Storytelling + Architecture + Technology = Entertainment

by Rich Hill

The European SATE Conference gives themed entertainment professionals the opportunity to learn from, and network with industry peers. Over the course of three days, new ideas are shared, and past projects explored. The following highlights depict the experiences that were shared by myself and some of the sally team.

The Conference

Speakers from around the Globe descended on Liseberg Park in Gothenberg, Sweden to discuss many aspects of themed entertainment.

Introductions by Lindsey Nelson, TEA Executive Director | Yael Coifman, TEA Europe Board President | Suzy Griffiths, MC of SATE event, SVP of IMG Events

Celebrating Keith James

Conversation about the life and career of Keith James (with Christine Kerr). The highlight was a conversation about the recent sale of JRA to RWS.

Why Would I be Thinking About the Metaverse?

David Andrade, Leslie Morisetti, Louis Alfieri, Martin Howe

A discussion about ways the Metaverse will influence life in the future and how the themed entertainment industry might flourish inside of it. Fortnite, Chaperone, and Web 3.0 were all covered.

Love the Story, Forget the Telling

David Debouverie

Presentation about storytelling and the ways it can be rethought. Guests are actors in the story. Telling the story is not really what we do in the theme park attraction.

A Culinary Celebration

Bart Dohman, partner at TDAC International, and Brad Shelton, VP and creative director at BRC Imagination Arts led a session on the importance of senses in the experience design.

"The Key is to create lifelong sensory memories, which in turn create brand loyalty and ROI," said Shelton.

One of the pairs most memorable experiences was at the Remeker Cheese Farm in the Netherlands. The owner takes guests around the experience explaining how the caws are looked after. Just before the end of the tour, the owner proves the quality of the cows by sticking his finger in a fresh cow pat and sticking it under a guests' nose, saying "it doesn't smell!" - and it didn't (apparently).

Dubai Expo 2020

Chris Conte takes a deep dive into the development and experience behind Dubai Expo 2020, highlighting the various pavilions.

He also gave a nice tribute to Robert Simpson, founder of Electrosonic.

Celebrate Life!

Through the most beautiful hand-drawn presentation, Daniel Kerscher, global art director at MackNext, the design department of Europa Park, explored the connection between design, people and place where people feel the most alive.

A Cause for De-LIGHT

George Lawton

Examination of the role light has played in history, religion and future trends including interactivity. The audience also participated in the CrowdGlow party (a warm-up for that evening's Mamma Mia dancing).

Bring Experience to Life with F&B

Jacob Trevino, founder and CEO of Gorilla Cinema Presents examined the role F&B plays in the revenue generation and creating memorable experiences:

"Look at the success of Butterbeer at the Universal Parks. They have sold over 20 million units! It's only mentioned a dozen times in the books but it is hugely successful," and Trevino. "It's also a cheaper souvenir than the wand."

A Master Reflection

Tracy Eck, TEA Master, blooloop 50 Influencer and art director of Disneyland Paris discussed her career with attendees at the TEA SATE Europe 2022.

After seeing It's A Small World at the 1964 World's Fair in the New York as a child, Ech studied French, before working in theatre. She was recruited for the Disneyland Paris project and has stayed at the park ever since. Eck is now art director for the entire park.

The Park

Liseberg Park (located in Gothenberg Sweden) was the hose SATE Europe 2022.

We had a lot of time to explore Liseberg Park. Highlights were riding the new dark ride, Underlandet and coasters Valkeria and Helix. Of course, we had to check out the beautifully classic hanuted house, Hotel Gasten (multiple times).

Enjoy some photos of Liseberg Park!


One of the best things about SATE is the networking you get to do with industry friends. Making new connections discussing projects and philosophies during events like Mama Mia, the Party! and the (many) dinners, lunches and breakfasts is a big reason why we attend.

Thank you TEA and Liseberg for organizing and hosting another inspiring opportunity to engage and learn with leaders of the themed entertainment world!