Liz Irving Named First President of Clarion Events North America

August 21, 2023

Clarion Events North America, the U.S. division of UK-based Clarion Events, has tapped event industry veteran Liz Irving as its first president.

Bringing a wealth of experience and a proven successful track record in the events industry, Irving has played an integral role in building and leading the Clarion Events North American strategy while supporting the global Clarion Events strategy alongside her international colleagues. This makes her the ideal choice to lead Clarion Events North America into the future, according to Clarion officials.

“I have complete confidence in Liz’s ability to lead Clarion Events North America into this new chapter,” said Greg Topalian, CEO of Clarion Events North America. “She has been a critical partner to me in building the North American business, navigating the challenges of the past few years and delivering new revenue streams and strong financial performance.”

He continued, “Liz has also supported Clarion in creating the unique culture within our team. Her passion, ability to learn quickly and adapt will undoubtedly elevate the organization to even greater heights and further Clarion’s focus in the industry.”  

After spending 15 years at Reed Exhibitions (now known as RX), Irving joined Clarion Events North America in 2015, beginning as vice president, marketing, then moving up the ranks as senior vice president, marketing; executive vice president — head of marketing, technology; and most recently, as chief marketing officer. 

In that time, she has not only consistently demonstrated strong leadership skills but has also been at the forefront of developing new revenue models, including the introduction of connection-based programs and digital products, and has built an exceptional team to support these initiatives, according to Clarion officials.  

Besides contributing her strategic vision, transformational mindset and customer-centric approach to the company, Irving has also focused on providing positive change for the industry through her participation and collaboration on event technology boards, as well as the Society of Independent Show Organizers, in leadership roles. 

“I am honored to take on this new role as president at Clarion Events North America,” Irving said. “Our industry is constantly evolving, our customers’ expectations are evolving just as rapidly, and I am excited to lead one of the most talented teams in shaping the future of events and media, leveraging technology, data and insights, and creating connected experiences that set new standards in the industry.”

When asked what excites her about her new role, she told TSNN, “I’m really energized by connecting people together, taking ideas and transforming them into experiences and creating meaningful moments that resonate with our customers and our employees. Shared experiences – whether at our events or in our organizations – help us to learn, empathize and grow together, and that is incredibly important to me as a leader.”

In her new role, Irving will report to Topalian, who will remain CEO and continue partnering with Irving on growing Clarion’s North American footprint and ensuring Clarion brands deliver market excellence. Topalian will continue reporting to Lisa Hannant, global CEO of Clarion Events. 

“I am proud of the business that Greg and his team have built in North America,” Hannant said. “As we continue to invest in the U.S., we want to ensure that the company is well-positioned for growth, commercial outcomes and that we are recognizing the talent we have within leadership. I am excited to have the partnership of Greg and Liz to complement each other in the continued growth within the region.”

Backed by The Blackstone Group, Clarion Events North America produces 50 events across 12 sectors, including trade and enthusiast events spanning apparel, power and energy, technology, food and beverage, gaming and more. 

Blackstone owns ANDMORE and Cvent


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