Merkur Gaming has issued a statement criticizing the lack of discussion about the ICE show’s location beyond 2022. Merkur claims that the show’s organizer, Clarion, has failed to listen to exhibitors’ concerns and that the show should be moved within the EU.
The statement reads as follows: “The recently released ICE Location Analysis survey conducted by Explori has re-ignited concerns among several leading exhibitors that London can perhaps be seen as no longer fit-for-purpose beyond 2022. These concerns now re-visit an industry-wide debate that was seen after first the Covid-19 postponements and then the cancellation of ICE 2021. The survey carried out during June and July 2021 by Explore, despite the statement issued be ICE organisers, Clarion Events, that they had “engaged in significant exhibitor and attendee outreach,” was directed only at attendees, not exhibitors.”
Merkur added: “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.”
Clarion Gaming, the show’s organizer, responded to the criticism:
“ICE London only exists and can only be consistently successful if it meets the needs of all of its stakeholders. This has been at the core of Clarion Gaming’s business philosophy and will remain so.
“The independent research carried out by Explori (June 25-July 14, 2021) surveys a total of 684 ICE stakeholders and was part of a thorough research program that included direct engagement with a sample of 50 exhibiting brands – a community that represented 55 percent of the total ICE floor.
“ICE London is a significant exhibition occupying 70,000sq.m gross (2020), a key metric that limits the number of venues capable of hosting a show of this size.
“We would never insist on a location that the industry was not happy with. Our pledge is to always work with our customers in order to deliver the best and most favorable outcomes for their businesses and for the industry that we are proud to serve.”