Episode 26: Stuart Hunter previews ICE 2024

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It’s the last ICE in London, but while the show is headed to Barcelona in 2025, Hunter tells Brendan Bussmann and Brandt Iden he is keen to make sure this doesn’t detract from this year’s event.

It’s a case of maintaining the momentum from the 2023 edition he explains. That was the biggest on record but ICE 2024 is on track to emulate last year’s show in terms of attendees, exhibitors and deals struck. 

Education at ICE

Kicking off ICE week is the ICE VOX conference with the World Regulatory Briefing and International Casino Conference. This brings together leading operators, key regulators and out of industry companies including Netflix. 

The production team have done a tremendous job of putting together an agenda that hits the key industry talking points, Hunter says. There’ll be sessions on AI, safer gambling and cybersecurity, but curated in a way that provokes proper debate.

In particular Hunter is excited to hear from headline speaker Bill Hornbuckle, CEO of MGM Resorts International. “Working with the MGM team has been fantastic, they’re really excited to come over to ICE and share their experience, and I know Bill is as well.”

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Bridging the gap between Europe and the US

ICE bridges the gap between Europe and the US, Brendan says. It acts as the platform for newly regulated markets in North America to tap into expertise from more mature regions, but how has this changed the makeup of the show floor?

It’s significantly bigger, Hunter says, taking up over 1m square feet in ExCeL London with around 650 brands covering every corner of the industry. There will be attendees for more than 150 countries around the world, but that means the Clarion Gaming team has to carefully curate the show floor to reflect the product needs of the industry. 

Each and every event has to analyse what attendees are seeking out and match that with the demand from prospective exhibitors. It’s similar to curating a retail store, Hunter says. 

The road to ICE Barcelona

ICE 2024 will serve as a fond farewell to London, after an exhaustive process to assess options for the show’s future that resulted in next year’s move to Barcelona. 

It’s a new era for ICE in 2025, says Clarion Gaming’s Stuart Hunter

This opens up huge opportunities – It was a case of looking for a platform the next five to ten years, ensuring the show can continue to grow. Its new venue in Barcelona is twice the size of ExCeL London, giving customers scope for greater flexibility and creativity in what they bring to the show. 

“It’s going to put ICE on another set of tracks, like it did when it moved from Earl’s Court to ExCeL,” Hunter says. “A new set of tracks, a new evolution, new growth, loads of excitement, loads of opportunity, this is the next iteration from 2025 onwards.”

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