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TEA SATE Academy
Arctic Extremes and Themed Entertainment

Professional development for the TEA’s Europe & Middle East Division took place in the Arctic Circle from 24 to 26 February, in Rovaniemi in Lapland, Finland. This was a SATE (Story + Architecture + Technology = Experience) Academy Day event – a destination gathering specially tailored for professional enrichment within the attractions industry. SATE Academy Days were first developed by the TEA EME Division and have started to catch on throughout the association



Paul Kent TEA EME Division President Electrosonic

 

Paul Kent
 

With the aim of holding events in as many different countries as possible, the EME Division of TEA pursued connections with Finnish members to put together a first-rate programme over two packed days in Rovaniemi, the capital of Lapland – and the home of Santa Claus.

For those who arrived the night before, things kicked off with a visit to the Arktikum Museum, guided by the managing director Hannele Koskiniemi. This was followed by a trip to the Pilke Science Centre under the auspices of the exhibition manager Heikki Hepoaho.

The nation celebrates its centenary in 2017 and the museum puts the history of Finland and Rovaniemi into context.

Sustainability is key
There’s a huge focus on sustainability in Finland, with forestry being top of the list in Lapland. One of the event’s sponsors, Lappset, runs a business which is very dependent on local timber, as we saw firsthand. In all cases, there’s an emphasis on zero waste. Every last shaving is used.

We collected the rest of the group from the airport – and many were surprised to be met by Elf Candy, our host, as they landed on the evening flight. We set off into the Lappish forest to explore Santa Claus Secret Forest of Joulukka.

Apart from meeting Santa Claus and visiting his command bunker, members of the group also tried their hand at ice sculpting, with ice and lessons supplied by Taavi Heikkila from Frozen Innovations – the constructors of the Arctic SnowHotel that we visited the following day.

After that we relaxed in the Finnish way with a traditional smoke sauna, hot tubs and lake swimming. Our hosts for the evening were Illka Länkinen and Katja Ikäheimo Länkinen. Their hospitality was without bounds.

The visit overlapped with the Arctic Design Week conference – particularly its main seminar on 25 February, during which the keynote presentation, Designing for Extremes, was given by Keith James of JRA. Keith, a past president of TEA, received a lifetime achievement award at the TEA’s Thea Awards in April (see our report on page 18).

Arctic Design Week is aimed at the many industries and universities in the area. Following the keynote, a mix of speakers from the Scandinavian design community were among the slate of presenters, including several TEA members. They included Matt Barton (7th Sense), Stephen Richards (Paragon Creative), Nick Farmer (Farmer Attraction Development) and Johan Granholm (Lappset Creative). Julius Oforsagd was responsible for organising the event and inviting TEA to participate.

The group went to the Lappset factory for a tour of the facility and then onto the Santa Park to connect with our “inner elves”. Some also went on to Rovaniemi’s Arctic SnowHotel for a dinner and a tour of what is a truly unique experience. Some of the braver souls also stayed in the hotel.

TEA EME Division is indebted to the event sponsors: Electrosonic, Lappset Creative and SantaPark, and in particular to Asko Alanen from Lappset. Without his cooperation and support this event would have not been the success it was.


 



Elf Candy was a surprise host for the tour of Lapand’s attractions


Matt Barton TEA Member 7th Sense

 

Matt Barton
 

Another excellent TEA event started with a greeting by Elf Candy who took us to the magical Joulukka.

What followed was an unusual TEA mixer involving ice carving, reindeer radar, meeting Santa Claus and enjoying an excellent meal and some fine company with traditional Finnish after-dinner relaxation (and invigoration for some of the braver among us by way of an ice lake dip).

What amazed and impressed me about both Joulukka and our trip the following day to SantaPark was the total commitment from the staff to ensure that even though we were on a “backstage tour” we felt truly immersed in the experience. I don’t think anyone could prevent their inner child from making an appearance during the event.




David Willrich TEA International Board DJ Willrich Ltd

 

David Willrich
 

Other than the fact that it would be cold, very cold, in Rovaniemi, I had no real idea of what to expect from our SATE Academy day in Lapland. With a clean memory card in the camera, thermals and warm clothing packed, we set off for what turned out to be an excellent experience in all aspects.

And no visit to Lapland would be complete without a visit to the main man and discovering your “inner elf” and an opportunity to be “elf taught”.

Elf Candy did a great job of introducing us to the workings of life in the magical world of Santa Claus. SantaPark, owned and run very enthusiastically by Ilkka and Katja Länkinen brings to life what all of us imagined as children a visit to the North Pole would be like. We are all used to the high standards set by Disney and Universal, but I love it when we visit a much smaller park – invariably very hands-on, owner-run – that hits and sometimes surpasses those standards.

Katja does not hide her passion for what they do: yes they are running an attraction that has to make money, but the focus is on quality and they clearly understand what they can and can’t do in order to meet visitor expectations. Where else in the world would you get dozens of TEA members wearing elf hats and icing cookies?




Traci Klainer Polimeni TEA International Board Luce Group

 

Traci Klainer Polimeni
 

Spending time in the winter wonderland of Rovaniemi, I found Finland better than I could ever have imagined. This was my first time venturing into this part of the world and in the company of the EME Division, it was a perfect introduction.

