The Bilderberg Group
In addition to attracting 150 high-powered bankers, politicians, and businesspeople from around the globe (past attendees include Tony Blair and Ben Bernanke), these ultra-secretive meetings also attract attention from conspiracy theorists, who believe Bilderberg is working toward a one-world government.
Where: Sitges, Spain*
Kappa Beta Phi
Wall Street's secret honor society meets at New York's St. Regis Hotel to induct new members, who, often dressed in drag, perform a far-from-PC variety show poking fun at Wall Street and government bigwigs. If the members don't like it, they throw dinner rolls.
Where: New York
The Meeting of Fathers and Sons
Carlos Slim, the richest man in the world, with a net worth of $74 billion, hosts a yearly meeting of Latin American businessmen (many fellow billionaires) and their sons to discuss global business, family companies, and — oddly enough — poverty.
Where: Mexico City*
The Weekend to Be Named Later
One hundred industry leaders — from designers to venture capitalists to taxi drivers — gather at the Biltmore Hotel for this off-the-record conference party. The progressive, nonpartisan gathering never focuses on a particular topic: Last year's itinerary ping-ponged from Iraq to AIDS to addiction to social networking.
When: New Year's weekend
Koch Industries Meetings
Organized by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, these semi-annual meetings are a veritable who's who of right-wing politics, business, and power (Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh attend). A leaked memo for January's meeting in Palm Springs, Florida, asked those invited to combat "climate-change alarmism and the move to socialized health care."
Where: Palm Springs*
When: January and June
*These events change often — we've listed the most recent locale.
A version of this article appeared in the May 2011 issue of Fast Company magazine.