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TAKE5 gives you an update on the latest Meetings, Incentives and Business Travel 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 100th Take5 edition. All of our take5 articles are advertorial free.

Welcome to BBT Online’s hundredth edition of our Take5 newsletter!
100th edition Welcome to the hundredth edition of our Take5 newsletter!

For more than fifteen years we’ve been keeping you up to date with all the latest meetings industry news, and we’ve been doing it via a quick, easy to read online format.

Started in a time where online media were still seen as negligible and niche, we’ve come a long way since. We would like to sincerely thank all of our faithful readers for their support over the years!
Guestwriter: Why Belgians don’t drink milk in a meeting and the Dutch love Mondays
Guestwriter: Taxes, regulations and fees to congresses, how to deal with it
Marnick Vandebroek

The Dutch are cheap and loud, and Belgians are quiet and somewhat on the dim side. We all know the stereotypes and why they are mostly wrong. But which differences are true, and how do they show up when doing business?

We’ve asked Marnick Vandebroek: digital transformer, speaker coach, stand-up comic and travelling between Brussels and Amsterdam on a daily basis.

Click here to read the full story.
Jan Lichota

Applying fees to congresses and conferences with a differentiated tax rate has become a challenge for various event organisers.

Although e-commerce experience and software improvements have delivered the right tools to deal with any potential difficulties, however they do not solve the issue at its base.

How are various event organisers coping with this constantly changing environment? Jan Lichota, Association Bureau Manager at will tell us all about it behind this link.
We publish much more news than you can read and see in our monthly Take5 Newsletter. Follow us on our Facebook page.
Educational trip:
The Hague discovery tour
Education Trip 2:
Spanish famtrip to Alicante and Elche
The Hague

Invitation for Belgian Meeting and Incentive agents. Join this educational trip organised by The Hague Convention Bureau and explore the unique event locations, hotels and congress facilities the city has on offer.

Discover the charming old town, the stunning beaches, the international quarter and the many opportunities for teambuilding options in the political heart of The Netherlands.

The trip takes place from 29 June to 1 July. More info, click here.

The Spain Convention Bureau and the Spanish Tourist Board in Brussels invite Belgian Meeting and Incentive planners to an exciting trip to the Alicante-Elche region.

During the trip you’ll not only discover some of the best meeting venues and hotels on offer but also have the opportunity to meet the MICE key Spanish destinations as Madrid, Seville, Alicante or Valencia. You’ll also enjoy several teambuilding and wellness activities. The trip takes place from 9 to 12 November. The weather will still be very mild.

Interested? Send us a mail to

Cleaner beaches for a cup of coffee
Showcasing event creativity in Brussels
Cleaner beaches

There’s lots of rubbish on our beaches, which is not fun for the people visiting them and even less fun for the local fauna. That’s why Katwijk in The Netherlands started a new project.

You can get yourself a handy garbage collecting bag at several locations in town. The rubbish you collect will be recycled into new products and you get a nice cup of coffee, a piece of pie or some ice cream for your efforts. Great initiative!

Why aren’t we doing this in Belgium?
Event Street

The second edition of Event Street takes place in Brussels on Monday, 26 June.
Event Street is an initiative showcasing the creativity of our event sector. Several of the largest event agencies will spotlight their craftsmanship in one of several bars at St. Gery.

There will be concerts, animation, DJ-sets, free drinks and much more. The participating agencies are CityCubes, D-Side, DDMC, Fast Forward, Meet Marcel, New Balls Please, Sylvester Events, The Oval Office, VO Communication en Way2events.
Summer event location in Limburg
Baouzza Baouzza

Baouzza Beachterras is a summer location for events in Diepenbeek, Hasselt.

The venue can accommodate small meetings as well as tailor-made product presentations and large parties. Up to 600 guests can enjoy summer in a unique decor - indoor and heated, or outdoors on sunny days. Drinks, BBQs or walking dinners are all possible.

When the sun is out, it’s like Ibiza in Belgium.

