Virtual Events

Convention vs Conference: Which Event Fits Your Needs?

Within the dynamic sphere of professional gatherings, the terms “convention” and “conference” are frequently interchanged. But here’s the catch, each offers a distinctive setting and fulfills specific objectives. 

Understanding the similarities and differences between these two event types is crucial, as it influences crucial decisions regarding attendance or organization. This blog aims to shed light on the contrasting features of conventions and conferences. Moreover, we will look at their unique features, advantages of conventions/conferences, and best-suited scenarios. 

Let us help you understand the subtle differences between conventions and conferences. No matter whether you’re a seasoned event organizer seeking clarity or an attendee looking for informed decisions. So without further ado;

What is a Convention?

Conventions are like massive gatherings designed specifically for certain industries, hobby groups, or fan communities. These are large events that bring together people with the same interests. During these conventions, you’ll find everything from expert discussions to workshops where you can learn new skills, to demonstrations and exhibitions showcasing the latest and greatest. 

What is a Convention?

In simple terms, ”Conventions are events where like-minded enthusiasts come together. It’s a chance for people who share the same passions to come together, exchange ideas, and simply enjoy each other’s company”

However, conventions aren’t just about business. There’s always something exciting to discover – whether it’s a new product, a fresh idea, or a hidden gem you never knew about. Events like;

  • Comic-Con International
  • Consumer Electronics Show (CES)
  • VidCon
  • Gamescom
  • BookExpo
  • Comic-Con International 
  • And more!

These are some prime examples of conventions that attract attendees from all around the world. Each event has its own unique atmosphere, but they all share that same sense of enthusiasm and community spirit that makes conventions so special.

Key Advantages of Convention

Here are the key advantages of conventions. Let’s explore them:

1. Networking Opportunities Across Industries:

Conventions bring together audiences from various backgrounds and industries. It acts as a networking platform where you can meet new people and expand your professional connections. Who you might run into is always a mystery, from possible partners to business leaders. Also, exchanging ideas with individuals from diverse backgrounds can lead to fresh perspectives and innovative solutions.

2. Comprehensive Range of Activities: 

Conventions offer a bunch of activities to keep attendees engaged. Whether you’re into panel discussions, workshops, or just checking out cool exhibits, there’s something for everyone. Attendees can pick and choose what interests them the most. 

3. Informal Networking Atmosphere

Everyone can get bored with formal networking sessions, but besides this, conventions also offer casual networking. Be it having conversations with coffee or bonding at social events, these interactions can lead to unexpected connections and then to potential collaborations. In addition to this, building relationships in a relaxed setting fosters genuine relationships that work well in the long term.

4. Extended Duration for In-Depth Engagement:  

Unlike shorter events, conventions usually last for several days. This gives you more time to explore everything the event has to offer – from attending sessions to checking out the exhibits and interacting with fellow attendees. 

5. Promoting Your Business or Brand: 

There’s no better platform than convention if you want to showcase your products, services, or expertise to a targeted audience. With events like conventions, event organizers get the opportunity to establish themselves as thought leaders and make further connections. However, it’s a great place for learning and staying updated on the latest trends.

What is a Conference?

Conferences, in contrast, have a more focused approach, especially those centered on specific topics or fields of interest. These events cater to a targeted audience with shared professional or academic interest. Conference programs typically include keynote presentations, panel discussions, and workshops led by experts in the field. Additionally, conferences prioritize structured networking sessions designed to facilitate meaningful connections among attendees.

What is a Conference?

Key Advantages of The Conferences

Let’s now discuss the key advantages provided by conference events:

1. Targeted Audience and Specialized Sessions:

Conferences attract targeted audiences with specific interests or expertise in the topic or field. This targeted audience ensures that sessions and discussions are tailored to meet the needs and preferences of attendees. Moreover, specialized sessions delve deep into niche topics, providing valuable insights and practical knowledge to participants.

2. Structured Program with In-Depth Presentations:

Events like conferences offer a carefully planned agenda with talks, panels, and workshops led by industry professionals. These sessions address key themes and current trends, providing attendees with informative presentations and stimulating discussions to enhance their learning experience.

