From the Floor: What I loved, liked and disliked at ICE London 2020 By Jeffrey Compton, CDC Gaming Reports February 8, 2020 at 10:00 am As I wait at London Heathrow Airport for my flight back home to Las Vegas (via Seattle) it’s time for my day-after major trade show tradition: what I liked, loved and disliked about the conference I just attended. There was a lot to love at this year’s ICE London 2020, especially ICE VOX the seminar program. Several other factors made the last week a very enjoyable experience. Love ICE VOX – Last year Clarion Events, the show organizer, tried an innovative networking style seminar setup that allowed participants to drift from one topic to another and intermix more with speakers and fellow participants. As Americans learned in Iowa last week, what looks good on paper does not work out. So this year, Clarion reverted to a more traditional style with several tracks: World Regulatory Briefing, International Casino Conference, Cybercrime and Security, Marketing and Advertising. On Tuesday, there was a day long track on Hospitality Technology, a subject that will receive considerable focus on at ICE NA in New Orleans, May 13-14. The location of ICE VOX in the Excel London’s Platinum Lounge was conveniently located over the exhibit area with large conference rooms in close proximity to each other, as well as the rest of the show, adds to the programs’ effectiveness. The results were great. Every presentation I attended was informative, and minus someone selling services. The rooms were packed. Service in the Press Room – The ICE London press room is run by Chris Jones of Scott & Jones Communication who did a first-class job taking care of all the whiny media, especially in a third-class space (see below). Cory Roberts – This year I was accompanied by Cory Roberts, CDC’s former technology head who is now associate publisher. He speaks everyone’s language here much better than I do. Watch for more Cory news in the weeks to come. Hannah Gannagé-Stewart & Paul Sculpher – Our two favorite United Kingdome-based gaming writers turn out excellent product quickly, accurately and with no drama. Thank you! Ilford – This year Cory set us up at a Best Western in Ilford, a London suburb that offers everything one needs, including great well-priced restaurants, and is only a $20 Uber ride to Excel London. I recommend the town and the hotel to anyone looking for a quality ICE London stay at a decent price. The 14 room nights cost us roughly $850. Like Exhibit Hall – Excel London duel exhibit halls are well design and although large, they are very easy to navigate. It was obvious that many of the exhibitors spend serious money on their display and presentation. However, it can be very hard to differentiate between some iGaming related products and services, as opposed to gaming machine or table game manufacturers. Networking Events – By nature I avoid large networking events but enjoyed the smaller affairs, namely the SBC cocktail party after ICE VOX, an informal get-together at a local pub next to Excel. CDC Coverage of ICE – Cory and I were happy with the quality of our coverage, but next year we will create, as we do with the Global Gaming Expo, special From the Floor issues, as opposed to a special section in Last Call. Dislike Coronavirus – I have not seen the show’s attendance figures but two exhibitors told me that they did limit team size traveling to London for the show. And of course many from Asia (especially Macau) were concentrating on the terrible effects the Coronavirus outbreak has created for their businesses. Jeffrey Compton is the publisher of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at JCompton@cdcgaming.com.