News From TI: New Convention Site for 2010

News From TI: New Convention Site for 2010

Palm Desert, California, is the new location for the 2010 Convention.

Photo Caption: Site of the August 11-14, 2010, International Convention: The Desert Springs JW Marriott Resort and Spa in Palm Desert, California.

“Our responsibilities are defined by our opportunities.” 
        – Ralph C. Smedley, Founder Toastmasters International

Nearly two years ago, in February 2007, Toastmasters International’s Board of Directors selected Sydney, Australia, as the site of the 2010 International Convention. At that time, this was the right decision for the organization. However, the recent global financial crisis and economic downturn have caused the organization to re-evaluate that decision.

After extensive financial analysis, taking into consideration the negative impact these economic influences have on the meetings, convention and travel industries, Toastmasters International has determined that conducting an International Convention in Sydney, Australia, would not be financially responsible at this time. As a result, the venue of the 2010 International Convention has been changed to the Desert Springs JW Marriott Resort and Spa in Palm Desert, California – a property that has previously hosted two very successful Conventions, in 1989 and 1998.

What does this mean for future Conventions held outside North America? World Headquarters staff will continue to assess that possibility and will provide the Board of Directors information allowing them to make a decision that is right for the organization and right for its members.

International President Jana Barnhill, in her Viewpoint article in this month’s issue, says, “While we fully acknowledge that many of our members will be disappointed, we could not ignore our primary responsibility to be prudent with your funds.” In addition, she points out: “We appreciate all the efforts of Elizabeth Wilson, the Host District 70 Chair, and the work her team has already done to prepare for a Convention in Australia. I hope they, and all of our members, understand that this was not an easy decision.”

“Toastmasters International’s Board of Directors and World Headquarters staff care deeply about the needs of the organization’s 235,000 members around the world and they take their responsibility toward them very seriously,” says Toastmasters Executive Director Daniel Rex. “This was not an easy decision to make, but it is one that ultimately will benefit the interests of all members.”

The Convention is an opportunity for men and women of all walks of life, career paths and educational interests to gather for an extraordinary experience. Meeting other Toastmasters from around the world, making new friends, reconnecting with existing friends and taking part in a superior educational program are hallmarks of a successful Convention.

With your understanding and support, we hope you will continue to make plans to join your fellow Toastmasters at the 79th Annual International Convention at Desert Springs JW Marriott Resort and Spa in Palm Desert, California – August 11-14, 2010.