10 June 2015

TEA SATE '15 design conference Sept 17-18, CMU Pittsburgh

Clockwise from top left: SATE '15 Co-Chair Shirley Saldamarco of CMU/ETC;
Experience Chair Cory Rouse of WDI; Architecture Chair Anthony Van Dam of Forrec;
SATE '15 Co-Chair Loren Barrows of Alcorn McBride; TEA President Steve Birket of Birket Engineering;
Storytelling Chair Linda Smith of Smithink; Technology Chair Paul Kent of Electrosonic;
TEA COO Jennie Nevin

Welcome to the official TEA SATE '15 information hub, covering the program, organizers, speakers & schedule, housing, transportation & logistics, mixers & special sessions, media relations and more. This page will be regularly updated with new information and links.

Follow TEA on Twitter @tea_connect; and on Facebook. Hashtag: #TEAsate


SATE: Storytelling + Architecture + Technology = Experience

  • SATE is the annual Experience Design conference of the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA).
  • SATE '15 is hosted Sept 17-18 at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA.
  • "Explode the Experience" - SATE co-chairs talk about how the theme will be addressed See video on TEA TV
  • What's so great about SATE? TEA past president Craig Hanna of Thinkwell Group says, "SATE is an amazing opportunity to connect theories, ideas and trends with people and projects around the world." Read more SATE background and testimonials here.

Click here to purchase tickets




SATE '15 Leadership

Co-Chairs (click here to view bios):

Segment Chairs (click here to view bios):



Philip Chosky Theater at CMU;
photography by Carnegie Mellon University

Main conference venue

Thurs-Fri, Sept 17-18, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Carnegie Mellon University 
Philip Chosky Theater | Purnell Center for Arts
5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15213

Other SATE '15 venues (more will be announced)

  • Luncheons & CMU/Southside Shuttle Hub: Rodef Shalom Congregation, 4905 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15213
  • Cocktail Reception, Thurs Sept 17, 6-8 pm: CMU Entertainment Technology Center (ETC), 700 Technology Drive, Pittsburgh PA 15219
  • TEA NextGen GibGab, Sat Sept 19, 9:00 am - 2:00 pm: Carnegie Mellon University, McKenna/Peter/Wright Rooms | Cohon University Center, 5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15213

Don't miss the ETC-hosted SATE '15 Cocktail Reception Thurs, Sept 17, 6-8 pm!

Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) at CMU;
photography by Carnegie Mellon University

The relationship between TEA and Carnegie Mellon University came about through the university's pioneering Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) graduate program. ETC's unique, two-year, Master of Entertainment Technology (MET) degree is jointly conferred by Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science and the College of Fine Arts.

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  • Southside Hotels are most convenient to after-hours social activities, and are served by shuttles
  • Overflow Hotels are closer to CMU campus but are not served by shuttles

Southside Hotels (with shuttle service to SATE, and close to social events)

SpringHill Suites Pittsburgh Southside Works

  • 2950 South Water Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15203 USA  ( < 4 miles from CMU )
  • Group: 2015 SATE/TEA. TEA Block Rate: $128 USD per night
  • Online booking link:  Springhill Suites SATE 2015 Group Code
  • Reservation telephone:  (in the US) 1-888-236-2427
  • Start date: 9/14/15; End date: 9/20/15
  • Last day to book: 8/20/15

Hyatt House Pittsburgh Southside

  • 2795 South Water Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15203 USA  ( 3 miles from CMU )
  • Group: SATE 2015; TEA Block Rate: $149 USD per night
  • Online booking link:  Hyatt House SATE 2015 Group Code
  • Reservation telephone:  (US, Canada & Caribbean) 1-888-591-1234
  • Start date: 9/14/15; End date: 9/20/15
  • Last day to book: 8/20/15

Overflow Hotels (no SATE shuttles, but close to CMU)

Wyndham Pittsburgh University Center

  • 100 Lytton Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15213 ( <1 mile from CMU )
  • Group Code:  09166841TE
  • TEA Block Rate: $179 USD per night
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Reservation telephone: +1 412-682-6200 direct; toll-free assistance (US & Canada) 1-877-999-3223
  • Start date: 9/17/15; End date: 9/19/15
  • Last day to book: 8/27/15

Residence Inn by Marriott - Pittsburgh University/Medical Center

  • 3896 Bigelow Boulevard, Pittsburgh PA 15213 ( 2 miles from CMU )
  • Group Code:  No Code / No Block Officially Held for TEA
  • General Online Rates: From $169 USD per night
  • Reservation telephone: 1-888-236-2427

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Local ground transport (to and from the airport, etc.) is available via the following. (Note: SATE hotels do not provide airport shuttles)

  • Uber: Active in Pittsburgh and authorized for airport service
  • Lyft: Active in Pittsburgh and authorized for airport service
  • Pittsburgh Transportation: Executive vans, town cars and limos
  • Super Shuttle
  • Rental Cars: Always an option, but event parking is very limited due to heavy construction on CMU campus

SATE Conference & Event Shuttles:

  • TEA has SATE shuttles to CMU from SOUTHSIDE HOTELS ONLY. Overflow (Oakland) hotel options are included for those who prefer walking to campus events, and the Wyndham offers free in and out parking to support Southside mixer attendance.
  • Thursday night’s mixer at the ETC is anticipated to have shuttle provided from CMU to ETC, returning to Southside only.

