bbt onlineBBT Online
Facebook LinkedIn Instagram

Wednesday, January 29th 2020

InstagramLinkedInMeteoFacebookContact Take123

TAKE5 gives you an update on the latest Meetings, Incentives, Congress, Events and related news. It contains short and to the point information on venues, people, happenings, lifestyle and general news that cannot wait to be told!

Enjoy BBT Online's 123rd Take5 edition. Our Take5 newsletter is completely advertorial free.

You like our monthly newsletters, then do join our events
join our Events join our Events

Much copied, but still not trumpedBBT Online has been organising b2b workshops since 2008. We were the first to combine a MICE workshop with a festival feeling as early as 2015. We were also the first to start an online MICE magazine in 2001: a time where no one wanted to read anything on the internet. We’re also the only trade magazine whose monthly newsletter is completely advertorial free. So you’re a Meeting and/or Event Planner and if you like our online magazine, do support us and come to our event on December 2

Join us on Monday, December 2 for the 17th edition of our Speed-Date Workshop. We’ll set up shop in Silo, Brussels (not actually in the city but close to Vilvoorde, so no worries if you don’t like to drive in the city), and we’ve got a whole new list of top suppliers waiting for you. 

Check them out here.

There will of course be plenty of entertainment and food & beverage as well, and everyone having to drive more than 60km to the venue, can get a free hotel room offered by BBT Online.

Click here for the registration form. Only a few spots are still available.

As you can see there are many good reasons to attend our workshop; but for sure one is to be able to participate at the lucky draw.

One of the prizes we would like to highlight is a helicopter flight over New York: with private guide Patrick van Rosendaal at your disposal for half a day, 2 prepaid BE NY cards of 150 dollar each and a 2 night stay at the Intercontinental New York Barclay where the General Manager is Belgian Sofia L. Vandaele.

To top it all off. United Airlines is sponsoring two Dreamliner B787-10 tickets to New York! This type of plane consumes 20% less energy and produces 20% less emissions. Who wouldn't want to win this prize?

join our Events join our Events
Ostend dives deep for inspiration - In–depth report
Oostende Oostende
Oostende Oostende

On 22 October, BBT Online’s Monica Rijpma attended Ostend’s Inspiration Congress at Kursaal Oostende.

This was a day filled to the brim with keynote speakers, networking sessions and inspiring meeting and event ideas.

Theme was “A deep dive for the meeting industry”, so we hope everyone brought their goggles. Click here for the full report on what the speakers had to teach the participants.

Oostende Oostende
Oostende Oostende
Insure your events
Your eyes are a work of art

Is insurance for MICE boring?  Think twice!  Insurance broker Verheyen puts as much creativity in its custom made solutions as you do in your events.

Verheyen is the only specialized broker for the meetings industry in Belgium, and insures risks that all other insurers refuse. 

Specialist Broker Tom Driesens will come to our b2b workshop on 2 December. He will highlight several cases and give you some eye opening moments. Afterwards, you can visit him at his table for a one on one talk.

Mail us if you want to attend his session;

Good news everyone! The first 50 meeting & event planners arriving at our workshop in Silo Brussels on 2 December, will get the chance to have an artwork made of their very own, beautiful eyes.

Eyeconart is a company from London, and a recent finalist for ‘Best Use of Technology’ at the Event Production Awards. They’re coming all the way to Brussels to make your eye into a piece of art.

So arrive early, pick a time slot and make use of the opportunity. Not registered yet? Find the invitation behind this link (for MICE planners only).
A simple solution for event badges
New projects for 3Square

Fielddrive launched a quick and straightforward solution for printing event badges. It allows you to take care of the registration process yourself, while you print the badges on site. The fielddrive platform allows you to create your own design and print it with a portable BadgeBox.

This is perfect for last minute registrations and name changes. You can create up to 250 badges per hour, and it works without any internet connection. It’s also quite sustainable, since you won’t have to print any badges you don’t need.

We’re using this platform to print the badges on our b2b workshop on 2 December, so you can see it in action immediately.

The 3Square team will be present on our b2b workshop on 2 December, and there are lots of things they want to tell you. Seven years ago they opened 3Square Zwijnaarde, and they’ve also been running Club Justin Henin successfully for five years.

This year a third location was opened: Kurso Oostende. De Oude Vismijn – in the very centre of Ghent – is also run by 3Square.

On our workshop, they would very much like to inform you of their plans for the Godhuis site in Sint-Laureins (close to Bruges).

Visit their stand, say hello and find out.
We publish much more news than you can read and see in our monthly Take5 Newsletter. Follow us on our Facebook page.
Get hosted at Meetings Africa 2020

Would you like to attend Meetings Africa 2020 and see some of South-Africa in the process as well? The trade show will take place in Sandton, South Africa, on 25-26 February, and we can invite ten meeting and or incentive planners in charge of international events to this fair. This does not only include the show, but an exciting famtrip through the country as well.

