ICE has become a ‚must attend‘ event for exhibitors throughout the world. None more so than The Bright Group and Racing Post, both of which are using ICE to further big expansion plans. But that’s where the similarities end, with The Bright Group’s Raif Oymen preparing for a 22.5 hour flight across 11 time zones to get to ICE whilst Racing Post’s Jim Cremin simply has to navigate the 11 minute underground and Docklands Light Railway trip from Racing Post’s Canary Wharf headquarters, which involves just one change at Canning Town. So what do ICE‘s furthest and closest exhibitors expect to gain from their three days at ICE 2015?
*Raif Oymen, Director, Global Engineering – The Bright Group*
Location: Silverwater, New South Wales, Australia
Grid Reference: -33.832861, 151.037028
Distance from ExCeL Centre: 17,012km (10,571mi)
Route: Sydney to Dubai (6h 55m). Layover in Dubai (1h 45m). Dubai to London (13h 55m)
Travel time: 22h 35m
ICE Stand Number: N1-140
“The Bright Group has visited the ICE gaming show previously, but this is the first time for us to exhibit. We are currently looking to expand outside the Australasian and North American regions, where we are already well established, and the London ICE show is a big part of that strategy. ICE is a really good opportunity to find out where the market is moving and it will provide us the opportunity to display our latest products and technologies while sending the right signal that TBG is ready for and serious about the European market. We will be celebrating 20 years in the gaming industry next year and have a lot of contacts that we are looking forward to catching up with, which requires our physical presence.
Like most exhibitors, we spend quite some time on show preparations. Luckily The Bright Group has a great team of people willing to assist with any small last minute requests, from marketing to making sure our display is working and looks as planned. I’d like to also mention, the preparation time is not just for our own stand – the pressure is also on us to get our customer’s latest products ready for them to display, and this can be very hectic. To send displays over to London by sea would require us to dispatch by the end of November, and we simply do not have this time luxury. So our displays are sent by airfreight, at a much higher cost! Three staff will probably be travelling from Australia, as well as other associates attending from outside Australia. They’ll do the booth set-up, man the stands for the duration of the show and then pack everything up again as soon as it finishes. Then they’ll continue on to North America for further visits and follow-ups. Our week at ICE will be pretty full-on, but we are looking forward to finding some time to see what London has to offer before we leave.”
*Jim Cremin, Betting Industry Editor, Racing Post*
Location: Canary Wharf, London, UK
Grid Reference: 51.505000, -0.019611
Distance from ExCeL Centre: 4.5km (2.8mi)
Route: From Canary Wharf take the Jubilee Line underground train to Canning Town. At Canning Town get the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) to Custom House (for ExCeL).
Travel time: 11m
ICE Stand Number: S2-130
“Despite the fact that ICE is our ‚local‘ show, we find it to be the most critical in terms of generating international business. Quite simply, it’s easier to meet the most relevant people at ICE over three days than it is to cover the globe chasing them. Its a perfect mixture of hard-nosed business taking place alongside seeing and appreciating innovation as well as just having fun, meeting old friends and making new ones.
From a commercial perspective, we see ICE as the key show. Our café stand is a familiar feature to regular attendees and acts as a hub and meeting point for the betting industry. We don’t have the time to hold any ‚formal‘ discussions or events, but we will have lined up a series of meetings with clients as this is the one show of the year that all of the key decision makers attend. There will be some product launches too, and from a new business perspective we will have staff on hand at all times to discuss what we provide to our customers and what we could provide to new customers, whether that concerns new products, new content, or any of the various sports we cover. We are there to talk print, web, mobile, tablet and retail solutions, and we provide quality offerings for each medium.
Quite simply ICE is the Grand National, Cheltenham and Royal Ascot rolled into one. It’s inspirational in so many ways, but it is very busy, with everyone working hard in a very competitive environment. So my advice to attendees is take time to step back, reflect where you are and where you’re going, and check what others are doing. ICE gives you that chance so do take it.”