Theme Park, Amusement Park and Attractions Industry News

SATE 2012 – we speak to the speakers

Ahead of September’s big SATE (Storytelling, Architecture, Technology and Experience) conference at Disneyland Paris, Park World catches up with two of the speakers.

Staged by the TEA (Themed Entertainment Association), the event takes place from Wednesday 19 to Friday September 21 and promises a strong programme of seminars and networking opportunities, details of which can be found here. Co-chairing the proceedings will be noted show producer and founder of ECA2, Yves Pépin (YP) and senior Disney Imagineer Joe Rohde. For a taste of what lies in store, we quiz Yves and Electrosonic’s Chris Conte (CC), who will be co-chairing Friday morning’s session.


Yves Pépin (YP) and Chris Conte (CC)

What will you be talking about in your presentation at SATE?

YP – As SATE 2012 co-chairman, I’ll introduce the main subject of the conference: “Is cultural diversity an obstacle or an opportunity for our industry?

CC – I will be co-chairing a session titled: “Taking Our Skills Into New Sectors”. I will give a short introductory presentation to set up the topic for the audience before my speakers come to stage.

What other presentations are you looking forward to hearing?

CC – I’m looking forward in general to spending three days with this diverse international community. I’d like to hear from others what their challenges are with respect to working around the world.

YP – All of them of course!

How do you expect this event will compare to previous SATE conferences?

YP – Being held for the first time in France, SATE 2012 is a challenge. We expect to have a large panel of participants coming from all over Europe and the US.

CC – I think it will be similar to last year’s SATE in Amsterdam with a little broader audience including more attendees from the US, the Middle East and Asia.

Do you think SATE attracts the right mix of operators/suppliers etc?

YP – I hope so. We worked this way.

What social/networking opportunities are you aware of as part of the event?

YP – The SATE schedule will give place and time for social. Networking is one of the key goals for this professional conference.

How successful has the TEA been in embracing its European membership?

CC – Europe is difficult because of the geographical spread and language barriers. But those Europeans who have made an effort to be a part of the TEA all share the same passion as the rest of the TEA community.

What new European attractions have impressed you in the last 12 months?

YP – Aquanura, WET’s new fountain show at Efteling, is one of the best attractions produced in the last few months.

CC – The European Parliament Museum

Where are the real hotspots in the industry right now?

CC – China, Eastern Europe, Middle East is heating up again.

Will you find time to visit any of the Disney attractions while you are in Paris?

CC – Yes. I’m specifically going a day early to visit the park. Click here for details of VIP admission to Disneyland Paris for SATE delegates.

Why should SATE attendees join the post-event tour to Puy du Fou/Futuroscope?

YP – These are both very different, gorgeous and unique experiences.

CC – Firstly, the Puy du Fou is one of the hidden secrets of entertainment in France. Everyone should be see this wonderful world. Futuroscope is gaining a good reputation as well. We should see what the buzz is about. Secondly, these types of events are great for social networking and really getting to know new people in our industry.

For the full SATE 2012 conference programme, travel information and more, visit


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