TEA News

25 February 2018

TEA president David Willrich talks about TEA SATE Europe 2018, May 2-3 at Europa-Park

TEA SATE is the signature conference on Experience Design, organized by the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA). In 2018, SATE conferences are planned to take place in three regions: Europe, the US and Asia. TEA SATE Europe 2018 will be hosted at Europa-Park May 2-3, in Rust, Germany. #TEAsate 

The theme of TEA SATE Europe 2018 is "Industry Landscape: The power of the collective in creating shared experiences that are shaping themed entertainment." The two-day conference will feature a range of speakers from various disciplines and is aimed at helping delegates understand how great attractions are being shaped and how current developments and innovations will shape the industry going forward.

Roland Mack, founder, Europa-Park
is keynote speaker of SATE Europe 2018

Keynote speaker is Roland Mack, founder of Europa-Park.

The SATE acronym stands for Storytelling + Architecture + Technology = Experience.



TEA SATE Europe 2018:

Q&A with TEA international president David Willrich 

TEA president 
David Willrich of DJ Willrich Ltd

What’s your elevator speech for SATE when you are explaining the value to someone who is unfamiliar with it? Who should attend SATE and why?

David Willrich: SATE is for any professional who is serious about the world of themed entertainment and visitor attractions, because it brings together all aspects of Experience Design through the core elements: Storytelling + Architecture (and design of course) + Technology = Experience. SATE attendees range from park owners/operators to owners of companies serving the industry, to students working to build careers in the industry when they graduate. In addition to the insights and information exchange of the sessions, SATE provides invaluable face-to-face networking opportunities.


TEA past president
Christine Kerr of
BaAM Productions

The SATE Europe 2018 promotion specifically mentions retail (shopping centers) and brand experiences. Should brand managers and retail developers attend SATE?

DW: Yes! A SATE conference is relevant to all aspects of themed entertainment, including historic attractions and museums, retail and brand experiences. In our industry you do not get all the ideas you need from just one source or one aspect of what we do; by hearing people speak from a variety of backgrounds; you not only get a good overview of what goes on, but hear ideas that you can apply to your own environment. 


Matt Barton, 7thSense Design,
is president of the TEA
Europe & Middle East division

What unique things might SATE offer that people might not hear or learn at other professional forums?

DW: Background insight into projects and concepts that are discussed during the conference. They will benefit by being exposed to the best our industry has to offer and gaining fresh insights into the creation of compelling places and guest experiences.


Who are some of the organizers helping to shape the SATE Europe 2018 program?

DW: They include TEA past president Christine Kerr of BaAM Productions, Margreet Papamichael of AECOM, Paul Kent of Electrosonic and TEA Europe & Middle East Division president Matt Barton of 7thSense Design.


Margreet Papamichael,

What are key differences/similarities between SATE Europe and the other SATES, as TEA has expanded the program around the world?

DW: SATE sets a standard for conferences in our industry, in fact it tells its own story! Every SATE conference, regardless of location, shows how our industry projects begin with story and then follow a team process through to the final experience. This is the core value of a SATE conference. 

The TEA is very much about serving and supporting its membership, and SATE is a core product reflecting the culture of TEA and its industry. As TEA has grown in membership, international influence and resources, it has been a goal and a pleasure to be able to expand SATE to more geographic areas, and to tailor the content somewhat to address the unique needs and culture and issues of the industry in that region. That does not mean that it is fully parochial - it is important to cross-pollinate, to keep the TEA and SATE brand and message consistent, and to share wisdom from one region to another while recognizing the differences.

We strive to maintain high quality in every aspect of what we do at TEA - to recognize excellence and encourage best practices within our industry. With that in mind, a TEA SATE conference will follow a recognizable format wherever it takes place in the world to take the attendees on a journey through our industry, with a good flow from speaker to speaker and topic to topic. 


TEA COO Jennie Nevin
and Paul Kent, Electrosonic

What are you doing to make SATE Europe uniquely valuable to its region?

DW: As I have said, it is important that SATE draw on some local speakers in that issues vary from one region to another. Europe, for example, tends to have far more planning restrictions imposed than in other countries, due to conservation of buildings, green spaces and traffic management. Therefore, some issues that are discussed are unique to a given region, whereas others are more global. However, even when discussing global issues we are interested in hearing from local companies in the debate. This is very much a global market and the leading companies in our industry come from all around the world and of course practice all around the world. 


Emmanuelle Charotte, ECA2
will speak at TEA SATE Europe

Tell us about the value of having SATE at Europa-Park.

DW: Europa-Park is one of the top leading parks in Europe; it is family-owned and run, and sets very high standards in every aspect of what it does. Family Mack are well respected throughout the industry; and their park (soon to be parks) and hotels and restaurants very much help set the bar for theme park standards - not just in Europe but in the world. It is a very relevant venue for SATE given that both Europa-Park and SATE represent the best our industry has to offer.

Outside of the conference proper, SATE Europe 2018 provides the opportunity to experience Europa-Park hospitality and entertainment first-hand - demonstrating and reinforcing the best principles and practices of Experience Design that are the substance of TEA SATE. Europa-Park offers an incredible range of food and entertainment in the evenings, I frequently observe that the Europa-Park aprés park activities are as diverse and good as a day in the park itself.


Lesley Morisetti will speak
at TEA SATE Europe 2018

What are you most looking forward to this year at SATE Europe, and why?

DW: Our attendees! One thing I love about our European events is the range of accents that you hear! Last year we had people from 16 countries, including the US and Canada. This is just fantastic that people value SATE to travel so far. We received an encouraging response to SATE Europe 2017 and we are delivering again for 2018. SATE is not just about the conference - it is about the mixing opportunities, and this year is even better as we hope the majority of attendees will be able to stay in the same hotel giving even more occasions to mix. In 2017, not everyone could not stay in the same hotel; this year they can! 


Clara Rice, JRA
will speak at TEA SATE
Europe 2018

Besides Europa-Park founder Roland Mack as keynote, who are some other confirmed speakers on the SATE Europe 2018 program?

Posted by Judy Rubin



TEA Members please log in to comment

More TEA News

09 July 2020.
Helping you stay engaged - Message from TEA COO Jennie Nevin

The Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) is continuing to serve its membership, mission and the industry during this challenging time - helping you stay connected and visible as an attractions industry professional.


08 July 2020.
Call for TEA Masters nominations - deadline 7/24/2020

Do you know of someone who is deserving of TEA Master recognition? Submit your nomination by July 24, 2020.


07 July 2020.
TEA publishes 26th Annual Thea Awards Program to celebrate recipients and accompany Thea Case Studies

CELEBRATING THE 26TH ANNUAL THEA AWARDS RECIPIENTS IN 2020 - Despite there being no in-person TEA Summit and Thea Awards Gala in 2020, the full slate of 26th annual TEA Thea Awards recipients are being recognized and celebrated digitally, with appropriate fanfare: