Difference Between Convention and Protocol

Key Difference – Convention vs Protocol
 

The two terms convention and protocol are often used when talking about meetings, discussions and international relations. Protocol refers to the forms of ceremony and etiquette observed by diplomats and heads of state whereas convention is a practice or procedure widely observed in a group, especially to facilitate social interactions. This is the main difference between convention and protocol.

What Does Convention Mean?

Convention can have several meanings. But, it is most commonly used to refer to the way in which something is usually done. It can refer to

A practice or procedure widely observed in a group, especially to facilitate social interactions

They were restrained by the conventions of the traditional patriarchal society.

He disregarded the polite conventions of greeting.

All citizens followed the conventions of the city.

A large meeting or conference, especially of members of a political party or a particular profession or group

She flew to California to attend a convention.

The president will attend a number of meetings and conventions in the coming week.

An agreement between states covering particular matters (less formal than a treaty)

Two states refused to sign the convention on tobacco control.

The Indian government signed up several treaties and conventions with the neighbouring countries.

Key Difference -  Convention vs Protocol

What Does Protocol Mean?

Protocol refers to the official procedure or system of rules governing affairs of state or diplomatic occasions. In other words, it refers to the forms of ceremony and etiquette observed by diplomats and heads of state.

The royal protocol forbids the prince to marry a commoner.

A diploma must always abide by the protocol.

The newly elected president found the protocol and official procedures too restricting.

The prince’s life is ruled by protocol and traditions.

You have to learn correct protocol and etiquette for different occasions in order to be a diplomat.

Protocol can also refer to the original copy of a diplomatic document.

Difference Between Convention and Protocol

What is the difference between Convention and Protocol?

Meaning:

Convention can refer to

A practice or procedure widely observed in a group, especially to facilitate social interactions

A large meeting or conference, especially of members of a political party or a particular profession or group

An agreement between states covering particular matters (less formal than a treaty)

Protocol mainly refers to the official procedure or system of rules governing affairs of state or diplomatic occasions.

Context:

Convention‘ is used in a general context.

Protocol‘ is mainly used in a context of international relations and diplomacy.

If we are to consider the rigidity or flexibility of conventions (widely accepted practices or procedures) and protocols, protocols are more formal or official and therefore less flexible. Disregarding protocol can result in a political or international controversy.

 Image Courtesy:

“Berliner kongress” By Anton von Werner – First uploaded to de.wikipedia by de:Benutzer:APPER. (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia

“Baghdad Convention Center inside” By James (Jim) Gordon – originally posted to Flickr as Iraqi Parlament, Convention Center, Baghdad (CC BY 2.0) via Commons Wikimedia