Wednesday, April 30, 2014

London, May 13: Themed entertainment industry mixer

The Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) Europe & Middle East Division invites you to an evening of networking in London on the eve of the Museums + Heritage Show.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
at the Hand & Flower, on Hammersmith Road opposite Olympia
Open to all industry members and their guests

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Going to AAM 2014 in Seattle? See you at TEA mixer May 20, 6 pm

Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) mixer 

during the AAM 2014 Museum Expo in Seattle

Tuesday May 20, 6:00 - 7:30pm  
at the Pine Box, 1600 Melrose Avenue, Seattle

All industry members and their guests are welcome - no need to RSVP, just show up
Cash bar.  Food will be provided by the generosity of our sponsors:
The Nassal Company 

Organized by the TEA Western North America Division

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Tour National Museum of the Marine Corps in Washington DC with TEA May 29

The Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) Eastern North America Division invites you to join an afternoon of networking at a world-class museum in the D.C./Maryland/ Virginia region.

May 29, 2014 at the National Museum of the Marine Corps
Open to all TEA members and non-members alike

Tour the galleries, learn about the Museum’s recent and future development, network with your industry colleagues, and enjoy a drink and hors d'oeuvres.

RSVP requested (use link below).

May 29, 2014
3:30 - 7:30 pm

National Museum of the Marine Corps
18900 Jefferson Davis Hwy,
Triangle, VA 22172 USA

FREE admission for TEA Members and non-members!

Special thanks to the sponsors of this event:
AECOM, Batwin+Robin Productions, Eisterhold Associates and Taylor Studios


You, a TEA member and VIP guest at the Daily Show! May 14-15

TEA Members only! Limited seating!

Join your colleagues in the Themed Entertainment Association  (TEA) for a VIP seating and backstage tour at The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Wednesday May 14th and Thursday May 15th. Space limited to 12 per evening. RSVP required.

  • May 14 and 15, 2014
  • 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
  • 733 11th Ave  (between 51st and 52nd Streets), New York City, USA
This opportunity is available only to paid TEA members in good standing. 

RSVP Wed. 5/14:

RSVP Thurs. 5/15:

Monday, April 21, 2014

Themed Entertainment industry networking: Coming to a university near you

by Aimee Roy, BaAM Productions

As creative interdisciplinary programs at institutions of higher learning evolve to address the experience design industry, relationships are forming between the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) and their faculty and departments. Likewise, university and college students exploring career possibilities are connecting to TEA.

That’s where the “TEA @ [University]” endeavor - part of TEA's booming NextGen Initiative - comes in. The TEA is home to legends and heroes who inspire the many up-and-coming designers, engineers, operations specialists, etc. seeking careers in Themed Entertainment. Current students and recent grads are able to join TEA at special "NextGen" rates, and, TEA's NextGen Committee facilitates outreach opportunities where TEA NextGen members have the chance to learn directly from and network with established industry figures.

The TEA @ University initiative
In order to grow this effort at the post-secondary level, the NextGen Committee has launched a “TEA @ [University]” initiative to give students and their advisors the resources and tools necessary to create a club to bring the TEA to their campus.

Two schools have led the way for TEA clubs. NextGen members at SCAD (Savannah College of Art & Design in Savannah, Georgia) and the Rosen College of Hospitality Management at UCF (Orlando) established TEA clubs at their respective schools. The club founders were already active students who were also TEA members. The success and interest they gatheredhave since inspired the start of similar clubs at campuses throughout North America, including Penn State – and there’s no holding back now.

Today’s TEA @ SCAD club is led by Katherine Dixon, who says, “There are no words to describe just how valuable this organization is if a young designer wants to enter the field of Themed Entertainment. In a way, I believe that the field is underground. Certainly there is someone who builds the rides, creates sets, or completes rock work. But the important question is, who?  I have learned about the community of designers and engineers who make these magical experiences through the TEA.”    

As students take the leap from their studies into the real world, “TEA @ [University]” clubs can help bridge that gap. Clubs offer opportunities for guest speakers from the industry, networking events, and collaborative exchange among fellow club members. This last point is especially valuable for Katherine, who acknowledges that, “fellow TEA NextGen-ers, without a doubt, will be working with each other in the future. Why not start to foster those relationships early on?  That is indeed a large component of what this program is for. It is also a space to talk about current events in the industry, share ideas, and grow as young designers.” Sights are set high for TEA @ SCAD. Their past events range from restaurant critiques and an IAAPA survival session – with plans to launch a bi-weekly PechaKucha event and sandcastle competition in the spring.

