A congress is a formal meeting where people come together to discuss issues or questions. It often refers to the legislative branch of a nation's government, such as the US Congress, but it can also refer to any important meeting or official organization.
While the word congress inevitably brings to mind the governing Congress with a capital C, there are many different kinds of congresses. The potato farming community, for example, convened the first World Potato Congress in 1993, and the United States Bowling Congress formed in 1995 when the men's and women's bowling organizations joined forces. Congress comes from the Latin congressus, which fittingly means both "friendly meeting" and "hostile encounter."