In-Person Event

Conferences vs. Meetings vs. AGM’s: Understanding the Differences & Key Aspects

In any business, organization, or in general, there are many types of events that used to be hosted and all carry different meanings and purposes. And for that, there are many terms used for events like; trade shows, product launches, property expos, professional conferences, business meetings, annual general meetings (AGMs), webinars, and more. They all seem like every other event and have been used interchangeably, but there are a lot of differences and characteristics. Understanding their nuances is quite an essential step for every host and organization to properly plan and execute. Here in this blog, we are going to explore the core difference between conferences, meetings, and AGMs with their unique characteristics, event tech tools required to host them as well as other vital aspects. So, without further ado, let’s first learn their basic definition and how this event is distinct as per their purposes; 

Defining Professional Conferences, Business Meetings & Annual General Meetings 

Undoubtedly, it is clear to everyone that every event serves a different purpose, their goals, vision, and outcomes are entirely distinct from one.

In the same context, event organizers may vary in how they host them; not all business meetings are conducted in person, whereas all AGMs cannot be hosted virtually or in hybrid modes. Thus, defining the possibility may not be easy but can be based on event organizers. So, let’s understand all these terms; 

Professional Conferences

The conferences are generally professional setting events that are typically hosted for a day to multiple days long. The main focus of any conference is to bring professionals, leaders, and industry experts together to share the latest innovations, discuss crucial topics, new ideas, and network. Industries across the globe host conferences in various fields such as healthcare, fashion, design, science, literature, and others. Typically, a professional conference is a set of keynote speeches, panel discussions, workshops, and networking sessions, all centered around a specific theme or industry.

Professional Conferences

In the current dynamics as the technology is advanced, hosting in person is not possible due to varied reasons. A lot of event hosts are looking forward to taking advantage of the virtual conference platforms for hosting them in virtual settings. One of the advantages of this approach is that it breaks geographical boundaries and takes vast participants from across the world. However, it depends on the type of conference, the industry, and the goals of choosing the hybrid, virtual, or in-person event solutions

Business Meetings

Simple discussion between your peers, clients, or any other teams. In our daily lives, we do meet people on a professional level, which can be called meetings. However, to be particular, business meetings refer to intimate gatherings well focused on discussions, decision-making, and collaboration among a select group of individuals.  The scalability of such meetings depends upon multiple factors like; team size, the topic of discussion, organization, projects, and others. Nowadays, in-person business meetings have seen a rapid downfall in terms of number due to the popularity, flexibility, and convenience of virtual meeting platforms.  Business meetings are crucial to discussing company matters, handling clients, projects, and other key aspects to keep every team member on the same page working towards the same goal and vision for ultimate growth. No matter in which setting you do. 

AGMs (Annual General Meetings)

Every corporate business and organization considers the yearly meeting as one of the mandated events. This type of meeting is usually a gathering of shareholders and stakeholders of a company or organization. The purpose is to understand the last financial year’s reports and to plan for the next. Besides this, electing board members, voting on resolutions, and addressing concerns raised by shareholders are some crucial pointers.

Corporate AGM

For security reasons, organizers schedule the annual general meetings in closed conference rooms to prevent any potential information leaks. But as the technology is quite advanced nowadays the virtual AGM platforms comply with regulatory guidelines. Also, this offers encrypted communication, privacy controls to manage participant access, and other crucial features like secure voting.  So, this way the AGMs can also be organized in both virtual and hybrid settings. 

