Lesson- 16. Seminars and Conferences


Every day we take notice of similar meaning words such as workshops, summits, symposiums, seminars and conferences and get confused by the use of different words for educational settings. Well, there is no need to get confused or puzzled as there are understandable differences in the functioning and execution as well as purpose of these meetings and congregations. In this lecture we will focus particularly on seminar and conference which give the impression to be the most similar amongst all types of meetings described here.

The two terms “seminar” and “conference” often sound similar and are generally used together but both of them have slight differences between them. Of course, both, seminars and conferences are formal meetings of similar minded individuals. Participants assemble and talk about topics of common concern. However, one major difference between seminars and conferences is that while seminars focus on imparting knowledge and skills to the participants, conferences are all about sharing opinions and views on the subject matter.

Conference is a kind of meeting for consultation or discussion.


Seminar is a kind of meeting for an exchange of ideas.

In the fast world with rapidly developing technology, people should strive to keep themselves updated with the day-to-day advancement in their field of specialisation. One of the efficient means of doing it is to attend national and international seminars and conferences organised in their field of specialisation.

Organizing a seminar or conference is an important way of raising the profile of your work or engaging with key stakeholders. It can also be considered as an opportunity to share and exchange with other experts in your field. Such an event is really a good opportunity to present the outcome of your work and to attract mass attention to your project. It is very important to pick a clear subject matter for your event and to know where you want it to reach. Organizing an event is a huge and difficult task – like your regular activities, it has to be for a specific reason otherwise it will be wastage of important resources. Both seminars and conferences share one point and that is heavy reliance on audio visual aids to help a teacher to impart knowledge in an easier manner to the participants. A seminar or conference must be aimed more at raising awareness of your project or a particular issue. It should generate support for future work and it should support a particular law or policy for your project. You can also use the event as an opportunity to meet and to develop network with promising associates for future work. Being clear on your aim will help to focus your efforts and shall enable others to see why they should take part.


In a seminar, the findings of original research and advanced study are verbally presented to an elite crowd. Seminars are generally of shorter duration and it is possible to have quite a lot of business seminars inside a conference which may last for a few days. A seminar has an educational implication to it. For example, a seminar may be organized to enhance the skills of people involved in a particular profession. In such a case, experts are called who give lectures to the participants and all participants receive a certificate at the end of the seminar. In seminars, there is little active participation from those attending and it is usually the faculty or the expert disseminating knowledge in the form of lectures. The lead speaker has to present the paper with utmost clarity, using a rather formal style of language. The speaker should adopt the right intonation pattern and body language. For this purpose it would be advisable to record the presentation and then actually analyse it. Finally, the president is authorised to read out the findings of the seminar in the concluding remarks.. The main purpose of any seminar is to share newly-acquired knowledge and information with prominent individuals in the field and obtain their viewpoints on the subject matter. There is no limitation on the number of paper presentations. Topics are announced in advance and there are a few presentations related to the topic.


The purpose of a conference is to focus on a central theme and allow people to share their experiences and views. A conference requires a different kind of environment and is usually helpful at a place which also has accommodation and dining facilities for the participants. A conference is more about sharing of opinions and thoughts on a topic of common interest.A conference may include a formal lecture, audio-visual presentations, exhibitions, etc. Thus, a conference may involve a wide range of activities. Moreover, in a conference, the presentation is mostly verbal but there is no special bar on reading a written description. Like all other meetings, a seminar or conference begins with a welcome address followed by the declaration of the topic. The leading speaker gives the background of the study done, the particulars of the investigating procedures, supporting points or evidence of the findings and ultimately the results. After the presentation is over, there is a serious discussion. The participants shed more light on the subject matter from different angles. There is a healthy atmosphere for authentic ideas. The author may not have thought on certain lines but the discussion may help gain an innovative dimension and perceive to the theme and polish up a variety of ideas. Thus, conferences are organized by institutes and companies where attendees get information about most modern trends and developments in the industry. There are consumer conferences that are organized by companies and service providers to educate and put up relationships with their consumers whereas Educational conferences invite luminaries in the chosen field of study to enlighten the attendees with their expert knowledge.


A national conference on 'The use of computer while study in colleges” is organised at Trivedi Engineering College, V.V.Nagar under the auspices of the Computer Instructors Association. About 250 students from different colleges attend the conference. Conduct the conference by allotting suitable roles to the students.


Welcome Address


Introducing the guest


Chairman's introductory talk


Keynote address


Comments by the audience


Vote of thanks

16.5.Seminars vs conferences

• Seminars and conferences are based on different educational settings with different purposes and functions.

• While seminars intend to impart knowledge and skills to the participants, conferences are intended to sharing of opinions and views on the selected subject matter.

• Conferences are congregations attended by like minded people who share their views for the common good while seminars are to enhance the skills of the participants


http://www.differencebetween.com/difference-between-seminar-and-vs- conference/#ixzz2BLZImoXf date 05/11/2012


“Communication Skills for Technical Students”by T.M.Farhathullah, Orient Longman Pvt. Ltd.,2002

Last modified: Thursday, 1 August 2013, 7:11 AM