Guidelines for Local Sections, Technical Sections, Councils and Student Chapters on Events


SPE International has a reputation for superior events with high quality technical content. Most members and the public do not distinguish between SPE and its sections, technical sections, councils or student chapters. SPE's goal is for all events to be successful and beneficial to members and our industry. All events* must be in compliance with SPE policies and guidelines. The following is a synopsis of the most critical policies as they pertain to local sections, technical sections, student chapters, councils and any other entity of SPE.

* Note that SPE defines an "event" as any technical event other than a regular, recurring meeting held within the board-approved jurisdiction.

Required Approval from SPE International

In accordance with the Policy on the Use of the SPE Name and Logo, anyone hosting any of the following must seek approval from the SPE Board of Directors before planning or any promotion of any of the following:

  • An event organized with a commercial or not-for-profit event organizer
  • An event done in partnership or association with commercial or not-for-profit entities
  • An event marketed or promoted to individuals or members outside the jurisdiction of the SPE section, technical section, council or student chapter

It is important that members be very involved in the content development of any event to ensure that the quality of the content meets SPE standards. The SPE Board may revoke privileges to host an event if the technical quality survey ratings are considered poor.

Approval Process

To seek approval from the SPE Board, you must submit an Event Request Form (ERF). To properly do so, please seek the guidance of the Regional Specialist at your nearest SPEI office. You may also email sections@spe.orgtechnicalsections@spe.org or chapters@spe.org and ask to be put in contact with the appropriate staff.

When reviewing requests, the SPE Board seeks to mitigate risk, to ensure partners are reputable organizations, to understand the promotional reach of the event, to ensure SPE receives an equitable arrangement, and to safeguard SPE events from competing with each other.

Please keep in mind that the SPE Board meets three times per year, in March, June and September/October.

Event Naming Requirements

In order for an event to receive SPE Board approval, the event title must adhere to the Event Naming Policy and be used consistently throughout all materials. Within this policy, SPE clearly defines what constitutes a conference, forum, summit, training course, workshop, and symposium.

  • All of the defined event types, other than Symposium, require SPE staff to manage the event.
  • If an event matches the definition of a conference, forum, summit, training course, workshop or symposium, it must be named and treated accordingly.
  • If an event does NOT match the definition of a conference, forum, summit, training course, workshop or symposium, it must select another name. (i.e., seminar, congress, etc.)

The following rules must be followed when naming the event. The official event name must be approved before putting it on any public-facing source (websites, printed brochures, technical programs, etc.). Once approved, only the official name, not an acronym, should be used.

  • Event title begins with “SPE” and the name of the host section, technical section, council, or student chapter
  • Event title correctly reflects the content of the technical program
  • Events title does not include the year or edition of the event
  • Event title must reflect the names of all partners involved in developing the program content

Please note that conferences held in conjunction with a non-SPE controlled exhibition or show must not include the name of the show in the official name.

Important Notes Regarding Event Management

Sections, technical sections, councils or student chapters may hire event management services from SPE. At a minimum, SPE must be hired to conduct a post-event survey.

In order to offer technical papers for inclusion in OnePetro, SPE services must be hired to prepare a call for papers, to manage the paper submission process, and to produce the master proceedings.

Event Promotion

Once the event is approved, please review the Graphics Standards to ensure proper use of the SPE name and logo. Event websites must be updated regularly and include contact details should a potential attendee have questions.

Only events organized by SPE International will appear on the global events calendar, unless specially requested and approved during the ERF process. Sections, councils and student chapters may request to have an event listed on the appropriate regional website through the local SPE office. Events may also be included in the SPE Connect community calendar, searchable by all members.

If you wish to promote an event to members outside of your jurisdiction, you may hire SPE to send an email or ask your fellow officers to send an email to their members on your behalf.

You may reach out to supporting organizations to expand visibility for your event. However, you may not share with them contact details for members or event attendees. You may offer benefits such as exhibit space, complimentary or discounted registrations or recognition as a "Supporting Organization" on promotional material. You may not send emails to members about events not organized or approved by SPE.

Virtual Events

SPE sections and student chapters now face exciting opportunities and new challenges as more events become virtual (online) or hybrid (in-person and online). While virtual events provide an excellent new way of bringing education to SPE’s members, these events require a higher degree of coordination, planning, and communications both internally and externally.

This document provides virtual and hybrid event guidelines for sections and student chapters. A Virtual Events Planning Guide is available in the Section, Technical Section and Student Chapter Officers Resource Centers for additional best practices.

Pre-event planning:

  • Avoid topic and event date overlap with other sections or chapters in the region since virtual events can draw a wider audience. For virtual events that may have audience interest outside a section’s/chapter’s jurisdiction, the section or chapter should consult with the SPE Regional Director prior to finalizing the event details. All virtual and in-person events must continue to follow existing SPE event guidelines.
  • Sections/chapters should avoid scheduling all-day virtual events; consider breaking content across multiple days and/or provide ample breaks between meeting items or sessions. The speakers’ and audience’s time zones should also be considered when scheduling the live times for an event.
  • When inviting speakers, the sections/chapters should ensure speakers understand the event format, including who is the intended audience, if their content will be available on-demand, and if so, for how long, what language(s) will be spoken, and where the online content will be published.
  • For hybrid events, sections/chapters should be thoughtful in their approach of what to record and stream online. Consider the key meeting items or presentations that would be of most interest to a virtual audience. Sections/chapters should also ensure all technical equipment (e.g. microphones, cameras) and internet are properly tested ahead of the event. 
  • The SPE Board’s Technical Content Committee should be aware of section- and chapter-run joint events. The sections/chapters should communicate with their Regional Director ahead of planning the joint event. This Regional Director, in-turn, will share with the other Regional Directors to ensure the topic nor the audience conflict with other regional events happening around the world.
  • Sections/chapters should decide which one of them will lead the management of the joint virtual event. This section/chapter will be responsible for sharing event details and marketing materials with the other parties for distribution to their members. Sections/chapters should not share lists nor email members outside of their jurisdiction.

Event Marketing:

  • The appropriate SPE section or chapter logo(s) should be used on all virtual events, including joint events, to ensure it is clear who is organizing the event. SPE region logos are available upon request for regional events.

During the event and after:

  • Sections and student chapters should continue to enforce that attendees do not take unauthorized photography, screen shots, or audio/video recording of presentations and slides during live or on-demand virtual events. The SPE Code of Conduct can be included in event communications to outline audience expectations. 
  • After the event, sections/chapters should share the results in their annual report—engagement data such as how many people registered vs. attended and attendee demographics such as city/country, age, member status, and section.
  • Attendee data can be captured if a registration process is required for the virtual event, but after the event is over and analytics are captured, the personally identifiable data should not be stored for future use. Attendee data should be destroyed in accordance with all international data protection laws (e.g. GDPR) and the SPE Privacy Policy.

Virtual Events Definition: Virtual events include live and/or recorded presentations streamed or published online—through a website, virtual event platform, or social media account. The term also includes podcasts, virtual panel or keynote addresses, and virtual networking or social activities. In-person events may also include virtual elements, which are called commonly called hybrid events.