The organizers of the online gambling and affiliate marketing trade shows ICE and iGB Affiliate London have announced that both events will be postponed. The ICE trade show was originally planned to take place between February 1 and February 3, 2022, while iGB Affiliate London was scheduled for February 2 to February 5. However, both shows have now been pushed back until the springtime and are expected to be held in April 2022.
Clarion Gaming is the host for both events, which are expected to feature more than 700 industry exhibitors across the two sets of dates. The management team at Clarion has expressed their disappointment that the shows cannot go ahead as planned, but reiterated that this is only a temporary delay.
Stuart Hunter — the managing director of Clarion Gaming — explained that the organization is working closely with senior management at ExCel London, and said that both teams were hopeful of a relatively seamless transition to the new dates in April. The 100-acre ExCel site is found in the heart of East London’s Docklands area, and it is one of the leading exhibition centers of its kind in the country.
Covid Uncertainty Caused Chaos in the UK
The United Kingdom has experienced some of the worst coronavirus infection rates in the world, and has struggled with high numbers of cases throughout the second half of 2021. Despite this, it seemed as if case rates were stabilizing in autumn, as the country’s Covid-19 vaccine rollout gathered pace. The arrival of the highly infectious omicron variant in December, however, brought widespread uncertainty back to the country — with event organizers particularly affected.
It was this uncertainty that led to Clarion’s decision to move the events back by a couple of months.
“In what is a rapidly changing situation, it became clear that we could not provide the certainty that our customers needed in terms of logistical planning,” Mr. Hunter said, discussing how concerns regarding stand construction and equipment transportation were adding to the logistical difficulties. He also said that the organization did not want attendees to waste money booking and canceling travel tickets, so the decision to postpone the event was necessary.
“It is a great shame that we will not be able to celebrate our return in February, but the brand and its international community of stakeholders will bounce back in spring,” Mr. Hunter added.
A Hopeful Start to 2022
Speaking at the end of December 2021, UK prime minister Boris Johnson said that there were no new restrictions planned for events in England in the new year. While he refused to rule out further restrictions in the future, it is hoped that this will leave the way clear for flagship online betting and affiliate program trade events such as ICE and IGB Affiliate London to take place on their rescheduled dates as planned.
This leaves attendees, organizers, exhibitors, and all stakeholders hopeful that the events can indeed go ahead. Mr. Hunter has said that the events will showcase the “best roster of exhibitors” that ICE and IGB have ever had.