The 2003 International Casino Exhibition (ICE) was the biggest and best yet in the show's 13-year history, if the statistics released by show organisers, ATE are anything to go by. No fewer than 6,388 casino and gaming industry professionals attended the London show, marking a 26 per cent increase in attendance year-on-year and setting a new all-time attendance record.
Also setting a new record, the number of territories represented by visitors to ICE rose to 98, six of which – Aruba, Dominican Republic, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar and Qatar – were represented for the first time at ICE.
International visitors accounted for 62 per cent of the total attendance, the majority of whom were from continental Europe where an annual increase of 46.6 per cent saw visitor numbers soar to 3,232. The number of North American visitors also increased substantially, up by 27.2 per cent to 355.
Underlining the continuing programme of deregulation in the United Kingdom, the number of ICE visitors based in the host nation rose by 24.1 per cent to 2,309.
After the UK, the most represented nation at ICE 2003 was the Netherlands, with 371 attendees, followed by Germany (366), Spain (310), Austria (292) and the USA (252). 13 overseas territories were represented by more than 100 visitors and no fewer than 40 of the top 50 visitor territories either increased or maintained their representation at ICE 2003.
Participation in ICE was further boosted with 8,582 visitors registered in ICE's sister show, ATEI, crossing over into the casino exhibition – resulting in an overall attendance of 14,970.
Commenting on the attendance figures, ATE Chief Executive Peter Rusbridge said: „The growth of ICE has been phenomenal. Of course, it helps to have a major programme of deregulation on your doorstep, but the main reason behind the show's sustained expansion is the close working relationship we have with our customers. It is the exhibitors' products and services that draw so many buyers from every corner of the globe and with an enlarged show floor planned for 2004 we are confident of being able to stage an equally, if not more impressive showcase next year.“
Next year's International Casino Exhibition takes place at Earls Court Exhibition Centre, London, UK on 27th, 28th and 29th January 2004.
All figures quoted are subject to verification by the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC).