The influential Spanish manufacturer R.Franco has confirmed its decision to back ICE in favour of any rival bidders, pointing to the show’s track record of delivering on behalf of the gaming industry, the strength of Clarion’s vision to take the show to the next level and above all the preferences expressed by its own customers. The official company statement said: “R.Franco wishes to announce that it has joined the growing group of members of the industry with its firm future commitment to attend ICE at Earls Court under the organisation of Clarion Events,” adding that “[ICE] represents the best commercial offer to help [our] products reach the largest number of customers.”
Italian company Abbiati Casino Equipment S.n.c. also cited the wishes of its customers as the overriding issue. Speaking from the company’s head office in Turin, CEO Giorgio Abbiati said: “The ICE show is one of the most important exhibitions of the year. We are a Europe-based company and ICE at Earls Court is an event that our clients as well as ourselves fix on our calendar every year. Our continued commitment to ICE and organisers Clarion is based on our customers’ overwhelming support for this venue together with the commitment and support of Clarion Events and their management team to Abbiati as an exhibitor.”
Reflecting on the level and nature of the support for ICE, Julian Graves, Managing Director, Gaming Exhibitions Clarion Events, said: “All of the research and soundings we have taken amongst ICE visitors has confirmed the popularity of London as our host city and Earls Court as the venue. Research conducted by Vivid Interface confirmed 84 per cent of respondents said London was an excellent or very good location and 81 per cent of visitors said they would return to ICE in 2011.
“The sheer arrogance of rival proposals meant they failed to recognise that the most important community in the entire debate is the many thousands of buyers who travel to ICE from 120 territories in January 2010. They love London, love the venue and love the ICE brand – why would any business person want to throw that away to make a leap into the unknown, particularly during what are extremely difficult trading conditions?”
Turning to Clarion’s vision for ICE, he said: “Our proposal is to invest in the future of the gaming industry by providing more opportunities, more investment, more support and more value delivering huge ROI for our stakeholders. We will continue to work with the market and organisations such as the European Casino Association, the Remote Gambling Association, the Association of British Bookmakers and the Independent Bookmakers Association to build and create events that will make a telling contribution to businesses throughout gaming.”
Online ticket registration for the most complete b2b gaming show in the world has gone live at: www.icetotallygaming.com