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EDMONTON, AB Aug 12, 2015/ Troy Media/ – Toastmasters International’s mission is a simple one: to empower individuals to become more effective communicators and leaders. But while this 90 year-old worldwide organization values and encourages face-to-face interaction, it isn’t always possible for its members to attend one of its annual conventions.
To overcome that obstacle, Toastmasters has created a virtual ticket for their 84th annual premiere event, The Toastmasters International Convention, being held from Aug. 12 to 15 at Caesar’s Palace and Casino in Las Vegas.
While one would think allowing an event to be streamed remotely would cannibalize attendance, it’s actually marketing genius as only about 1 per cent can normally attend any year’s Convention. That leaves 99 per cent who won’t be able to attend, for whatever reason.
And that is where the virtual ticket, or Toastmasters on Demand as it’s called, comes in.
It’s just good marketing.
First, the technology provides them with the added promotion and publicity; second, it adds an additional revenue stream which, for a non-profit, always helps; third, someone who’s never experienced a live convention but has purchased a virtual ticket might decide to attend a future event.
With your virtual ticket, you can select those sessions of the conference of most interest to you, giving you the full experience – minus the face to face interaction of course.
Here’s what’s included in your virtual ticket to this year’s Conference:
- Opening Ceremonies, including the parade of flags representing attending countries and opening keynote by Patricia Fripp
- Board of Directors Briefing and Annual Business Meeting
- Club Leadership Session and Educational Sessions from world-class presenters like Darren Lacroix, Judy Carter, Alex Malley and more
- World Championship of Public Speaking Semifinals 1-10
- Accredited Speakers Event
- Golden Gavel Award Event, Toastmasters’ most prestigious award given annually since 1959 to an individual distinguished in the fields of communication and leadership. This year’s recipient is 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner and founder of Grameen Micro-Bank in Bangladesh Muhammad Yunus
- World Championship of Public Speaking – Finals
- President’s Inauguration
You can even invite your friends and family, colleagues and fellow members over to watch along with you. In fact, Toastmasters is encouraging group viewing, even going so far as to suggest that its members throw a party. Toastmasters even offers party favours in the form of resources like convention-themed Table Topics and trivia, and templates. It’s also encouraging Toastmasters members to post pictures of their party on their club social media pages, giving them a chance to be featured in the Toastmaster magazine.
It’s certainly a great way to engage members and potential members around the world.
I have been to four international conventions myself, so I have to admit there’s nothing that really beats the experience of being there. It gives you an opportunity to be part of this exciting live event, to meet new people and catch up with other Toastmasters whom you perhaps don’t get to see except at the conventions. For others, it just might be an excuse to get away from it all, but if you can’t do that the virtual ticket is certainly the next best thing.
A virtual ticket to the entire Convention costs only US$99. Individual events can also be purchased. The World Championship of Public Speaking on Demand, for example, will run you US$29.99 and the educational sessions and semi-finals go for as little US$9.99. And once you’ve purchased your ticket, you can watch it again and again.
Senior Editor Greg Gazin is a Syndicated Veteran Tech Columnist and Small Business and Technology Speaker, Podcaster, Author and Past Toastmasters District Governor. He can be reached at GadgetGuy.CA or on Twitter@gadgetgreg. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to book Greg for your next event.