Fan Conventions are where fans flock to. Criminal Conventions attract criminals. Here you can find all that you need for your everyday criminal activities. Galleries presenting new top of the line stabbing knives, vendors selling fashionable leather lampshades, vivisection demonstrations, friends who understand just where you're coming from and guest starring Charles Manson and Jeffrey Dahmer! Contestants of the Mad Science Fair get a free admission. No cops are welcome.
Supervillains, serial killers, Fantastic Terrorists, Black Market Dealers and so on usually come to these conventions and share with one another. They are usually kept in secret (unless "supervillain" has a different connotation in the world it is set in), requiring a special password or invite to be accessed. More often, the conventions usually go on without any sort of incident, anything explosive or disruptive would be fashionable and expected from such an establishment. It almost wouldn't be a convention without a casualty or two.
- In The Sandman (1989) #14: "The Collectors", a convention of serial killers and mass murderers congregate to share stories and conversation. Here, rogue nightmare and serial killer the Corinthian is found attending the convention, having been an inspiration to many of the serial killers attending. The various attendants go by code-names, the convention called a "Cereal Convention" as to not draw attention to themselves. The convention comes to an end when the eponymous sandman Dream is called there by one of their victims and then proceeds to destroy the Corinthian and show the conventioneers how petty and meaningless they truly are.
- While three different superheroes (Daredevil, Spider-Man and Wolverine) were after him, The Punisher once massacred a meeting of just about every sample of American organized crime (biker gangs, triads, Russians, and Mafia) who were holding an auction of a captive Bruce Banner. Frank lures the heroes into a position where they're the first thing Bruce sees when he Hulks out.
- The Punisher MAX: In order to draw Frank out of hiding, Barracuda secretly organizes a meeting of organized crime honchoes (or rather the promoted mooks after Frank's repeated hits) in a high-rise building. He even rigged three entire floors with explosives to make sure no one escaped.
- In Minions, villains, supervillains and petty criminals flock to Villain-Con where they can showcase their inventions and flaunt their bounty and it is where the minions go to so they could find a villain to work for. The minions learn of it from a secret television broadcast and are sent to Orlando, hitch a ride with a bank-robbing family and eventually meet with famed supervillainess Scarlet Overkill.
- The opening scene of Tomorrow Never Dies has James Bond infiltrating an Arms Fair run by terrorists.
"It's like a terrorist supermarket. Chinese Long March Scud, Panther AS-565 attack helicopter... a pair of Russian mortars, and the crates look like American rifles. Chilean mines, German explosives, fun for the whole family."
- The ANNUAL TRANSYLVANIA CONVENTION from The Rocky Horror Picture Show might count, as the guests are all alien agents from the galaxy of Transylvania. The only one we see do anything bad is the host, Dr. Frank N. Furter, who murders out of jealousy and turns people into statues.
- Analyze This starts with a Distant Prologue involving the Real Life meeting of The Mafia mentioned below, and a new secret meeting is an important plot point and the setting of the film's climax. The comparison between the two meetings (as explicitly said by one character: on the '57 one, it was to see how the Mafia families would split the United States among them, while the new meeting is to discuss how the Mafia will survive in a world full of increasing disloyalties, Stupid Crooks amongst the "made man" ranks and Ruthless Foreign Gangsters) is also mentioned.
- The Sandman: Several episodes in the latter half of the first season feature the "Cereal Convention", a trade fair that's actually a disguised gathering of serial killers. The whole thing is run very professionally, with strict rules about not doing any killing in the vicinity of the convention to avoid attracting notice (although the convention committee decide to stretch a point when they learn that one of the attendees is an undercover reporter).
- In the Saturday Night Live sketch "World's Most Evil Invention", a convention is held for Mad Scientists to show off their most evil invention that they plan on terrorizing the world with. One such scientist — Roy (played by Dwayne Johnson) — invents Robochomo, a cheap and easy to manufacture robot designed to molest children. While the villains all agree that it is the most evil thing they have ever head of, they are all more horrified and disgusted than impressed.
- while smaller in scale and more local, the New Day Co-Op in The Wire is a very formal gathering of major Baltimore drug dealers that meets in a rented hotel conference room and follows Roberts' Rules of Order, however not including taking notes on a criminal fucking conspiracy
- Shaggy Dog Stories Episode 35: "An Apple a Day" has an evil princess attending the Notorious Villains' Ideas Extravaganza.