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Become a SATE '15 sponsor! Please contact TEA COO Jennie Nevin.

Many thanks for the support received from these TEA sponsors:

Global Partners

Universal Creative   Walt Disney Imagineering   Christie Digital   The Hettema Group

Global Sponsors

7thSense Design  Adirondack Studios   Artistic Entertainment Services   BRC Imagination Arts  

Electrosonic  Fountain People   Jack Rouse Associates (JRA)  JBA Artistic Engineering  

Mad Systems  Mediamation  Oceaneering  PCL Construction  Sally Corporation  

Technomedia Solutions   Wartsila FUNA International, Inc. 

TEA Global Sponsors






















SATE 2015 Segment Sponsors

Experience: Schell Games




Technology: Pittsburgh Penguins








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There are a limited number of media passes available for qualified members of the press to attend SATE '15. To inquire about media passes, or if you wish to provide coverage of SATE '15 and need information, materials or assistance setting up interviews, please contact Judith Rubin.



Shirley Saldamarco is an entrepreneur, a producer and an educator. As President of Interactive Media Productions, the company she founded in 1982, she has produced documentaries, public affairs programs, and children's programming for PBS, network and cable television. Shirley has produced numerous global conferences including TEDx Conferences. Shirley provides consulting services and serves on several professional boards, including the Themed Entertainment Association International Board of Directors, Steeltown Film Factory, LEGO First Competitions, National Civil War Museum Advisory Council and Robot Hall of Fame. As an educator, Shirley is on the faculty at Carnegie Mellon University Entertainment Technology Center and has taught in the School of Drama and Heinz School at CMU. Shirley Saldamarco answers the question, "Why Pittsburgh?" on our TEA TV video here.

Loren Barrows is the Director of Business Development at Alcorn McBride Inc. She pulls from her twenty years in sales, marketing, training, and personal development to guide the company's strategy. Loren focuses on finding solutions and helping others succeed. It's what she enjoys best! Realizing the importance of making connections through personalized experiences, she finds herself right at home in the Themed Entertainment Industry.




Linda B. Smith, Smithink - Storytelling: After leading marketing strategy, brand development and consumer research for a major theme park operator for over 25 years, in 2008 Linda started her own strategic consulting firm, Smithink, with her husband and business partner. Working primarily now with mission-based institutions such as Missouri Botanical Garden, the Indianapolis Zoo, Georgia Aquarium and Washington University, Smithink leads the development of long-term strategic plans and assists in guiding their implementation. Establishing powerful brand strategies, creating unique special events and guiding the development of new exhibits are just a few of the rewarding projects Smithink has led that bring strategic plans to life.

Anthony Van Dam - Architecture: It didn't take Anthony long to know that entertainment design was his calling. Almost as soon as he graduated from landscape architecture (1987), he was working for FORREC on one of the company's longest standing client relationships, Universal Studios. Almost thirty years later, he's still a fervent champion of the potential of entertainment design and is a leader in developing long-term client relationships for brands such as Universal Studios, Everland and Chimelong Group. Anthony is the head of global business development at FORREC and coordinates the efforts of the company's business development teams. Anthony is also a board member for the Themed Entertainment Association Asia-Pacific Division. Click to read a TEA member spotlight about Anthony Van Dam.

Paul Kent -  Technology: Paul Kent is a Senior Consultant for Electrosonic in the Entertainment Division. Paul has been involved in the themed entertainment business for over 30 years, working for design and production companies as well as audiovisual and technology companies. Paul spends his time researching new technologies that may at some point become applicable for the industry. He then brings this to the forefront providing technical direction working with creative minds, on show and media rich environment concepts for their vision. Paul has been involved in multiple award winning projects including many Thea Award recipients.

Cory Rouse - Experience: Cory Rouse brings over 20 years of Theme Park Experience to his role as Creative Director for performance driven projects at Walt Disney Imagineering Research & Development. Cory has been with Walt Disney Imagineering since 2007, he has been an integral member of the Autonomatronics division developing new and exciting ways for Disney Parks guests to meet and interact with their favorite characters. He most recently led the Legends of Frontierland: Gold Rush interactive game at the Disneyland Resort as part of the Narrative Experiences work.


Posted by Judith Rubin



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