Roberta Perry has been a key personality in the development and growth of the themed entertainment and leisure entertainment industries for more than 20 years. In addition to being Vice-President of Business Development for Fresh Juice Global and Edwards Technologies, Inc. (ETI), Roberta has held vice presidential positions at 20th Century Fox, Iwerks Entertainment, and The WOW Factor, Inc.
Roberta’s responsibilities at Fox Studios included acting as Fox Studios Los Angeles liaison with Fox Studios Australia and Fox Studios Baja for intellectual property / licensing, industry relations, retail development, and operations. Also, she developed a 40,000 sq. ft international traveling experience for Jim Cameron’s Titanic plus The Science Behind the X-Files for the US market. Additionally she spear-headed a combined effort of several studios and the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry that resulted in a blockbuster traveling experience “Action! An Adventure in Moviemaking.” While at Iwerks Entertainment she continued the world-wide growth of simulation projects. At the WOW Factor, Inc. she worked with major brands including The Coca-Cola Company, and Pontiac for WOW projects and events in Times Square.
Ms. Perry was a founding member of the Themed Entertainment Association and served as the association’s president for two years. She is the past chairman of the International Nightclub and Bar Association, past board of director’s member for the National Restaurant Association Marketing Executives Group, past member of the NFL Sunday Ticket Advisory Board and the City of Seattle Fair Campaign Practices and Ethics Committee.
She has been a guest speaker at many conferences including the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, Urban Land Institute, Themed Entertainment Association (TEA), Themed Restaurants conferences, Entertainment Retail conference, Leisure Expo, TILE (Europe), World Gaming Congress, and Nightclub & Bar Annual conferences.
Ms. Perry is co-chairing this year’s TEA Summit, taking place April 4 and 5 at the Disneyland Hotel. IPM News Editor Joe Kleiman asked her five questions. Here’s what she had to say:
1. Fresh Juice Global recently acquired Videro, a software on demand provider whose technology is used as the base for the ETI Cloud. How has this acquisition affected business for these two companies at which you sit as an officer?
Acquiring Videro gives us a game changing tool that is unique to the AV world. We have jumped into a new generation of technology that allows “things” we only dreamed of before.
As a result we have some amazing opportunities we would not have had had we not purchased Videro.
2. You are a past president of the TEA and co-chair of this year’s TEA Summit. What major changes have you seen in themed entertainment design over the past twenty years?
The biggest change and now our biggest challenge in the past 20 years is that before we were a unique microcosm of themed entertainment design and technology companies playing in the realm of creating experiences for our guests. Then came “The Experience Economy,” by Pine and Gilmore so today themed entertainment design has become experiential design that has become mainstream with more and more companies, including digital signage companies designing experiential/ immersive environments for a wider audience in more market segments.
3. You have worked with both James Cameron and Disney. What do you expect to see in terms of Avatar attractions in Disney parks?
Given what we know about current tech trends this could be the most amazing immersive attraction ever!!
4. Both of the themed attractions that you worked on for Fox, in Sydney and Rosarito, have closed. If you were to design a major themed destination for the studio today, using current business models and technology, what would you do to make it succeed?
I would force the team to be more in tune with the business plan and more responsible for achieving the metrics.
The history of these and other similar attractions is the disconnect from the business model.
5. Is there one project you worked on that his been closed or altered that you miss?
Yes – James Cameron’s Titanic Attraction in Sydney, Australia!