What is the difference between "举行" and "举办"? Both of them have the meaning of 'holding / organizing an event", but do they have any difference?
An answer I found on Baidu Zhidao says this:
The difference between the two words can be seen from the words themselves, “行” focuses on the process of events, while “办” emphases the thing things and the carrying out of such things themselves (meetings, competitions, etc).
The following all use "举行"
～会谈 ～球赛 展览会在文化宫～。
Hold talks to hold a sporting event the exhibit will be held at the cultural palace
The following, here, would all use "举办"
～展览会 ～学术讲座 ～训练班
To hold an exhibition The hold an academic speech To hold a training class
So basically 行 = just doing it 办 = includes setting it up and doing it (edit: or organizing like you said in your original post)
I would supplement the two other answers (although I think John Z. Li’s answer switched the examples) by stating that it seems that:
举办 describes single events, defined by one point in time (like an hour-long meeting, a single football match).
举行 describes long-lasting events, defined by multilple points in time (like a series of seminars, or weekly exhibition).