18 June 2019

Successful TEA SATE Asia 2019 in Shanghai featured WDI keynote; Sign up now for TEA SATE - Seattle in Sept.

Some 115 people participated in TEA SATE Asia 2019, held 14-16 June at the Shendi Center in Shanghai. 

TEA SATE conferences - in Europe, Asia and North America - engage participants in a discussion of the unique practice of Experience Design within the global attractions industry served by the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA). #TEAsate

The theme of TEA SATE Asia - Shanghai was "Moving People." Organizers stated, "Be it physical, emotional, or technological, this year's theme of 'Moving People' covers a broad spectrum of how we take people in journeys within the themed entertainment industry." The conference was co-chaired by TEA Asia Pacific Board leaders Thomas Megna and Owen Zhao, with TEA Immediate Past President David Willrich of DJ Willrich Ltd. and TEA Past President Christine Kerr of BaAM Productions, and Paul Kent of Electrosonic.

Speakers from WDI at TEA SATE Asia 2019 - Shanghai:
Robert Braunstein, Björn Heerwagen, Ken Petersen,
Richard Maxfield, Mindy Wilson

Keynote: Walt Disney Imagineering Sharing Session

The TEA is pleased to have a longstanding, supportive relationship and dialog with Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI), a valued TEA Global Partner. This relationship played a role in the location and the content of the conference. TEA SATE Asia 2019 - Shanghai took place at the brand-new Shendi Center, home of Shanghai Shendi Group, Chinese business partner to Disney on the Shanghai Disneyland Resort Project. Executives from both sides of that partnership were participants in the conference.

The TEA SATE Asia keynote took the form of a special "Walt Disney Imagineering Sharing Session." The following written recap of the keynote session was provided by WDI after the conference:

Mark Schirmer, WDI,
moderated the session

"Employing inspiration from TEA SATE Asia’s theme of 'Moving People,' six Walt Disney Imagineering leaders from around the world hosted a sharing session at the conference on June 15, 2019. Garnering more than 130 collective years of Imagineering experience, the panelists provided a glimpse on how WDI combines talented creative minds with regional resources to consistently deliver new stories and experiences for guests of Disney parks and resorts around the world.

"WDI was founded by Walt Disney in 1952 with a mission to create magical experiences that connect and inspire across generations and borders. Utilizing expertise from thousands of Imagineers in hundreds of creative disciplines, Walt Disney Imagineering is entering its largest period of global expansion to date.

Proximity to Shanghai Disneyland was one of the benefits
of holding TEA SATE Asia 2019 in Shanghai

"The keynote presentation and panel discussion highlighted the importance of WDI’s global network which relies on over 160,000 cast members and regional operations to contextualize these magical experiences. The panelists also showcased dozens of current projects that engage inventive storytelling tactics, including the latest Audio-Animatronics® technology which Imagineers have been relentlessly innovating for years.

"As a leader in experiential storytelling and development, Walt Disney Imagineering is constantly pushing the boundaries of creativity and innovating new technology to bring awe-inspiring new worlds and treasured stories to life."


Speakers and presenters - Walt Disney Imagineering Sharing Session, TEA SATE Asia 2019 - Shanghai

  • Robert Braunstein - Executive, Show Design and Production
  • Björn Heerwagen - Director, Show Design & Production
  • Richard Maxfield - Creative Show Systems Executive
  • Ken Petersen - Executive, Show Management
  • Mark Schirmer - Creative Executive
  • Mindy Wilson - Creative Show Studio Operations Executive


TEA Master John Lindsay of nFusion talks project management
at TEA SATE Asia 2019 - Shanghai

Project Management session with TEA Master John Lindsay 

Another highlighted and celebrated session of TEA SATE Asia 2019 - Shanghai focused on the discipline and practice of project management, featuring John Lindsay of nFusion, who was honored in 2018 as one of the inaugural slate of TEA Masters. The TEA Masters program recognizes masters of their craft and helps further our association's goals of building a better industry and achieving excellence in visitor attractions. By recognizing specific disciplines and the leaders and pioneers, TEA fosters understanding of and appreciation for the unique disciplines and practices that are represented on a project team. Nominations are open through July 19, 2019 for the next slate of TEA Masters, who will be introduced and form a panel at TEA SATE - Seattle in September 2019.