To aid the cause, the TEA has developed a series of guidelines for clubs and their advisers, which will support the continued establishment of TEA clubs at colleges and universities. The guidelines have been designed to ensure that TEA information and resources used by clubs maintain consistency of the Association’s brand and membership standards, while also creating a seamless extension of the Association at the post-secondary level. 

Who can join?
Any student enrolled at a post-secondary institution hosting a TEA club will be able to join that club, but it will be highly encouraged that they also become TEA NextGen Members so that they can take full advantage of the benefits available through the Association. For a NextGen member, that means having access to the online Internship Exchange program, industry-specific webinars, exclusive TEA member events, discounted NextGen rates to events like the TEA Summit and SATE Conference, and opportunities to volunteer within the industry and at industry gatherings.

Students wishing to start a “TEA @ [University]” club at their school can reach out to the TEA NextGen Committee chair, Clara Rice at The TEA will then be able to provide a set of established guidelines, logo artwork that includes their school’s logo, a welcome packet, introductory TEA video, and more. For university clubs seeking TEA members as speakers, clubs can send their requests to the TEA NextGen Committee and/or the Division Board serving their
Aimee Roy
university’s geographic region (there are four Divisions: Western North America, Eastern North America, Europe & Middle East and Asia Pacific; see the TEA website for details). Once a club is underway, the NextGen Committee will remain informed of activities through club reports developed by the club president. 

Of course, it’s more than just the NextGen students who stand to benefit from this new initiative.  These clubs connect TEA member companies with students who have made clear their interest in becoming industry professionals. These students are extremely passionate and eager to learn - they are potential candidates for internships and employment at member companies, and they bring their own unique perspective into the TEA. Additionally, TEA clubs will build awareness of the Themed Entertainment industry on university and college campuses; providing students with industry insight from a global perspective.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Vibrant TEA Summit & Thea Awards Gala 2014 reflect today's international attractions industry

At the 20th annual Thea Awards Gala, April 5, 2014: Garner Holt of Garner Holt Productions accepts the Buzz Price Thea Award for a Lifetime of Outstanding Achievements, while Disney Legend Bob Gurr cheers. Photo: Martin Palicki.
The Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) welcomed full houses to its annual weekend of events comprising the two-day TEA Summit (April 3-4) and the Thea Awards Gala (April 5) 2014 at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim.
At the Thea Awards Gala April 5, 2014 in the Grand Ballroom of the Disneyland Hotel. Photo: Martin Palicki.
Day One of the TEA Summit was the Executive Master Class, an opportunity for frank, peer-to-peer discussion and exchange of business development tools and resources.
TEA President Christine Kerr of BaAM Productions, with Dr Kiat Tan, CEO of Gardens by the Bay, Singapore, which was honored with a Thea Award. In the background is Kathryn Griffith of Universal Creative. Photo: Martin Palicki.
The dialog continued next day on a broader scale with Thea Case Studies Day offering presentations from the leaders of the projects that were formally honored the following evening (April 5) at the Thea Awards Gala. 

TEA COO Jennie Nevin. Photo: Martin Palicki.
The morning of April 5 was set aside for select industry leaders to offer experience and guidance in a TEA NextGen interchange, the “Superheroes Breakfast.”

Two aspects in particular lent special vitality, interest and meaning to the dialog throughout the weekend:
  • International scope: Outreach from TEA's Europe & Middle East and Asia Pacific Divisions helped the Thea Awards Committee identify a rich global slate of awardees.
  • Inter-generational exchange: Via TEA's flourishing NextGen Initiative, aspiring students and recent grads brought their energy to the group.
Inter-generational exchange: At the TEA NextGen "Superheroes Breakfast" TEA Summit co-chair Roberta Perry of ETI (right) talks to NextGen member Tim Higley. Photo: Martin Palicki.
Excitement, ideas and networking flowed across oceans, borders, industry sectors and disciplines, and between age groups.

TEA Summit. Photo: Martin Palicki.
Shared experience and real-world gatherings
TEA works to reflect the reality of today's attractions industry as it expands around the world. The industry embraces digital communications and their benefits – they are now a vital part of the toolkit. Yet just as people continue to value out-of-home shared experiences in visitor attractions, the themed entertainment business and its businesspeople continue to benefit from face-to-face networking and information exchange.

At the TEA Summit. Photo: Martin Palicki.
The attractions industry is a collaborative business, and accordingly the TEA community emphasizes real-world gatherings - to network, foster relationships and creativity, and to formally recognize and honor the industry's outstanding accomplishments and breakthroughs. At the Thea Awards Gala, they come together in style, showing themselves at their personal best - endeavoring to bring the same creativity and quality to their business gatherings and events as they do to the guest experiences and places they create.

At the TEA Summit. Photo: Martin Palicki.
In the 20 years since the Thea Awards were founded (the Association was formed in 1991 and the Thea Awards introduced in 1994) the Theas have risen to global prestige and recognition, and continue to fulfill TEA's mission for the awards: facilitating the handshake between the project owner and the project team, and the education of the industry, press and public alike in awareness and appreciation of the artistry, cultural contributions and economic significance of the global attractions sector.

Want to know more?
The 2014 TEA Summit & Thea Awards received excellent coverage in the media, and TEA has collected article links on the “In the News” page on the official 2014 Thea Awards & Summit blog. The blog serves as a general information hub with speaker bios, project descriptions, links to photo galleries and more. Print copies of the official Thea Awards Program were available at the Gala; the virtual edition can be accessed online here, and contains project descriptions, articles and full credits lists.
At the 2014 Thea Awards Gala in Anaheim, TEA Summit co-chair Pat MacKay poses with Paul Van Vlijmen of Het Spoorwegmuseum (Dutch Railway Museum) which received a Thea Award for its 4D guest experience, De Vuurproef (The Fire Test). Photo: Martin Palicki.
TEA depends on a combination of staff, volunteers and contractors to conduct its many activities. Many, many people and groups deserve acknowledgment for their contributions, leadership, energy and support in creating and implementing the successful 2014 TEA Summit and Thea Awards. Here is a partial list:
  • TEA president Christine Kerr of BaAM Productions
    Francois Delarozi & Pierre Orefice, awarded for Marine Worlds Carousel, Nantes.
  • Roberta Perry of ETI: TEA Summit co-chair
  • Pat MacKay of Ones&ZerosMedia: TEA Summit co-chair
  • Patrick Roberge Productions, producer of the Thea Awards Gala
  • Kathy Oliver, TEA Event Producer
  • Clara Rice, TEA NextGen chair, and Kile Ozier, immediate past chair
  • Peter Chernack, Monty Lunde and the TEA Past President's Committee
  • The Thea Awards Nominating Committee

Western Division Mixer, April 4. Photo: Martin Palicki.
TEA Western North America Division
The weekend of events occurs on Western Division turf. Many thanks to Western Division Board president Nancy Emerson and her team for organizing the mixer at Trader Sam's on April 4.

Corporate Sponsors
  • Canyon Creative - Dale Sprague
  • Color Reflections - Shannon Martin
  • nth Degree - Janelle Picard
  • Modern Postcard - Keith Goodman
  • Electrosonic - Chris Conte
  • Walt Disney Parks & Resorts
Summit Sponsors
Selfie at the Thea Awards Gala: Phil Hettema and friends
  • Christie
  • Electrosonic
  • Fountain People

Thea Awards Gala Sponsors
  • Garner Holt
  • Oceaneering
  • Fountain People

TEA Global Partners
  • Walt Disney Imagineering
  • Universal Creative

Ferrari World & Yas Waterworld welcome TEA behind the scenes April 10: David Willrich reports

Yas Waterworld
David Willrich of the Europe & Middle East Division (EME) of the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) reports on the success of a behind-the-scenes tour on 10th April 2014 at two major parks in the UAE, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and Yas Waterworld. The excursion was one in an ongoing professional development series titled "SATE Academy Days" that are an offshoot of TEA's annual design conference, SATE (Storytelling+Architecture+Technology=Experience). 

Ferrari World
Theme park development in the UAE had slowed dramatically following an explosive growth spurt several years ago, and many projects on the books were postponed or canceled. Ferrari World remained on track and opened in 2009; Yas Waterworld's opening in January 2013 was one signal that development in the area had resumed.

David Willrich, DJ Willrich Ltd.
TEA's EME Division staged its second SATE Academy Day, at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and Yas Waterworld on Thursday April 10th. The event was a great success and the audience reflected the cosmopolitan nature of the UAE with a multi-national audience all having one thing in common; the world of themed entertainment.