South Africa Tourism will be one of many top suppliers on our b2b workshop on 2 December. If you’re interested in attending Meetings Africa, you should go and have a talk with them and register yourself.

Brussels has a food hall
Sublime new venue in Antwerp

Wolf is a new food/market hall in the centre of Brussels – housed in the former ASLK bank building. It combines 16 trendy restaurants, a micro-brewery, a bakery, a chocolatier and a local fruit and vegetable market in one wonderful décor. 

Events and concerts can also be planned in this venue, as can beer brewing and making your own household products workshops.

Great addition to the Belgian capital.

Antwerp has a new signature building. Het Provinciehuis – close to Antwerp Expo and De Koninck Brewery – is a daring contemporary design by Xaveer De Geyter

Built to house all personnel working for the Province of Antwerp, it comes with some splendid meeting facilities as well: a fantastic looking auditorium with 350 seats for example, or the Provincial Board Hall able to seat 90 people. It looks like it came straight out of a James Bond movie.
A more mobile Brussels?
New congress center in Bruges

Tired of Brussels’ horrid and everlasting traffic jams? The House of Mobility – located at Premetro station Bourse Grand-Place – might be of some help. Urban Mobility Brussels is an organisation developed by a team of locals from all sectors sharing your burdens. 

They will offer you tailor-made advice on your best way of commuting, giving you the option of testing some of the available products on the market (scooters, electrical skateboards, cargo-bikes, gyro-wheels: you name it), and offer you workshops, trainings and rentals

They also take careof for instance your group booking, in case you need a big number of bikes for your event).
congress center in Bruges

Bruges’ new congress building is far from finished – construction has in fact only just begun – but don’t let that keep you from taking a tour of the venue. A virtual one, that is. 

Click the link below, and walk from one virtual space to another. 

Discover what the venue looks and feels like, all from the comfort of your own home. 

When finished, it will have 4,000m² of exhibition space and room for 500 seated congress guests.

Construction is to be completed by the fall of 2021.
It's better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation!
From star restaurant to event location
Total make-over: hotel edition

Last year, the site of the iconic Michelin restaurant ‘t Convent in Lo-Reninge was bought by Dominique Pauwelyn.

He decided to change it from a restaurant/hotel into a modern event location. It will come with three modular rooms and a luxurious guest house with nine bedrooms, a living room and three fully equipped kitchens. Construction is taking place as we speak.

The first guests will check in near the end of next summer.
Hotel Sablon

Hotel Sablon – the oldest hotel in Bruges – just got a trendy make-over. In this wonderful boutique hotel, valuable historic heritage is daringly combined with exclusive contemporary design.

Checking in? Expect to be welcomed at a table in a real living room, not from behind a reception desk.

You’ll also receive tailor-made information according to your specific interests. The bar offers some mean cocktails as well. Time for a visit.
New meeting concept in Utrecht
A hotel in Europe’s most famous palace
Creative Valley

Creative Valley is a massive venue in Utrecht, housing 8,500m² of studios, private lofts and work spaces.

It comes with its very own meeting concept Collectiv, and offers six multifunctional meeting- and event spaces, an auditorium, break-out spaces and classrooms for up to 50 people. 

It also sports with a high-end private meeting room called The Pavilion. It can accommodate dinners for up to 26 people and receptions for up to 40.

This spring, a new hotel will open in the monumental Palais de Versailles. Not in the Palace itself of course, but in one of the 17th century side buildings

Le Grand Contrôle will soon be a luxury hotel with 14 rooms, a restaurant operated by famous star-chef Alain Ducasse, a splendid wellness centre and a nice indoor pool. Now you can truly feel like a king, and it’s just a one hour drive from Paris.
BBT Online’s bucket list – Dimitri Ramondino

Every month we ask some prominent MICE personalities to share their bucket list.

What are the five things they desperately want to do or achieve before they seize to be, push up the daisies, kick the bucket or go to meet their maker? In short, what would they definitely want to do before they die?

This month we asked Travel 2 Galaxy’s Dimitri Ramondino.

Dimitri Ramondino Dimitri Ramondino Dimitri Ramondino
Real Short !!

Consult BBT Online's MICE agenda, and don't miss any event.
Join us on Monday, December 2, 2019 for the 17th edition of our b2b Speed-Date Workshop! This time we set up shop in Silo Brussels: a brand new venue in a completely modified 100 year old brewery next to the canal. Click here for the invitation.
12-16 January, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei: ATF 2020. The ASEAN Tourism forum is the ideal way to discover the meetings and incentive potential of the ten ASEAN member states. Expect a BBT Online report.
20 January, Ahoy, Rotterdam: EventSummit 2020. Register now for the largest one-day platform for the festival and event industry in the Benelux. More than 600 exhibitors are waiting for you.
13-16 February, Brussels: Bright Brussels, Festival of Light. The fifth edition of this light festival will place several districts of Brussels in the spotlights with a variety of shiny artworks.
10-11 March, Square, Brussels: European Association Summit. This year’s edition will tackle topics like digital transformation, brand and change strategies, GDPR and sustainable management.
25-29 March, Brussels: Listen! 2020. The fifth edition of this festival organised on several locations in Brussels, chose ‘United in Music and Diversity’ as a slogan. The perfect opportunity for you to discover the creative alternative music scene in the Belgian capital.

