As we approach the end of 2023, I am filled with gratitude and excitement as I reflect on the incredible journey we've taken together this year. 2023 has been marked by membership growth, innovation, and collaboration, and I am thrilled to share some of our key achievements with you.
Record-Breaking Membership Year
The TEA community has grown significantly this year, welcoming:
Member Connections & Signature Events
2023 was also a big year regarding member communications and our world-class events. We took member communication to the next level with the weekly TEA Tell newsletter, providing a central space to share all of TEA’s important news and events. Additionally, the inaugural Global Partner Showcase brought together industry leaders to demonstrate their innovative contributions to the industry.
In response to member feedback, we proudly introduced two new events—Leadership Forum and INSPIRE, offering fresh perspectives and networking opportunities ahead of the prestigious 29th Annual Thea Awards Gala. Notably, our record-breaking International Mixer at Discovery Cove became a historic moment as we unveiled the impressive lineup of the 30th Annual Thea Award Recipients, setting the stage for a year of celebration.
TEA Masters Shared Their Knowledge
The TEA Masters shared their expertise globally throughout the year. From speaking at universities and participating in webinars to inducting our first TEA Master in Australia, they showcased the strength of our international network. A few highlights include:
Our four global Divisions were busy this year and hosted 60+ events. These events bring together the creators of immersive destinations and experiences to share knowledge, collaborate, spark new ideas, celebrate innovation, and cultivate a diverse global membership.
They spanned across diverse locations, from the Philippines to Saudi Arabia, Austria to the United States, strengthening our global presence and fostering a truly international community. Take a look at everything that was offered!
Asia Pacific Division
This year, members of the International Board Executive Committee traveled to the Asia Pacific Division and Europe & Middle East Division. You can find an entire recap of the trip written by International Board President, Melissa Oviedo, and International Board Secretary, Evi Sari.
The goals for this trip were determined by TEA’s core values, and the delegation aimed to put TEA back into spaces where our members live, work, and play on a global scale. This journey served as a great reminder as to why TEA was created. We exist to foster collaboration, to create, and to innovate.
New Structure for a New Future
TEA owes a big portion of its success in 2023 and over the last 2.5 years to our staffing partners at IMN solutions for providing TEA with a highly professional and committed staff team. While there have been many TEAm members who have supported us over the years, I would like to give a special shout out to Laura Singler, Allison Winter, Becky Nadora, Clara Allen, and Kristen Kimbrel, for their contributions to the TEA/IMN team over the last year.
Over the next six months, TEA is going to be embarking on a phased transition of these positions from an outsourced model to an insourced model, adding 4-5 new positions to the full-time staff by June 2024. While this is a huge undertaking for TEA, we are excited at the possibilities and potential this unlocks for TEA to build longevity and deep institutional and industry knowledge that will be with the organization for years to come.
In addition to the reinforcements being made to our staffing infrastructure, we are gearing up for another recording-breaking year with plans to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Thea Awards in full Hollywood glam in March, expand our partnerships with aligned industries and associations, continue to grow membership in new verticals, and do so all while delivering our first balanced budget in the last four years.
In early January, TEA will be sharing more information about our plans for the new year and various ways we plan to sustain the expansion and delivery of new existing member value to you- our valued members.
Thank You for Your Support
For all of this, I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to TEA’s International Board President, Melissa Oviedo, the Executive Committee, the International Board, the leadership from TEA’s four Divisional Boards, all of our committee and task force volunteers, and, of course, our Global Partners who provide critical financial support.
As we bid farewell to 2023, let us carry the spirit of TEA’s core values into the coming year: Connection, Creativity, Inclusivity, Thought Leadership, Innovation, and Celebrating Excellence.
There is tremendous momentum propelling us into 2024. Together, we will be a catalyst for enhancing lives through the creation of tomorrow’s compelling places and experiences.
Thank you for your continued support, and here's to an even more exciting and prosperous 2024!