The TOASTMASTERS EAST AFRICA CONFERENCE (TEACON) is the climax of all Toastmasters activities in East Africa. This is an annual event that celebrates achievements in various categories, hosts the district speech contests and culminates in the election of District Officials for the following year. Our writer, Doreen Uwera spoke to the TEACON 2021 Convener, Linet Njeri and below, find the ten things you need to know about the conference from excerpts of their conversation.
Madam Convener, for a newbie in Toastmasters, what is TEACON all about?
Linet: The purpose of the Toastmasters East African Conference is to celebrate individual and club achievements, to enhance members’ leadership and communication skills through educational sessions, to hold speech contests (Evaluation, Humorous, Table Topics, Tall Tales and the International Speech Contests) finals. We also elect the District Officials for the next Toastmasters year at the conference.
Where will the conference take place? What does it take for one to book a spot at the venue and when do ticket sales end?
Linet: The conference will be held from May 27th – 29th, 2021 at Pride-Inn Beach Resort in Mombasa, Kenya. Tickets are now on sale at the Toastmasters website: https://district114.org/teacon-tickets/ . We have limited tickets for the conference due to the restrictions on numbers occasioned by Covid19.
Kindly share an overview of the agenda at the TEACON conference?
Linet: Thursday 27th – Cocktail (Speed networking); Friday 28th – Official Opening, full day’s program and Quiz night; Saturday 29th – District Council Meeting, Speech Contests and Gala Dinner
The world is fighting a pandemic. What would you tell someone who is rightly concerned about physical gatherings?
Linet: We take the health of Toastmasters members very seriously and we will therefore ensure that we adhere to the stipulated regulations. The hotel has given us an assurance of their hygiene management systems, which include fresh air re-cycling every 2 hours, provision of sanitizers in abundance, plus soap and water. We will also ensure that participants maintain social distancing and wear face masks while at the conference.
Who is invited for TEACON and how can one participate at the Conference?
Linet: The conference is open and anyone interested in learning about communication and leadership will be in great company at the conference.
What challenges are you facing so far in preparing for this conference and how are you surmounting them?
Linet: We certainly have some challenges; the main one being the uncertainty around COVID19. We are doing our best to reassure members that we have put systems in place to ensure the safety of everyone. Furthermore, we will keep monitoring the situation as it unfolds with a view of advising our members accordingly.
Any exciting guests we should look out for?
Linet: Yes, we have a great lineup of speakers who shall be revealed in due time. Given the excellent caliber of speakers in last year’s conference, you can expect us to maintain that level of speaker excellence. . We have excellent educational sessions in place for attendees of the conference. We will have contests, top notch keynote speakers and educational workshops.
I want to have fun. Shall there be fun activities?
Linet: Certainly! There are a lot of fun activities such as the speed networking cocktail, beach games, excursions within Mombasa, quiz night, the gala dinner with a masquerade theme amongst others.
What is this year’s TEACON 2021 theme?
Linet: The theme of TEACON 2021 is ‘‘Feel the Magic”. This means we want to bring the magic to life and have Toastmasters in East Africa-Feel the Magic.
There are some concerns in regards to deferred payments made by some attendees for the past District Conference that didn’t physically take place last year. Do I have to make another payment to attend the conference?
Linet: All payments made for previous TEACON will automatically be transferred to this year. Anyone who paid last year will be issued with a ticket for this year and they do not have to make any other payments.
There you have it. Secure your spot from the above link and see you at TEACON 2021.