Parent Organization is a term for the relationship between the convention operation itself, and some other organization that may be backing it financially or in some other way. For example, often the Parent Organization is an ongoing corporation, whereas the convention is a corporation organized as a one time event. The Parent Organization typically is the "owner" of the convention, and so creates new convention committee (or even entire new corporations) as needed, nominates the operating staff, and oversees their activities as they run the event.
For Example: The Committee To Promote Science Fiction and Fantasy, Inc., a nonprofit corporation, creates:
- SciFiCon - An annual science fiction book convention
- OddYearCon - A biennial horror film festival
- ComicCrunchCon East and ComicCrunchCon West - Semi-annual comic book festivals
Each event would have its own detailed requirements for venues, finances, management structure, publicity, etc. The Committee, as parent organization, puts an appropriate management team in charge of each event, provides seed money, then monitors their progress. In the end The Committee would collect the net proceeds from each of the events (if any), then re-allocate that money as needed to the other events to keep them going. Or it may hold back a small percentage, perhaps to award as scholarships, for future growth, or just as a contingency fund. In this example, the separate events are not directly responsible to each other, but they do answer to The Committee as parent organization.
The Parent Organization and Conventions need not be incorporated separately, or even incorporated at all. However, there are some legal liability issues that are handled well by the incorporation structure. To go back to the example, if in the worst case one of the sub-events were to go bankrupt, by separately incorporating them The Committee would be in a better position to isolate the damage and continue with the others.