And so the journey began – off to London we went – travelling to the ICE Totally Gaming Event held at the Excel Exhibition Centre between the 3rd and 5th February, a tradition for RE/MAX Lettings that started seven or eight years ago.
Back in the day, the iGaming community could not see reason as to why a real estate company would attend a land based and Internet gaming exhibition, let alone be exhibitors. We have swayed minds of those doubters over the years and have made ourselves part and parcel of the three-day show.
Through rain or shine (mostly rain) we have supported the local iGaming Industry at ICE as an exhibitor and visitor ever since. Our commitment has never been stronger to this industry and our connection never seems to let up in that we believe that it has become our social responsibility to be there regardless of the rewards. The iGaming Industry in Malta feeds the mouths of over 10,000 families of which 6,000 are local. Our involvement is that we service companies that relocate their business to Malta in the form of office rentals, long-term letting for staff, short-term rentals of corporate serviced apartments as well as hotel bookings, amongst other relocation services. Simply, our objective at ICE is to represent Malta as a destination of excellence as the premium Malta letting company.
So, back to the story. With ants in his pants and darn right excited, our Letting Manager, Edward Agius – who is also our longest serving RE/MAX affiliate (14 years) – couldn’t catch shut eye on the eve of our 8.50am flight so he went to the office at 4.00am. The passion that this guy has for this business is phenomenal and his eagerness to reunite with customers and meet potential new ones is unrivalled. Sure enough, that morning, he woke us all up before our alarms set off with his enthusiasm. Sigh!
We landed in London, went straight to the hotel, grabbed a bite to eat and on we went to the exhibition. It was freezing cold but nevertheless, nothing could stop the RE/MAX Letting men that had a plan. We were three of us: myself, Edward, and Gordi Felice – a letting agent that has really proven his worth over time.
Gordi provides an excellent service to his customers and I could really see this during my time with him over this trip. He is a true professional. A client that joined us on the journey explained to me how he really goes that extra mile to meet his requirements. This, with pride, is the RE/MAX way.
At first, the exhibition seemed to lack the usual flow of people but we realised that due to the much larger stands (two and three stories) than that of previous years that this wasn’t the case. The conference hall was humming with people throughout.
We immediately set out a plan to visit the stands and network amongst the best. The day ended shortly after 6pm and we went back to the hotel. I must say, we collected a number of business cards and covered most of the fair ground. During our cab ride back to the hotel we discussed our business and agreed that it would be an early dinner and straight to bed so that we could be the early birds in the morning.
On day two we headed to the show relatively timely. Many of the visitors (and exhibitors) were still sore and worn out from their shenanigans from the night before. It was thus the perfect time to get out of our comfort zones and talk business.
It turned out to be an excellent day indeed because we met lots of our already long list of customers and a number of potential prospects. We even met Paul Merson, Ex-Arsenal Footballer and TV Pundit. Day two of ICE is also “Fire and Ice” night, organised by our friends at iGaming Business. Fire and Ice is one of the best annual shows to attend and with VIP Gold bracelets we decided to leave the fair before six to beat the crowd to the taxi stand. Otherwise we would have had to wait for at least an hour, like we did the night before. Believe you me – waiting in the freezing cold in London in -1 degrees raining weather isn’t a pleasure. Besides that – we had an earlier engagement at the Corinthia Hotel London – which I was looking forward to.
The reception at the Corinthia Hotel London was great but also a proud moment, knowing that it is a Maltese owned hotel. The top 5 London Hotel is well worth a visit, even just for a cappuccino. The newly branded Malta Gaming Authority, the Maltese Ambassador, Norman Hamilton and Hon. Jose Herrera, Parliamentary Secretary for Competitiveness hosted us to a lovely get-together which entailed lots of wine and plenty of exquisite nibbles.
FIRE and ICE was as expected, held at TROXY on Commercial Road. Michael Caselli and his team put together an excellent extravaganza and surely engaged the crowd to quality entertainment. We networked throughout the night and into the early hours of the morning.
As usual – it was a pleasure to attend the three-day event, positioning RE/MAX Letting Malta at the forefront of the industry.