Difference between Conference and Meeting

Key Difference: Conference is an event that is organized for profit or non-profit organizations to discuss the matter or the pressing issues. Generally, meeting refers to an assembly of people that has a specific purpose. Meetings are generally intended to some formal or informal discussions.

Conference is an event that is organized for profit or non-profit organizations to discuss the matter or the pressing issues. Conference is generally regarded as a type of formal meeting. Most of the conferences bring together people that possess similar interests. A seminar may also take place over several days, depending upon the context to the seminar. Seminars take place in order to share opinions and thoughts on the specific subject matter. Seminars aim to provide the knowledge and skill pertaining to a specific subject.

A meeting is also related to the collection of people, and thus some confusion may arise between conference and meeting.  All the conferences can be regarded as types of meetings. However, all meetings cannot be considered as the conferences. A meeting can be both of formal or informal type. An informal type of meeting may take place for entertainment or for some light discussions. However, a formal meeting usually takes place to discuss or to share important matters, like in offices.

Comparison between Conference and Meeting:

 

Conference

Meeting

Definition

Conference is an event that is organized for profit or non-profit organizations to discuss the matter or the pressing issues.

Meeting generally refers to an assembly of people that has a specific purpose. Meetings are generally intended to some formal or informal discussions.

 

Type

Formal

Formal or Informal

Types

  • A symposium is a type of casual gathering that has the components of entertainment and refreshments included in it.
  • A seminar is organized to discuss a particular topic. It is usually educational in nature.
  • A workshop defines a type of gathering in which hands-on experience is given a lot of importance.
  • A round-table conference is a get-together of peers to exchange thoughts and opinions on a certain topic. This is usually political or commercial. It is marked by a few number of participants.
  • Decision Making Meetings – These types of meetings follow a standard method or a set procedure like –

    Description of the problem

    Analysis of the problem

    Draw out ideas

    Decide which is best

    Reach conclusions

  • Problem solving Meetings- These are intended to discuss the advices on certain problems.
  • Consulting Meetings – They refer to the types of meetings in which a specific policy or an innovation is dicussed in order to get the views on a policy or an idea.
  • Informing meetings – It refers to a straightforward type of meeting where some factual information or decision is to be communicated.
  • Examples
  • Fifth Solvay International Conference on Electrons and Photons held in October, 1927 is regarded as an important conference.
  • They are organizing a 7 day conference on environmental issues.
  • The conference held in the city of New Jersey.
  • Boss called up the meeting to address some new issues.
  • Let’s discuss the drama characters in a meeting.
  • Today’s meeting has been postponed.

Duration

 May last from few hours to several weeks.

May last form few minutes to couple of hours.

Aim

To impart the knowledge and skills

To share thoughts and views

To discuss

To share thoughts and views

Origin

From French conférence or medieval Latin conferentia, from Latin conferre 'bring together'

Verbal noun from meet (v.). Meaning "gathering of people for discussion, etc."

Scale

Generally, held in a larger scale

Generally held in a smaller scale

Venue

Generally, hotels or conference rooms.

Can be at home, office, anywhere depending upon the type and context of meeting.

Pre-Planning

Mandatory

May or may not be required

Image Courtesy: neurosurgery.ucla.edu, cba.org

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