the supplier body appreciated “the thoughtful consideration Clarion Events put into the decision to postpone ICE”.
“Global gaming suppliers are anxious to gather at a better time and in particular want to welcome back the international community and especially those based in Europe to ExCeL and the ICE exhibition,” Prater added.
The UK’s Gambling Business Group (GBG), a cross sector strategic body whose members include many of the leading brands represented on the show floor, also endorsed the decision.
“The industry needs positive and successful editions of ICE London and iGB Affiliate London more than ever before,” GBGB chief executive Peter Hannibal said. “Clarion has shown itself to be progressive custodians of the brands and excellent partners to everyone involved in the gambling space.
“Businesses seek certainty and moving the shows into Spring 2022 represents the best possible option. A difficult decision but the right outcome in my opinion,” he continued. “The Gambling Business Group and its members look forward with great enthusiasm to being part of the international celebration of the gambling industry in all of its forms.”
Hunter concluded by thanking the industry for its continued support and patience.
“[It] is hugely appreciated and I look forward to working with you closely in the new year towards ICE and iGB Affiliate London in April 2022.”