Conferences vs. Meetings vs. AGM’s: Differentiation based on Characteristics

ScaleLarge-scale events with hundreds or thousands of attendeesSmaller and more focusedSmaller and more focused
AgendaStructured agendas with pre-planned sessionsMore flexible agendas tailored to participant needsMore flexible agendas tailored to participant needs
AudienceDiverse audience from various organizations and industriesParticipants with direct interest or stake in proceedings.Participants with direct interest or stake in proceedings.
VenueHeld in large convention centers or hotelsHeld in smaller venues such as meeting or conference rooms.Organize in smaller venues such as boardrooms or conference rooms.
DurationOften span multiple daysTypically shorter in durationTypically shorter in duration
FormatVarious formats including keynote speeches, panels, and workshops.Formal format with presentations, discussions, and voting procedures.Formal format with presentations, discussions, and voting procedures.
Content FocusCovers a wide range of topics relevant to the industry or field.Focuses on specific agenda items such as; projects, planning, or policy decisions.Specific agenda items such as financial reports, strategic planning, or policy decisions, board members choosing process and more.
InteractionAmple opportunities for interaction and engagement.Prioritizes focused discussions and decision-making processes specific to any topic or project.Prioritizes focused discussions and decision-making processes.

Hope from this above table and definition, it is clear the difference between all these three event types. No matter which of them businesses host to keep always intact, it is a crucial step to look for event tech solutions and tools. They make the planning, execution, and management process easier while offering interactivity and easiness for the attendees. So, next, we will explore the top event tech tools that can help in organizing all these three event formats. 

Enhancing Event Planning and Execution with Innovative Tech Solutions

Event tech tools are meant to ease the management of any gatherings. In today’s age, it is quite essential to take all of them into consideration for enriched attendee experience and people involved. Gone are the days when ticketing and registration used to be via on-ground box offices. However, it’s now a minute of tasks using smartphones and registration platforms. So, let’s understand all of them; 

Registration and Ticketing Platforms

A professional conference requires a registration platform, while an AGM might require one (depending on the host). The main function is to offer the attendees an easy way to get themselves registered. Also, this approach allows attendees easy access to event information, schedules, and ticketing options.

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Virtual Event Platforms

All these three event types can be hosted in a virtual setting. But if not the case, using a virtual event platform empowers remote participation and engagement for conferences, meetings, and AGMs. Also, they offer features such as live streaming, virtual networking rooms, chats, and interactive sessions to enhance the attendee experience.

Matchmaking & Networking Tools

Depending upon the conference types and goals, the meeting and matchmaking platforms are a must-consider tool. This can be a microsite, a specially designed app to integrate with a mobile event app functionality. The main purpose it serves is that attendees can connect, schedule meetings, and exchange contact information. Furthermore, based on the field registration forums, the platform can suggest other attendees based on their preferences and similarities. 

Mobile Event Apps

Offer dedicated mobile apps for conferences, meetings, and AGMs, providing attendees with access to event agendas, speaker profiles, interactive maps, and real-time updates. This approach leads to enhancing the overall event experience. Enhance participation and interaction during sessions with audience engagement tools like live polling, Q&A sessions, and interactive features, keeping attendees engaged and informed throughout the event.

Live Streaming

If you are hosting the events in on-ground mode and want to share the content with a wider audience. Utilizing Live streaming is indeed needed. This can be the streaming of keynote sessions, panel discussions, and other event highlights for remote attendees over social media platforms or the internet. This way leads to extending the reach of the event. 

Live Streaming

Event Badges and Check-in Solutions

Professional events necessitate the use of badges, which serve as tokens for authentication and networking during the events. With QR-based, RFID, NFC, or other integrated event badges, networking becomes more accessible, simplifying access management. Alongside integrated event badges, deploying turnstile or self-check-in kiosks is essential to streamline the check-in process and make it contactless. Furthermore, this approach allows the host to track and monitor event attendees and their activities, including which sessions they attend and who attends them.

Summing Up

By the end of this blog, we gain an understanding and distinctions between conferences, meetings, and AGMs. We also learned about top event tech solutions that can ease tasks and help organizers tailor their strategies to deliver memorable event experiences to all participants. If you’re also seeking event tech tools to streamline the planning and execution of your next annual general meeting, conference, or business meeting, Dreamcast is ready to assist. With our advanced and wide range of event tech solutions and tools, from virtual event platforms to registrations, mobile event apps, microsites, live streaming, badges, check-in solutions, and more, we have everything you need. Book your free demo with us and get all your queries resolved by our product experts.

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