Corporate events come with various labels – some are conferences, seminars, and workshops. It is easy to mix them up, especially when people use all these terms interchangeably. To some people, seminars are the same as conferences, but workshops can also be called seminars.
However, how you name your event can give attendees an idea of what to expect when they sign up for it. The type of event you organise will also have an impact on the kinds of facilities you need to arrange.
So, to guide you in your planning process, let’s dive into what people generally mean when they refer to terms like seminars, conferences, and workshops.
What is a seminar?
If you google for the definition of ‘seminar’, you will find that seminars can also be referred to as conferences. However, when you compare them side by side, seminars are usually the smaller-scale events.
At seminars, you may have a keynote speaker who gives a presentation, but this is typically short, or gives participants ample opportunities for discussion. The primary goal of seminars is for information sharing on a particular topic. Thus, the keynote speaker is usually the expert of the field, and the participants are there to learn about the topic.
Seminars can also be a useful arena for discussion between several experts, such as sharing preliminary research progress, bouncing off ideas, or giving updates on the latest developments in a field.
What is a conference?
Compared to seminars, conferences are larger-scale events. Also for the purposes of exchanging knowledge, conferences may be graced by multiple top-of-the-field experts who will make presentations in their respective specialisations.
Due to their bigger scale, conferences usually run for longer – sometimes for a full day or even over a few days. At some conferences, you may have multiple concurrent presentations going on at the same time in different rooms, so that attendees can pick and choose which they prefer to go for.
Conferences tend to be more formal and prestigious events as well. So it won’t be surprising for some conferences to be conducted on an international scale, with presenters and attendees from all over the world.
What is a workshop?
Workshops, like seminars, are also more intimate affairs and more hands-on in nature. But, rather than having one speaker present on a topic, the speaker may serve more of an instructional and guiding role, while the participants are given opportunities to discuss, practice, or craft something.
Workshops tend to have an end-goal in mind, where participants are expected to work towards solving a problem or completing a task by the end of the event. If the workshop is conducted specifically to equip a group of people with work-relevant skills, it is sometimes also referred to as a ‘training’.
What should you look out for in a seminar/conference/workshop venue?
Depending on the type of event you are organising, you will need different types of venues. Fortunately, the ready availability of seminar room rentals in Singapore today makes it convenient to source for various venues for varied needs.
The main consideration you want to account for is size. If you are conducting a massive conference, you will need a huge auditorium or even multiple conference rooms. If you are planning for a small workshop, perhaps one of the training room rentals in Singapore will suffice.
Another thing not to forget is the facilities and equipment you will require. All of the events will probably involve a key speaker or coach, so you are likely to need some AV equipment like a projector screen, microphone and speakers. It is also crucial to take into account the setup of the room. Some rooms have flexible layouts, while others are fixed, so enquire carefully before deciding on one.
After that, you can narrow down your choices using other factors like room ambience, location, and other amenities. For example, you might want to prioritise room ambience if you are organising a top-tier conference for international delegates. For a full-day conference, you also want to make sure the conference is located in a pleasant and accessible location so that attendees can pop out for lunch or coffee breaks conveniently.
While conferences, seminars, and workshops are all different, it wouldn’t be strange to find that the lines between them are often blurred. But what’s important is that the event is well-organised, and gives participants a meaningful time of learning. So, event name aside – its success is in your hands!