The Basics of Themed Entertainment: Presentations

The Art of the Presentation

Dreaming up and building incredible, themed experiences that will be enjoyed by millions of people all over the world is truly an amazing experience. It’s one that requires the dedicated work of passionate individuals who collaborate as a team to deliver the business goals of a client. Of all the tools required in this a process, excellent communication factors the highest when measuring the success of the project team. As we continue in the series, “The Basics”, it’s important to understand how the presentation fits into the project process and how to assemble and deliver one with game-changing results. Many university degree programs or even corporate internships feature opportunities to present. However, even as good as those experiences are, little can prepare you for standing in front of a client when hundreds of millions of their dollars are entrusted to your team- that’s high pressure!

 

Assembling the...

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How to Lead Creative Teams

Leading Creative Teams


Without rival, one of the most difficult leadership roles I have ever had is leading creative teams, and I’m a life-long creative! In this post, I will explore these challenges and offer some remedies that have helped me in my 30-year career journey leading others. There is a lot of material on leadership available and I fully support many of these best practices for general leadership. However, I have found less information available on leading creative teams; I hope you find this information helpful!

What’s the Difference?

Let’s start by examining the differences between creative and non-creative teams. I would categorize “non-creative” roles as those whose primary delivery, action, or existence is inherently not a creative function or part of a project. That’s not to say that these team members aren’t creative individually or actually perform their tasks by applying creativity… Let’s use an engineer as...

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The Dynamics of Team Culture & Collaboration

The individual parts are greater than the whole

 

The Themed Entertainment Industry is a broad and wonderfully complex world that offers incredible escapism, imagination and emotional connection. It also feels like the projects we undertake to build these experiences are equally complex, vast and definitely generate emotion! Telling dimensional stories to one of the widest demographic of visitors of any market in the world and creating them to perform 365 days a year for 15-18 hours a day without diminishing the experience is a very tall order indeed!

Highly specialized, interdisciplinary team work for years to create and build these experiences with multiple layers of detail. There are many educational materials available to inform the curious how these experiences are dreamt-up and delivered, however, there doesn’t seem to be much discussion on the dynamic, collaborative teams and their culture that is created to foster these awesome achievements. The first step is to...

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How's The Health of Your Team? - Positive Tension Is The Remedy.

Positive Tension. Just like there are two poles on a battery, you need both charges to make energy. The same is true on a project team. The participants of a project have sometimes fundamental different objectives, although sharing the same goal. It takes a very diverse team of professionals to deliver the type of complex experiences we create in the themed entertainment industry. For example, the creative team members are focused on innovation, dreaming up the impossible, and are focused on taking risks to deliver something that has not been done before.


The project delivery team members, on the other hand, share the same overall goal of delivering a unique experience for guests, and approach it with a different set of criteria: they are fundamentally risk-averse, cost-conscious, and schedule-driven. Much of their success is measured through strict adherence to processes. Although many other subject matter experts participate in a project, these two categories are the most obvious...

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Hope for the New Generation of Themed Entertainment Designers

Welcome to the first post of the Designer's Creative Studio, I am excited to share personalized, content that is accessible to you; members of the Studio first! For those of you who may not know who I am, my name is Theron Skees and I am bringing over thirty years of experience within the themed entertainment industry working on everything from film and television to theme parks, retail, dining & entertainment and cruise ships.


In the coming months, you can look forward to articles, excerpts of interviews with industry pros, and monthly updates with all things involving creativity, design, leadership, and themed experiences. My goal for this blog is to share my experience and insights that create magic through design. I have been dreaming and doing the impossible for many years and want to help you do the same.


I have had the opportunity to teach and guide many students, as well as recent graduates, and they are concerned about the state of the industry. “Will...

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