Host a Seminar or Workshop?

I thought my life was mapped out.  Research, living in the forest, teaching and writing.  But in ’86 I went to a conference and realized the chimpanzees were disappearing.  I had worldwide recognition and a gift of communication. I had to use them.

~ Jane Goodall


What is the difference between a conference, seminar or a workshop?

  • Seminars are usually  short and crisp.  The cover a topic as an introductory or overview and covered by a single speaker.  Historically, they can be 30 minutes to a couple of hours. Seminars are frequently more lecture driven.  To ensure the complete content is covered during the short learning event, the audience questions are usually held till the end of the presentation.  
  • Workshops are historically scheduled for a full day, sometimes 2 days. They cover a topic in more depth than a seminar.   They may or may not include lecture, plus hands-on activities.  Typically limited to a single speaker, and possibly a support person to assist with any hands-on practice activities.
  • Conferences on the other hand, are much longer in duration – lasting 2 to 5 days, with multiple speakers, speaker panels.  Conferences can include multiple workshops, multiple track topics, hands-on activities, and even celebratory events.
More detail:   Difference between Seminar and Conference, 2016.