The conversation started with, “OK. Who are you and what is your relationship with Midwinter.”

“I’m Ann Holmes,” she replied. “I am Anne Holmes, owner of Daydream Productions and the creator or Midwinter Gaming Convention.”

It seemed that I had found the right person to talk to.

For the first time, the staff of Chicago Geek Guy (all two of us) are planning to attend the Midwinter Gaming Convention, January 12 to 15, 2017 in Milwaukee. The convention has been through a number of changes in its 16 years. Before we showed up, we thought it best to get some background. This post marks the first of a series about the convention, its creation, its development, and the event itself.

Back in 2000, Anne itched to hold an event as her character in One World by Night. OWBN provides a common story and rule set for the Vampires LARP-ers of the World of Darkness. Firm in her belief the best games are played in the dead of winter; she decided on January as the perfect month. She rented a VFW hall in West Allis. It would make a great venue, even though the players couldn’t use the basement of the hall until the standard Wisconsin Friday night fish fry had wrapped up!

Anne held the first Midwinter as a Toreador Ball, hoping to gather all the artists and actors of that fictional vampire clan as hostesses with the most-est. She expected only a handful of participants to attend during the middle of a raging, January snowstorm. Her favorite memory from that night was stepping out into the ballroom to see 150 smiling faces. Fortunately, someone had a camera handy and captured the photo above.

From the beginning, the intention was to expand into a full gaming convention. Anne has been diligently working to grow and expand Midwinter ever since. She modestly credits much of Midwinter’s success to a team of extraordinarily talented people, committed to her dream of building something lasting. Their willingness to help in this vision, humbles her.

On the 10th anniversary, in 2010, Anne incorporated as DayDream Productions. Bringing in exhibitors, special guests, tabletop RPG. The event made the leap from Midwinter Event to Midwinter Gaming Convention.

The Midwinter Gaming Convention has become an annual event for multiple international gaming organizations, including One World by Night and Mind’s Eye Society. Both organization offer four-day LARP extravaganzas throughout the weekend.

As Midwinter Gaming Convention continues to grow, Anne keeps a few goals and core tenets in mind. She desires to promote as many free or low-cost games as possible without levying additional costs on any fan produced events. She also strongly believes in growth through quality, as opposed to quantity, and strives to promote a friendly and welcoming atmosphere for all attendees.

Midwinter Gaming Convention 2017 will be held January 12-15, 2017 at the historic Hilton Milwaukee City Center and will include more events than ever before.