Most associations and conferences have a similar structure. However no two conferences or associations are the same... ever. We know from about 20 years experience.
AMS (association management software)
At the core, the association provides its members certain benefits in exchange for an annual membership. Member directories, access to valuable material and content, discounted rates at their events etc. Most associations, societies or membership groups of the like use software to manage their membership/association. The broad term for this is Association Management Software or AMS for short.
CMS (conference management software)
Most associations and societies make the largest portion of their annual revenue from their annual conference or events. Because there is so much riding on successful, enjoyable, educational, worthwhile conferences and events, conference planners typically use software to manage their events as well. As you should well know since you have made it here, there is a lot that goes into running an academic, education conference outside of just housing, food and beverage etc. Managing speakers, submissions, peer reviews, communicating with your speakers, building your agenda, managing attendees and exhibitors, keeping track of financials, managing your certificates and continuing education credits, evaluations, mobile apps, badges ... and the list goes on and on.
LMS (learning management software) or CE (continuing education)
Not all, but many medical, legal, educational and other research based industries require their professionals to continue their education on their own time. Conferences are the leading place these continuing education hours are earned. Conferences and associations often use a separate system for this. The problem here is that the LMS or CE systems act independently of the registration and membership systems creating a lot of stress and extra work in the long run after the conference.