Lappset Creative was a wonderful host and sponsor. We met reindeer, elves and Santa Claus. We drank beer, wine and, yes, vodka from ice shot glasses in an ice bar. We participated in the Arctic Design Week with some of our own TEA members presenting. And of course, we saw snow, snow and more snow.

This event represented exactly what SATE Academy Days are meant to be: an opportunity to learn more about our industry, network with colleagues and experience new places. As TEA is an international association, I hope sharing my thoughts on this trip encourages all members to look outside their regions and to explore new areas of our membership and the world.


" This event represented exactly what SATE Academy Days are meant to be: an opportunity to learn more about our industry, network with colleagues and experience new places ”



Ifat Caspi TEA Member P&P Projects

 

Ifat Caspi
 

The experience was unique and inspiring. Within the space of two days we experienced, in a variety of ways, the exceptional nature, culture and the extremely nice people at Rovaniemi. The hospitality was great. The Arctic Design Week conference was also inspiring, and it taught me that our industry is full of “designs for extremes”. We were all captivated by the magic of such an amazing place. The event communicated that we all need to aspire to achieve the high quality, meaningful stories that make our industry what it is.




Keith James Former TEA President Jack Rouse Associates

 

Keith James
 

The TEA certainly showed well at this event, and we trust everyone was pleased with the results.

It was good to see the Lappset facilities. We had heard a great deal about them, and now having actually seen their operation, we are greatly impressed with the company.

And Katja should be extremely proud! The places that we visited, and the things that we were able to see and do, will go down as highlights in our history in this industry. My wife Patti and I had a wonderful time, and it appeared as if everyone was having just as good a time.

They have created something quite special there at the Arctic Circle: bringing Santa Claus – one of the world’s most famous and most important legends to life and making it even better than we all thought possible is quite a feat.

I can only repeat my thanks to everyone involved for making the week so memorable. And to Katja and her staff (elves, guardians, princesses, and everyone else) – well done!


The TEA EME Division’s SATE Academy event in Lapland, Finland, was themed around Arctic design and included trips to Santa Claus’ secret forest of Joulukka, the Arctic SnowHotel, SantaPark and a dip in an ice-cold lake Credit: Photos: For TEA, by Martin Palicki
Santa Claus, Lapland’s most famous resident, is a major draw in Arctic tourism. When the TEA members took a behind-the-scenes tour of SantaPark, most of them found their “inner elf” Credit: Photos: For TEA, by Martin Palicki
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TEA SATE Academy
Arctic Extremes and Themed Entertainment

Professional development for the TEA’s Europe & Middle East Division took place in the Arctic Circle from 24 to 26 February, in Rovaniemi in Lapland, Finland. This was a SATE (Story + Architecture + Technology = Experience) Academy Day event – a destination gathering specially tailored for professional enrichment within the attractions industry. SATE Academy Days were first developed by the TEA EME Division and have started to catch on throughout the association



Paul Kent TEA EME Division President Electrosonic

 

Paul Kent
 

With the aim of holding events in as many different countries as possible, the EME Division of TEA pursued connections with Finnish members to put together a first-rate programme over two packed days in Rovaniemi, the capital of Lapland – and the home of Santa Claus.

For those who arrived the night before, things kicked off with a visit to the Arktikum Museum, guided by the managing director Hannele Koskiniemi. This was followed by a trip to the Pilke Science Centre under the auspices of the exhibition manager Heikki Hepoaho.

The nation celebrates its centenary in 2017 and the museum puts the history of Finland and Rovaniemi into context.

Sustainability is key
There’s a huge focus on sustainability in Finland, with forestry being top of the list in Lapland. One of the event’s sponsors, Lappset, runs a business which is very dependent on local timber, as we saw firsthand. In all cases, there’s an emphasis on zero waste. Every last shaving is used.

We collected the rest of the group from the airport – and many were surprised to be met by Elf Candy, our host, as they landed on the evening flight. We set off into the Lappish forest to explore Santa Claus Secret Forest of Joulukka.

Apart from meeting Santa Claus and visiting his command bunker, members of the group also tried their hand at ice sculpting, with ice and lessons supplied by Taavi Heikkila from Frozen Innovations – the constructors of the Arctic SnowHotel that we visited the following day.

After that we relaxed in the Finnish way with a traditional smoke sauna, hot tubs and lake swimming. Our hosts for the evening were Illka Länkinen and Katja Ikäheimo Länkinen. Their hospitality was without bounds.

The visit overlapped with the Arctic Design Week conference – particularly its main seminar on 25 February, during which the keynote presentation, Designing for Extremes, was given by Keith James of JRA. Keith, a past president of TEA, received a lifetime achievement award at the TEA’s Thea Awards in April (see our report on page 18).

Arctic Design Week is aimed at the many industries and universities in the area. Following the keynote, a mix of speakers from the Scandinavian design community were among the slate of presenters, including several TEA members. They included Matt Barton (7th Sense), Stephen Richards (Paragon Creative), Nick Farmer (Farmer Attraction Development) and Johan Granholm (Lappset Creative). Julius Oforsagd was responsible for organising the event and inviting TEA to participate.

