What's a Salon, you ask?
In a broad sense, the term Salon was used over 350 years ago to reflect a gathering of people. Wikipedia has an elaborate discussion of the term here.
The Salon, within this context (photography), is most often linked to the "Paris Salon," which was an art exhibition that began in 1725. You can find the Wikipedia article here.
Our photography competition dates back to 1892, and most likely because of tradition, we have retained the phrase, "International Salon of Photography." Younger competitions often refer to themselves as, well, competitions, or exhibitions, and sometimes contests.
From time-to-time it's been suggested that we modernize our name because many people are not familiar with the salon term. Perhaps some day....