Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

February 02 2015

5 Super Strange Conventions

By David McMillin

Photo from The Office Convention

The convention industry may be famous for uniting groups of expert scientists, forward-thinking IT wizards and digital innovators, but meeting space is also occupied by some underground names. Here’s a look at five of the strangest conventions we’ve ever seen.


Dust off your skates. Strap on your kneepads. Put your helmet on, and get ready to join the biggest names in the roller derby world at RollerCon in Las Vegas. While roller derby can make anyone work up quite the sweat, organizers have chosen the less-than-chilly desert month of July for the event. Here’s a note from the website to prospective attendees on the decision. “Before you ask, we’d have it somewhere (or when) cooler, but then it wouldn’t be so cheap. And we polled you - you prefer cheap. So get ready for hot!”

International Cake Exploration Societé Convention

While I would attend every event on this list to satisfy my own curiosity, I would be part of the ICES Convention to satisfy my appetite. This isn’t just learning and sampling cakes, though. This four-day event is an exploration of the sugar arts.

The Association of Lincoln Presenters Annual Convention

A convention of Elvis impersonators? That’s yesterday’s news. A convention of Abraham Lincoln impersonators? That’s 1861 news. However, it’s clear that history lives on when historians who dress like Abraham Lincoln and his wife, Mary Lincoln, come together. While other convention attendees may worry about dress etiquette at receptions, this audience knows that a top hat is required wherever they go.

The Official XENA Convention 

Remember the TV series “Xena: Warrior Princess”? I don’t. However, it seems like a lot of people do, and they’ve been coming together for two decades to honor the warrior royalty. Unfortunately, the tradition is about to end. In 2015, attendees will come together for the final convention for three days of celebration. The full name — complete with two colons and lots of capital letters — is “THE Official XENA Convention: The 20th Anniversary Celebration THE ABSOLUTE LAST OFFICIAL XENA CONVENTION: THE BITTERSUITE FINALE.”

“The Office” Convention

While the employees at Dunder Mifflin kissed goodbye to TV series “The Office” in 2013, the memories of the show will live on in more than syndication for attendees who flocked to Scranton, Pennsylvania for The Office Convention in 2007. From a visit with Al Roker to an evening of live music with The Scranton’s, 4,000 attendees came together for three days of celebrating the small screen.

Looking for more memorable meetings on the calendar? Check out “There’s A Meeting For That?” in Convene.

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