Q: How come you chose Bled as a destination for IWC Conference and Sava Hotels & Resorts as the event venue?
After evaluating several alternative venues nationwide, the Hotel Golf in Bled was chosen on the basis of:
- Proximity to international airport – Bled is 30 minutes’ drive from Ljubljana airport.
- Suitability of meeting room space – the rooms in the Hotel Golf fit our requirements almost perfectly.
- Technical setup – we require fast uninterrupted wireless internet for all delegates and a flexible Audio-Visual setup.
- Value for money.
- Setting and ambience – Bled is an amazing and relaxing place to work.
Q: What are your key objectives with organization of IWC?
- To provide the best working environment for delegates with uninterrupted access to electronic documents 24/7.
- To keep costs within the assigned budget.
- To provide reliable virtual access to meetings from remote participants.
- To keep people smiling.
- To improve the meeting experience year-on-year.
Q: Bled has become the only city to host the IWC meeting three times, how come?
The IWC invites offers to host both the biennial IWC Commission meetings and the annual Scientific Committee meetings from all member Governments (89 in total) and Slovenia offered to host both meetings in 2014. In 2016 and 2017 in the absence of any alternative offers to host, the Slovenian Government kindly offered to host again using the same venues previously used.
Q: What are main advantages of Slovenia as the meeting destination?
- Easy access to central Europe by road, sea and air.
- Good value for money with lower cost of living than neighbouring states.
- Good language skills – everyone speaks very good English (among other languages).
- Clean, secure and safe – this comes from feedback from our delegates.
- Very friendly people …
“Normally communication between all of the key partners in organising each event presents significant challenges; however, this hasn’t applied in Slovenia because the communication on all levels has been clear and timely”.
Q: How are you satisfied with organization in Bled and do you plan to organize the event again in Slovenia?
I am extremely happy with all of the team involved with this and previous meetings in Bled. The staff and management at Sava Hotels & Resorts have been very professional, helpful and gracious in their efforts to make this meeting a success. I would like to offer them my thanks … Hvala lepa (thank you in Slovenian language! ?
The IWC meetings for 2018 will be hosted in Kenya and Brazil and we have not received any offers to host beyond that time. I would welcome the chance to organise any future meetings in Slovenia.
Q: The IWC event usually lasts around 14 days and involves app. 200 scientists – what are the main challenges of organizing this big event?
- Getting 200 scientists in one place is challenging in itself – like herding cats …
- Travel, accommodation and visa arrangements for participants coming from over 30 countries takes a lot of careful planning prior to event.
- The transition to going paperless requires a complete change in working practices and addition of technical resources, which has presented several challenges in recent years.
- Normally communication between all of the key partners in organising each event presents significant challenges; however, this hasn’t applied in Slovenia because the communication on all levels has been clear and timely.
“I am extremely happy with all of the team involved with this and previous meetings in Bled. The staff and management at Sava Hotels & Resorts have been very professional, helpful and gracious in their efforts to make this meeting a success. I would like to offer them my thanks … Hvala lepa (thank you in Slovenian language)!“?
Mark Tandy is the Technical Manager for the International Whaling Commission and as such, responsible for organising IWC meetings including the Annual Meeting of the IWC Scientific Committee which just took place at the Hotel Golf in Bled in May 2017, hosted by the Government of Slovenia. He has been the primary liaison between the IWC, the meeting hosts and the venue management team on this and each of the previous occasions Slovenia has hosted IWC meetings in 2016 and 2014.