International Casino Exhibition kicks off 2000 in buoyant mood
ICE also welcomed a further 3,986 registered buyers from the co-located Amusement Trades Exhibition International (ATEI), swelling the total audience to a record-breaking 8,022.
"For the first time ever two separate registration companies were used for ICE and ATEI and advanced tracking systems enabled us to monitor the breakdown and flows much more accurately than ever before," stated Peter Rusbridge, chief executive of show organisers ATE Ltd. "There has always been a cross-over of buyers between the two shows and it's clear from these figures that the synergy which exists between the two sectors is not to be underestimated."
Excluding cross-over visitors from ATEI, the total number of nations represented at ICE 2000 was 85. This included six territories - Belize, Cayman Islands, Kazakhstan, Martinique, Namibia and Palestine - making their debut appearance at ICE.
USA moved up four places to head the league of overseas buyers with 237 at the January 2000 event. Last year's chart-toppers, the Netherlands, dropped down to number two with 233, followed by Sweden in third place with 178, Germany fourth with 175 and France in fifth with 171. Other countries with more than 100 buyers included Austria (149), Spain (135), Italy (121) and Belgium (117) - making for a total of ten nations, including the United Kingdom, being represented by 100+ buyers.
Notable increases in visitor numbers, compared with ICE '99, were registered by the Russian Federation (up 35% to 85), Hungary (up 21% to 74), South Africa (up 10% to 54), Venezuela (up 200% to 27), Monaco (up 71% to 24) and Ukraine (up 67% to 15).
The number of companies taking stand space at ICE 2000 reached an all time high of 99, representing a 15% increase on the 1999 figure of 86. This growth has been accounted for entirely by companies based outside of the UK, whose total number now constitutes 73% of the show floor.
Peter Rusbridge said: "In addition to being the first casino exhibition of this millennium, ICE celebrated its 10th birthday in January and with it an aggregate total of over 500 exhibitors and more than 25,000 visitors since its inception. Whilst we made every effort to ensure that the hall was dressed in fitting style with a welcome return of the ceiling dressing, themed restaurants and bars, all credit for the show's success must clearly be attributed to the exhibitors. Their efforts, in terms of product displayed, stand design, on-stand promotions and pre-show marketing, are the real reason why so many key industry professionals make the annual trip to London.
He added: "Our working relationship - not only with the European Gaming
Organisation but with all the world's leading suppliers of equipment and
services - has never been stronger and we look forward to working in partnership
with them in staging next year's event which takes place at Earls Court
on 23, 24 and 25 January 2001."
ICE 2000 AWARDS :
Best Stand: Mikohn Europe (stand 5240/5250)
Merit Award: endX (stand 6040)
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