What is seminar?

Lot of people use terms seminar and conference as synonyms. They both are types of formal meetings; however there are some differences between them. Conference is a lot wider term, which includes various kinds of formal meetings for different purposes that can be organized in many different ways. Seminar is one specific type of these […]

Lot of people use terms seminar and conference as synonyms. They both are types of formal meetings; however there are some differences between them. Conference is a lot wider term, which includes various kinds of formal meetings for different purposes that can be organized in many different ways. Seminar is one specific type of these conference meetings with simple organization and educational purpose. Seminars are gatherings of people with common interest in the topic the seminar is about. There are usually one or more general speakers, but mostly seminars also include active discussions and experience exchange.

Also seminars itself has different types. Although the main objective of all seminars is education, they are divided by smaller purposes. For example, it can be held to talk about some research findings. Then all the participants are same level professionals in the specific field. Seminars also can be held to improve some skills and knowledge of participants. Then the seminar is organized a lecture – there are one or many speakers who are professionals and they teach others which can be either lower level professionals or people without any knowledge of the topic. There can also be other purposes for a seminar, but they always have some educational base.

All the seminars are academic. They are formal and there is at least one high level professional in each seminar. Other similar meetings, for example, workshops are lot less formal. That’s why seminars usually are held when there is a need to reach some good results at short period of time. Also workshops can help to teach something to the participants and create successful discussions, but they are more entertaining and less academic.

The planning of the seminar is similar to planning of different types of formal meetings. Detailed planning depends on the purpose and target audience, but generally there should be such aspects as location, schedule, venders and budget considered. Seminars usually are smaller than other types of conferences, so few weeks of planning are enough for successful seminar.

Besides planning, the success of seminar usually is determinate by the main speakers. As it was mentioned before, seminars are very formal and academic meetings, but they must be understandable and interesting. Monotonic talking in scientific language won’t give the expected results. Nowadays most of the seminars include computerized, audio visual presentations, so it would be easier for the auditory to focus and understand the topic. Also it is important for the main speaker to be competent to lead the seminar. He must be able to answer any question and he must speak from his mind not read what is written somewhere else.

After the seminars there are usually some analyze of outcome made. It can be either a survey of participants, response of attendees, evaluation of reached or unreached aims or different kind of feedback. That is important to improve the upcoming events.