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Iconic gaming event E3 shuts down

It’s the end of an era as the iconic gaming industry event E3 shut down its doors for good.

The announcement was made by the video game group Entertainment Software Association (ESA), following the previous cancellation of the show in June 2023.

Other top event stories of the week include:

  • UFI exhibition census reveals 81 mega venues in the world
  • EVENTIT launches new initiative for event experiences
  • Net Zero Carbon Events publishes best practices documents
  • ExCeL London on track to complete major expansion project

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Farewell E3! Legendary gaming convention cancelled permanently

The video game industry’s biggest gaming convention, the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), has shut down permanently.

The announcement comes after several attempts were made to revive it as an in-person show following the pandemic.

The convention was first cancelled in 2020 and a virtual edition was held in the subsequent year.

In 2022, E3 was planned to return in-person but was cancelled yet again.

The permanent closure of E3 marks the end of an extravaganza that hosted some of the most iconic moments in gaming history.

The convention originated in 1995 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, featuring over 400 exhibitors and attracting 40,000 attendees.

In that event, Sony showcased its inaugural PlayStation console, while Sega unveiled its new Sega Saturn console.

Other E3 highlights include the showcase of the most anticipated games and technology – for instance, the reveals of XBox 360, PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii.

E3 reached peak popularity during the 2005 edition, where over 70,000 visitors attended the convention.

However, its troubles began soon as major gaming publishers like Ubisoft, Nintendo and Microsoft started pulling out in favour of hosting their own events.

Eventually, a lack of industry interest proved to be its undoing.

Speaking to the Washington Post, ESA CEO/president Stanley Pierre-Louis said: “After more than two decades of hosting an event that has served as a central showcase for the U.S. and global video game industry.

“We know the entire industry, players and creators alike have a lot of passion for E3. We share that passion.

“We know it’s difficult to say goodbye to such a beloved event, but it’s the right thing to do given the new opportunities our industry has to reach fans and partners.”

81 ‘mega venues’ in world: UFI exhibition census

A total of 81 ‘mega venues’ measuring more than 100,000 square metres (sq m) have been identified in UFI’s latest exhibition census.  

According to the association’s latest World Map of Exhibition Venues, 40 of these venues are located in Europe while 35 are in Asia-Pacific (APAC).

The report, prepared by jwc GmbH in partnership with UFI, tracks 1,425 exhibition venues around 21 markets, covering 42.1 million sq m.

Other key findings include:

  • Europe hosts the world’s biggest share of venue capacity at 37.2%, followed by APAC at 36.6% and North America at 17.9%
  • Country-wise, China shares 29.2% of the global venue capacity. The US has a share of 14.9% and Germany 7.5%
  • Over 35% of the venues are medium-sized with capacities between 20,000 and 100,000 sq m while 59% have a size between 5,000 and 20,000 sq m

UFI CEO Kai Hattendorf said: “This updated World Map showcases our industry’s most holistic and complete quantitative dataset.

“It is remarkable to see that global investments into upgrades and expansions of exhibition venue space have continued throughout the pandemic, a true testament to the power and resilience of our industry’s core business model.

“Investments into venue space are a win for everyone: for the industries served by exhibitions, and the destinations in which they take place.

“Our partnership with jwc for this project will facilitate regular editions of this important report.”

Download the report here.

EVENTIT launches new initiative for event experiences

EVENTIT has introduced a new initiative to support the emerging market of event experiences in Scotland.

The initiative, called EXPERIENCEit, aims to foster industry collaboration, curate content and provide interactive engagement to promote market growth and build a strong community.

Attendees can expect keynotes by UK agencies, guided tours by industry pros exploring exhibits, interactive games, audience-led campfire sessions and diverse experiential solutions.

EVENTIT board member and founder of Experience Designed, Kim Myhre, said: “These are really exciting times in the brand experience business.

“Changing audience expectations, new technologies, and more strategic approaches to experience design are driving innovation and creating new opportunities.

“Events like EXPERIENCEit offer a chance for the experience marketing community to come together to share, learn, network and do business in the emerging experiences marketplace.”

Net Zero Carbon Events publishes best-practice documents

Net Zero Carbon Events has released seven documents aimed at aiding organisations to achieve net zero.

These documents offer “actionable insights and strategies” as well as detailed guidance to help in the decarbonisation journey.

Topics include venue energy, smart production and waste management, logistics, travel and accommodation, food and food waste, offsetting and measurement.

James Rees, president of Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC), which is spearheading the Net Zero Carbon Events initiative, said: “These documents, vital to the development of an industry-wide standard pathway towards net zero carbon events, represent the largest, most inclusive collaboration across the events industry ever achieved, with the Net Zero Carbon Events initiative being supported and endorsed by UNFCCC.

“This achievement is the result of the hard work of over 100 industry volunteers whose support, added together, represents many years of working time to develop, critique and finalise these guidance documents to be used in practice and improve upon over time as NZCE evolves.”

He added: “Part two, the next stage of the initiative, is a major change and exciting step forward.

“After the three phases of development, identifying what needs to be covered and producing guidance, successful implementation is vital.

“This next part needs the total commitment and active engagement of everyone from CEOs downwards to achieve net zero.”

Download the guides here.

ExCeL London set to complete major expansion project

ExCeL London is on track to complete a £220 million expansion project that will see it become the biggest fully integrated conference and exhibition centre in Europe.

The project, set to be completed in October 2024, will see the venue expand its facilities by 25% (25,000 sq m)  to a total of 125,000 sq m.

So far, nearly 5,000 tons of steel have been installed under the project, which is supported by the ADNEC Group and being built by McLaren Construction.

ExCeL CEO Jeremy Rees said: “Our new expansion stems from growing demand from event organisers across the UK, Europe, and North America.

“This growth will allow ExCeL to compete for and welcome some of the largest congresses in Europe, with the first contracts already signed for future years and paving the way for it to become the future of conferencing in Europe.”

Humaid Al Dhaheri, chairman of ExCeL, said: “ExCeL London is already a world-class venue, and this expansion will further strengthen its leading position within the international events and business tourism industry.

“It also represents a new chapter for ADNEC Group in line with our sustainability growth plans, and we’re very much looking forward to officially opening the doors next year.”

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