Focus on Technology: TEA’s SATE Conference

Storytelling. Architecture. Technology. Experience. These are the four basic components of a successful visitor attraction and perhaps any facility that involves a human experience.

Since the beginning of time, storytelling has incorporated props and special effects (even if just a change in the volume of the storyteller’s voice) to enhance the experience. An article in the September 2008 issue of Archi-Tech magazine states that “Architecture has always been the home of storytelling. From storing books to creating places for performance, entertainment, worship, sports, commerce, and education, spaces have facilitated the creation of history, fact and fiction. Today, rather than simply serving as a home for storytelling, architecture becomes a device for storytelling as narratives are woven into its foundations.” The resulting process is “Experience Design” where the successful integration of the structure of the building, digital media, and even the evolving user experience is critical to the success of the experience.

The annual SATE (Storytelling-Architecture-Technology-Experience) conference is the perfect place to delve into the four basic components of a successful project, regardless of the intended audience. SATE welcomes attendance from everyone that has a hand in the project development process – including owners and operators, developers, architects, designers, master planners, media producers, economic/feasibility analysts, fabricators, engineers and other suppliers or consultants. It is a tremendous opportunity for learning and networking.

Through two days of discussions, case studies, workshops, and site visits, SATE unlocks the creation of outstanding projects (theme parks, museums, retail, resorts, visitors’ centers and like venues). This year’s SATE speaker lineup features several brilliant creatives whose leadership engendered breakthrough properties in the theme park sector – Phil Hettema (Universal’s Islands of Adventure), David & Linda Smith (Discovery Cove), Joe Rohde (Disney’s Animal Kingdom), Mike West (The Simpsons Ride at Universal Studios). There will also be speakers from the museum community, notably Steven Snyder, Ph.D., of the Franklin Institute. Making the most of the Orlando location, the event convenes at the Atlantic Dance Hall on Disney’s Boardwalk, and includes behind the scenes visits to Epcot and SeaWorld.

SATE is one of many worthwhile programs and activities that TEA provides to the international attractions industry. In these lean economic times it may be just what you need to revitalize yourself and your practice.

For more information visit TEA website: