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


Don’t miss any event-related news: Sign up for our weekly e-newsletter HERE, listen to our latest podcast HERE and engage with us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn!

Add new comment

Partner Voices
One of the most iconic names on the Las Vegas Strip just got an upgrade. Mandalay Bay has everything that your business needs from a refreshed convention space designed to inspire productivity and creativity, to an impressive selection of world-class restaurants and amenities. If you're looking for a venue that's both inviting and innovative, you have to be here. New Wave Experiences Mandalay Bay continues to invest in a new wave of enhancements both in the convention space and within the resort as a whole. New restaurant openings including Orla by Michael Mina, drawing inspiration from the award-winning chef’s childhood in Egypt and with flavors and décor inspired by the spices found in markets common to coastal Mediterranean towns, as well as Caramá by Wolfgang Puck, bringing the essence of Italy and spirit of Wolfgang into one concept, are recent additions. The Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas also experienced a recent remodel of all 424 rooms. Swingers, a high-end, adults-only golf and entertainment concept will debut in Fall 2024. Enhanced Technology Creating a truly effective conference venue requires careful thought into what a business needs: the right technology, capacity, and inspiration to bring ideas to the next level. As part of the resort’s refresh, Mandalay Bay implemented state-of-the-art technology upgrades, installing cutting-edge Cat6A Ethernet cabling throughout the convention center. This advancement doubles the frequency of data transmission, enabling lightning-fast speeds up to 9400% faster. The convention center now boasts 11 dynamic digital walls, spanning up to 24' x 13', strategically positioned for brand placements, sponsorships and targeted event messaging. Additionally, attendees can benefit from 20 double-sided 55" mobile flexible display units, facilitating effortless navigation to meeting rooms and events. RFID locks were installed on all meeting room doors, and over 200 motion detection cameras have been placed throughout the space. Refreshing New Design & Fine Art The newly remodeled convention space provides a bright and vibrant atmosphere that complements Mandalay Bay's tropical-inspired brand. Featuring white-washed walls and ceilings adorned with bold floral patterns in cerulean and coral tones, the space is complemented by warm walnut accent walls. In addition to the redesign of all pre-function spaces, meeting rooms and ballrooms, Mandalay Bay's 1 million square feet of exhibit space has undergone a rejuvenation, including new paint, covered pillars and relocated strobe lights. Sustainable Spectacles Mandalay Bay is committed to Focused on What Matters and creating more responsible meetings. Refillable water stations all available around the resort, cutting unnecessary plastic usage from single-use bottles. The Mandalay Bay campus’ recent upgrades represent a bold step forward in redefining the Las Vegas experience. With a focus on innovation, sustainability, and unparalleled service, Mandalay Bay sets a new standard for excellence in business hospitality. Whether you're seeking cutting-edge conference facilities, world-class dining options, or simply a luxurious retreat, an unparalleled meeting experience awaits.