What's the difference between a conference, training, workshop and seminar?

11 October 2017

At Yarnfield Park, we are often asked what the difference is between a conference, a training program, workshop and a seminar. The truth is that there can be an overlap in the definition of each and they are not easily distinguished at times.


What is a seminar?

The Oxford English Dictionary explores a seminar as "a conference or other meeting for discussion or training". As mentioned earlier, these terms do overlap and this definition stands as proof. Although interchangeable at times, a seminar is usually characterised by the following attributes:

  • Small groups
  • Specific topics
  • Comprises of tasks and discussions

What is a conference?

The Oxford English Dictionary describes a conference as "a formal meeting of people with a shared interest, typically one that takes place over several days". At Yarnfield Park, our theatre, usually used for conferences, can seat up to 450 people. Conferences typically comprise of a range of speakers (often experts in the field) who discuss a particular topic. Examples of conferences:

What is a workshop?

The Oxford English Dictionary defines a workshop as "a meeting at which a group of people engage in intensive discussion and activity on a particular subject or project". Workshops, similar to seminars, are usually much smaller than conferences - a workshop can be an element of the conference structure. Workshops typically tend to be:

  • Interactive
  • Educational
  • Conversational

What is training?

The Oxford English Dictionary defines training as "the action of teaching a person or animal a particular skill or type of behaviour". At Yarnfield Park, the number of candidates taking part in training sessions varies greatly. They can take place in large conference theatres or small meeting rooms and each style of training session is dependent on the organisation using the facilities. Training sessions are often for:

  • Companies
  • Governing bodies
  • Leaders/teachers

For more information about the different types of events that can be held at a national training centre, click here.


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About Yarnfield Park

At Yarnfield Park Training and Conference Centre, in the Midlands, we work with companies from a diverse range of business sectors to help them achieve their conference, training and development goals. We offer one of the fastest free dedicated Internet and WiFi solutions within a training and conference centre in the UK.

Situated in the Midlands, our training and conference centre’s central location is accessible from all over the UK via the region’s excellent transport links.

We have over 32 flexible meeting spaces, from large theatres for 450 delegates to vast outdoor space ideal for team building. We have a successful track record in delivering residential and non-residential conference and training programmes for associations, government and corporate clients.

Tel: 01785 762900