It all started in 2000, when Vesta and her husband Mike had this crazy idea to get a bunch of local models, a bunch of local producers and their fans together and network like club shoots in the old days. From that innocent staring point a fetish trade show was born.
In late 2000 Genesis Lynn, Vesta and Mike met and started working together and sharing shoots. Once that friendship was formed Vesta happened to mention her original get-together they had just done in Florida before she and Mike moved to Connecticut.
That one conversation went from a simple thought to a reality when the three friends decided to try another get-together but on a much larger scale. Why not invite everyone? So they did! Literally everyone they knew in the business was invited to come to New York for a massive weekend meet & greet to network with other fetish models and producers from all over the United State and to give their fans a place to actually meet them as well face to face. Knowing they needed to also gather some iconic names to draw more fans, they invited Darla Crane, Stacy Burke and Eve Ellis – three of the most popular and well known bondage & fetish models of the time and so began the first fetish trade show!
Our original show may have started out somewhat small with only about 500 attendees in total that consisted of models, producers, fans, and exhibitors back in October of 2001. But FETISH CON™ (see our complete history below for the full story) has steadily grown and expanded to be an internationally recognized and hugely anticipated event within the fetish community.
Our first show was located in Queens, New York and we remained there for three years… growing and expanding until 2004 when the original organizers, Genesis Lynn, Vesta, and Mike, moved the show to sunny Tampa, Florida and continued to grow and expand on their original idea.
To give a small history, in March of 2000, Vesta promoted and hosted one of the very first fan orientated trade shows then known as – DIVA CON in Tampa, Florida. The 2000 trade show then grew into an idea – how can we try to bring more members (fans, models, and producers) of the fetish community closer and how can we begin to network within the industry as a whole.
The initial dream of the show then gave birth to a full fledged four day fetish trade show, which we first held in 2001 in New York. Early in 2001 Vesta, and not long after Genesis Lynn moved to Connecticut and formed a partnership that has to this day stood the test of friendship and the trade show.
We then began work on what became the biggest East coast fetish trade show of the year. The October 2001 trade show, which took place in Queens, NY, was host to over 500 people from all aspects of the community and from all over the world. Amidst constant questions of when the next trade show would happen, it was decided – June of 2002, remaining where it all began in New York. Not long after the close of the first show and again with months of planning, the 2002 trade show was born and began to take shape.
The Second Annual trade show which started on June 21st of 2002, brought together a new alliance. Vesta and Genesis remained a constant in the original idea of the first trade show that took place in 2001 – to bring together people from all corners of the world who simply enjoy all aspects of fetish. The 2002 trade show saw almost 1000 people through its doors over the course of the four day event. It also brought the community to the mainstream with several journalists from all over the world sent to cover the show.
Again constant questions began almost immediately on the heels of the 2002 trade show – When is the next con!? That was actually easy to answer, when we left New York in June we announced on the very last day that the Third Annual Trade Show was already scheduled to kick off on March 20th of 2003 again in New York. It immediately took on a life of its own as it grew at a phenomenal rate. The 2003 trade show was expanded upon greatly from the humble beginnings when the doors first opened in 2001, as we grow and learn with each show we have had the privilege to be apart of.
The 2003 trade show was our biggest to date in New York, it was simply AMAZING! The 2003 trade show welcomed people again from all over the world, fans, producers, photographers, and a slew of models (over 100 attended!) all descended on the Crowne Plaza La Guardia for a four day event that would be hard to top. Our 2003 show was covered by several film and media crews such as, Telemundo and Playboy TV’s SEXCETERA who filmed a book signing by John Santerineross, which was just great to be apart of. In addition, a multitude of print reporters covered the show for adult and fetish magazines from all over the US and the world. The 2003 show also hit the papers in Italy when we were interviewed for “D Magazine” which is a magazine included in the Sunday issue of La Repubblica in Rome, Italy. What made the 2003 show so amazing was everyone who was apart of it… the fans, our sponsors, our Guests of Honor, attending models, Dominate Radio – who was our official radio station for the 2003 show, exhibitors, vendors, demonstrators, workshop teachers and of course our official Mistress of Ceremonies, Stacy Burke, the press (most of which have been coming since 2001 and are just fantastic), and last but not least the incredible hotel staff… all of you MADE this trade show for us and we are so very honored that you were all a part of it.
In September 2004, Fetish Con moved to sunny Tampa, Florida where it has found a new home. Tampa has been simply fantastic, even amidst hurricanes the show has gone on! In 2004, we hosted the Fourth Annual show and we were simply blown away… not by Hurricane Jeanne though, the 2004 show saw over 2000 people through the doors over the course of the four day event. The biggest trade show to date! Even in the dark on Sunday night, everyone was there to celebrate with us on the last day of the event and took advantage of the generators as well as the fun atmosphere as another fun year came to an end. And as the winds whipped and howled outside, we partied into the early hours of the dawn!