As from this January, there will be a night train riding from Brussels to Vienna and Innsbruck twice a week – on Wednesdays and Sundays. Belgian stops will be made in Liège, Brussels Nord and Brussels Midi. launched the ‘Handy Events Guide’, which should make outdoor events in Brussels more optimally suited to the needs of people with reduced mobility. Good job. Click here for the info.
Need some fun facts and figures on Brussels to impress your foreign guests? Here’s a great list with a whole number of them. Did you know for example, that a million beers are consumed in Brussels on a daily basis? Click here for more info.
Ghent is building the largest skate park in the country, near the Blaarmeersen. There will be more than 4,000 square meters of space available to practise your best tricks and flips on. Try not to break too many bones.
Fort Napoleon is an impressive historic venue in the Ostend dunes, perfect for team events. The fort got thoroughly renovated, and opened its doors to the public again this October. It comes with a museum housing a permanent expo.
Gothenburg, Sweden was chosen as The European Capital of Smart Tourism 2020. The title is awarded by the European Commission, and is aimed at rewarding cities with the smartest, most innovative and inclusive approaches to tourism development.
Merry Galway, on Ireland’s Atlantic coast, is next year’s European Capital of Culture. The programme that comes with it was just revealed.

museumPASSmusées – that name though – and research agency iVOX developed the Museum Matcher: a handy tool that will tell you which five museums would fit you most. If you get the Torture Museum in Bruges as a first option, you need to go see some doctors.
Seety is an app that will find you the closest legal parking spot available. No more searching and no more tickets because you parked somewhere illegal out of frustration. It even warns you when there are cops
Ever wanted a taste of Isabelle A? Well you’re a weirdo then, but now you kind of can. The Belgian singer’s newest album is called ‘Sjokola’, which prompted Valentino Chocolatier to make a praline called SJOKOLA – The Sound of Isabelle A. Because why not, right?
Belgians like complaining about having no money, but in reality they are traveling more than ever. Between 2017 and 2018, the figures show a growth of more than 10%.
BCD Travel introduced the SolutionSource Developer Hub: a new hub giving technology developers access to API’s and developer tools to make tailor-made travel solutions for BCD clients.
Tailor-Made Drinks is changing its corporate identity and will rebrand itself into MIX.LY.

Hilton Brussels City was rebranded to Hotel Indigo Brussels City this November. The property is going through a complete makeover and will feature a brand new restaurant and lobby. All public areas, meeting rooms and restaurants will be ready by 2020.
Den Ouwen Dok in Mechelen used to be a swimming pool, but is now the brand new Van der Valk Hotel Mechelen. It comes with 54 rooms and six meeting and event rooms. And yes, the pool is still there, but is now a central, open-air pond.
Hotel Heritage in Bruges received the ‘Most Romantic Luxury Hotel in the World’ award on the 13th edition of the World Luxury Hotel Awards. With Valentine’s Day not that far away, you know where to book your weekend.
Chalet Alpen Valley is a brand new hotel in the French Alps, offering panoramic views over Mont Blanc. The venue has direct access to the ski slopes, and comes with 28 rooms and suites designed with lots of woodwork.
Ibis Brussels Centre Châtelain is a new hotel right around the corner from the BBT Online office on the Avenue Louise (always welcome for a cup of coffee). It comes with 64 rooms. Some of them are triples or studios for a longer stay.
Parthotels Adiago opened a new hotel in Lille, located close to both train stations. Adiago Lille Centre Grand’Place comes with 79 apartments able to accommodate 1 to 4 guests. Click here for more info.
Thalassa Sea & Spa Le Touquet is the first venue offering the brand’s new ‘Active Break’ concept aimed at wellness and recharging your batteries. It’s a resort combining 145 Novotel and 91 Ibis rooms and will come with several restaurants.
Hotel Le Coucou Méribel is a new luxury five star ski hotel that will open in the French Alps this December. It’s a ski-in/ski-out hotel boasting 55 suites and rooms, two private chalets and both an in- and an outdoor pool.
Deutsche Hospitality launched a third hotel under its young and fresh MAXX brand. MAXX by Steigenberger Sanssouci Potsdam comes with 137 rooms and a varied entertainment programme.
Hotel PACAI, a 17th-century mansion located in Vilnius, Lithuania, was named the winner in the ‘Large International Hotels’ category on this year’s Surface Travel Awards. It’s a perfect example on how to integrate historical authenticity with contemporary design.
La Brillante is a new 5-star contemporary boutique hotel in the middle of the Marrakech Medina, just a few steps away from the Palais Bahia and the souks.
Corendon Mangrove Beach Resort is a new five star ultra-all-in resort on Curacao that will open in April 2020. It’s a sustainable hotel, that will for example use filtered sea water for its showers and pools, It comes with a staggering 850 rooms – which will make it the largest hotel in the Caribbean.
Kempinski Hotels announced some serious expansion plans. Nine new venues will open next year, and a further seven are still under construction. They will also open their first venue in NYC. By 2021, they want to have more than 100 luxury hotels operational around the globe.

