people vs members vs fellows vs attendants

Hello. I seem to be having problems with the following fill-in-the-gap exercise (Sorry it’s such a long paragraph, but I thought I’d better give you the whole context)

“The British, as everybody knows, are dignified and reticent, preferring to keep a stiff upper lip. If they seethe with emotion, they do so secretly. At a recent international conference, a businessman I knew made the startling observation that the conference … from Britain all spent their time obsessively covering their papers with doodles- wild circles, spirals, sketchy profiles and flowery shapes blossomed in every bit of white space. Those who were not filling in the capital 'O’s and decorating them with spikes of sunlight were scribbling around the titles or drawing little yachts all over the Market Analysis section. Some other nations did do the occasional scrawl when listening raptly, but the British were undoubtedly the most compulsive of all those attending.”

A people B members C fellows D attendants
I’ve got the answer key and the correct option seems to be “B members”, but I really can’t see why “D attendants” is incorrect, as apart from assistant it also means a person who attends a meeting and in this paragraph we are obviously talking about those attending the conference.
Once again, thank you.

Hi Monica,

There is quite a difference between an attendant and an attendee. An attendee is a person who attends a meeting or a conference while an attendant is a person who servers other people. For example, a flight attendant is a person who serves passengers on a plane. So, attendee would fit into your sentence while attendant doesn’t.

Let me know what you think.

TOEIC listening, photographs: People gathered[YSaerTTEW443543]

However, I found the following definition in the wordreference dictionary:
attendant: A noun attendant, attender, attendee, meeter

a person who participates in a meeting; “he was a regular attender at department meetings”; "the gathering satisfied both organizers and attendees"And lots of examples in google.
So is this definition incorrect?


Just to support what Torsten has already defined as the difference between ‘attendee’ and ‘attendant’, to my mind the distinction is quite clearly that an attendee is someone who is present in contrast to an absentee who is someone who is not present. An attendant is someone who is indeed present but who also has a particular function to perform in the way of duty/care/help and so on.