Conventions are meetings, usually with a high number of participants, which are arranged for specific purposes.
Conventions may be made up of people from different branches of a common company, members of different companies who are practitioners in the same industry, policy-makers or industry experts working on a common goal, or even representatives from different countries who wish to come together for dialogue. They are also sometimes referred to as congresses.
Convention objectives vary from industry to industry. Advertising conventions may be held, for example, to discuss new trends in advertising, as well as recognize prime movers in the industry. Pharmaceutical companies may hold conventions for doctors and medical practitioners in order to provide updates on the latest advancements in drug formulations. Such conventions also serve as advertising and marketing tools, because they may help raise awareness on new products.
Conventions may take a number of days and are composed of a variety of activities. Aside from the regular plenary sessions, participants may also be divided into smaller groups during breakout sessions. During these activities, greater individual participation is expected, and the exchange of ideas is more dynamic. Reporting of output, as well as recognition of individuals or institutions may also be included in the program.
In the world of finance, conventions may be set up with the objective of getting market experts from various countries to interact and identify opportunities for growth. In Europe, with the concern of economic integration in mind, dialogue and conventions are facilitated by independent bodies such as the Euroconvention Conferences.
Conventions can also refer to multilateral agreements or treaties which have been signed under an international authority. International conventions are usually also taken as references for laws, aside from those already set by existing international laws.