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The European Computer Trade Show, commonly known as ECTS, was an annual trade show for the European computer and video game industry, which first ran in 1988, with the last event occurring in 2004.

European Computer Trade Show
Location(s)London, England, UK
InauguratedApril 16, 1988; 31 years ago (1988-04-16)
Most recentSeptember 1, 2004 (2004-09-01)

The exposition was only open to industry professionals and journalists,[1] although it was frequently attended by members of the public who had faked credentials. Due to the wide-scale nature of this, many exhibitors planned stalls to appeal to both trade and public, except when alternative public shows were planned (such as the Future Entertainment Show and Game Stars Live).

ECTS was held towards the end of August or the beginning of September. Post-2002, the show was held in Earls Court Exhibition Centre in London. Previous to this the show had been held in ExCeL Exhibition Centre and the Grand Hall at Olympia, both also in London.

From 2001 until 2004, the Game Developers Conference Europe was held alongside ECTS. Unlike the primarily press-oriented ECTS, GDCE focused on talks and discussions about the development of games, and was aimed at the developers themselves. In 2004, however, GDCE moved locations and ran alongside the Game Stars Live event.

In April 2005, organiser CMP announced that they were withdrawing from the British trade show market, marking the end of 17 years of shows.


Year Dates Venue
1989 16–18 April Business Design Centre
1990 1–3 April Business Design Centre
1991 14–16 April Business Design Centre
1992 12–14 April Business Design Centre
6–8 September Business Design Centre
1993 4–6 April Business Design Centre
5–7 September Business Design Centre
1994 10–12 April Business Design Centre
4–6 September Business Design Centre
1995 26–28 March Olympia[2]
10–12 September Olympia[3]
1996 14–16 April Olympia
8–10 September Olympia[1]
1997 7–9 September Olympia
1998 6–8 September Olympia
1999 5–7 September Olympia
2000 3–5 September Olympia
2001 2–4 September ExCeL
2002 29–31 August Earls Court Exhibition Centre
2003 27–29 August Earls Court Exhibition Centre
2004 1–3 September Earls Court Exhibition Centre


  1. ^ a b Rider, David; Semrad, Ed (November 1996). "ECTS: The European Game Show Sets London on Fire!". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 88. Ziff Davis. pp. 160–1.
  2. ^ "PlayStation Dominates European Show". Next Generation. Imagine Media (6): 14. June 1995. The venue was at Olympia - instead of the regular site, the Business Design Center in London - and was attended by 8,500 people during the three-day event.
  3. ^ "ECTS: Sony and Sega Battle in Europe". Next Generation. Imagine Media (11): 17. November 1995. The European game industry's bi-annual trade bash took place in mid-September at Olympia in London ...