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Greg Topalian

Greg Topalian

CEO, Clarion Events North America
United States

The first time Greg attended a tradeshow he was 10 years old and it was the Boston Seafood Show at the Hynes, he was hooked. The idea of creating engaging and epic experiences has always been the most appealing part of the tradeshow industry but rarely is achieved. This is the driving force behind the creation of LeftField Media which Greg launched in 2014.

Greg started his career in the event business over 20 years ago where the first event he worked on was The International Restaurant Show of New York, which is now part of Clarion Events North America. He spent 17 years at Reed Exhibitions where he was responsible for a portfolio of 38 events, established the One2One events group and led the creation of an enthusiast consumer events business, the fastest growing division within the global company.  Greg has consistently created new concepts and challenged the status quo and it shows in all of the events and teams he has been a part of creating – including being the founder of New York Comic Con in 2006.

Greg comes from a long line of innovators. Greg’s father Harry Topalian was a Director of R&D at General Foods for 35 years and worked on the invention of notable products such as Stove Top stuffing, Jell-O, Shake and Bake, and Bear Naked Granola. It’s no surprise that Greg caught the innovation bug, which has led directly to the creation of LeftField Media which has rapidly grown becoming the fastest growing division of Clarion Events.

Throughout his career, Greg has built businesses by hand-selecting top talent and focusing on a people first-approach which sets his teams apart from the competition. Greg is a very active participant in the event industry and currently serves on the SISO (Society of Independent Show Organizers) Executive Board.  He has also been a part of a number of partnerships working alongside media groups and associations which have proven to be a fruitful part of his career.

Greg’s passions include being an insane Yankees fan (he named his son Derek!), classic arcade games, classic cars, cooking and craft beer. His wife Andrea is an amazing photographer (check out the headshot) and they have 3 wonderful kids.


  • “Without a doubt the most valuable three days of the year for networking, learning, and meeting colleagues.”
    Tony Calanca, Calanca & Associates LLC
  • “Two of the best acquisitions Access Intelligence had executed came directly from contacts and discussions held at the SISO CEO Summit. Beyond that important networking for transactions, I learn best practices from the best in the industry. The ROI for membership is immeasurable.”
    Don Pazour, CEO, Access Intelligence
  • “The impact of SISO is so much bigger than its size. It feels more like a global council of important tribes than a traditional trade association.”
    David Adler, CEO & Founder, Bizbash Media
  • “Our industry thrives on the personal relationships that face-to-face builds, and the CEO Summit is the ultimate place to build YOUR network!”
    Tom Mitchell, President, Messe Dusseldorf North America
  • “As busy, independent, for-profit organizer, SISO keeps our company connected to all the key players working in this industry and allows great relationships and ongoing learning of best practices from the best in the business. All invaluable assets to help move our business forward."
    Howard Hauben, CEO, H2 Events
  • “The SISO membership represents the entire for-profit tradeshow community and the annual SISO conferences are must-attend events for their educational and networking value.”
    Joel A. Davis, Founder & CEO, JD Events
  • Being a member of SISO has allowed me to navigate the dynamic landscape of our industry in the most effective way possible. Personally, it’s been a journey of continuous learning, networking, and collaboration that fosters deep relationships with industry leaders. Professionally, the insights I’ve gained, the resources I have accessed, and the collaborative initiatives and advocacy work have helped to take my organization to new heights. SISO, to me, is an indispensable asset for my career and business.
    Liz Irving, President, Clarion Events