- Atop the Fourth Wall: Discussed in the Spawn/Batman review, when Linkara mocks the plot point that random low-level drug dealers are somehow doing business with agents of a foreign dictatorship:
Linkara: Oh yeah, I'm sure impoverished drug dealers do trades like this all the time with former dictators. They meet at the Evil People Conventions and exchange business cards.
- In the Kim Possible episode "Bad Boy", there is the Annual Supervillain Tradeshow and Convention. They have henchmen seminars, doomsday demonstrations and an evil snack bar! Unlike most examples of this trope, the general public seems to be aware of this, the convention taking place at the Middleton Convention Center.
- In South Park, Butters visits a pimp convention when he accidentally becomes a pimp.
- One SpongeBob SquarePants episode features all of Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy's villains meeting in a hotel. It's a subversion, though — they aren't doing anything evil, it's actually a book club.
- The Heist-Con in the Rick and Morty episode "One Crew Over The Crewcoo's Morty". Because of Rick's disdain for the genre, he hypnotizes the patrons to destroy it.
- The Derby in Batman Beyond is a high-stakes poker game played by the local crime lords, in a tradition that was old even in Bruce's time.
- WordGirl: "Mousezilla" begins at a villain convention, where Tobey and Dr. Two-Brains compliment each other on their evil schemes. Other villains from the show's Rogues Gallery can be seen chatting amicably in the background.
- On November 14, 1957, the Apalachin Meeting was a historic summit of the American Mafia held at the home of mobster Joseph "The Barber" Barbara in the New York village of Apalachin, outside Binghamton. It was set up by Vito Genovese, Charles "Lucky" Luciano's former Number Two, to settle mob disputes and assert his authority as Chairman of the Mafia Commission. Around 100 mobsters attended the meeting, but it turned into a huge debacle when a curious cop got wind of it and sent in reinforcements. Many mafiosi eluded capture, but more than 60 of them were caught, including Genovese himself. Despite the arrests of the attendees, all of the convictions were overturned on appeal because there was no evidence that they had actually done anything illegal before the meeting was broken up. Even then, the fallout was disastrous as it exposed the Mafia to open scrutiny for the first time and forced them to hold future Commission meetings in undisclosed locations. J. Edgar Hoover had always strenuously denied that there was any kind of national criminal conspiracy, but after Apalachin, he dedicated FBI resources to the Mafia specifically.
- Besides Apalachin, the Mafia also had several other mob summits. Also, the Mafia Commission specified that the major bosses were to meet every five years unless an emergency warranted everyone's attention. Here are some of the more notable examples:
- The 1929 Atlantic City Conference, in which mob bosses such as Lucky Luciano and Al Capone, along with the Jewish Mafia and the Irish Mob, discussed the eventual repeal of Prohibition, plans for setting up a multi-ethnic National Crime Syndicate, ending the violent bootleg wars between various gangs over the booze rackets, and dealing with the Mustache Petes, the old timers who despised and rejected the American customs younger mafiosi readily accepted.
- After the Mustache Petes were wiped out in 1931, Luciano called a meeting in Chicago to establish the rules that govern the Mafia and the totem-pole like hierarchy to make it difficult for law enforcement to target the higher-ups. The Commission was also established as the Mafia's ultimate authority to arbitrate disputes between the families. The first Commission comprised of the Chicago Outfit, the Five Families of New York, and the Buffalo Arm with Luciano as Chairman of the Commission.
- The 1946 Havana Conference: the major bosses secretly met in Havana to discuss the gambling opportunities in Las Vegas, whether or not to join the growing narcotics trade, and discuss why Bugsy Siegel, a longtime ally of Luciano and Meyer Lansky, was now becoming a liability for them. The pro-narcotics faction won out by partnering up with the Sicilian and Corsican Mafias to set up a trans-Atlantic drug distribution network using pizza parlors as fronts. When the American government got wind of Luciano's attempt to slip back into the States via Cuba, they forced the Cubans to deport him to Italy for good.
- Since 1974 Chicago has played host to The Players Ball, an annual gathering of pimps from across the country.