Themed Entertainment Association Hosts Thea Awards Gala and Annual Industry Summit March 4-6, 2010 in Universal City, CA

“At TEA's Thea Awards Gala and industry Summit, we celebrate the best recent examples of Experience Design – the creation of compelling places and guest experiences for leisure, entertainment, and education – and we look at where our industry is headed,” says TEA (Themed Entertainment Association) president Steven J Thorburn, PE, LEED AP of Thorburn Associates. “Museums are significant this year - many have seen record breaking attendance. Technology in the service of storytelling is huge, whether it's 4D theater, sound and lighting, interactive displays, or special effects. Integrating technology, in a way that fulfills the creative vision while simplifying operations, is a critical art in itself. Asia has emerged as an entertainment industry leader and a market that will continue to grow. If you want to be part of the economic recovery for our industry, the Thea Awards Gala and TEA Summit are key information and networking events.”

The Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) is the international non-profit association representing the world's leading creators, developers, designers and producers of compelling places and experiences.

TEA website

Tickets for both events

16th Annual Thea Awards Gala, Sat. March 6

The Globe Theatre, Universal Studios Hollywood

The 16th Annual Thea Awards Gala, sponsored by Garner Holt Productions, Inc. and Economics at AECOM, will be held at The Globe Theatre, Universal Studios Hollywood. The Gala is a prestigious, black-tie dinner event that is open to the public. Truly international in their recognition of outstanding productions, the Thea Awards focus attention on excellence and innovation in the creation of great guest experiences within the visitor attractions industry. Since their creation in 1994, the Thea Awards have become internationally recognized as a symbol of excellence.

“The Thea Awards shine a light on the process and talent responsible for creating excellence in our industry: Visionary developers or forward-thinking museum curators, outrageous creative directors or hyper-organized project managers, gifted artists or skilled technicians, says TEA Executive Director Gene Jeffers. “We pay tribute to the creative vision and sheer effort that take a wild musing and turn it into a reality.”

Recipients - 16th Annual Thea Awards

Thea Lifetime Achievement Award: Mark Fuller, WET

Thea Classic Award: Coal Mine, MSI Chicago

Thea Awards for Outstanding Achievement (AOA)

Toy Story Midway Mania, Disney's California Adventure and Walt Disney World (Attraction)

Dragon's Treasure at City of Dreams, Macau (Attraction)

Disaster! Universal Studios Orlando (Attraction Rehab)

The Museum at Bethel Woods, New York USA (Museum)

Please Touch Museum, Philadelphia USA (Museum)

America I Am: The African American Imprint (Traveling Exhibition)

Skyscraper! Liberty Science Center, Jersey City USA (Science Center Exhibit)

McNeil Avian Center, Philadelphia Zoo (Zoo Exhibit on a Limited Budget)

Tea Show at OCT East Resort, Shenzhen, China (Live Show)

Heineken Experience, Amsterdam (Brand Experience)

2010 TEA Summit, Thurs-Fri, March 4- 5

Hilton Hotel, Universal City, CA

The 2010 TEA Summit is a two-day international think tank for the attractions industry, held March 4th & 5th at the Universal City Hilton. Day One (Thurs., March 4), is targeted to owners and managers and puts the emphasis on a review of anticipated global industry growth and building a stronger, smarter business. Presenters include John Robinett of ERA/AECOM and Dave Schmitt of Management Resources/Profun, Keith James of JRA, and Daniele Bienvenue of Management Savvy. Discussion topics will include strategies for success in Asia, competitive bidding vs. sole sourcing, creative intellectual property protection, alternatives to litigation and more.

On Day Two (Fri., March 5) the TEA Summit is opened up for extra attendees with additional networking opportunities, and companies are encouraged to have more team members attend. The Day Two sessions feature case studies of half a dozen international projects named for this year's Thea Awards. Each case study will be presented by a key person from the project's creative team. The projects include: Disaster! (Universal Studios Orlando), Heineken Experience (Amsterdam), Please Touch Museum (Philadelphia), America I Am: The African American Imprint (traveling exhibition), Dragon's Treasure at City of Dreams, Macau, and The Coal Mine (MSI Chicago). The day will close with a spotlight on this year's TEA Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Mark Fuller of WET.

About TEA

The TEA (Themed Entertainment Association) is an international nonprofit alliance founded in 1991 and based in Burbank, Calif. TEA represents some 7,000 creative specialists, from architects to designers, technical specialists to master planners, scenic fabricators to artists, and builders to feasibility analysts working in more than 600 firms in 30 US states and 40 different countries. TEA presents the annual Thea Awards and the TEA Summit and hosts the annual SATE conferences (Story, Architecture, Technology, Experience). TEA also produces a variety of print and electronic publications, including the TEA/ERA Global Attraction Attendance Report, TEA Sourcebook, TEA Project Management Guidelines, and TEA Annual & Directory.

About Garner Holt Productions, Inc. – Sponsor of the Thea Awards Gala

Garner Holt Productions, Inc. is known worldwide for design and manufacture of outstanding animatronics, museum-quality figures, show action equipment and special effects. Founded in 1977, the company owns and operates a 60,000 square foot full-service design and manufacturing facility in San Bernardino, California, and employs over 75 talented engineers, designers, artists and technicians. Clients include Disney, Universal Studios, Chuck E Cheese, NASA, Pacific Science Center and San Diego Museum of Natural History. To date, eleven Garner Holt Productions projects have received Thea Awards.

About Economics at AECOM – Sponsor of the Thea Awards Gala

Economics at AECOM (formerly ERA/Economics Research Associates) is an international consulting firm focused on economic analysis for the entertainment and leisure industry, real estate development, public-policy analysis, tourism, and economic development. Since its founding in 1958, Economics at AECOM has completed over 18,000 assignments yielding unmatched experience in land use economics. In the process, the firm has made important contributions to some of the world's most innovative and successful development projects. Their projects span the globe and range from repositioning single land uses to New Towns planned over 30 years. In broad terms, Economics at AECOM assists private developers and public agencies in assessing the future economics and outcomes of real estate projects and economic development plans. Economics at AECOM offers a diverse array of economic analysis and tools to answer complex problems. The Coal Mine at MSI Chicago

Mark Fuller, CEO of WET TEA logo

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