In August 2005, Fetish Con once again returned to the Double Tree Hotel in Tampa. We knew the show would be huge going into it… but we had no idea just how huge until on the last day, exhausted and cleaning up, our badge guy Dave told us the tally through the door. We had just under 2600 people through the doors! The 2005 show was truly the event to be at… every day seemed to get bigger and better as the show took on a life of its own (as the show usually does). Thursday night’s Meet & Greet Cocktail Party sponsored by RopExpert.com was PACKED! The Trade Show exhibitor floor was a non-stop buzz of excitement and the weekend was truly a blast!
In August 2006, Fetish Con found a new home… the Hyatt Regency Tampa! The venue space and hotel are truly four star. The hotel was plush, lush and the staff was top notch! The bigger venue allowed us room to grow which we did by leaps and bounds. To date… and yes we say this each year… the 2006 show was the biggest yet! We were honored with having a Premiere Event Sponsor this year as well, CLIPS4SALE.COM and to Neil we say thank you from our hearts for allowing us that honor.
In August 2008, Fetish Con swept back into Tampa! The Hyatt Regency has become our home and we took full advantage of the massive space by hosting all of our parties in the hotel. If any place was party central, it was Fetish Con during our 8th trade show. We had a party every night and a pool party that never stopped. There was literally 24 hours of fun and excitement happening this year. We kept the idea of having a stage in the main trade show area and it was a big success. The second super heroine stage showdown was again MC’d by none other than comic book artist and legend, George Perez! We’ve been so thankful for the local support by the local press and radio stations which once more ran great stories leading up to the show and also during the event. The place was packed and we again sat back on Monday, took our first real breath and was amazed at how much the show has grown. We were also honored once again with having CLIPS4SALE.COM as our Premiere Event Sponsor, and to Neil and Abe (Neil’s fantastic father) we say thank you for helping Fetish Con to grow and grow and grow!
In August 2009, Fetish Con took over Tampa again! The Hyatt Regency has become our home and if any place was party central, it was Fetish Con during our 9th trade show. Like with our previous years, we had a party every night and a pool party that never stopped. There was literally 24 hours of fun and excitement happening again this year. We kept the idea of having a stage in the main trade show area and it was a big success. The third super heroine stage showdown was again MC’d by none other than comic book artist and legend, George Perez! We’ve been so thankful for the local support by the local press and radio stations which once more ran great stories leading up to the show and also during the event. The place was packed and we again sat back on Monday, took our first real breath and was amazed at how much the show has grown. We were also honored once again with having CLIPS4SALE.COM as our Premiere Event Sponsor, and to Neil and Abe (Neil’s fantastic father) we say thank you for helping Fetish Con to grow and grow and grow!
In August 2010, Fetish Con had its MASSIVE 10 Year Anniversary trade show. It was a weekend to remember with people who were at the very first show coming back for the big 10! It was truly amazing, between all of the people who attended, to the classes, dungeon, shows, after hour parties and the infamous pool party that literally never stops… 2010 will be remembered not only as the 10th year for Fetish Con but also as an event that blew the doors off the party scene in Tampa. We had so much fun and as always are just speechless when it comes to being apart of such an event. Once again, we’re so thankful for the local support by the local press and radio stations which once more ran great stories leading up to the show and also during the event. We were also honored to have TWO event sponsors this year! Craig from RAO Entertainment and Clips4Sale joined Fetish Con as our Premiere Event Sponsors, thank you all for helping Fetish Con celebrate its 10th Year Anniversary with such style! A special thanks to Neil and his father Abe from Clips4Sale.com for giving us the beautiful cake and tasty treats on our opening night to help celebrate the kick off of the show, that was a wonderful and unexpected surprise!
In July 2011, Fetish Con surpasses all previous show numbers with our biggest attendance to date! The weekend saw many old and new faces coming back for the biggest East Coast Fetish Show! We had an amazing time, with tons of new performers, show events, classes and new vendors all making sure everyone stayed busy and had fun! Once again, we’re so thankful for the local support by the local press and radio stations which once more ran great stories leading up to the show and also during the event. We were also honored to have TWO event sponsors this year! Craig from RAO Entertainment and Clips4Sale joined Fetish Con as our Premiere Event Sponsors, thank you all for helping Fetish Con!
In August 2012, Fetish Con swept through Tampa again! We can’t thank you all enough for keeping the spirit of the event as fun as our 1st show back in 2001! CLIPS4SALE.COM as our Premiere Event Sponsor, Neil and Abe… you know we love you all and we thank you for your unwavering support of our event! Dariusz thank you for this awesome website! Dariusz is the creative genius behind the new look and design of the website and we can not thank you enough for helping us with it! RAO Entertainment thank you for being our 2012 Media Sponsor! Thank you to all of our sponsors who help make Fetish Con what it is and this year we are launching a “scrapbook” of sorts to remember those who have sponsored out event (coming soon). We had unbelievable radio interaction and support this year and we’d like to personally thank Mike “Cowhead” Calta follow him @MrCowhead (afternoon show) and Spanish too for coming to our Saturday event, Bubba the LoveSponge follow him @btlsradio (morning show), Spice follow him @SpiceShow (nighttime show) at 102.5 The Bone for all of your support and helping us bring our event to Tampa Bay and all of your respective listeners! Fetish Con 2012 was insane! Thank you for making it as wild and exciting as ever!
