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in attendance

English translation: definition below

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11:29 Dec 21, 2006
English to English translations [PRO]
Law/Patents - Law (general) / minutes of a board meeting
English term or phrase: in attendance
I am translating minutes of a meeting of the board of directors of a UK company, held by telephone. Two gentlemen (including the Chairman) were "present" and one gentleman (the Company Secretary) was "in attendance".
Question: does "in attendance" mean "physically appeared" as opposed to "present" by phone?
Pawel Bartoszewicz
Local time: 03:22
English translation:definition below
Explanation:
Someone who is "in attendance" at a meeting is physcially present there but is not one of the people actually involved in carrying out the business of the meeting - someone "in attendance" is in effect an observer or visitor; he or she would not normally take part in the discussion that takes place and is not entitled to participate in any voting that takes place.

In your particular case, since the meeting was held by telephone, I would assume that the person "in attendance" was listening in on the conversation but not contributing actively to the discussion.

Examples of situations in which a person may be "in attendance" - someone who has come because they need to be present for informational reasons even though they are not entitled to contribute; a guest who has been invited to speak on a particular issue; a trainee who is learning by observing; a minutes secretary who is taking notes but is not entitled to contribute or vote.

If a meeting is held of a particular group of people - e.g. the directors of a company - anyone who is not a member of that group but who is nevertheless there for some particular reason will be "in attendance".

One more example: I am a trustee of a charity. Last time the group of trustees met we invited along a person who is interested in becoming a trustee in the future. That person was described as being "in attendance" - he was there but not yet participating as a trustee, so not entitled to influence discussions or vote.

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Note added at 1 hr (2006-12-21 12:41:09 GMT)
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To reply to Bill's point, in the UK "present" and "in attendance" have a particular specific meaning in the context of meetings and are used as formal terms in the minutes in the way that I have described - minutes first list those "present" (the people authorised to conduct the business of the meeting), followed by "in attendance" (people there as visitors or observers), followed by "apologies for absence"). While the terms may be used informally with many other shades of meaning, as Bill indicates, this is nevertheless common formal practice - at least in my experience of many business meetings in this country.
Selected response from:

Armorel Young
Local time: 02:22
Grading comment
Thank you very much for your reply. I do appreciate your help.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
4 +6definition below
Armorel Young


  

Answers


15 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +6
definition below


Explanation:
Someone who is "in attendance" at a meeting is physcially present there but is not one of the people actually involved in carrying out the business of the meeting - someone "in attendance" is in effect an observer or visitor; he or she would not normally take part in the discussion that takes place and is not entitled to participate in any voting that takes place.

In your particular case, since the meeting was held by telephone, I would assume that the person "in attendance" was listening in on the conversation but not contributing actively to the discussion.

Examples of situations in which a person may be "in attendance" - someone who has come because they need to be present for informational reasons even though they are not entitled to contribute; a guest who has been invited to speak on a particular issue; a trainee who is learning by observing; a minutes secretary who is taking notes but is not entitled to contribute or vote.

If a meeting is held of a particular group of people - e.g. the directors of a company - anyone who is not a member of that group but who is nevertheless there for some particular reason will be "in attendance".

One more example: I am a trustee of a charity. Last time the group of trustees met we invited along a person who is interested in becoming a trustee in the future. That person was described as being "in attendance" - he was there but not yet participating as a trustee, so not entitled to influence discussions or vote.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 hr (2006-12-21 12:41:09 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

To reply to Bill's point, in the UK "present" and "in attendance" have a particular specific meaning in the context of meetings and are used as formal terms in the minutes in the way that I have described - minutes first list those "present" (the people authorised to conduct the business of the meeting), followed by "in attendance" (people there as visitors or observers), followed by "apologies for absence"). While the terms may be used informally with many other shades of meaning, as Bill indicates, this is nevertheless common formal practice - at least in my experience of many business meetings in this country.

Armorel Young
Local time: 02:22
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 16
Grading comment
Thank you very much for your reply. I do appreciate your help.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  William [Bill] Gray: I would normally think of "being present" and "being in attendance" as being identical. I think what you are describing here as "in attendance" is "in attendance as observer"; I may also be "in attendance" as a participant, a board member, if you will.
14 mins
  -> In the UK, minutes of meetings list those "in attendance" separately and after those "present" - "present" and "in attendance" are standard items in minutes. Obviously practice may differ in other countries.

agree  David Moore: Compliments of the season
1 hr
  -> Thank you, David, and let me complement this with my compliments too.

agree  kmtext: Spot on with your definitions. It can also refer to someone who is there to advise or give additional information about topics under discussion, whether or not they attend for the full duration of the meeting
2 hrs

agree  juvera
7 hrs

agree  Erich Ekoputra
15 hrs

agree  xxxAlfa Trans
2 days5 hrs

agree  saleem1001: Agree with the precise explanation. Query: What if the person is a dignitary - PM or President of a country? Is it courteous to say "in attendance"? Wouldn't it be better to say that so and so graced the occasion with his presence or something like that?
2392 days
  -> That's a very culture-dependent and situation-dependent question. "Graced with his presence" could well be a bit too flowery in a British context - especially in minutes, which tend to be rather dry - but might work in other cultures.
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