I have exciting – and historical – news to share with you. For the first time in Toastmasters’ history, we will host our International Convention outside North America. After an extensive selection process, Kuala Lumpur, in the country of Malaysia, will be the site for the 2014 convention.
The selection of this Southeast Asian city reflects the global nature of our organization, as well as its evolving membership. More than 30 percent of all Toastmasters now live outside North America, with the greatest area of membership growth in Southeast Asia.
Kuala Lumpur is a wonderful city and we’re excited to host our convention there. I’m confident you will enjoy yourself and benefit greatly from the 2014 event.
Kuala Lumpur is high on the list of international travel destinations. It is a thriving metropolis, with dazzling high-rises and a rich cultural scene. The city is a prime international convention site for many reasons. It is centrally located to a broad membership population, which is expected to boost convention attendance higher than it’s ever been.
Like Toastmasters International itself, Kuala Lumpur celebrates diversity. KL (as the city is commonly known) is a melting pot of races and religions that spans Malay Muslims, Chinese Buddhists, Hindu Indians and other groups. Although the principal language is Malay, most Malaysians speak English as well.
KL, the capital city of Malaysia, is safe and clean, and its people are notably friendly. Millions of people from throughout the world visit every year. In 2011, KL staged nearly 80 international association meetings.
The expense of staging the convention outside North America will be largely offset by a number of factors. Food, lodging and travel are relatively inexpensive in KL. The Malaysian government has also provided our organization with generous financial incentives. In addition, the expected record-breaking attendance and a large volunteer force will help defray costs.
The convention meeting place offers excellent access. The Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre and the surrounding hotels, parks and buildings are designed as a vibrant “city within a city,” with walking access to scores of shops and restaurants. Kuala Lumpur boasts many top-rated eating spots and an array of scenic sites to visit.
We invite you to be part of our 2014 International Convention in Kuala Lumpur – a groundbreaking event. For more detailed information, visit www.toastmasters.org/2014convention.