3. Purposeful Networking Opportunities:

Networking is an essential part of every event. Whether at trade fairs, exhibitions or conferences, networking facilitates meaningful connections between participants. Whether it’s speed networking events, roundtable discussions or mentoring programs. Participants have the opportunity to connect with like-minded people. Networking at conferences can be very purposeful and strategic, and when done right, it also leads to valuable relationships and business opportunities.

4. Flexible Duration to Accommodate Diverse Agendas:

Conferences offer flexibility in terms of duration as it allow event organizers to accommodate diverse agendas and schedules. No matter whether it’s a single-day event packed with intensive sessions or a multi-day conference with a comprehensive program. Attendees can easily choose the format that best suits their availability and preferences. Futhermore, this flexibility ensures that participants can make the most of their conference experience.

5. Focus on Education, Knowledge Sharing, and Professional Development:

Last but not least, the conference will focus on education, knowledge sharing, and professional development. Leading experts will present participants with the latest insights, trends, best practices, and cutting-edge research. There is no doubt that conferences serve as a valuable platform for learning and communication, keeping attendees up to date with industry trends and new technologies. In addition, conferences offer the opportunity to earn continuing education credits or certifications that lead to professional growth and success.

Difference between the Convention & Conference

For more clarity and understanding we’ve mentioned the detailed differentiation table elaborating on the aspects of conventions and conferences:

FocusTypically revolve around broad industry themes or interests, catering to a wide array of participants from various sectors. They aim to showcase the latest trends, products, and innovations within a particular industry.More focused approach, centered on specific topics or fields of interest. These events cater to a targeted audience with shared professional or academic interests. They aim to delve deep into niche subjects and provide specialized insights.
AudienceConventions tend to attract a diverse and often larger audience compared to conferences. Participants come from various backgrounds, professions, and industries, creating a melting pot of perspectives and experiences. This diversity provides ample opportunities for networking and collaboration across different sectors.Conferences typically draw a more targeted and often smaller audience compared to conventions. Attendees share a common interest or expertise in the specific topic or field being addressed, allowing for deeper discussions, specialized workshops, and tailored sessions that cater to their needs and interests.
SessionsConventions offer a wide range of sessions and activities to engage attendees, including exhibitions, panel discussions, workshops, seminars, product demos, and networking events. These sessions aim to provide participants with opportunities to learn, connect, and explore the latest developments within the industry. Attendees can choose from a variety of activities based on their interests and objectives.Conferences feature a more structured program with keynote presentations, panel discussions, and workshops led by experts and thought leaders in the field. These sessions are carefully curated to cover key topics, trends, and challenges relevant to the conference theme. Attendees can expect in-depth presentations, interactive discussions, and hands-on activities that encourage active participation and knowledge sharing.
NetworkingConventions offer numerous opportunities for informal networking throughout the event. From casual conversations during coffee breaks to organized networking sessions, attendees have the chance to connect with industry peers, potential partners, and thought leaders. Networking at conventions is often spontaneous and can lead to valuable collaborations and partnerships.Conferences prioritize structured networking sessions designed to facilitate meaningful connections among attendees. These sessions may include speed networking events, roundtable discussions, or mentorship programs where participants can interact with like-minded professionals, exchange contact information, and explore potential collaborations. Networking at conferences is focused and purposeful, with opportunities for targeted relationship building.
DurationConventions typically span multiple days, allowing participants ample time to explore exhibits, attend sessions, and engage in networking activities. The extended duration accommodates a diverse range of activities and ensures that attendees have sufficient time to make the most of the event experience.Conferences can vary in duration, ranging from a single day to multiple days, depending on the scope and objectives of the event. Some conferences may be condensed into a full-day program, while others may extend over several days to accommodate a comprehensive agenda with multiple sessions and activities. The duration is often tailored to the needs and preferences of the attendees and organizers.
PurposeThe primary purpose of conventions is to facilitate the exchange of ideas, showcase products or services, and foster networking opportunities within a specific industry or community. Conventions serve as platforms for knowledge sharing, business development, and brand promotion, allowing participants to stay informed about the latest trends and innovations in their field.Conferences are primarily focused on education, knowledge sharing, and professional development within a specialized area or discipline. The overarching goal is to provide attendees with valuable insights, practical skills, and networking opportunities that enhance their expertise and advance their careers. Conferences may also serve as forums for research dissemination, academic collaboration, and policy advocacy, depending on the nature of the event.
ExamplesExamples of conventions include trade shows, industry expos, fan conventions, and large-scale gatherings focused on specific sectors such as technology, entertainment, healthcare, or tourism. These events bring together industry stakeholders, enthusiasts, and consumers to celebrate shared interests, showcase new products, and engage in networking activities.Examples of conferences include academic conferences, business conferences, medical symposiums, and professional development workshops tailored to specific fields or disciplines. These events cater to professionals, researchers, students, and policymakers seeking to expand their knowledge, network with peers, and stay updated on the latest developments in their respective fields.

