Armageddon Expo Christchurch

Case Study: Armageddon Expo


From showcasing international stars that capture the pop culture zeitgeist, to providing a chance for fans to dress as their favourite comic book, movie, or animation character, the Armageddon Expo is a unique activity on the local events calendar.

Beyond Reality Media director Bill Geradts says that diversity of experience is what really sets Armageddon apart from other local events.

The 2024 Armageddon Expo highlighted the range of entertainment on offer at the event. Headlined by British comedian and Doctor Who companion, Catherine Tate and Holly Marie Combs, star of hit US show Charmed, the event combined props, art and cosplay, with the chance for fans to purchase collectables and memorabilia.

“There’s not really a name that encompasses everything we do,” says Bill. “Armageddon is a different beast. Just from start to finish, it’s a different kind of show.”

Utilising everything Te Pae has to offer

The event is also unique in that it uses almost every part of Te Pae Christchurch, from the Meeting and River Rooms to the Exhibition Halls and the Auditorium.

Bill says that the range of venue options is part of the appeal of Te Pae Christchurch, which has played host to Armageddon every year since the new convention centre opened.

“Over the last 30 years, we’ve used almost every major venue in the country,” says Bill. “In my mind, Te Pae is the best venue in the country, in terms of what it offers. It has more flexibility, more availability and it’s also just really nice looking, which does help.”

Size of event

This event takes six months of planning, six months of execution, and sometimes many years to book the right artists – the organisers had been coordinating with Catherine Tate for six years, ahead of her headline appearance this year – continues to grow in scope and popularity. This year’s Armageddon Expo attracted 13,000 attendees over two days.

“This year’s Christchurch show was probably one of our most successful,” says Bill. “We get a lot more people coming to these shows that are in cosplay and having a ball, a lot more younger ones, a lot more families, a lot more kids coming through.”

Accessibility and variability of our spaces  

Bill says setting up an event of this scale is easy at Te Pae Christchurch, with large and small details streamlining the process for his team.

“We try to use pretty much everything that’s in the building,” says Bill. “There’s not a lot of infrastructure we bring in.”

“Loading is a dream. They’ve got a great loading bay, which is fully undercover, meaning weather is a non-issue. They’ve got heaps of trolleys, which is very helpful because a lot of venues don’t have that. And the elevators are nice and big as well.”

Bill says his international guests also love the space, with the Te Pae Lounge – an exclusive VIP suite with self-contained kitchenette and bathroom, as well as direct access to the auditorium – ideal for the event.

The auditorium, which hosts the headline guests and other presentations, is a key part of the Armageddon Expo format at Te Pae.

A choice of quality hotels close to the venue is also important for accommodating the needs of the Expo’s stars. “It’s one of the of the nicer things – we can walk them across the road to the show.”

With a new season of shows now in the planning stages, as well as new science fiction and fantasy franchises and a slew of international stars on the target list, the Armageddon Expo team is already looking several years out – and in planning with Te Pae Christchurch.

“We’re also a bit unique in terms of large events, in that we’re based in Christchurch. So we can just pop in and say hello.”

“It’s a great venue. I’d recommend it to anybody who’d want to use it.”