TEA News

29 April 2020

TEA members use creativity to innovate and make a difference in COVID times

A number of Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) member companies have turned their creativity, resources and specialized skills to meet the special needs of the times.

Suppliers best known for serving theme parks, museums and attractions with custom products and systems - dinosaurs, treehouses, special effects, AV integration, lighting and control systems, etc. - are now producing protective clothing and masks (PPE), 3D-printing face shields, and designing respiratory devices. Storytellers are creating new stories.

It may be outside their traditional markets, but, says TEA International Board President Michael Blau, "Themed entertainment is an industry that by definition thinks outside the box, even if it's a box they created themselves only last year. The people and companies whose job it is to touch the hearts of the world with great guest experiences and stories would naturally apply their genius, their passion and their humanity to helping others in this crisis where possible. The enormous additional benefit: helping companies stay open and engaged in difficult times."

As part of TEA Digital - online programming designed to help to serve the members of the association and keep them connected in COVID times - TEA hosted an online mixer on April 28, 2020 that spotlighted four companies engaged in this way.

Screenshot of the digital mixer provided by Chris Lange.

In the digital mixer, attendees heard from Chuck Fawcett of Animax Designs (producing face shields and masks), Maris Ensing of Mad Systems (engineering new respiratory aids), Andy Dauterman of Daniels Wood Land (making PPE gowns) and Sir Richard Taylor of Weta Workshop (via Pukeko Pictures, releasing a new e-book to help explain COVID to children). Many thanks to all who took part. 


The innovation continues

TEA Chief Operating Officer Jennie Nevin says, "Themed entertainment has historically borrowed and adapted techniques and technologies from other industries, and vice versa. These new directions, by helping companies keep their teams together and keep the creative incubation going, could very well lead to inroads in new markets and to innovations that will be re-applied back to Experience Design."

Other TEA member companies that are doing similar work include ETC, Massivit, Mousetrappe, Extreme Engineering, Dimensional Innovations and Universal Creative, all producing or helping to produce face shields.

Theme park operators, museums and science centers have also been stepping up to do their part, some through donations of food and PPE, and some facilitating COVID research on their computers.

Do you know of other TEA member companies making a difference, that we can add to this list?  Please send an email to [email protected]


Article for TEA by Judith Rubin





Posted by Judy Rubin



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