Types of Academic and Scientific Events You Need to Know About

Types of Academic and Scientific Events

Have you ever stopped to think about how many types of academic events there are out there? Or at least remember how many different types of events you’ve attended?

What happens is that, as they belong to the same nature, which is academic, events tend to have very similar characteristics. And this ends up confusing many people’s minds. So, it’s quite normal to see people saying they took a course when they went to a workshop. Or see a seminar being treated like a conference.

This challenge of classifying and distinguishing the types of events torments participants and organizers alike. To organize an event whose experience is memorable for those involved, it is necessary, first, to determine well the type of event that you intend to carry out. For you to understand this question, we have brought in this article 11 types of academic events and we explain each one of them.

1. Conference

The conference is one of the most common types of events. In it, the aim is to debate and draw conclusions about a central theme. The conference is the meeting where experts deliberate on issues of common interest or present studies, new discoveries, etc.

Conference features:

  • It’s a formal event
  • It has periodicity
  • It is a highly complex event
  • It has its own regulations and bylaws

In general, a conference is promoted by associative entities and counts on the presence of professionals and specialists who have a common interest and work in the same area. Conferences can be regional, national, and international. And, within the same conference, various types of activities can take place, such as: round tables, symposia, lectures, commissions, panels, courses, are some of them.

2. Meeting

This event aims to discuss what is happening in that field of action and highlight what needs to be improved, proposing solutions. It’s the meeting of people or experts to discuss a certain topic. In an academic meeting, people of the same professional category debate relevant, current, and controversial issues in that area. Therefore, the themes addressed in a meeting will serve as a basis for a change in the performance of that specific field.

While the conference is usually more comprehensive, the meeting is more cantered on a single professional category.

3. Seminar

The seminar is an oral event, and it needs the presence of a mediator (speaker) to exist. The seminar usually brings together students around a topic espoused verbally and which is usually linked to research being developed by these students. In other words, it works like a debate, whose objective is to know all aspects and all the variables of a subject.

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Unlike a meeting, at the seminar, only the situation is discussed, decisions are not made about it. The central issue is debated by two or more speakers. Therefore, the debate is not cantered on the opinion of a single person. This allows for a greater exchange of experiences, as different points of view can be shared with the audience. The difference between the seminar and the lecture is the scope of the theme. In the lecture, the discussed subject is seen only from an angle and by a speaker. In seminars, the most common is that the participants already have a previous knowledge of the subject. Generally, the session is divided into three parts: exposure phase, discussion phase, conclusion phase.

4. Round table

Roundtables are usually part of the schedule of larger events, such as conferences. This type of event aims to promote debate and raise questions about a topic. Therefore, the subject discussed is usually controversial and of public interest.

At the roundtable, public participation is very active. People are urged to defend points of view and ask experts questions. Therefore, the presence of someone who coordinates the action is essential so that the order of the event is guaranteed. This coordinator, who can also be called chairman of the board, works as a moderator. He is responsible for guiding the discussion so that it remains around the main theme.

Roundtables usually bring experts on the area to be addressed. In addition to presenting their point of view on the subject, they often must deal with a time limit for the exhibition. In this format, the aim is to provide the audience with a global vision that stimulates reasoning and builds consensus on the topic under discussion.

There can be a question-and-answer session, from one participant to another or from the audience. But the usual is that the questions are directed to the members of the table.

5. Symposium

The symposium consists of meeting of a determined scientific community initiative around a specific subject with a view to aggregating results and considerations to promote progress towards its clarification. In other words, a symposium brings together researchers who aim to study and discuss a particular topic to reach greater conclusions about it.

In it, the exchange of information (knowledge and experiences) takes place, aiming at decision making. Like the conference, it is one of the types of events that require complex organization.

A symposium can contain several conferences and have several parallel exhibitions. These exhibitors will present the research they are carrying out in that central area of ​​study of the symposium.

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6. Panel

The panel is a type of event that derives from the round table. However, in this modality, the specialists, who are usually of great renown, debate the subject and the public participates only as a spectator.

7. Forum

The main feature of the forum is the participation of the audience. Therefore, it aims to freely debate an idea. It’s the kind of event for those who like to talk and want to hear different perspectives on an issue.

Furthermore, the active participation of the audience is essential, which, in general, is sensitized and motivated to the discussion.

8. Journal

These are meetings of the closest professional groups, at a regional level, which periodically discuss matters of interest to the group. The conclusions can define guidelines for group work and for professions. Journal meetings can last several days, it depends on the complexity and size of the event.

9. Courses

It consists of detailing a particular subject or set of themes to “train” or “teach how to do”. It is made up of exhibitions by people, whose training is generally academic, who seek to pass on their knowledge to the participants.

The objective of the event is more theoretical than practical, but it does not invalidate the practice. It is suitable for people who have little or no knowledge of the subject.

Except for specialization courses, which aim to improve the knowledge of those who already know the subject.

Nowadays, many courses take place online and, therefore, reach a larger number of people.

10. Colloquium

Colloquy is a conversation or lecture between two or more people. It can also be defined as a meeting of qualified people, in which a certain subject is debated. This type of academic event promotes a space for conversation between several people to debate a specific, selected, and delimited subject. Therefore, normally, in colloquia, there are presentations of scientific works.

And, in a colloquium, the theme must be well structured because its main objective is the exhibition or debate. They can be presented in different ways: in the form of an exhibition, where a person faces the audience; or else in the form of a table, where everyone debates at the same time.

11. Workshop

A workshop is a class that deals with specific subjects. Therefore, it has experts to guide the theme and activities.

A fundamental characteristic of the workshop is that, in it, the subjects are approached in a much more practical than theoretical way. So, the workshop fulfils its role when students go out, in fact, putting into practice everything they have learned.

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