What is the distinction between the following scientific events:
While I have some idea about differences (e.g. congress - large and serious, meeting - by a certain organization, ...) I have an impression that sometimes the terms are used interchangeably.
Is it safe to assume that the three later are variants of a scientific conference?
Such differences also depend on the development of scientific associations and how they named their annual conference/congress/meeting in the first place. For instance the general conference of the ECPR and the IPSA World Congress Might use different terms, but they all are organised and work quite similarly.
Plus, sometimes, it is just a way of naming a gathering of academics more fancy ;) , see http://phdcomics.com/comics.php?f=1704