Difference Between Symposium and Conference with Proper Definition and Brief Explanation

Symposium vs Conference

Seminars, workshops, conferences, symposia, etc. they are events that take place mainly in academic settings. Many people are still confused between these nomenclatures and cannot watch a conference symposium considering their similarities and overlaps in the way they are organized and participated. However, there are differences related to the number of delegates, the topics covered, the duration, etc. that will be covered in this article.


A symposium is a formal meeting in an academic setting where the participants are experts in their fields. These experts present or express their opinions or points of view on a chosen topic of discussion. It would be correct to label a symposium a small-scale conference since the number of delegates is less. There are regular discussions on the chosen topic after the experts have delivered their speeches. The main characteristic of a symposium is that it covers a single topic or topic and all lectures given by experts are completed in a single day.

The symposium is somewhat informal in nature, and there is not much pressure on delegates to present or present lectures in the best possible way, as is the case at other academic events. There are breaks for lunch, tea, snacks, etc. to break the ice..


Conference refers to a formal meeting where participants exchange their views on various topics. The conference can take place in different fields, and it does not have to be academic in nature all the time. Therefore, we have parent-teacher conferences, sports conferences, a business conference, a journalists conference, a doctors conference, an investigative researchers conference, etc. A conference is a meeting that has been pre-arranged and involves consultations and discussions on various topics by the delegates.

A conference is large-scale with a large number of participants, although a conference can take place between only two people, the student and their instructor. In general, however, a conference refers to a gathering of many people who come from different places in the conference venue and discuss their views on various topics. A conference is spread over a period of a few days with formal discussions on chosen days and according to the conference agenda.

Symposium vs Conference

• Conference and symposium are similar events where speakers meet and give their opinions on a chosen topic.

• The symposium can be described as a smaller conference that is resolved in a single day with a smaller number of delegates.

• The symposium is somewhat informal in nature with breaks for snacks and lunch.

In a symposium, experts give lectures on a single topic while in a conference, there is a discussion on several topics

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