A flurry of participant withdrawals pushed the Association of Event Organisers (AEO) in the UK to reassure the gaming industry ICE London 2022 is safe and will take place.
‘Safe Environment for Customers’
The trade body representing companies that host trade events AEO is pulling every stop to convince potentially more cautious participants that the exhibition is not threatened following the government’s move to ease on the level of restrictions recently.
Chris Skeith OBE, chief executive of the AEO, said that “organizers continue to use the All Secure Guidelines, previously approved by government officials, which is a dynamic risk-assessed approach to create safe environments for customers.”
ICE London was initially scheduled to take place in the first week of February but was postponed due to restrictions on international travel and was rescheduled to make its return to ExCeL London from April 12-14 as the UK government started easing the level of restrictions.
Since January 27, the country removed its Plan B measures, relieving events and venues from checking their visitors’ health status, while social distancing rules and wearing of masks were no longer required anywhere.
Further commenting on the safety of the event, Skeith pointed to venue research that suggested customers feel safe at the exhibition satisfied with the adoption of improved ventilation and enhanced cleaning as standard practice.
“Feedback received from members who have run events indicate a great deal of pent-up demand from buyers, and whilst shows are understandably smaller than they were pre pandemic the satisfaction scores and re-booking rates are in many cases higher than they were prior to March 2020.”
Chris Skeith OBE, CEO, AEO
Clarion Gaming managing director Stuart Hunter joined the choir seeking to reassure those who plan to attend the event they would be safe, pointing to other shows that are already running across the country safely. Clarion is the organizer of the exhibition.
“With AEO research confirming that nearly seven out of ten buyers (69%) will recommend brands that they have engaged with at events there’s no doubt that the return of in-person represents a major opportunity for businesses and industries to bounce back after a torrid two-years.”
Stuart Hunter, Managing Director, Clarion Gaming
Participant Withdrawals Continue
Despite the easing of restrictions, interest for the event that was canceled last year continues to wane as more scheduled exhibitors withdraw, the latest being Slovenia-based gaming provider Spintec.
The company that was expected to celebrate its 10th anniversary at the exhibition this week by exhibiting its full suite of cutting-edge products, cited complicated Brexit-related procedures and the lack of interest from international visitors due to the withdrawals from some of the largest exhibitors, on top of pandemic-related issues.
Spintec joined the likes of Merkur Gaming, Novomatic, Zitro, R Franco Group, and Quixant, which announced their decision to withdraw from the major industry event last week, setting the tone for relatively smaller firms like Netherlands-based Signs4U, REAC and Cash Support, as well as Bulgarian-based Euro Games Technology to follow suit and also cancel their ICE London 2022 plans.