Convention. n. 2b: an assembly of persons met for a common purpose; especially : a meeting of the delegates of a political party for the purpose of formulating a platform and selecting candidates for office.
Interestingly, the term "contract" occurs as a synonym to the primary definition of the word. Was the DNC a contract? "Convention" has become confused with "party" as a balloon dropping occasion when a group of people, Democrat, Republican, or Baath, celebrate the things they have in common and completely ignore their differences. The "general agreement" seems to be the most emphasized part of the word's meaning.
What do Harold Ford, Jr. and Ted Kennedy have in common to be convening about? Are Democrats in Mississippi in convention with Democrats in Massachusetts? Did Zell Miller ever sit beside John Kerry at the DNC? Of course, Kerry wasn't even there until his turn to speak. Was Kerry a part of the convening process or a guest speaker brought in to stimulate the festivity? Conventional wisdom suggests "promotional event" or "propaganda fest" or "gathering of GOP opposition" or "Demopalooza" might be better terms.
Those certainly were nice balloons.