The SDL Forum was a biennial (once every two years) event held from 1983 to 2017. It was agreed at the Society AGM 2018 to discontinue the use of the title "SDL Forum" and that subsequently there would be annual events would known as SAM events (see below). The SDL Forum was an event where experts, users, toolmakers and even some critics of ITU System Design Languages (such as ITU Message Sequence Chart, ITU Specification and Description Language) and related notations (such as UML) met face to face. Although it was a conference, the name "Forum" was retained because the main characteristic of the Forum was a meeting place for people involved or interested in System Design Languages (SDL).
SAM workshop and conference
The SAM event provides an open discussion platform: the first event was a workshop and concerned Specification and Description Language And Message Sequence Chart (MSC) matters. The proceedings of the 4th workshop had the title System Analysis and Modelling: 4th International SDL and MSC workshop, with the theme Security Analysis and Modelling. SAM thus addresses topics related to various description techniques and the use of the acronym has evolved: for the 5th (and subsequent events) the title is System Analysis and Modelling. The intended audience ranges from SDL Forum members to tool vendors, and from researchers to users, and participants in standardization bodies on System Design Language matters. The workshop is usually limited to about 100 persons. SAM was expected to be a less formal event than the biennial SDL Forum event, but both events have evolved to be places for presentation of papers and resulting intensive discussions enabling the exchange of ideas for the future development and application of System Design Languages. In 2014 it was decided to rename the 8th SAM a conference.
It was agreed at the Society AGM 2018 to discontinue the use of the name "SDL Forum" and that future annual events would be SAM events, if possible colocated with and in collaboration with the annual IEEE/ACM MODELS conference.
Other Society Events
In lieu of a SAM in 2008 an event was organized at ITU in Geneva, and an additional one day workshop in 2004 was organised in collaboration with the Institute for Informatics University of Göttingen.
ITU-T Meetings on Languages
The Society is recognised by ITU-T as a body that contributes to ITU-T standards for the ITU System Design Languages. Society members comment on the ITU-T work and there is a liaison procedure with the result that documents produced by Society members are considered by ITU-T. Involved Society members can be invited experts at the ITU-T meetings.
During Autumn of 2016 the ITU held the World Telecommunication Standards Assembly (WTSA) at which decisions were made about the Study Group to carry out further study and maintenance of the ITU System Design Languages. For the 2017-2020 period the System Design Languages issues will continue to be covered by Study Group 17.
Due to COVID-19 the Autumn 2020 World Telecommunication Standards Assembly (WTSA) was postponed and the 2017-2020 period extended..
Technical meetings were planned for 24-25 June 2005 in Grimstad following the 12th SDL Forum, Sept 2005 in Windermere, February 2006 in Geneva, May/Jun 2006 at Kaiserslautern before/after SAM2006, Paris Sep 2006, October 2006 at ETSI and February 2007 at ETSI. The documents of these meetings are also available to members. More recently technical work has been progressed by electronic correspondence (such email and Gotomeeting hosted by ITU-T).