CMU/ETC To Host SATE 2015 Conference on Themed Entertainment

Pittsburgh (September 8, 2015) – Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and its Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) are partnering to host the Themed Entertainment Association’s (TEA) annual SATE conference, September 17-18, 2015. Shirley Saldamarco, President of Interactive Media Productions and an ETC faculty member, is co-chair of the event with Loren Barrows, Director of Business Development at Alcorn McBride. Tickets/more info: www.teaconnect.org.

The SATE acronym stands for Storytelling + Architecture + Technology = Experience. The two-day event is a unique educational conference for the international themed entertainment industry. “This year’s SATE is ‘changing the rules,’ and all of our speakers will focus their presentations on how various combinations of story plus architecture plus technology equals experience,” says Saldamarco. “It’s all about the Experience with a capital ‘E’ and how merging the topics provides a more cohesive experience.”

For the last three years SATE has been held on a university campus in what has proved to be a win-win for the TEA membership and students. The Savannah College of Art & Design in Georgia and Florida State University in Sarasota were previous hosts.

“It’s very competitive. Universities are already vying to host next year’s conference,” says Saldamarco. “For CMU, it’s a great way to showcase our facilities and the collaboration between the school and professionals in themed entertainment. Students are engaged by attending as TEA NextGen members. SATE tickets are discounted for qualified students, and TEA offers other ways for them to mitigate costs. Some win scholarships to the conference; others have an opportunity to work in the crew as stage managers, lighting directors and general PAs. It’s a real hands-on way to see how an event like this comes together.”

SATE 2015 also benefits from the goals the ETC sets for itself year-round. “As an educational institution, the ETC organizes students into multi-disciplinary teams and teaches collaboration and team work above all else,” Saldamarco explains. “We excel by creating an educational environment in which interdisciplinary students acquire collaboration, creativity and communication expertise while applying their artistic and technical skills through design-based research projects. Expertise diversity leads to more conflict, disagreements and debates, and that’s precisely what leads to the creation of higher quality and more innovative products.”

SATE 2015 will make use of a number of venues on the CMU campus, including the Phillip Chosky Theater at the Purnell Center for Arts. “The School of Drama and its Head, Peter Cooke, generously provided us with the theater – a wonderful space large enough to meet our needs,” says Saldamarco.

In hosting SATE 2015, CMU and the ETC give students a unique perspective of an industry – and its rock stars – for whom many will work one day. “At the ETC, we balance educational goals, professional development and engaging experiences. It’s what we refer to as ‘learn, work, play,’” Saldamarco says. “With an emphasis on leadership, innovation and communication, we create challenging experiences through which students learn how to collaborate, experiment and iterate solutions.   That’s why I think SATE and the TEA are both such a perfect fit for our students.”

About the ETC:

The Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) is the premier professional graduate program for interactive entertainment as it’s applied across a variety of fields. Our unique, two-year, Master of Entertainment Technology (MET) degree is jointly conferred by Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science and the College of Fine Arts.  Our students excel by creating an educational environment in which interdisciplinary students acquire collaboration, creativity and communication expertise while applying their artistic and technical skills through design-based research projects. With an emphasis on leadership, innovation and communication, we create challenging experiences through which students learn how to collaborate, experiment and iterate solutions. The ETC is simply different, we strive to design experiences that educate, engage and inspire.

About Carnegie Mellon University:

Carnegie Mellon www.cmu.edu is a private, internationally ranked research university with programs in areas ranging from science, technology and business, to public policy, the humanities and the arts. More than 13,000 students in the university’s seven schools and colleges benefit from a small student-to-faculty ratio and an education characterized by its focus on creating and implementing solutions for real problems, interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation.

About TEA

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 – worldwide. Its members bring specific expertise in a variety of disciplines to a field that is constantly evolving. These entertaining and educational projects include theme parks, water parks, museums, zoos, corporate visitor centers, casinos, restaurants, branded experiences, multimedia spectaculars, retail spaces, resorts and hospitality, destination attractions and more.

TEA was founded in 1991 and now encompasses some 1,000 member companies and four primary Divisions: Eastern North America, Western North America, Europe & Middle East, and Asia Pacific. TEA has changed the global conversation about how great guest experiences are conceived and realized, and focused international attention on a vital niche of popular culture. Two of its leading contributions are the annual Thea Awards, recognized worldwide as a top industry honor, and the annual SATE conference (Storytelling, Architecture, Technology, Experience). Visit www.teaconnect.org.

 

Media inquiries: Contact Judith Rubin, TEA communications, judy@teaconnect.org. A limited number of tickets are available for qualified press to attend SATE.


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