TEA Summit & Thea Awards Gala

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.

We've kept up a busy calendar of TEA Digital programming and announcements, and many resources to provide you with as much continuity as possible, and opportunities for professional development and networking. The more you participate, the more you get from your membership.

We have a lot of updates for you:


#TEAdigital programming took a melodious turn on May 19, 2020 with the TEA Europe & Middle East Division TEA Tuesday European Song Contest.

TEA Digital

TEA Digital rolled out from TEA Headquarters on March 20, 2020, responding to immediate need, and has since delivered about 40 TEA Digital events, including mixers, watch parties and webinars - with a full calendar set to continue through the year. These are announced on the TEA Events Page on our website, by emails and on social media. If you're not seeing them often enough, make sure we have your correct contact details, and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. Missed a program and want to catch up? Check the video archives on TEA TV


TEA/AECOM Theme Index is set for release this month

You've been patiently waiting. Like everything else, producing the annual TEA/AECOM Theme Index and Museum Index #TEAthemeindex has been more complicated this year. But the wait is almost over - it's being released in July, and will be announced on all TEA channels. This definitive attraction attendance report is a calendar-year study of the world's top-attended theme parks, waterparks and museums, and a vital reference work for the industry and the press - and it is made available free of charge. Check out all the prior editions back to 2006.


Looking for the perfect job or staff?

The TEA Job Board is now free of charge through the end of 2020. 


Zsolt Hormay receives TEA Masters plaque from then TEA President Michael Mercadante during TEA SATE - Seattle 2019. He was one of five TEA Masters honorees in 2019 along with Adam Bezark (writer/creative director), Wayne Hunt (graphic designer), Lisa Passamonte Green (lighting designer) and Philip Vaughan (artist/creative designer), each with 30 or more years in the industry.

Know someone deserving of TEA Masters honors?

TEA Masters nominations are open through July 24, 2020. 

The TEA Masters program, introduced in 2018, helps shed light on the many disciplines and creative specialties that make up our industry. It also helps create professional development opportunities where others can learn from TEA Masters' accumulated experience and wisdom. Engaging more fully with leading practitioners in these areas benefits the TEA membership and the industry as a whole. #TEAmasters NOMINATION FORM / MORE INFO


Celebrating excellence: TEA Thea Awards and Thea Awards Case Studies

The TEA Thea Awards cycle continues from year to year, and with it the celebration of excellence in the creation of compelling experiences and places, recognizing and honoring top projects in all parts of the world. It was not possible to have the in-person TEA Summit and Thea Awards Gala this year, but you are invited to participate in numerous other ways. #TEAtheas

  • Attend the digital Thea Awards Case Studies. Rolling out in early August 2020 as a seven-part package series, the Thea Awards digital Case Studies will honor and celebrate the 26th annual TEA Thea Award recipients.  GET TICKETS / MORE INFO   Thea Awards Case Studies are the ultimate in professional development for the attractions industry. In these curated sessions, project owners and members of the creative team are co-presenters, sharing the stories behind the storytelling - priceless details of how the project came together, the creative collaboration and challenges/solutions. These invaluable and enlightening discussions have traditionally been part of the annual TEA Summit conference - this year, they're digital! Want to watch previous years' sessions to get yourself in the groove? They are recorded on video and available free on TEA TV.
  • Check out the official 26th annual Thea Awards Program, now published online. It documents each recipient with descriptions, photos and credits lists. It is the perfect companion for the digital Thea Case Studies, and it's available to download free of charge. Since rolling out the digital Thea Awards Program about a week ago, it's received thousands of views and been widely shared on social media - by TEA of course, but also by many others, including award recipients and people who were thrilled to see their names or their company's names on the credits list. VIEW / DOWNLOAD THE PROGRAM
  • Submit a person, project or technology for a Thea Award - The deadline is July 31, 2020 to make a submission for the 27th annual Thea Awards. SUBMISSIONS / MORE INFO
  • Set your sights on April 8-10, 2021 when we expect to resume our in-person big weekend of the TEA Summit and Thea Awards Gala presented by Chimelong. #TEAtheas


Cover of the 26th annual TEA Thea Awards Program, now available online.

What the TEA Thea Awards mean to you, and all of us

The TEA Thea Awards have become a vital component of the industry since their introduction in 1994. Recently on our TEA Chats forum on LinkedIn, we asked people to tell us what the Thea Awards have meant to them, and we got enthusiastic and heartfelt testimonials! We share some below. YOU CAN SEE THEM ALL HERE  

  • "...When our Universal Creative Team received a newly created Paragon Award for Diagon Alley, I realized that our talents were being recognized worldwide. It brought a real feeling of accomplishment in my career when we realized we 'nailed it' for the guests, and we were all so proud to have been a part of its creation."
  • "I found the Thea Case Studies and the glimpse behind the curtain of so many great attractions and experiences to be the most inspiring. Being present at the event allowed me to meet others from the industry that I may not have come across otherwise. It broadened my appreciation for different forms of themed entertainment and made me hopeful that a project I had or would contribute to would be honored at a future ceremony."
  • "...the fact that any officially-credited member of a project team can request a Thea trophy for an awarded project emphasizes just how important and fulfilling it is to BE on that team."
  • "[The Thea Awards] legitimize the huge efforts put in by ALL theme park and attraction designers."
  • "[The Thea Awards] add a sense of awareness and legitimacy to an often misunderstood craft."


Creating a more inclusive community

This past February at its annual Strategic Planning Meeting, the TEA International Board of Directors unanimously identified DEAI (Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, Inclusion) as a critical issue. The International Board is in the process of launching a diversity task force. This team will analyze TEA’s programs, messaging, and board composition and will provide recommendations to the Board.

We will be looking to you in the coming weeks, months and beyond to be a part of this conversation, and we will do our best to offer opportunities for constructive dialogue. Through our recently launched TEA Digital initiative, we are in a better position to have these conversations than ever before. These dialogues are necessary, and we believe they will lead not only to a more inclusive and collaborative TEA, but also to a more inclusive and collaborative - and ultimately more creative and successful - industry.


All of this is meant to help you, our TEA member community, and our industry, move forward as best we can toward recovery. Don't hesitate to reach out if you have a question or idea or need assistance. Please contact us by email at [email protected]

Wishing you good health and all the very best,

Jennie Nevin

TEA Chief Operating Officer



Posted by Judy Rubin



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More TEA Summit & Thea Awards Gala

11 October 2020.
Thea Awards Digital Case Studies report - Session 5: Special segments

The Oct 8, 2020 session of Thea Awards Digital Case Studies featured the recipient of the Thea Award for Innovative Technology, the Christie® Eclipse 4K RGB Pure Laser Projector, and the recipient of the TEA Peter Chernack Distinguished Service Award, Wendy Heimann-Nunes of Nolan Heimann LLP. The session moderator was TEA Founder and Past President Monty Lunde of Technifex.


18 September 2020.
Thea Awards Digital Case Studies report - Session 4: Connected Immersion

Thea Awards Digital Case Studies are presented by the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA), the global nonprofit membership association for the creators of compelling experiences and places. The case studies sessions explore and celebrate the recipients of TEA's prestigious, annual Thea Awards. Click for more info about Thea Awards Digital Case Studies and how to buy tickets. #TEAtheas #TEAdigital


09 September 2020.
Christie's commitment to themed entertainment

TEA would like to express appreciation for Christie as a TEA Global Partner. This level of support for our Themed Entertainment Association is one of several ways that Christie demonstrates its commitment to the themed entertainment industry.