The Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) announced the latest winners of its Thea Awards back in November so why, you may ask, should you attend the Thea Awards Gala this April? As well as a great night of entertainment and networking, there’s also a full two-day educational summit. That’s why!
Held at the Disneyland Hotel outside Los Angeles, the TEA Summit kicks off on Thursday 5 April with an intimate and informative programme of Master Classes aimed at owners and executives from TEA member companies, chaired by One&ZerosMedia’s Pat McKay. Confirmed as keynote speaker is Matt Ouimet, president and CEO of Cedar Fair, who will speak on the theme of “Leading People and Innovation”. Following Ouimet’s presentation, Disney legend and TEA honorary life member Marty Sklar will oversee a peer discussion about assembling an innovations team.
Later in the day, Ray Braun, Matt Earnest and Ed Shaw of Entertainment + Culture Advisors will take a special look at the market in 2013 and beyond, addressing such issues as Dubai (is it really 2007 all over again?), Moscow (is this the new hot spot?), understanding the hierarchy of markets in China and strategies in creating a theme park hub in Singapore and Johor (Malaysia). Also on 4 April, an interesting session is promised exploring strategies for working with brands. Three panellists representing the “Brand Police,” deal maker/attraction developer an the creative brain will be moderated by Thinkwell’s Dave Cobb as they wrestle to the ground the challenges of being true to the brand whilst remaining creative and fresh.
Open to a wider audience, Friday 5 April has been declared as Case Studies Day. Chaired by Roberta Perry of ETI, it will feature case studies from various Thea Award recipients, as well as a keynote speech from Buzz Price Lifetime Achievement award winner Frank Stanek, a man with 25 years’ Disney experience in addition to notable achievements with Universal and in Asia.
Additional speakers will include Efteling CEO Bart de Boer, discussing his park’s Aquanura multimedia fountain spectacular, stalwart Disney Imagineer Joe Rohde with a presentation on Disney’s Aulani resort in Hawaii (originally delivered at SATE ’12 in Paris), Janice Smith from Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame and Sarah Roots from Warner Bros Studio Tour near London, who will discuss Making of Harry Potter together with Thinkwell chief creative officer Craig Hanna.
Then on Saturday night 6 April it’s party time with the arrival of the Thea Awards Gala. Now in its 19th year, this black-tie event often referred to as, “the Oscars of Themed Entertainment” will be produced and directed by Patrick Roberge in collaboration with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. Over 500 industry professionals and decision makers from around the globe are expected to enjoy dinner in the Disneyland Hotel Grand Ballroom followed by a showbiz-style awards ceremony. To get a head-up on who’s won, click here.
Keen to encourage the creators of the themed entertainment experiences of tomorrow, the TEA will also host a series of ‘NextGen’ activities during the summit.
The TEA’s weekend of events takes place at the Disneyland Hotel, Disneyland Resort, Anaheim, California from 4 to 6 April. For more information, ticket prices and updates to the speaker programme, click here.