Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Themed Entertainment Association holds SATE Europe conference

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by Cynthia Vergon

The TEA SATE conference aims to inspire, educate and foster new connections. This year’s theme was Breaking Boundaries and speakers came from all over the world to present how they do just that. SATE is an equation meaning Storytelling + Architecture + Technology = Experience. From 1 – 2 October, following a successful IAAPA Expo Europe in Barcelona, the TEA Europe and Middle East division came together for SATE Europe 2021. The event took place at PortAventura in Spain.

The conference was originally planned for 2020 but was postponed due to the COVID pandemic. Even though travel was uncertain, many of the speakers planned for the 2020 conference also joined in this year. They were joined by 130 attendees from all over the world.

This year’s theme brought to the stage some very personal and emotional subjects. For instance, how to celebrate our cultural differences, how to create an emotional bond, and how to preserve our own personal mental health.

Breaking Boundaries without breaking your life, a session on mental health with Chris Lange, Suzy Griffiths, and Chuck Fawcett

Tours, seminars and more at SATE Europe 2021

Attendees learned insights through several case studies. For example, Sally Dark Rides‘ Sesame Street Mission, Aardman’s Wallace and Gromit: The Big Fix-Up, and Castle Howard. There were also great seminars on design and guest experience—from bringing design into the physical world to measuring how our bodies react to experience, through how music and light make magic, attendees truly enjoyed an unforgettable SATE experience.

Of course, SATE is not SATE without a tour of some of our host’s newest attractions. Lucky SATE Europe 2021 attendees were able to enjoy Ferrari World’s flying theatre. However, only the bravest rode the Ferrari coaster, which launches guests at over 180 km/h in 05 seconds. The calmer attendees enjoyed shooting at cookies at the Sesame Street Mission dark ride. All of them looking for the ‘Golden Cookie’.

After those tours, it was time for the pirate-themed dinner at Ferrari Land.

SATE Europe 2021 Alexander Bresinsky during his ‘Breaking Boundaries back into the Physical World’
Alexander Bresinsky during his session ‘Breaking Boundaries back into the Physical World’

Learn, meet and inspire

Following SATE Europe 2021 Chuck Fawcett, TEA president said:

“For the TEA, SATE is the conference where we all get together as a community to learn, meet and inspire each other. This is where we use our personal networks to create strong foundations. This meeting was an excellent start to what the TEA will be in the future: Fun, educational, and mostly supportive of our members and their thirst for connection and inspiration.”

The SATE Europe organizing committee and the EME board were very happy to see the response from attendees, speakers, and even PortAventura. Many have already pledged to attend the next SATE Europe. Liseberg in Sweden will host the event, from 4 – 6 May 2022.

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