The group went to the Lappset factory for a tour of the facility and then onto the Santa Park to connect with our “inner elves”. Some also went on to Rovaniemi’s Arctic SnowHotel for a dinner and a tour of what is a truly unique experience. Some of the braver souls also stayed in the hotel.

TEA EME Division is indebted to the event sponsors: Electrosonic, Lappset Creative and SantaPark, and in particular to Asko Alanen from Lappset. Without his cooperation and support this event would have not been the success it was.


 



Elf Candy was a surprise host for the tour of Lapand’s attractions


Matt Barton TEA Member 7th Sense

 

Matt Barton
 

Another excellent TEA event started with a greeting by Elf Candy who took us to the magical Joulukka.

What followed was an unusual TEA mixer involving ice carving, reindeer radar, meeting Santa Claus and enjoying an excellent meal and some fine company with traditional Finnish after-dinner relaxation (and invigoration for some of the braver among us by way of an ice lake dip).

What amazed and impressed me about both Joulukka and our trip the following day to SantaPark was the total commitment from the staff to ensure that even though we were on a “backstage tour” we felt truly immersed in the experience. I don’t think anyone could prevent their inner child from making an appearance during the event.




David Willrich TEA International Board DJ Willrich Ltd

 

David Willrich
 

Other than the fact that it would be cold, very cold, in Rovaniemi, I had no real idea of what to expect from our SATE Academy day in Lapland. With a clean memory card in the camera, thermals and warm clothing packed, we set off for what turned out to be an excellent experience in all aspects.

And no visit to Lapland would be complete without a visit to the main man and discovering your “inner elf” and an opportunity to be “elf taught”.

Elf Candy did a great job of introducing us to the workings of life in the magical world of Santa Claus. SantaPark, owned and run very enthusiastically by Ilkka and Katja Länkinen brings to life what all of us imagined as children a visit to the North Pole would be like. We are all used to the high standards set by Disney and Universal, but I love it when we visit a much smaller park – invariably very hands-on, owner-run – that hits and sometimes surpasses those standards.

Katja does not hide her passion for what they do: yes they are running an attraction that has to make money, but the focus is on quality and they clearly understand what they can and can’t do in order to meet visitor expectations. Where else in the world would you get dozens of TEA members wearing elf hats and icing cookies?




Traci Klainer Polimeni TEA International Board Luce Group

 

Traci Klainer Polimeni
 

Spending time in the winter wonderland of Rovaniemi, I found Finland better than I could ever have imagined. This was my first time venturing into this part of the world and in the company of the EME Division, it was a perfect introduction.

Lappset Creative was a wonderful host and sponsor. We met reindeer, elves and Santa Claus. We drank beer, wine and, yes, vodka from ice shot glasses in an ice bar. We participated in the Arctic Design Week with some of our own TEA members presenting. And of course, we saw snow, snow and more snow.

This event represented exactly what SATE Academy Days are meant to be: an opportunity to learn more about our industry, network with colleagues and experience new places. As TEA is an international association, I hope sharing my thoughts on this trip encourages all members to look outside their regions and to explore new areas of our membership and the world.


" This event represented exactly what SATE Academy Days are meant to be: an opportunity to learn more about our industry, network with colleagues and experience new places ”



Ifat Caspi TEA Member P&P Projects

 

Ifat Caspi
 

The experience was unique and inspiring. Within the space of two days we experienced, in a variety of ways, the exceptional nature, culture and the extremely nice people at Rovaniemi. The hospitality was great. The Arctic Design Week conference was also inspiring, and it taught me that our industry is full of “designs for extremes”. We were all captivated by the magic of such an amazing place. The event communicated that we all need to aspire to achieve the high quality, meaningful stories that make our industry what it is.




Keith James Former TEA President Jack Rouse Associates

 

Keith James
 

The TEA certainly showed well at this event, and we trust everyone was pleased with the results.

It was good to see the Lappset facilities. We had heard a great deal about them, and now having actually seen their operation, we are greatly impressed with the company.

And Katja should be extremely proud! The places that we visited, and the things that we were able to see and do, will go down as highlights in our history in this industry. My wife Patti and I had a wonderful time, and it appeared as if everyone was having just as good a time.

They have created something quite special there at the Arctic Circle: bringing Santa Claus – one of the world’s most famous and most important legends to life and making it even better than we all thought possible is quite a feat.

I can only repeat my thanks to everyone involved for making the week so memorable. And to Katja and her staff (elves, guardians, princesses, and everyone else) – well done!


The TEA EME Division’s SATE Academy event in Lapland, Finland, was themed around Arctic design and included trips to Santa Claus’ secret forest of Joulukka, the Arctic SnowHotel, SantaPark and a dip in an ice-cold lake Credit: Photos: For TEA, by Martin Palicki
Santa Claus, Lapland’s most famous resident, is a major draw in Arctic tourism. When the TEA members took a behind-the-scenes tour of SantaPark, most of them found their “inner elf” Credit: Photos: For TEA, by Martin Palicki
 


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