Clarion Events announces cancellation of ICE 2021
Clarion Events, the organisers of the yearly gaming expo, have announced the official cancellation of the ICE London Gaming Show which was supposed to take place in June 2021.
The event was cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, since the venue it normally takes place at (The Excel Centre in London) is currently still being utilized as an emergency hospital no thanks to a surge in cases all over the UK, as well as the discovery of a new strain of the coronavirus. The dates for the event were actually altered many times. The event is usually held in February, which got postponed until April, which then got transferred over to late June and it eventually was cancelled altogether.
The official statement from Clarion Gaming, announced by Stuart Hunter MD, read as follows:
The soundings we’ve taken and the ongoing conversations we are having with exhibitors of all sizes across both events have shown continued and significant uncertainty about the year ahead. Exhibitors have expressed a desire to put the experiences of the last 12 months behind them and instead focus their collective energy and creativity into making the 2022 editions into memorable in-person celebrations.
It is quite obvious that Clarion was being coerced into releasing an announcement about the event, since there is still a large question mark on international travel as well as massive gatherings. Adding onto that matter, we have seen the global gaming industry run into major trouble during the pandemic.
A gaming consultant said:
We know the whole industry is suffering and the land based sector the most, we have great sympathy with event companies like Clarion who are in a difficult position, but it is clear that an International event like ICE was never going to happen this year.
Another exhibitor who wished to remain anonymous also stated:
Clarion Gaming was in a very difficult position but it would be impossible for the event to take place this year. The industry needs to recover first and how will international exhibitors and attendees feel confident enough to travel?
Last December, we witnessed a shift in Clarion Gaming’s management as Kate Chambers, the now former MD of Clarion Gaming, announced that she would be leaving the company and Alex Pratt was hired as the company’s Group Managing Director. News has also broken out that there has been a huge reduction in the ICE Gaming organising team because of the job losses during the pandemic.
The UK has been doing well in regards to vaccination of its population, however authorities as well as companies are most likely still uncertain about going forth with events such as this, especially international ones where people fly in from different parts of the world. Cancelling seems like the only viable option to protect everyone’s health.
Aside from Clarion Gaming. Multiple other companies and events have been dealing with huge problems during the pandemic as they try to adjust their schedules. This year will most likely not have many events occurring, especially not on such large scales.