Seminar vs Workshop

Seminar vs Workshop: How to Tell The Difference

The details behind hosting a big event can change based on the type of gathering. Learn the differences between seminar vs workshop & when to use each one.
March 27, 2023

There are several different types of events you can host to provide your guests with important information and knowledge. Depending on the goals you have for your event, one type of event may work better than the other. Both seminars and workshops are  educational for the attendees, but they do have a few differences! Let’s do a comparison of seminars vs workshops.

What is a seminar? 

A seminar is a smaller event that is focused on a single topic. According to a Global Meetings & Events Forecast, 21% of event professionals believed small and simple meetings would be the most common types of meetings in 2021. Seminars usually have a panel of industry experts who will educate the attendees on the topic at hand. At the end of the seminar, the guests will have an opportunity to ask questions and engage with both the panelists and other guests. 

What is a seminar

What is a workshop?

A workshop is a hands-on learning experience for your attendees. They are able to learn new skills and then practice those skills in real-time. According to a collection of statistics from Visme, 65% of consumers say they better understand a product or service from live events. If your guests have any questions about the new skills they have learned, they are able to ask the workshop instructor immediately. These skills that the guests learn can be based on a new product or service, and everyone attending the workshop will all have the same training, so there will be no confusion or miscommunication.

Seminars vs workshops: how they’re alike

Seminars and workshops have a few similarities! While they differ slightly in a few areas, there are some similarities between the two events:


While the formal definition of a seminar and a workshop is different, both types of events are opportunities for learning and education. Both seminars and workshops are typically based around guests who work in skill-based professions. The education and the learning never stops and your guests even have the opportunity to earn a certificate! The training and education that happens within the seminars and workshops can certify your guests in the field you are educating them in. 


As discussed above, seminars and workshops are for training and educating your guests on the topic at hand. Both seminars and workshops can have a certain topic that the speakers are going to cover, and your guests are likely to attend because they have a genuine interest in the topic. The topic for seminars and workshops can change every time there is a demand for it, so you may have a new audience for each type of event every time. 

How to host a seminar


Both seminars and workshops are relatively informal, with guests being encouraged to ask questions and engage with everyone. For example, conferences are formal and the guests don’t have an opportunity to engage with their guest speakers. Seminars and workshops are focused on the attendees learning and asking questions to the industry experts hosting the events. Your guests may have all different types of questions, so the hosts should take as many questions as time allows. 


Seminars and workshops are both events that can be done in just one day. Seminars usually last an hour or two, with the speakers presenting their information, followed by a Q&A session at the end. Workshops can also be done in one day, but they might run a little longer than a seminar. Workshops can be used to explain how to use a new product or a service, so it might take some time to give an overview on how the guests can use the product correctly. 


The formats of seminars and workshops can be done in a presentation or demonstration style, which is the best way to teach and present information and knowledge to your guests. As we have seen over the past few years, both seminars and workshops are able to be held either in-person or online! 


Seminars and workshops are usually on the smaller side of events. There can be any number of guests attending your events, but the smaller, the better! This allows guests to fully grasp the information being presented, and it allows for every question the guests have to be addressed. In terms of workshops, the presenters of the new product or service can take the time to thoroughly explain the product or service, ensuring that the guests fully understand what they’re learning. If you have a larger group during your event, not everyone will grasp the topic at hand and they may fall through the cracks. For event planners that use KPIs for event success, attendee satisfaction is an important factor.

How to host a workshop

Seminars vs workshops: how they’re different 

Basis For Comparison Seminar Workshop
Definition Smaller event, specific topic, panel of experts, topic can be tailored to audience’s needs Interactive, facilitators present, learning new skills, hands-on learning, educational
Topic Specific topic, geared towards audience New product or service introduction, hands-on training
Formality Semi-formal, guests listening to panelists followed by Q&A session Informal, guests able to engage and interact with both workshop hosts and other guests
Duration Conducted in one day, a few hours, no need for more than one day Usually conducted in one day, if you have multiple trainings/products, do multiple days
Format Panel discussions and presentations Testing new products and services, informal activities
Length/Size 10-50 guests, held in a seminar room with tables and chairs Can host many people, just make sure each person has a chance to ask questions if they have them

Master the art of seminars and workshops 

Seminars and workshops are similar in the way that they present their guests with knowledge and information. Workshops are more of a hands-on experience, rather than an information presentation like a seminar. Both types of events are geared towards the education of the guests, just in different ways! If you want your guests to have a more hands-on approach to learning about a new product or service, then you can host a workshop. All of your guests can have the same training at the same time, and the workshop can even be recorded to use as a reference tool in the future.

Seminars can also be recorded and shared with any guest who registered but couldn’t attend. Whichever type of event you choose, you can be sure your guests will leave the seminar or workshop full of the knowledge you have developed for them. Planning to host a virtual seminar or a workshop? Hubilo will ensure that your attendees have a fine experience and want to return to the next event by hosting engaging and informative seminars and workshops. Reach out to us to book a demo! 


Hubilo is the webinar platform built for marketers that helps you 2X your pipeline. Founded in 2015, Hubilo's powerful engagement features, dedicated client experience team, and custom branding tools have helped create over 12K virtual events & webinars, creating hundreds of millions of minutes of high-engagement experiences and counting. Headquartered in Bengaluru and San Francisco, Hubilo's 200+ employees are dedicated to enabling webinars & virtual events that convert.

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