To EGDF Members and Supporters:
Plans are well underway for our conference in Slovenia from Thursday, 14 April to Saturday, 16 April. Here is advance information about booking and your opportunity to influence or contribute to the programme.
Booking forms will be available next week. Do NOT book hotel rooms directly; wait for the booking form so you get the preferential rate. You can extend your stay before or after the conference at the preferential rate.
Our conference venue is the Brdo Estate. The 200-hectare estate was the former summer home of Marshall Tito and consists of the historic castle he occupied, a more recently built hotel with meeting rooms and a modern conference centre – all set in beautiful parkland with lakes. Here is the link to the website: http://www.brdo.si/en.
The Slovenian government uses the venue for meetings with heads of state. There are photographs in the hotel lobby of visits from Bill Clinton, the Queen of England, the King and Queen of Spain, Vladimir Putin, and many others. When not used by the government, it is rented out commercially. The conference centre was built in 2007 for the Slovenian Presidency of the EU.
The Brdo Estate is conveniently located in beautiful countryside 10 km from Ljubljana Airport and 36 km from Ljubljana city centre. There are low-cost flights to Ljubljana from many European cities, especially good value if you book early.
The venue has many advantages for conference delegates
- Transport will be arranged for all delegates from airport to hotel and return.
- The estate has no through traffic, just lovely parkland and 10km of paths for walking with the dogs.
- All events will be in the hotel itself or at the conference centre, 200 m away.
- Most people in Slovenia speak English and everyone is very dog friendly.
- There is a spa in the hotel.
Slovenia is a great destination for a short break if you want to bring someone with you and extend your stay before or after the conference.
We are organising an impressive line-up of speakers which we hope you will find as interesting, informative and useful as last year. However, before finalising the programme we are asking all members to tell us if you have a significant achievement -- or even a seemingly insurmountable problem -- that you think should be shared with the other delegates. Let us know by return and we will try to give you time on the programme to tell us about it.
Here are some of the programme topics we are working on:
The conference begins early Thursday afternoon, allowing most delegates to fly Thursday morning. There will be a gala dinner and entertainment Thursday evening organised by our hosts Slo-Canis. The conference will continue all day Friday and delegates who need to leave can do so Friday night or Saturday morning. However, there is an all-day sightseeing tour arranged for Saturday that includes the famous mountain resort of Bled and the capital city Ljubljana, including a visit to the blind children's school.
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- Working Together with IGDF – the MoU
- What the European Disability Act 2015 Means to Guide Dog Users
- Government Standards, Accreditation and ID – is this the way forward for guide dog users?
- Online recording of access issues to make our case
- Our Petition to the European Commission
Bled is described as Slovenia's most popular resort, with its emerald-green lake and picture-postcard church on an islet, a medieval castle clinging to a rocky cliff and some of the highest peaks of the Julian Alps as backdrops. It is popular with everyone from romantic honeymooners to backpackers who come for hiking, biking and watersports.
The booking form will be sent out next week but I wanted to keep you updated on our plans and give you information to book your flights.
With best wishes,