Every year, 15,000 Belgians suffer a sudden heart attack. This can happen everywhere, planes are no exception. This is why TUI has an AED on board of every plane, increasing the chance of survival by 70%. To honour ‘Restart a Heart Day’, TUI, Philips and Cardioservice made a video on heart-safe journeys:
Brussels Airlines replaced all newspapers on their planes with digital versions last month. By doing this on more than 250 flights a day, they will transport 115 tons less on an annual basis, which will result in less fuel wasted and lower CO2 emissions.
Brussels Airlines recently reintroduced its daily flight to Kinshasa. With 84 flights and 17 destinations in Sub-Sahara Africa, the African continent remains BA’s most important market.
Wizz Air launched a new direct connection between Brussels South Charleroi Airport and Kutaisi in Georgia, the country’s second largest city. Two flights per week are planned, on Wednesdays and Sundays.
Ethiopian Airlines started a direct daily service between Brussels and Addis Abeba. Plains will take off in Belgium at 9:30pm and will arrive in Ethiopia at 6:30 in the morning.
As from mid-2020, you can book flights with a new Dutch airline. Fly Caribbean Direct will operate between South America and the Caribbean.
Iberia took over Air Europa. Both are Spanish companies, and the deal is worth one billion euro.
As from 28 October, Thai Airways International added an extra flight to the Brussels-Bangkok connection. This new Monday flight takes the weekly total to six.

The cruise industry is trying to find solutions for its CO2 emissions. Liquefied Natural Gas Ships are one of them: no more sulphur exhaust and about 20% less CO2. Several cruise companies are already ordering this type of ship. The goal for the future is of course having completely CO2-neutral cruise ships.
MSC Cruises won the ‘Greenest Ship-owner of 2019’ Neptune Award on the Global Sustainable Shipping and Ports Forum in Copenhagen. The usage of advanced technology to limit the environmental impact of their cruises was an important factor for the win.

Always dreamed of living and working in New York? Now is your chance. Patrick van Rosendaal from BENY, is looking for an Office & Sales Manager. More info behind this link.
Doreen Spoelders will leave the Antwerp Convention Bureau to take up a new challenge elsewhere. Silvio Hidalgo Gonzalez will take over for her. He can be contacted via
Samantha Rieu, Hotel Operations Manager at Dukes London, received the GM of the Future award on the Independent Hotel Show Awards 2019 at Olympia London.
Armando Troncana will become the new director of Switzerland Tourism Benelux as from 1 January. He will take over from Yves Luetolf, who will continue his career in Switzerland.
Stefan Kerkhofs and Peter Velghe started a new event agency. ‘The WoW Company’ should have no trouble upping the wow-factor.
Marco van Nieuwkerk became the new Sales Manager for RwandAir this October.
Fauve Slimbrouck (coming from Thomas Cook) started as Senior Project Manager at event agency Act-Wise.
Katy Van Ranst – Director of Sales and Marketing Benelux – is stepping away from World Hotels to take some me-time and think about the next step in her career.
Jeroen van der Velde is the new Tourism Director at Maasmechelen Village. His own headhunter company will cease all activities.
Clemence Vanhille is leaving after 2 years Silva Hotel Spa and will be replaced by Florine Bamba


Karin de Graauw – Editor-in-chief BBT Online
Av. Louise 279 – 1050 Brussels – Belgium
Join us on Facebook
Linked In

Mailing List

You do not yet receive our newsletters, or you have a colleague who wants to be kept up to date on the latest meeting and event news? Enter your email address to subscribe.

Media & Marketing Kit


You want to use our MICE planner’s database of 20,000 up-to-date addresses for an e-mail marketing campaign?
You want to add your banner on our website or in our newsletter?
Click here for more information and conditions or contact us at!


Our Destinations


BBT Online

is member of:



BBT Online

Official media partner.


BBT Online / A. Av. Louise 279, 1050 Brussels - Belgium / T. +32 (0)476 267 567 / E. / Mediapartners: SITE - BATM - MPI / Realisation: Y-media