The inaugural Armageddon comic book convention took place on December 2–3, 1995 at Avondale Raceway, Auckland. Two years later, the organizers held a parallel event in Wellington. Local editions of Armageddon Expo in Christchurch, Dunedin and Hamilton were inaugurated in 2007, 2010 and 2012, accordingly. Armageddon Expo Hamilton was held for four consecutive years. It was discontinued in 2015 and replaced by Manukau Armageddon.
Several editions of Armageddon Expo took place in Australia, for example, in Melbourne (1999, 2007, 2011), Adelaide (2011) and Sydney (2011). However, today the convention is a purely New Zealand event. Over the years, it has become the country’s largest fantasy event. Every year Armageddon Expo events attract over 130,000 attendees nationwide. The Auckland event is the most popular show, it is attended by over 70,000 pop culture fans (as of 2015).
Originally, Armageddon Expo focused on comic books and collectible cards. Over the years, its program has expanded to include computer and video games, consumer electronics, animation, TV shows and films, science fiction and fantasy, music, anime and manga, wrestling and everything in between. The program of Armageddon Expo is similar to that of other pop culture conventions. It includes panels, meet and greets, photo ops and autograph sessions with special guests, presentations, comic book and merchandise stalls, cosplay competitions, and more. Armageddon hosts a variety of stalls with merchandise run by local and international companies.
Each and every Armageddon convention features celebrity guests from New Zealand and abroad. Among them, there are many actors known for their roles in sci-fi/fantasy films and television shows as well as comic book writers and artists. For example, guests at the 2016 convention included Richard Dean Anderson (Stargate SG-1, MacGyver), Marina Sirtis (Star Trek: the Next Generation), Michael Shanks (Stargate SG-1, Smallville, Supernatural), Graham McTavish (the Hobbit film trilogy, Red Dwarf, Outlander, Creed, Preacher), David Giuntoli (Grimm), Natalia Tena (the Harry Potter film series, Game of Thrones), David Nykl (Stargate Atlantis, Fringe, Arrow, Supernatural). Of course, not all celebrity guests visit all conventions throughout the year. But guest lists are announced beforehand, so fans have enough time to choose which edition to attend if they have the opportunity to travel to another city.