Lisa Hannant to Take the Helm of Clarion Events as CEO This Fall

September 6, 2022

Global trade show organizer Clarion Events tapped events industry veteran Lisa Hannant to become its new CEO, effective Oct. 1. Hannant joined Clarion in 2008 and in 2013 was appointed to its board as group managing director, responsible for driving international expansion, during which time the company grew significantly in key U.S., European and Asian markets. She also currently serves on the board of SISO as secretary-treasurer.

“It’s a huge privilege to be leading the company as it enters the next stage of its growth and evolution,” Hannant said. “Like the rest of the industry, we’ve been through a challenging time since the outbreak of the pandemic, however the commitment and resilience of our team in delivering value to customers has been outstanding.”

The return to live events over the past year has gone well Clarion, according to Hannant, with many of its events back to 2019 levels.

"We’re seeing significant growth with digital and organic launches across the business, not to mention some important acquisitions that are contributing significantly,” she said.

Hannant added that the company has spent the last two years focusing on creating a customer-centric way of working across the organization, an ongoing and forward-thinking effort that has become a key part of Clarion’s culture. 

“This work continues and is an essential part of what I hope Clarion will stand for in the future,” she said. “If we can build the highest levels of customer value and satisfaction, then we will have an incredibly strong and resilient business.” 

As CEO, Hannant will succeed and work closely with outgoing CEO Russell Wilcox, who will transition to the role of executive chairman and be responsible for strategic growth, business development opportunities and a number of projects across the Group.  

“[Lisa] has been such a key driver of the company’s tremendous growth over the years and brings a wealth of experience, skill and great ideas to the role going forward,” Wilcox said. “I’m thrilled to be working with her as she takes the company on to ever greater success in the future."

He continued, "Lisa and I have worked closely together for the past decade, and I’m looking forward to supporting her and the rest of the team in this next phase."  

Wilcox added that building on the strength of Clarion’s products and people, as well as its commitment to customer growth and success, will open the door to exciting future opportunities for the company under Hannant’s leadership.

Meanwhile, previous chairman, Simon Kimble, will remain on the Clarion board as a non-executive director. 

“I would also like to thank Simon for his incredible contributions to Clarion over more than 20 years, during which time he was pivotal in establishing Clarion as one of the most important event organizers in the world,” Wilcox said. “Shareholders, peers and colleagues have all had countless reasons over the years to be grateful for his talents, and we’re of course delighted he will be remaining on our board going forward.”

Founded in 1947, Clarion Events is one of the world’s leading event organizers employing more than 1,600 professionals in 50 offices across the globe and delivering market-leading products across the electronics, gaming, energy, security and defense, public safety and technology sectors. The company was acquired by The Blackstone Group in September 2017. 

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