Generic Conventions are the features shown by texts that allow them to be put into a specific genre.
For example almost all Westerns use the Iconography of cowboy hats, six shooters, horses and spurs to place them in their genre. Similarly Situation Comedies will often have canned laughter, a few specific and long-running characters and locations and will have several catch-phrases.
Generic conventions includes such things as different conventions, words, people, and objects.
Generic conventions are very useful to producers and audiences alike.
Producers can attract a specific target audience by making it very explicit what genre the text falls into.
Audiences can easily identify a genre of text and choose to consume it or not.
Generic conventions also determine what category the text is i.e. print and non-print and because of this people can either hear the Genre and/or read the Genre