“Delivering ICE London and iGB Affiliate London are about planning in the pursuit of perfection”

Putting together exhibitions the size of ICE London and iGB Affiliate London involves liaising with upwards of 600 exhibitors from 65 countries and over a thousand different suppliers. Richard Logan, Head of Operations at Clarion Gaming is the person who leads an operations team comprising over 70 full and temporary staff who are responsible for ensuring the smooth and successful running of the world’s leading gaming expos.

Can we start with an outline of what the job entails?

I lead the operations team which is responsible for the delivery function of Clarion Gaming. We tactically plan all of the arrangements that need to be made for the event, including liaising with our army of world-class suppliers. Essentially, our job is to fulfil the promises made to our customers and always strive to exceed their expectations. We are very much advocates of continuous improvement and each year we review the entire process, consolidate those areas that went well and address those which could have been smoother. There’s absolutely no room for complacency which is why the ICE brand is so respected throughout the world.

What qualifications/attributes do you need to do the job?

You obviously need to be well organised and have a forensic eye for detail. At the same time, you need to be able to think about the big picture and have the ability to plan quite far in advance. You develop a habit of weighing up all the relevant factors before reaching a decision. The ability to compromise is essential and be open to other people’s ideas. An essential attribute is being able to work with a large group of people towards a common goal which is to deliver the best possible experience for all of our stakeholders. In terms of my academic background, I have a degree in illustration but it has only been useful twice; once when I drew a registration counter I wanted and the other when I was to explain something to a forklift driver who didn’t speak English. I have to admit that there have been occasions when a qualification in patience and diplomacy would have had been useful.

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ICE London is a massive show with exhibitors from throughout the world – 65 nations were represented on the 2020 show floor. How do you manage such a big event?

As we discussed earlier you have to be organised and you’ve got to work with and for the customer. As a team we understand that we have to earn the respect and the business of all of our customers and that we are only as good as our last show. I have a fantastic team who excels at this and I couldn’t imagine doing it without them.

Covid must have made your job a whole lot harder. What are the protocols that Clarion has implemented and how have you responded to the challenge?

COVID has brought in a brand-new dimension to my role. Monitoring the developing government guidance of your host city/country and then adapting the running of the event accordingly is an ongoing task and not something that you can just tick off the list. Clarion took a proactive and collaborative approach to COVID with our London (HQ) office contributing to the drafting and refinement of the widely adopted ‘All Secure Standard’. The ‘All Secure Risk Assessment Framework’ is a best-practice guide for industry professional delivering bio-secure events in a world where COVID transmission is still a risk. I feel proud to be a part of that:  it is a huge responsibility to ensure that our customers feel safe and are safe during their time with us.

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Have you any interesting facts that you can share with Yogonet readers, for example the number of wagons that you have to process, the number of staff that you will have on site during build-up, how many Kilometres/steps will you complete during ICE week etc?

ICE is one of the biggest shows in the UK for flown/rigged elements. We put in excess of 12km of truss in the roof weighing over 1000 tons. And we start to rig parts of the show three months out. We process somewhere in the region of 2,300 lorries during the six-day build for the show and another 1,400 processed to help move the show out.

What’s the most difficult – build-up or breakdown and why?

Both are busy and challenging but there is more pressure and tension during the build-up. An event build-up is unique in that you cannot extend it; the immovable deadline is the 10 am show opening and it can’t be moved! As suppliers strive to meet their clients’ expectations things can get tense. This is when your problem-solving skills will be tested and when collaboration is most important. We all want the same thing and that is a great show.

ICE London will take place alongside the co-located iGB Affiliate London. How are you planning to drive synergies between both events?

The entire Gaming ecosystem is really impressively represented during the week of ICE and iGB Affiliate London next year, with both shows providing strong networking, lead-generation, content and learning platforms for their specific audience sectors, be it affiliation, iGaming or land-based. We want to recognise that there are synergies between the two events, and offer our customers the opportunity to target relevant, targeted new business opportunities in complimentary vertical markets. Ultimately, to be able to understand exactly how the Gaming ecosystem connects and then use that for business growth is of huge value to our customers, and that’s what we want to deliver them.

What bit of the show experience do you look forward to most?

There are numerous moments that I look forward to such as the first build-up morning onsite reconnecting with suppliers and the rest of the event team arriving onsite and seeing what has been built. Most of all I look forward to seeing the show open and feeling the buzz and energy that ICE generates. When the stress of opening fades a little I also like to spend time around our features, watch people interact with them and see how they are being received.  

After ICE/iGB Affiliate London what’s the next show for you?

Our next show after ICE and iGB Affiliate London will be our summer show iGB Live in Amsterdam. I always look forward to it as it feels like a summer social for our clients and the vibe is always electric.

Author: wpadmin

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