Meetings-  Seminars and Conferences

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            Meetings are one of the oldest and the most important group methods of extension teaching.  If properly arranged and conducted, they rank high in ratio of practices adopted in relation to cost as compared with other methods.  The term meeting includes all kinds of meetings held by extension worker.   In size the meeting varies from small committee meeting to large special occasion meetings with meals or festivals and attended by thousands.

 Types of meetings

             Kelsey and Hearne’ (1963) identify five general types of meetings involved in extension work

 1. Organization meetings (board of directors’ meet, youth clubs).

2. Planning meetings (village planning meeting),

3. Training meetings (rural leaders’ training),

4. Special interest meetings (special meeting about dairying), and

5. Community meetings (community meet for general problems.

Other classifications of meetings

  1. General meetings, 2. Lecture, 3. Group discussion, 4. Debate, 5. Symposium, 6. Panel, 7. Forum, 8. Buzz sessions,  9. Workshop, 10. Seminar, 11. Conference, 12.Institute, 13.Syndicate studies, 14. Brain trust or Brain storming.
Planning the meeting

Plan the meeting with the representatives of the people for whom it is held.

 1. Select the topics, 2. Timing, 3. Place, 4. Speaker and chairman,  5. Publicity and material arrangements.

 Consider these factors in planning meetings

1.  Size of the audience.

2. Character of the audience.

3. Comfortable physical facilities.

4. Be time conscious, do not overcrowd the programme.

5. Do not allow unrelated announcements and unscheduled speakers to prolong the programme and distract the audience.

Subsequently the extension worker has to conduct the meeting following the procedures specified for each type of meeting. The last step is followup.  It includes summary preparation, and sending press reports, displays and evaluation.

General meeting

            General meeting is broadly a meeting of heterogeneous participants wherein certain information is passed on for consideration and future action.  This is employed effectively to reach and serve large numbers to prepare the people for other methods of extension work; to find the reaction of the people to certain activities.  Plan the meeting in advance as mentioned before.

 Conducting the meeting

While conducting the general meeting the following points are to be borne in mind:

 1. Hold the meeting preferably in a central place having all physical facilities.

 2. Preferably the meeting should be held at a days notice during summer / off seasons for light farm work.

 3. Be prompt in starting and closing the meeting.

 4. Though giving allowance for liberal discussion, focus attention on the purpose of the meeting.

 5. Avoid sharp conflicts.

 6. Use visual materials if available.

 7. Take advantage of group psychology and employ appeals to arose interest and stimulate action.

 8. Give recognition to all section and groups participating. 

 9. Associate local leaders for welcoming the gathering or thanking the participants if not for presiding.

10. Acknowledge services briefly and then indicate the follow up work, if any.

11. Prepare news reports of the meeting and publicise.

12. If possible arrange exhibition and film shows.

13. Distribute relevant folders or pamphlets at the time of break.


 This meeting could be employed:

 1.  To introduce the community development programme or any welfare programme.

2. To present the annual programme of extension activities.

3. To enlist people’s participation in community work.


 1. Large number of people can be reached.

 2. Serves as a preparatory stage for other methods.

 3. Group psychology can be used in promoting the programme.

 4. Reactions of the people to a programme can be assessed.

 5.Adoption of practices can be accomplished at low cost.


  1. Meeting place and facilities are not always adequate

  2. Scope for discussion is limited except possibly for few questions and answers

  3.Handling the topic becomes difficult because of mixed composition of audience.

 4. Circumstances beyond control like faction and weather might reduce the attendance.


It is one of the most important forms of group discussion. The discussion leader introduces the topic to be discussed. Members of the audience discuss the subject to which ready answers are not available. This method has the advantage of pooling together the opinions of a large number of persons.


A pooling of experiences and opinions among a group of people who have special qualifications in an area.

Organising seminars and conferences

            A seminar refers to the discussion in a small group in which the result of original research or advanced study is presented through oral or written reports. It may also be organized for cross-fertilisation of ideas. Generally one person presents a lead paper, incorporating his findings and there is an in-depth discussion on the material presented. The other members are knowledgeable and take active part in the discussion. They closely interact with the lend speaker by expressing their views as seen from their individual angles. The doubts, if any are sought to be clarified by putting specific questions. The main purpose of a seminar is to share knowledge and to get the view points of equally well informed persons.

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