Difference Between Conference and Seminar

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: May 28, 2023


Difference Between Conference and Seminar

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The conference came from 'confer,' which means "to compare views." It is a formal meeting of two or more people with a shared interest. Conferences are typically held for several days, where the speakers contemplate a specific topic and exchange opinions and information. The word seminar is derived from the Latin word seminarium, meaning "seed plot"(an old-fashioned term for "seedbed"). On the other hand, a seminar is a form of instruction given to a group of people to meet and discuss a particular subject. These are usually organized for a short period compared to a conference.

Conference vs. Seminar

Conferences are formal events usually well organized in advance for like-minded people who share a common specific interest to gather at a place to share new information, opinions, ideas, etc. It allows discussion on a large scale, enables creative details to flow, and improves social relations in terms of a business perspective. On the other side, a seminar is a group discussion where people are gathered into groups and instructed to discuss a specific topic. It eliminates isolation as people are expected to be participative in seminars. Meetings frequently take place at academic institutions and professional organizations as it brings people together and makes them participative.

Difference Between Conference and Seminar in Tabular Form

MEANINGIt is a formal meeting of several like-minded people to discuss and share information and opinions regarding a common interest.A group of people is instructed to discuss a particular topic, followed by which information is shared through lectures etc.
OBJECTIVETo find a solution, socializeTo guide people by providing knowledge and improving their skills.
PARTICIPATION OF AUDIENCELimited people are allowed to participateActive participation is expected from each one of them.
PLACE OF ORGANIZATIONHotels or professional conference halls in the organizationSeminars are usually held in academic institutions.
DURATIONIt is usually held for several days.It is only held for a few hours.

What is a conference?

Conferences are formal meetings held at places like conference halls and hotels that provide a specialized location for conferences to be had. In layman's terms, a conference can be defined as a meeting held to discuss a specific topic in addition to sharing new information and solving a problem. Conferences are usually held in organizations daily to discuss a particular subject, solve a problem, share information, etc.

 Earlier, these conferences were held to bring people together in the workplace. Still, now, with the advance in technology, these conferences can be held anywhere in the world and at any time. This is one of the most significant advantages as it saves time and energy for people. Also, it is a feasible way to bring people from all over the world together.

Conferences help people build public relations and provide an opportunity to understand various cultures, ethics, and different people worldwide. There are other purposes for which the discussions are being held.

1. AN ACADEMIC CONFERENCE: Academic conference is a meeting of scientists and experts to discuss a problem or present research.

2. A BUSINESS CONFERENCE: It is usually held in a company or an organization where people are gathered to discuss a project. These meetings can be stored by people from the same and different departments.

Conferences are well organized for people as it is a formal meeting of experts. Facilities such as wi-fi connection, audio-visual facilities, projectors, etc., are taken care of. Before the commencement of a conference, a schedule is prepared that shows the order in which the events will occur. The plan is sent to all the ones invited to the meeting along with the fixed date, time and location. The people must be well accommodated, and it is seen that every speaker gets an opportunity to speak and grace the occasion. In this way, the conference is systematically organized.


There are various types of conferences held to meet a particular objective

  1. SYMPOSIUM: It is a casual gathering of people for entertainment and refreshment. It is more like a stress relief conference and not a business conference.
  2. SEMINAR: It is a meeting held for a group of people to discuss a particular topic as well as to improve their skills on a specific subject. It is usually held in academic institutions for students to serve as a guide.
  3. WORKSHOP: It is a gathering where the speaker conducts an activity that engages the audience. The teaching here is done by providing hands-on experience to the people attending the workshop.
  4. A ROUND TABLE CONFERENCE: A round table conference is usually held among peers. They sit around the table facing each other to discuss a particular subject, exchange opinions, etc.

What is a seminar?

Meetings provide information that acts as a guide for the people who wish to gather information on the specific topic or subject given to them. A seminar is an educational meeting usually held at academic institutions where students are instructed to discuss a particular matter and exchange information. It is compulsory to participate in a seminar as it is a session where lectures are given after the discussion. Meetings being participative sessions help participants to build skills and improve themselves.

Seminars usually make people experience a sense of togetherness as everyone works together to achieve a particular purpose. This helps to avoid the passive experience, and everyone is made to contribute to the work. So, conducting a seminar majorly helps to solve problems when people usually come with disagreement over some issue.

Seminars are usually organized with a clear purpose and checklist. It is a formal event organized for a specific purpose for a group of 10 to 50 individuals. These are usually held in academic institutions in a specialized space called the seminar halls; also, organizations have these seminar halls which help them to communicate to their employees on a particular topic or issue. The presentations given at a seminar are very crucial as it contains the information that is to be shared. A well-structured and informative presentation can serve the purpose of the workshop. These are held for a few hours only. So, it is an extraordinary opportunity for people to improve their knowledge on a specific topic without attending any boring lectures.

