The line-up of TV stars, the plaid button-down shirts, and the boybands – 90s Con Tampa took me on a nostalgic trip, rekindling my love for 90s entertainment. Attendees were instantly transported back to the 90s with decade-defining hits blasting from the DJ booth, vendors selling the pop culture merch that we probably still have somewhere in our basements (Shoutout to my 90210, Saved by the Bell and Full House dolls!), and autograph/photo op tables featuring the faces that we admired from magazine covers like Teen People, Tiger Beat, and BOP.


Location-wise, Hartford and Tampa offered contrasting experiences – one mildly chilly, the other humid. Luckily, in Hartford, there was an event hotel that was attached to the convention center where the con took place. In Tampa, you had to walk outside in Florida humidity to get to the event. But it wasn’t too far of a walk.

The spacious Tampa convention center provided ample room for various merch booths, photo ops, and celebrity activities. Hartford seemed a little bit more squeezed into the expo hall.

Conference Swag:

The organizers recreated the 90s vibe with the merch. From the cassette tape power bank to the Trapper-Keepers to hold autographs and photos, the swag instantly hit us with the nostalgic feels.


From vintage toys (think *NSYNC marionettes) to fan magazines to original VHS tapes and action figures, there was something for every fan. It was a treasure trove for collectors and fans alike.

Celebrity Guests

The line-up for 90s Con Tampa was perfect – a little mix of TGIF stars, Disney princesses, iconic boyband members and TV favorites (Charmed, Beverly Hills 90210, Saved by the Bell). I was in 90s pop culture heaven.

While I’m very pleased with the guests this year, I’m still holding hope that eventually we will eventually get to see Tiffani Amber Thiessen at a future con. I love her and want to hear everything she’s up to. My inner 90s child is also holding out hope for Devon Sawa, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, the Melrose Place cast and many others – which is good news for this annual con if it’s looking to bring new celebs to the tables.   

My favorite memories of the con come from the conversations I have with the celebrities. I typically never know what I’m going to say. I’ve tried rehearsing what I want to say but I always get butterflies approaching the tables and everything in my mind goes out the window. I swear one day I’m going to walk up to one of my crushes and say, “Hi husband!” I will be mortified…. but I digress.

I typically walk up and tell the celebrity how their character inspired me. I remember telling Tori Spelling how I was Donna Martin for Halloween one year. I told Danielle Fishel how I’m listening to the Pod Meets World podcast and how much I appreciated her portraying a character that could be smart and pretty. Sometimes you’re lucky and the celebrities lead the conversation so if you’re nervous – that’s okay! Sometimes the volunteers and folks working the booth can sense your nerves too and will try to have a conversation with you before you walk up to the celebrity. All around – the celebrities and volunteers just want you to have that amazing, once in a lifetime experience.

By attending both 90s Con shows, I had the pleasure of meeting the cast of Beverly Hills 90210 (minus Luke Perry RIP), Saved by the Bell, Full House, Boy Meets World, Joey Fatone of NSync, Jeff Timmons of 98 Degrees and Nick Carter and AJ McLean of the Backstreet Boys. And I cannot name a single negative experience with any of the celebrities. Everyone was incredibly nice so when people tell you to never meet your heroes – go, do it anyway and find out. They may surprise you.


I am one of those folks that really wants to spend my time at the celebrity tables, so I never make it to the panels. I usually watch recaps of the panels after the fact. But from what I’ve heard, the panels are a fun moment to reminisce with the celebrities and for fans to interact directly through Q&A. They also sound like a really nice way to take a break off your feet from the frenzy of being on the show floor going back and forth between celebrity autograph lines and photo ops.

Music and Entertainment:

A live DJ kept the conference floor bumping with a perfect blend of 90s hits but the best entertainment at 90s Con Tampa took place after expo hours.

On Friday night, Joey Fatone hosted a 90s throwback concert featuring a few of his favorite people (sorry, No Nsync reunion though). AJ McLean, Joey’s sister, and a few of his friends performed a random 90s playlist while mixing in a few Backstreet Boys and *Nsync songs. I’ll never get tired of seeing AJ perform *Nsync songs and Joey perform Backstreet Boys songs.  

The boyband performances continued the next day with Nick Carter’s solo acoustic set. If you’ve never seen Nick Carter perform solo, get your tickets now. He’s currently on a solo tour across the Eastern US/Canada.  His acoustic set at 90s con was extra special for Nick because Tampa is his hometown. He even mentioned during the set that it was a full circle moment for him to perform in the same convention center where he performed as a kid.

Nick’s acoustic sets are particularly special, showcasing his versatility as an artist. Nick treated us to an hour-long set which included a preview of some of the 80s covers he’s rocking out to on the Who I Am tour. Nick Carter, as a performer, exudes a captivating stage presence that’s hard to ignore. His solo act is a testament to his individual talent and showmanship and he knows how to engage the audience, creating an energetic atmosphere. In-between songs, Nick shared a few stories, bantered with the audience, and eventually made his way into the crowd to sing-along with his fans. And, of course, he performed a few Backstreet Boys hits to top off the night.

After Nick’s set, my friends and I headed back to the hotel to rest up for the final day of the conference. We skipped the After Party but word on the street was that it featured a perfect blend of 90s hits, keeping the energy high and the dance floor busy, taking fans back to the days of MTV and VH1.

Food and Refreshments:

Don’t get too excited about the food – it’s standard convention fare. It would have been great to see more 90s-inspired snacks and drinks. Dunkaroos, Pudding Pops and Surge, anyone? Haha

Overall Experience

90s Con Tampa was a fantastic trip down memory lane. The attention to detail and the dedication of both organizers and attendees made it an unforgettable experience. It is truly a must-attend event for any 90s aficionado.