UK Says Adiós to ICE Convention as it Finds a New Home in Barcelona

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    ICE recently announced that their world-famous gaming convention would move from its home in London to Barcelona. From 2025, the convention will take place in the Spanish city, at the Fira de Barcelona exhibition centre.

    What is the ICE Convention?

    ICE has been a chance for brands to showcase interesting things they are doing in the casino and gambling space. There are hundreds of different exhibitors, and it is growing year on year. Unfortunately, it doesn’t cover every single innovator, ICE misses out on showcasing smaller brands making a splash in the industry. However, newcomers like Daily Spins Casino look to etch their mark with competitive offers, giving players new ways to spend crypto, and increasing their library to over 4,000 games. In the future, brands like this may showcase at similar events, but for the moment, industry giants continue to dominate the spotlight.

    ICE has previously been held at ExCeL London, and it is run by Clarion Gaming. The event has gone from strength to strength as it has over 35,000 attendees over the course of multiple days. On top of that, there are representatives from many different niches within the gambling industry.

    As well as things like casino gaming and slots, there are also companies such as esports brands and sports betting companies that have a presence at the event.

    2024’s ICE

    2024’s event recently took place with record crowds and even more exhibitors than ever, along with a sister show called iGB Affiliate. There were 811 different exhibitors from over 70 countries, which took up over 60,000 square metres in the ExCel centre.

    As well as being a networking opportunity for brands, there were learning opportunities as there were talks entitled ICE VOX, which discussed a lot of different goings on in the industry, such as growth prospects and gaming issues, AI, and other industry developments such as regulations. Conversations focused on the World Regulatory Briefing and International Casino Conference modules.

    The show is moving to Barcelona, but it has been revealed that this was not the only option. There was a bidding process that included the option to remain in London, or to host the event in Paris or Madrid.

    The selection process looked at things like presentations and venue visits, and, of course, there were some detailed negotiations regarding the ideal venue. The process considered things like transport links and how easy it would be for people to attend, as well as organisation, and settled on the modern location in Barcelona.

    Alex Pratt, Managing Director at Clarion Gaming, spoke about the decision they had made, “I would like to open by recording my thanks to our panel of global industry stakeholders, who represented all of the key gaming sectors and geographies represented at ICE, for their insight and contributions to the selection process; to the four shortlisted cities for what were highly professional and impressive bids; and to our independent agency for creating and overseeing every detail throughout each stage of the process.”

    He went on to explain a little bit about the thought process behind moving to Fira, complimenting its “world-class facilities, outstanding hospitality infrastructure, logistics, ROI for our customers, and ability to scale.”

    There will still be some presence in the country as it has been announced that the sibling event, iGB Live, will move from Amsterdam to London, meaning there is still a London Exhibition with a focus on gambling.

    The New Venue¾Fira de Barcelona

    Fira de Barcelona is a huge and modern centre that has many different trade shows that mean huge numbers of visitors flock to the city. It is estimated to have contributed billions to the country and its economy, and there are more than 2.5 million annual visitors to shows, including Integrated Systems Europe and many more. In fact, there are 150 trade shows and as many as 30,000 different exhibitors.

    The venue has shown that it can handle these huge events, giving the ICE convention the chance to grow significantly. They are working closely with a lot of overseas companies, so it makes sense that this British event moves to the country.

    Fira de Barcelona is also very well connected in the city, meaning it is easy for people to reach, as there are metro stations nearby as well as other public transport links. The infrastructure of the city has been considered alongside many other criteria.

    Conclusion

    The UK has been the host of this event for decades, and the forward-thinking nature of the ICE convention has made it one of the largest in the whole world for the industry. In the future, people from London will need to take advantage of some of the transport links, such as airports, in order to visit the city of Barcelona for exhibiting or networking at the event.