Types of Seminar

Seminars are usually held to serve many purposes at different levels. There are four different types of workshops.

  1. MINI SEMINAR: The mini-seminar is usually a critical seminar event organized for an ample amount of audience. For example, educational institutions conduct seminars within the classroom to expose the students to the workshops being held in institutions. These classroom events teach them to organize information effectively, share one's ideas on a particular topic in a structured way, etc.
  2. MAJOR SEMINAR: Major seminars are usually conducted to educate people effectively through presentations. These seminars are generally held at the institutional level where the experts give a presentation on a particular topic to inform the audience, and it may also help to introduce a new concept among society for its sound. In this way, seminars play an essential role in conveying information quickly and effectively to a large number of people through a single event. At the institutional level, both the students and teachers take part in the seminar.
  3. NATIONAL SEMINAR: This kind of seminar is usually organized by government firms or large organizations to convey a message to the whole nation. A secretary is appointed to conduct this kind of event, and his responsibility is to see that everything is under control. He invites the experts on a specific subject to give presentations at the seminar.
  4. INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR: International seminars are usually conducted by an international agency to discuss global problems. The problems that most countries share are global warming, reducing forest cover, etc. these seminars are held to analyze the significant issues and to come out with a solution, formulation of policies, rules, etc. It is usually organized by the nation with a specific theme.

Seminars are held to meet a specific objective which is why they are planned and structured accordingly. There are many factors to be considered while organizing an event. The event organization goes through three crucial steps that make it successful. The steps are:

  1. Preparation.
  2. Implementation.
  3. Evaluation.

All the different types of seminars that are mentioned above go through the crucial steps discussed above. The first step here is the preparation which involves planning for the workshop, which consists in deciding the purpose, arranging for accommodation, inviting guests, deciding on an appropriate venue, etc. Secondly, implementation of the above preparation takes place where it is seen that the guests are treated appropriately in the event and taking care of the people present in the seminar to make sure that the purpose is being accomplished. Last but not least, any organizer needs to evaluate their work, and this is done majorly through feedback from the people who attended the seminar. This is a kind of self-evaluation to improve oneself and to know the requirements of the people attending a particular type of event. Knowledge about this paves the way for the organization to arrange such an event effectively based on the needs of the people attending the event.

Main Differences Between Conference and Seminar ( In Points)

  1. Seminars do not have any prerequisites since it is just formal discussion where the exchange of ideas and education takes place. Conferences, on the other hand are meetings that have requirements as it is mandatory for any organization to come up with a specific purpose and structure to conduct the sessions effectively.
  2. Seminars enhance the skills of students as it prioritizes active participation in learning through presentations in the process. Discussions are the primary driving force behind this gain of knowledge.
  3. Seminars are usually practical, and the information is communicated experimentally, which makes it attractive for the people in educational institutions. Emphasis is given to participants as it provides hands-on experience to the participants.
  4. Conferences are the meetings that are held to sharpen the existing knowledge of the people in an organization. It provides an opportunity for people to contribute to any decision of the organization, unlike seminars.
  5. Conferences are the best way to gain and share innovative ideas and practices, whereas seminars are the discussions where people are instructed to discuss a specific topic.
  6. Conferences offer a great opportunity to people as it bridges the gap between influencers and industry experts as they meet face to face at the meeting. Seminars, on the other hand do not provide such an opportunity to their people.

To attend a seminar, it is mandatory to get the registration form filled for its entry, unlike this conference, do not have any registration form for the entry.


Conferences and seminars are two different ways through which knowledge is spread. Seminars conduct activities that provide hands-on experience to the students, which is a new experience. This unique experience helps students to improve their skills in a specific subject. This is very different from the usual boring ways of conveying information through monotonous lectures. The presentations in the seminar have both written and pictures related to the information that is to be transferred to the people. This technique helps the audience to remember the information provided in the seminar for a more extended period as the human brain can remember pictures longer than the regular content.

Conferences are formal meetings that are held to discuss any issues, share a piece of information, exchange opinions, etc. It is one of the effective ways to improve human relations among the employees in the organization. It is an efficient way to motivate employees when they are down. It helps people to meet experts face to face, which is an excellent opportunity to exchange opinions on a specific topic or subject. It is a way to gather people to contribute to the organization's good. Conferences and seminars are both required in different fields, and the use of these is beneficial in its own ways.


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"Difference Between Conference and Seminar." Diffzy.com, 2024. Mon. 17 Jun. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-conference-and-seminar-1165>.

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