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What Is A Conference

What is a Conference?

A Professional Conference Organiser (PCO) specialises in the organisation and management of congresses, conferences, seminars and similar events. PCO’s come from a variety of backgrounds and professions.

Typically working in either a consulting or full management role, PCOs provide full service management for conferences including; conference design, registration, venue finding and booking, AV and IT support, logistics, marketing, printing and web services.

They can also source speakers, find necessary funding, sponsorship and exhibitor sales, financial management and control the budget on behalf of the client.  


1. Conventions

A convention is a large gathering of people from a particular industry or interest group. It usually involves a mix of educational sessions, trade shows, exhibitions, and networking opportunities. Conventions are organised to bring together professionals, enthusiasts, and stakeholders to discuss the latest trends, share knowledge, showcase products/services, and foster collaboration within a specific field. They often span multiple days and may be scheduled annually or biennially.  


2. Conferences

Conferences are gatherings that revolve around a specific theme or topic. They bring together experts, researchers, professionals, and practitioners to present and discuss their work, share insights, and explore advancements in a particular field. Conferences can be academic, scientific, business-oriented, or industry-focused, and they typically involve keynote speeches, panel discussions, presentations, and workshops.  Conferences can vary in size, ranging from small-scale events to large international gatherings. They can be organized by academic institutions, professional associations, corporations, or government bodies.  

Conferences often have a more academic or research-oriented focus.  


3. Congresses

A congress is similar to a conference but is typically associated with governmental or political gatherings. It involves representatives or delegates from various regions or constituencies who assemble to discuss and make decisions on matters of policy, legislation, governance, or administration. Congresses are commonly organized by national or international bodies and aim to foster dialogue, cooperation, and decision-making among participants.  They often have a formal structure and may include voting or resolution processes.  Events, in a broader sense, encompass a wide range of gatherings that can include everything from social gatherings, celebrations, and festivals to corporate events and fundraisers. Unlike the more specialized nature of conventions, conferences, and congresses, events can have diverse objectives and formats, depending on the occasion and the target audience.

To learn more about the scope of the UK Events Industry - please visit The Power of Events


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