Crash Crashes Sydney

The Sydney 2010 World Convention has been cancelled

Toastmaster World Conventions have been held in North America – USA or Canada – since they began over 70 years ago. So it was big news when the decision was made last year to hold the 2010 Convention in Sydney. This was to be an epoch marking event – acknowledging that the strongest growth in our organisation is occurring outside the USA, and also recognising the very special relationship between the USA and Australia.

Victim of the Crash

The financial crash has put paid to that plan. Now the Convention will be held at Desert Springs, in Palm Desert California, site of two previous World Conventions. You can read about the decision in the November 13 Newsflash. Basically, Toastmasters International has determined that conducting an International Convention in Sydney, Australia, would not be financially responsible at this time because of the negative impact the financial crash will have on the meetings, convention and travel industries.

So that’s it for the Sydney Convention for now.

Speculation

Is it just a likely downturn in the travel industry? Or is it possible that Toastmasters International has had a bad experience in its investments? Our movement has enormous financial reserves – running into tens of millions of dollars. These would have been invested to get a good return. Perhaps that “good return” came from “financial derivatives”, based on the “subprime” mortgage market in the US. There is speculation that our organisation has suffered a major hit from the collapse in the US and world financial system. Perhaps we can expect a withdrawal from recent TI expansion plans as they consolidate into their base.

Where does that leave District WA?

We have been seeing the Sydney Convention as a major plus in our plans to establish our own District in WA. It seemed as if there was a strong possibility that the announcement of another Australian District could have been a promotional plus for the Council Meeting at Sydney. Now that has gone by the board.

We are still working strongly to establish new clubs in WA and thus to enhance our credentials for our own independent District. We will have to see what the future holds.

David Nicholas DTM
WA New Clubs Coordinator