Glossary of terms

This is a short glossary of terms used in associations, societies and federations.

A convention is a large gathering of people, typically organized around a specific theme or topic. Conventions can be held for a variety of purposes, including education, networking, and promotion.

Common types of conventions include:

  • Professional or industry conventions, which bring together people who work in a particular field or industry to discuss issues related to their work, share ideas and best practices, and network with colleagues.

  • Trade shows or expositions, which are events that showcase products, services, and new innovations within a particular industry. Trade shows may be open to the public or restricted to members of the industry.

Professional Conference Organizer (PCO)
A professional conference organizer (PCO) is a company that specializes in planning and organizing professional conferences and events. PCOs work with clients to plan every aspect of a conference or event, from setting the overall theme and goals to coordinating logistics such as venue selection, registration, transportation, and catering. PCOs may also be responsible for managing budgets, negotiating contracts with vendors, and promoting the event to potential attendees.

PCOs often have a wide range of skills and expertise, including event planning, project management, marketing, and budgeting. They may also have specialized knowledge in areas such as meeting planning, trade show management, or corporate events.

In addition to organizing conferences and events, many PCOs also offer additional services such as exhibition management, corporate hospitality, and event marketing. Hiring a PCO can help to ensure that a conference or event runs smoothly and is well-organized, freeing up clients to focus on other aspects of their business.

Professional Society
A professional society is an organization that brings together individuals who work in a particular profession or have a common interest in a specific field. Professional societies provide a range of services and resources to their members, including networking opportunities, continuing education, access to industry research and information, and opportunities to participate in professional development activities. They may also advocate on behalf of their members and work to advance the interests of the profession as a whole. Professional societies often have codes of ethics that members are expected to follow, and may also offer certification or other forms of professional recognition to individuals who meet certain standards.

Trade Association
A trade association, also known as an industry trade group, is an organization that represents the interests of a particular industry or group of businesses. Trade associations typically focus on issues that are specific to the industry they represent, such as promoting the interests of their members, lobbying for favorable legislation and regulation, and providing education and training to members. Trade associations may also work to promote the industry as a whole, for example by conducting market research and promoting the benefits of products or services offered by member companies. In addition to serving as a source of information and support for their members, trade associations may also provide networking and business development opportunities.