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Ex-Disney Imagineer Eddie Sotto on the How of WOW

Eddie Sotto, immersive brand experience, TEDx

Ex-Disney Imagineer and President of SottoStudios/LA, Eddie Sotto brings his passion for experiential design to the TEDx conference in Bermuda.

As an ex-Disney Imagineer, one of the most common questions you’ll hear is “how do you come up with those ideas for new attractions?” I had to admit, it was a hard question to answer as ideas come from many places. Today they are often movie or book franchises in search of interpretation as a ride or experience.

In years past, Walt Disney saw dinosaurs, pirates or even the wonders of nature as “evergreen” genres with fundamental appeal to cull from his films into unique park classics. Nonetheless, when I left Disney in 2000 to apply what I had learned about creating this emotional “Wow!” that brings people back to retail, malls, products, and more, the need was there to better explain this unique process to clients.

Eddie SottoTrue, the gift of creativity or artistic talent are the foundational difference, but a deeper understanding was necessary. What is an “experience”? How do you re-imagine a brand or lackluster experience? What are the steps? That process had to be defined and tested.

TEDx – The How of Wow

TED, a highly respected global conference centering on technology, entertainment and design, has “ideas worth spreading” as it’s mantra. I began attending the original conference in Monterey many years ago and found the talks very inspiring and useful. Since then, the tiny gathering has become a global phenomenon. This last September I was approached by a TED organizer who had seen the experiential design videos we offer on, and invited to develop a TED talk on the topic for their October TEDx event in Bermuda. How can you refuse that? Here it is (above). I hope this 18 minute video entitled “The How of Wow!” is helpful to you. Please share if you feel there are some “ideas worth spreading!”

Images courtesy of Eddie Sotto.

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Eddie Sotto

Eddie Sotto

Eddie Sotto, former SVP of Concept Design at Disney Imagineering now runs SottoStudios, a turn-key entertainment design and experiential R&D firm. He also recently formed the group to address the need for COVID-19 variant screening.

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