Personally, I have no problem with modeling conventions. I know some people who will tell you that they are scams and a waste of time, but to tell you the truth, I got one of my very first agencies from a convention. It was held in Chicago and though there were about 200 other “want to be models” such as myself, I got my number called by one of the last agencies there. This was the beginning of a long incredible journey for me. See this is how it works.
There are companies out there such as ProScout that specialize in finding “talent” all across the country. They find the talent and put them in front of big time modeling agencies and casting directors. They hold massive conventions and invite agencies from all over the country to meet these aspiring actors and models. Usually the convention is held in a larger city where talent and scouts can all gather conveniently. The idea behind these companies is to screen the talent and help the agencies find new and upcoming talent. This works great for both the model/actor as well as the agencies who are looking for new faces. It is a common meeting grounds for aspiring actors/models to get noticed by numerous talent agencies.
The only downside to conventions is that you are not alone and it does cost a bit of money. There will be literally hundreds of other models/actors there looking to do the same thing, get noticed. The companies (i.e. ProScout) may even bunk you up with another model. They will ask you to walk a runway in which you will do so in front of the many scouts there. They will assign you a number and that will be your number for the weekend (conventions usually take place on the weekends). Next they may ask you a few questions individually, and finally, you and the rest of the talent will walk single file and meet every one of the hopeful scouts for a very brief moment before you move on to meet the next. This is basically your last chance to impress any potential scouts or agencies. They will most likely have guest speakers and put on a little show for you to make it seem fun and worth your time if you do not get selected. At the end of the weekend, they will gather everyone into a room and agency by agency will call off the numbers of the talent they liked enough to call back. Some people get numerous call backs (meaning the scouts are interested in meeting you again, this is a good thing), some get none. I got one. It was from an agency called Traque modeling management, my very first agency.
So there you have it, now you know what to expect from a modeling convention. You will probably be asked to walk a runway, answer a few questions, and give it one last attempt as you walk single file from scout to scout in a last-ditch effort to get noticed and represented. I believe conventions can help out a lot of people, if they can afford them. There is no other way to get your face in front of fifty to sixty modeling agencies and casting directors at one time. Even if you do not get selected, you may end up networking and make some great connections regardless. Modeling conventions come in handy if you are having a hard time getting noticed or are in a small town and looking to take a chance on a bigger market.