Difference Between Meeting and Conference

Main Difference – Meeting vs Conference

Both meeting and conference refer to events where a group of people gets together for a particular purpose. Both these events are held with the purpose of discussion, problem-solving or fact finding. Despite these similarities, there is a difference between meeting and conference. A conference is more formal than a meeting and has a larger number of attendees. The term meeting, on the other hand, can refer to different types of gatherings, ranging from informal to formal. This is the main difference between meeting and conference.

This article covers,

1. What is a Meeting? – Definition and Characteristics

2. What is a Conference? – Definition and Characteristics

3. Key Differences Between Meeting and Conference Difference Between Meeting and Conference - infographic

What is a Meeting

The term meeting can refer to different types of gatherings. An appointment between two people, a gathering of all the employees in an office, gathering of family members, session of a book club, assembly of people for a religious purpose, etc. can all be considered as meetings.

Meetings can be casual and unplanned. For example, the employees in an office may be called for a sudden meeting to discuss a problem that has popped up. Here, the topic under discussion is not also planned. Meetings can be held in the office, home, or any similar space. A meeting does not usually include a very large crowd. A meeting also won’t last for days like a conference. It will be over in a few short hours. In some cases, it won’t even take an hour.

Difference Between Meeting and Conference

What is a Conference

A conference is a formal meeting that is generally designed for discussion, fact-finding, problem solving, and consultation. Conferences are usually held in external venues such as conference halls that can accommodate a large number of attendees. These attendees can be from different companies or organizations. A conference is a formal meeting and therefore has a proper program and agenda. It has a formal progress; the speakers and the topics for discussion are always selected before the conference. A conference can also last for more than one day.

As the term conference itself suggests, a conference is a platform for people to confer about a topic. There can be various types of conferences. Some examples of different types of conferences include academic conferences, news conferences, business conferences, etc. However, discussions are not always allowed in a conference.

Main Difference - Meeting vs Conference

Difference Between Meeting and Conference


Meetings are less formal and casual than conferences.

Conferences are more formal than meetings.


Meetings are shorter than conferences since they only last for a few hours.

Conferences are longer than meetings since they may be held over a span of days.


Meetings can be held in offices, homes or any given space.

Conferences usually take place in conference halls or hotels.


Meetings may be sudden.

Conferences are preplaned and conducted according to a program.


Meetings can be between two people.

Conferences have a large number of attendees.

Image Courtesy:

“Konference phone meeting” By konftel.ru (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia

“Munich Security Conference 2010 – Moe091 Westerwelle”By Kai Mörk (CC BY 3.0 de) via Commons Wikimedia 

About the Author: Hasa

Hasanthi is a seasoned content writer and editor with over 8 years of experience. Armed with a BA degree in English and a knack for digital marketing, she explores her passions for literature, history, culture, and food through her engaging and informative writing.