The theme of the day was "Experience," and all presentations focused on creating or maintaining the quality of Experience. Craig McIntyre got the session moving with an introduction to Ferrari World and Yas Waterworld, followed by Kevin Johnson of WS Atkins who gave an informative insight into creating Yas Waterworld and the story on which it is built.

Kile Ozier took us outside Ferrari World and considered the creative process as a whole and the factors that all got together to create an exciting guest experience. Following a short break, economic analyst David Camp of D&J International Consulting gave some insight into current market trends.

Martin Valentine gave a very informative study on an experience of a different type, lighting. He looked at how lighting in general is being properly addressed in Abu Dhabi with a desire to improve the general quality and reduce light pollution to improve not just individual buildings but the general experience of driving around the capital of the UAE.

Glenn Davidson brought us back to Yas Island by discussing the need to create a story before creating a guest experience, in this case Yas Waterworld. He went onto discuss the path being followed for creating the storyline for a new guest experience in a new and unnamed Theme Park. George Walker, art director for Ferrari World, completed the formal presentations by looking at the value of the Ferrari brand in relation to the park and the continuing development of the visitor experience.

Following lunch, attendees were able to take a quick tour of Ferrari World followed by a formal tour of Yas Waterworld, before retiring back to Dubai for a mixer and dinner.

A big THANK YOU to Farah Leisure for hosting the event, and to EME Board member David Gray of Oasis Enterprises LLC for all his hard work in bringing together the speakers.

An additional report of the day will appear in the next issue (July) of the E&ME Newsletter. -- D.W.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

NYC, April 21: Lunch with Mk Haley, Jack Rouse, Joshua Jeffery, Michael J Passaro & others; TEA members only!

Join us for Lunch & Conversation
Organized by the Eastern N.A. Division of the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA)

April 21, 2014 - 1:00 - 3:00 pm
Five Points Restaurant
31 Great Jones Street, New York, New York USA

$40  Fixed Menu
RSVP required: Click here. 

Special guests:
  • Christine Kerr of BaAM Productions; TEA President
  • Mk Haley of Disney Research
  • Joshua Jeffery of the Andy Warhol Museum
  • Michael J. Passaro, Production Stage Manager - Pippin (Broadway)
  • Traci Klainer Polimeni of The Luce Group; TEA Eastern Division President
  • Clara J. Rice of JRA; TEA NextGen Chair
  • Jack Rouse, founder of JRA

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Orlando, April 23: TEA Eastern US Division mixer at Rocco's Tacos

Join your attractions industry colleagues for a no-host mixer in Orlando, organized by the Eastern US Division of the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA).

Wednesday, April 23
5:00-8:00 pm at Rocco's Tacos & Tequila Bar
7468 W. Sandlake Road; Orlando, Florida USA


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April 4, Anaheim: Western Division "Enchanted Tiki" Mixer open to all industry members and their guests

If you only attend one TEA Western Division in the year, make this the one!

... because so many of your themed entertainment industry colleagues from around the world will be in town for the annual TEA Summit and Thea Awards Gala (April 3-5 at Disneyland Resort).

All industry members and their guests are welcome to this no-host mixer, whether or not you're also attending the Summit & Theas. (Want to get tickets for the Summit & Theas? Click here for info.)

You are invited to make the most of this fabulous networking opportunity! 

April 4, 2014, 6-9 pm
Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar
at the Disneyland Hotel, Disneyland Resort, Anaheim
No-host bar; RSVP not needed - just show up (and bring plenty of business cards)!
Park at the Downtown Disney lot, or the Disneyland hotel (nominal fee)

Orlando: Sat, April 12, TEA NextGen creative painting project at GKTW Village

TEA NextGen members: Share your creative talents in a worthy volunteer cause. Join your fellows to add finishing touches to the recent makeover of Give Kids the World Village by painting the 15 fire hydrants to fit the Village's theme and storytelling. We'll wrap up our day of painting with an informal lunch offsite.

Saturday, April 12, 9:00 am to 12:00 noon

If you'd like to participate, first put your designer's cap on and whip up some whimsical, fairytale-like ideas for the fire hydrants. Send your design concepts to Marissa Blake: by April 9, 2014.

RSVP requested: Use this link.
Questions? Contact Marissa Blake.