Frequently Asked Questions - Forums

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The SPE forum focuses on the future, participants are selected by the committee based on their application information and is a peer-to-peer exchange of ideas. In contrast, an SPE workshop focuses on current technology, data and best practices. Workshops are open to all, and are considered a learning opportunity with CEUs available for certification programs. An SPE conference is opened to all, with exhibits and call for papers. Technical sessions allow authors to present papers.  

The purpose of the SPE forum is to gather together of the best minds to discuss new ways of viewing the future that could not be achieved individually. This collaborative, idea-generating event is designed to stimulate new ideas and innovation about future challenges facing the E&P industry. It is focused on the future - where the technology could or should go, generating ideas rather than solving problems, and emphasizing discussion rather than presentation.

Benefits of the forum include:

  • Stimulate thought and accelerate technology development.
  • Collaborate with your fellow participants to generate ideas and innovations about future challenges facing the E&P industry.
  • Take the 5 days to explore the future.
  • Envision where the technology could or should go.
  • Discuss the controversial issues that could move the industry out of the past and into the future.
  • Leave with new ideas, perspective and contacts.

The forum registration fee includes meals and breaks inclusive of the forum, networking social activities such as receptions and dinners, and the forum event itself. You reserve your hotel room and tax separately.

The participant may receive an optional summary report after the forum at the discretion of the steering committee and SPE approval. This document is a high-level summary of the forum, and is distributed to the participants only.

  • Are you a young professional with relevant experience and knowledge of the forum topic?  Forums are a window on the future that belongs to the next generation of professionals.
  • Do you want to exchange ideas with others in your technical area of expertise? Participation in a forum builds a professional network that will last a career. Forums offer an exclusive opportunity to interact with innovators, seasoned professionals, and leading technologists. 
  • Are you looking to establish your technical reputation throughout the industry in a way that benefits your company? Forums provide the perfect setting because they serve as early incubators for future trends and technologies.  

Discussion leaders do not deliver a presentation. Rather, they drive or lead a discussion amongst peers to generate peer-to-peer discussion and idea generation. 

Topics for forums are suggested by members and non-members alike. The Forum Governance members receive suggestions from the Technical Advisory Boards, and participants at current forums. Contact the Forum Governance Committee with a suggestion for a forum at or go to the Topic Submission Form

The Forum Governance Committees look at the suggestions for forums, along with an abstract for the idea, and determine its marketability, timeliness, and other factors. They meet yearly to review and choose the forums for one year in the future.

The Forum Governance Committee members volunteer to be a Liaison for each forum. The Forum Liaison works with the Forum Chairpersons to develop the Forum Steering Committee. The Forum Steering Committee, Forum Chairpersons, and Forum Liaison work with the Discussion Leaders to develop and implement the forum. The SPE Staff Event Manager works with these volunteers to market the forum, build the technical content, and coordinate all venue logistics.

Generally, the forum days and sessions are structured as follows:

Day 1
  • Morning Session
  • Afternoon Session
Day 2 Day 3
  • Morning Session
  • Afternoon Relaxation and Recreation
  • Evening Session
  • Morning Session
  • Afternoon Relaxation and Recreation
  • Evening Session
Day 4 Day 5
  • Morning Session
  • Afternoon Session
  • Morning Session

Discover ways to volunteer through the website. In particular, visit the following webpage and look for Forum Series opportunities.

Unlike SPE workshops and conferences, you must first apply to a forum. Because the forum has a limited number of by-invitation-only participants, complete the forum application on time and thoroughly.

About 2 months before the forum, the Forum Steering Committee reviews all applications, and determines those to invite. The invitations are sent to the selected participants, and they are given about 1 month to register for the forum. All other applicants are sent regrets