If you’ve followed the growth of the show from our first and the original bondage show we held in Queens, New York back in 2001, then you know that this show has become “The Event” of the year!
Most people don’t know we began the trade show under a different name. Back in 2001 we were called BondCon, and then after parting ways with a former business partner, we briefly called the show BondConNYC (2002 & 2003).
After the 2003 trade show ended we were uncertian if we were going to continue on, we were all planning a move to Florida and the logistics of setting up the trade show in a new city and all of the work it would entale seemed a bit daunting with everything else on our plate. In October, 2003 after we moved and settled into our new hometowns we discussed whether or not we wanted to take on another trade show. With a bit of leg-work and a lot of phone calls to local businesses and hotels we found that a move would be much easier than we thought so we began setting up the 2004 show. The only problem was that with the move, we wanted a new name as well, a fresh start…
Upon hearing that we may be taking a year off from doing the show our friend, Stacy Burke, mentioned she had picked up the domain name FetishCon.com after our 2003 show ended and if we wanted, we could have and use that name for the show. After a lot of talk and thinking about how we could move forward on the right foot we took her up on the offer and thus, thanks to our friend, the show had a new name as of 2004 and we have doing business as “Fetish Con” ever since!
Fast forward to 2019 and eighteen fantastic trade shows, and we could say the rest is history, but this is where our story takes a turn… in 2007 Peter Acworth, the founder of Kink.com, acquired the domain and rights to the name Bond Con. They held one trade show in San Francisco in 2014 at the SF Armory, the then Home of Kink.com. Peter also trademarked the name in 2014. Fast forward again to about three weeks ago (February, 2019), when we received a message from Peter asking if we’d like to have the Bond Con trademark and domain name back. To say we were speechless is an understatement. Our answer was a resounding – YES!
Not only did Peter give us the chance to have our original and beloved name back, but he gifted the domain and trademark to us as well. As we have told Peter and Kink.com, we can not begin to thank them enough for their generosity and kindness. We of course went right to work thinking about how to marry Fetish Con with Bond Con. The answer was so simple, because our fantastic host hotel, Hilton St Petersburg Bayfront, has just renovated and unveiled 2,100 square feet of brand new trade show space. It’s the perfect location to go Back to Bondage!
March 2000 (Diva Con – Florida)
October 2001 (Bond Con – Queens, New York @ the Crowne Plaza LaGuardia)
June 2002 (Bond Con NYC – Queens, New York @ the Crowne Plaza LaGuardia)
March 2003 (Bond Con NYC – Queens, New York @ the Crowne Plaza LaGuardia)
September 2004 (Fetish Con™ – Tampa, Florida @ the Double Tree Hotel)
FIVE YEAR ANNIVERSARY
August 2005 (Fetish Con™ – Tampa, Florida @ the Double Tree Hotel)
August 2006 (Fetish Con™ – Tampa, Florida @ the Hyatt Regency Hotel)
August 2007 (Fetish Con™ – Tampa, Florida @ the Hyatt Regency Hotel)
August 2008 (Fetish Con™ – Tampa, Florida @ the Hyatt Regency Hotel)
August 2009 (Fetish Con™ – Tampa, Florida @ the Hyatt Regency Hotel)
TEN YEAR ANNIVERSARY
August 2010 (Fetish Con™ – Tampa, Florida @ the Hyatt Regency Hotel)
July 2011 (Fetish Con™ – Tampa, Florida @ the Hyatt Regency Hotel)
August 2012 (Fetish Con™ – Tampa, Florida @ the Hyatt Regency Hotel)
August 2013 (Fetish Con™ – Tampa, Florida @ the Hilton Downtown – formerly Hyatt Regency Hotel)
August 2014 (Fetish Con™ – Tampa, Florida @ the Hilton Downtown – formerly Hyatt Regency Hotel)
15 YEAR ANNIVERSARY
August 2015 (Fetish Con™ – St. Petersburg, Florida @ the Hilton St Petersburg Bayfront)
August 2016 (Fetish Con™ – St. Petersburg, Florida @ the Hilton St Petersburg Bayfront)
August 2017 (Fetish Con™ – St. Petersburg, Florida @ the Hilton St Petersburg Bayfront)
August 2018 (Fetish Con™ – St. Petersburg, Florida @ the Hilton St Petersburg Bayfront)
August 2019 (Fetish Con™ & Bond Con® – St. Petersburg, Florida @ the Hilton St Petersburg Bayfront)
August 2020 (Fetish Con™ – Event Postponed Due to COVID-19 Health Crisis)
August 2021 (Fetish Con™ – Event Postponed Due to COVID-19 Health Crisis)
20 YEAR ANNIVERSARY
August 2022 (Fetish Con™ – St. Petersburg, Florida @ the Hilton St Petersburg Bayfront)