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Is CrimeCon a Real Event? How to Attend the Crime-Themed Convention from Based on a True Story

Thousands of true crime junkies converge at CrimeCon every year to rub elbows with top investigators, forensic experts, and well-known true crime television and podcast personalities in one of the country's most unique conventions.

By Jill Sederstrom

CrimeCon, the perfect event for true-crime junkies everywhere, plays a central role in Peacock’s dark comedy Based on a True Story, but is it a real event?

Is CrimeCon a Real Event?

Yes, CrimeCon has been an annual destination for armchair detectives, true crime aficionados, well-renowned investigators, and podcasters since it got its start in 2017.

In Based on a True Story, Ava and Nathan Bartlett, played by Kaley Cuoco and Chris Messina, head to CrimeCon in the hopes of gathering research on the true crime industry as they try to promote their new, and somewhat sinister, podcast.

And in reality, that wouldn’t be a bad move.

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Each year, CrimeCon draws thousands of true crime fans, experts, investigators, advocates, victim’s families, and yes, podcasters, to a weekend-long event focusing on all things crime.

“From the latest cases to the latest scientific techniques. From the newest TV shows and docs to the best podcasts in the world. And from deep-dives into topics you didn’t even know existed to big ballroom sessions with personalities you watch every week—CrimeCon is the platform that delivers it all,” the CrimeCon website boasts.

Whether its sessions featuring Dateline fan-favorite reporter Keith Morrison, an in-depth look at the latest genetic genealogy advances or sessions with families from some of America’s most enduring mysteries like JonBenet Ramsey’s father, the events are typically “equal parts education and experience.” 

RELATED: Kaley Cuoco and Chris Messina Talk Based on a True Story's "Crazy Tone," Their Chemistry, and More

“We work hard to curate a wide-ranging program that has something for everyone and that combines hands-on learning with plenty of chances to have fun meeting speakers, podcasters and other fans,” the organizers wrote.

The celebration of all things dark, now sponsored each year by Oxygen, was launched in 2017 by Red Seat Ventures after the firm noticed a “hole” in the true crime market, according to A&E. Unlike comic fans or gamers at the time, there was no convention focused on the public’s growing fascination with true crime and bringing fans together.

“We also wanted to come up with events that wouldn’t be just speaker panels and people sitting in chairs,” Kevin Balfe, a partner at Red Seat Ventures, told the outlet at the time. “We wanted to ignite the citizen detective or armchair detective, and get things going that way.”

The initial conference held in Indianapolis that year drew a crowd of 800, but it has quickly picked up steam in the years that followed. CrimeCon 2022, held in Las Vegas (much like the event in Based on a True Story), attracted around 5,000 attendees. 

“As the world heals from a devastating pandemic, CrimeCon is back in a BIG way—record-setting crowds, packed-house sessions, and more to offer than ever before,” CrimeCon reported last year. “The event ran the gamut of emotions, with high-fiving highs and gut-wrenching lows, belly laughs and ugly cries. Through it all, the spirit of this convention held strong: advocacy, education, and bottomless compassion for the victims and their families.”

So, just how do you get a ticket to one of the year’s hottest true-crime events? 

How Do You Attend CrimeCon?

This year CrimeCon will be held in Orlando from September 22-24. 

CrimeCon offers ticket packages ranging from $349 to $1,599 (although this year the Platinum VIP package — the highest ticket level available — is already sold out). 

Fans can fully immerse themselves in a world of all things true crime, at least for a few days.

Watch all eight episodes of Based on a True Story, streaming on Peacock now.