Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Conference and Seminar

Seminars and conferences are formal meetings that are organized and attended by participants with the aim of discussing a specific agenda of common interest.


Difference between Conference and Seminar

What is a Conference?

A conference is a formal meeting organized by members of an organization, group or people to discuss a topic that members have a common interest. A conference is typically a consultative forum where participants give their opinion on the subject.


Difference between Conference and Seminar

What is a Seminar?

A seminar is a formal academic forum that brings together a small group of participants who are taught about a specific subject. In a seminar, experts provide knowledge and training to the participants.

Difference between Conference and Seminar

  1. Time Taken for Conference and Seminar

Seminars are usually shorter meetings that are specifically focused on educating the participants about a specific subject that is of interests to all the participants. It is also common to find that the participants of a seminar are taught on various aspects that are directly related.

On the other hand, conferences take longer periods because a complete analysis of the subject under discussion has to be made where participants have to give their opinion and a conclusion realized.

Due to the time is taken before a conference can be officially closed, facilities such as accommodation and dining facilities must be available to the participants.

  1. Mode of Delivery in Conference and Seminar

Seminars take an educational or academic forum where the participants are treated as students and are required to acquire knowledge offered to them by the moderators. Experts are invited to offer technical and theoretical knowledge about a specific topic.

The conference takes a consultative mode where all the participants are required to provide and an opinion or position concerning a specific scenario or aspect that is a common interest to all participants.

In a conference, opinions count and every participant’s contribution is analyzed since there is no one considered to be proficient than other participants.

  1. Certification in Conference and Seminar

The participants of a seminar are offered a certificate that highlights and records that they participated in a specific seminar that was addressing a specific subject. This certificate can be used in adding the educational value to the participant when applying for job opportunities or promotion.

There is no certificate offered after one attends a conference. This is because a conference is not an educational or academic forum where one can be deemed to have acquired training. In conferences, one only gets clarification about a specific topic but not new knowledge.

  1. Participation and Contribution

In a seminar, participants do not contribute or express their position about a specific agenda under consideration. The moderator, expert, takes charge and disseminates information to the attendees who have the right to ask a question in case one wants to get a clarification.

Active participation and contribution are highly encouraged in a conference where all members are required to give an opinion or express their position on a specific area of interest.

Nevertheless, it is essential to highlight that a point of consensus has to be found and agreed by the participants of the conference.

  1. Motive or Purpose of Conference and Seminar

The purpose of organizing a seminar is to impart knowledge about a specific aspect to the interested or concerned group of people. For example, an organization can organize a seminar to educate workers in the human resource department about the emerging trends in human resource management.

The seminar is geared towards helping the workers in the human resource department to be updated about the current practices in their department so that they can be efficient.

Conferences are organized with the aim of getting people’s opinion or feelings towards a specific subject. For example, an organization can organize a conference with the customers so that it can get opinions and feelings concerning a recently launched product.

  1. Formality in Conference and Seminar

A seminar appears to be more formal because there are people who possess authority and instruct the participants on what to do.

Seminars are attended by people who want to acquire knowledge is a specific field where they are taught by experts, lectures, and professionals who convey authority and are supposed to be respected in equal measure.

Although respect cuts across seminars and conferences, there seems to be less formality in conferences since there is no person who has complete control or authority over other participants. Members’ opinion is respected with equal measure and each opinion counts.

Difference between Conference and Seminar: Comparison Chart

Conference VERSUS Seminar


Summary of Conference and Seminar

  • A conference is a formal meeting where people congregate to discuss a specific area of common interest while a seminar is an educational forum where members meet to acquire knowledge about a particular area.
  • Seminars take short period because they focus on a specific area while conferences may last for an extended duration since members discuss and air their opinion concerning the subject matter.
  • There is active participation in a conference where all the participants are required to give their feelings and opinions about a specific aspect while seminars offer limited involvement because participants receive directions from an expert.
  • A seminar takes an academic forum where participants acquire skills and knowledge and are given a certificate while conferences take a consultative view for discussion and members are not given a certificate.
  • Other differences between conferences and seminars include the purpose of the meeting and formality among others.

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References :

[0]Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Seminar-Baunach.jpg#/media/File:Seminar-Baunach.jpg

[1]Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/cydcor/9323706488

[2]Davis, Dave, et al. "Impact of formal continuing medical education: do conferences, workshops, rounds, and other traditional continuing education activities change physician behavior or health care outcomes?" Jama 282.9 (1999): 867-874.

[3]Feldstein, Richard, Bruce Fink, and Maire Jaanus, eds. Reading Seminar XI: Lacan's Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis: The Paris Seminars in English. SUNY Press, 1995.

[4]Joss, Simon, and John Durant, eds. Public participation in science: The role of consensus conferences in Europe. NMSI Trading Ltd, 1995.

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