Key Features Event Organizers Should Consider while Choosing Platform for Conference/Convention

When selecting a conventions and conferences management platform, event organizers must consider the following factors:

Multistreaming Capability

To reach more audience and generate engagement, enabling simultaneous streaming of event sessions across multiple online platforms. However, doing so will reach a wider audience and increase the event visibility.

360 Photo Booth Integration

It’s no secret that everyone enjoys taking photographs. Therefore, immerse attendees in 360-degree photo booth experiences while capturing unforgettable moments from all angles.

Onsite Event Solutions

Implement onsite event solutions such as QR code easy check-ins, RFID badges, and Smart event badges for streamlined event registration processes, enhanced security, and personalized attendee experiences.

Interactive Exhibitor Booths

In the case of virtual event format, offer interactive exhibitor booths with virtual product demos, and live chats with representatives. Along with downloadable resources to engage attendees and drive leads for exhibitors.

Interactive Exhibitor Booths

Event Gamification

Incorporate gamification elements such as scavenger hunts, trivia challenges, and prize giveaways to increase attendee engagement and participation throughout the event. 

Make sure to captivate the audience with immersive AR/VR games tailored to the conference theme or objectives.

Content Management System (CMS)

Organizers can manage content, schedule sessions, and update event information using a user-friendly CMS.

Analytics and Reporting

Offer comprehensive analytics and reporting tools to track attendee behavior, session popularity, and engagement metrics, enabling organizers to measure event success and make data-driven decisions for future events.

Accessibility Features

Ensure that accessibility features such as closed captioning, sign language interpretation, and screen reader are in place. So that it’s compatible to accommodate attendees with disabilities and promote inclusivity.

Customized Space

In the case of virtual format, design the conventions and conferences event layout according to specific conference requirements. This ensures a seamless and engaging experience for attendees.

Networking Tables

Enable multi-format communication similar to in-person events, fostering meaningful connections among attendees.

B2B Meeting Scheduler

Simplify the process of scheduling meetings based on individual preferences, facilitating efficient networking sessions.

AI Matchmaking

Enhance networking experiences by providing attendees with curated lists of others sharing similar interest areas, promoting valuable interactions

External Integration

Easily integrate with third-party platforms like event CRM, WhatsApp Automation, and other platforms to enhance event execution. Also, this will help in automating marketing to post-event analysis tasks. 


To grab the complete attention of attendees, and track their engagement and participation levels in real-time through the leaderboard provided by the conference management platform. As a result, this incentivizes interaction and fosters healthy competition.


By the end of the article, we have unveiled the differences between convention and conference events. Conventions cater to a broad audience and provide a platform for industry-wide showcasing and networking, while conferences offer a more focused approach tailored to specific topics or fields. After all, each event comes with its own unique characteristics. Additionally, when choosing a management platform for either a convention or conference, it’s essential to consider key features such as multi-streaming capability, interactive exhibitor booths, accessibility etc, With Dreamcast, organizers can effectively leverage the power of live events to achieve their objectives and deliver an amazing experience. Book your free demo now or call us!

Conference experience

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