List of speakers: TEA SATE Asia 2019 - Shanghai

Many thanks to the distinguished body of speakers who made time in their schedules to prepare and share insight and information at TEA SATE Asia:

Christian Aaen, Entertainment + Culture Advisors; Louis Allen, Adirondack Studios; Louis Alfieri, Raven Sun Creative; Robert Braunstein, Walt Disney Imagineering Asia Limited; Mathilde Bresson, Ubisoft; Stephen Thomas Cavit, Iconic Sound & Music; Harriet Cheng - Director of Media

TEA SATE Asia - Shanghai
co-chair Paul Kent,

Production, Twentieth Century Fox World Park; Guan Gang, JUMBO Attractions Creative + Product Service; Björn Heerwagen, Euro Disneyland Imagineering S.a.r.l.; Jan Heinze, PIXOMONDO; John Lindsay, nFusion; Edward Marks, The Producers Group; Richard Maxfield, Walt Disney Imagineering; Paul Osterhout, Century Culture & Tourism Group; Ken Petersen, Walt Disney Imagineering; Luke Riley, Village Roadshow; Kelly Ryner, Thinkwell Asia; Mark Schirmer, Walt Disney Imagineering Asia Limited; Cindy Sun, Thinkwell Asia; Miia Tähtinen, Lappset Creative China; Eric Tam, ITMation Ltd; Jamie Tobin, Moment Factory; Bingo Tso, Advanced Communication Equipment (International) Co. Ltd.; Mindy Wilson, Walt Disney Imagineering; Rob Wyatt, nFusion; Greg Meyer, Stantec; Alvina Shuo Li, Unlimited Snow.



Photos and video

See the photo gallery (more than 200 photos from TEA SATE Asia - Shanghai). Photos for TEA by Martin Palicki.

TEA SATE Asia 2019 - Shanghai was video-recorded, creating a permanent record of the conference and its sessions. Special thanks to video sponsor, Max Matching Entertainments Co., Ltd. for making it possible to create this important informational and historical resource for TEA members and the industry at large. The videos will be available in the near future on TEA TV.

Executives from Disney and Shendi meet with TEA leaders at TEA SATE Asia 2019 - Shanghai



  • TEA SATE - Seattle will take place 26-27 September, followed by an optional, post-conference event on 28 September.
  • Theme: Embracing Diversity. 
  • The three TEA SATE - Seattle co-chairs are from our association's Western North American leadership: TEA Western Division Board President Shannon Martin of Color Reflections; TEA International Board Member Nathan Jones of WhiteWater and Ian Klein of Vizir Productions
  • Ian Klein
    The vision: TEA SATE - Seattle - Click to read an interview with co-chair Ian Klein 



The TEA added the TEA SATE conference to its slate of industry events in 2007, to foster dialog in the business community about the methodology of Experience Design. The SATE acronym stands for Story + Architecture + Technology = Experience. SATE also alludes to a collaborative culture of production, in which designers, technologists and clients work closely together from the early stages of a project, in a team structure often more horizontal than hierarchical.


Shannon Martin

TEA SATE Video archives

There are video archives of past TEA SATE conferences on TEA TV: Click here to view.

Official TEA SATE blog

Click here to read updates and articles about TEA SATE conferences around the world.

Programming - TEA SATE - Seattle 2019

The call for participation has closed. Sessions and speakers will be announced soon.

Nathan Jones

Media inquiries
A limited number of seats are available for qualified members of the press. Contact Judith Rubin.



Posted by Judy Rubin



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