The Midwest Gaming Classic

The Midwest Gaming Classic is an annual gaming convention held at the Sheraton Hotel in Brookfield, Wisconsin (just outside of Milwaukee). The recent focus is on retrogaming, although I believe it had tabletop gaming in its origins. The event usually takes place the second weekend of April. Advance ticket orderers can attend pre-conference events on Friday night.
This event draws attendees from all over, and hotel rooms fill up, to the point where neighboring hotels open up blocks of rooms as well. This event has grown significantly in size over the last five years. As far as I know, it is the only retro gaming convention in the area. I constant hear of conventions on the west coast in San Diego, Portland, Seattle, and so on, so this is a big draw as it is a rarity in these parts.

The convention offers panel discussions, live podcasts, a history of consoles room, an arcade hall, consoles set up in the hallways, tournaments, club rooms and of course, the giant vendor tent. The first time I attended, it was all quite overwhelming. To truly get to see everything, you need to go both days, otherwise you have to ration your time.

I wasn't quite sure how to write about all of this, as I did not get to see every corner of it, so I'll jsut post all the pics that I took so you can get a feel for what it was like.

This vendor was selling cool 3D Perler bead figures 
A vintage Atari game testing unit, originally displayed in department stores.

lots of barcades and minicabs for sale

I thought this history of American Video game cartridges display was really cool 
Consoles are setup in most of the hallways, and secured to the tables in one way or another

The conference is free for kids 10 and under; a very family friendly event

Certain hallways have themes for the displayed games, like the fight club shown here
Fighting games on display often boasted arcade sticks for an authentic experience

Younger kids were getting into all of these older games

Two friends playing some Goldeneye next to each other, as it should be

Hey, you're way too close to the tv, thats cheating!

Various tournaments are in progress throughout the day, with judges recording scores and times

Most people probably don't know the the original Metal Gear game was first on the obscure MSX computer system

A Neo Geo (arcade version) and an RGB monitor was one of my favorite things to see 
A Pinball merchants room offers parts and repairs.

Always one of my favorite spots

Gradius V was on display - its a lot of fun in 2 player coop

8 player Super Smash Brothers always draws a crowd
The TurboFest room is one example of the club rooms, where a room is rented out and dedicated to a particular system. 

Nearly every version of the Turbo Grafx/PC Engine is available to try out here 
It's hard to see, but here are the PC Engine shuttle, PC-FX, and PC-Engine Duo RX consoles, from left to right. You won't find these in you local pawn shop.

A newly produced PC Engine game is available to play: Henshin Engine on a wall projector. It was fun, it reminded me of Valis.

The vendor tent is ENORMOUS

Valuable games are kept behind glass 

More common games are in bins up front
As a Mega Man junkie, I was heavily tempted

Famicom games have become more popular at the MGC recently
Lots of Japanese Super Famicom games are cheaper than American equivalents. Remember, you can use translation patches on the Retron 5 to save lots of money on RPGs.
So, if you have any interest at all in retro gaming (you wouldn't be reading this if you weren't), check out the Midwest Gaming Classic in Brookfield, WI. I can't compare it to other conventions, as this is the only one that I have attended, but its an awesome experience, and you'll be able to see, play, and buy games that you probably won't find anywhere else!