David Audrain to Lead Clarion Events’ Expansion in U.S.

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR
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Atlanta, GA – British trade show organizer Clarion Events Ltd. named David Audrain to take charge of its expansion in the U.S.

Audrain was named to the newly created position of president & CEO of Clarion Events North America just one month after he stepped down from the same job at Messe Frankfurt USA.

“The U.S. is a fairly virgin market for Clarion,” Audrain told Trade Show Executive. “So far, Clarion’s footprint in North America is small, but I will be leading the charge to change that over the next few years.”

Clarion Events currently has a worldwide presence with 13 offices in 10 nations. Its business-to-business and consumer events serve 15 market sectors. Its U.S. portfolio, however, is primarily smaller conferences and the recently launched Counter Terror Expo held in Washington, DC.

“North America is our No. 1 target market,” said Simon Kimble, CEO of Clarion Events Ltd.  “With 20 years of experience in the North American exhibition market, David Audrain is the perfect person to help us expand.”

Clarion’s plan is a broad-based approach that could include new launches and clones of successful events held outside the U.S.  The company is also exploring potential joint ventures with U.S. organizers and securing management contracts.

“It is a broad-spectrum market. There is no limit to what we will be looking at,” Audrain said. “If it is a good business that we can make better, or launches we can be successful with, then we will consider it.”

Audrain, whose career has also included stops with ConvExx, Miller Freeman, Hanley-Wood and Advanstar Communications, will largely be a one-man show for the time being. He told TSE he will oversee expansion plans and the ongoing activities of the Clarion staff in Washington, DC and New York out of his base in Atlanta. The longer-term goal is establishing a North America headquarters for Clarion in Atlanta.

Reach Simon Kimble at +44 (0) 20-7370-8200 or simon.kimble@clarionevents.com; David Audrain at (404) 729-1249 or david.audrain@clarionevents.com