New event venue in Ghent
Event venue: King George Café

Studiomie is a one room hotel, design and styling agency and a small-scale event space with concept catering in the centre of Ghent. The event space is a combination of a cosy living room and an outdoor garden.

Max standing capacity events: 100 people. Max seating capacity sit down dinners: 50 people.

Till 2 July this year the event venue will turn into a temporary 'Chambre Botanique'. You can buy plants, books or even botanic art, get advice, follow presentations and much more – all in the light of brightening your house with some flowers or greenery.

We wouldn't want to miss some of the workshops: ‘Cocktails based on flowers’, ‘Culinairy trip’, or ‘Tasting the ‘Lam Gods’. Get an overview behind this link.

King George Café in Sint-Niklaas between Antwerp and Ghent is a great combo of a hip lunch bar, an event space and multiple meeting rooms.

Housed into a transformed 1,000m² textile factory, it offers a unique interior as well – making for a very flexible venue for a wide range of events. The café is owned by creative agency King George.

King George Café
New meeting venue in Hainaut

Two people bought a ship on Kapaza (who knew you could do that!?), gave it a contemporary make-over and changed it into a business location offering two beautiful meeting & event rooms looking out over the water.

reBoot” can be found in the waters around Leuven (in the Vaartkom) and offers coaching and team leading workshops as well.


Ferme de Balingue is an event space opened in 2016, located in a manor dating back to the 13th century.

It’s located in the province of Hainaut, 30 minutes from Brussels, and offers 16 rooms for a maximum of 44 people, a large parking lot and room for events for 20 up to 240 people.

Check out the site for more pictures.

We publish much more news than you can read and see in our monthly Take5 Newsletter. Follow us on our Facebook page.
Adventure and gastronomy on the Belgian coast
A bubble on the roof

Looking for original seaside activities? Take a look at the Knokke Boat water programme.

A powerboat ride to Sergio Herman’s AIRrepublic, water-ski, banana boat or motorboat trips along the North Sea coast, or even a seal excursion taking you very close to these cute North Sea natives: everything is possible.

Ramada Apollo Amsterdam Centre’s rooftop terrace is looking special these days. You can now book a bed up there in a transparent air-bubble.

For €270 per night, you can sleep under the stars and above the city at an altitude of 85m. The bubble comes with all the amenities of a luxury hotel room.
A touch of Asia in Copenhagen: Manon les Suites
Guldsmeden Guldsmeden

Manon les Suites is a new Guldsmeden hotel to be opened this year. It’s located smack in the middle of Copenhagen's tourist centre. It offers a relaxed, sustainable atmosphere in a hip environment.

The hotel houses 87 suites, all able to accommodate a family or group of five people (or a lot of space for 1 or 2 people). The design is stunning. It feels like you’re in Asia, instead of the Danish capital. The conference and meeting rooms are different in many ways from what you’re probably used to as well.

Guldsmeden is completely dedicated to a sustainable lifestyle and has even developed its own range of I Love Eco Essentials organic hair and skin care products, available both in their hotels and online.

Guldsmeden Guldsmeden
Wish we were here: Nomade, Tulum
Nomade Nomade
Nomade Nomade

Nomade in Tulum, Mexico used to be a hippie hangout, until the Argentinian architect Sebastian Sas made it into a luxury resort with separate villas, bungalows and ‘glamping’ tents.
Every room gets a private terrace filled with cosy chairs and hammocks, and the beach is right next door. It comes with a spa and lots of healing and mindfulness workshops. Two restaurants – one on the beach - offer a variety of dishes.

Nomade Nomade
Nomade Nomade
It's better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation!
Join BBT Online to Bangkok

As always, BBT Online will be present at IT&CMA in bustling Bangkok. As an official media partner of the event, we can bring a couple of international buyers with us. Are you interested in the Asian MICE market and are you planning some events in the region?

Feel free to contact us at IT&CMA 2017 takes place from 26 to 28 September in the Bangkok Convention Centre, and is the biggest tradeshow for meetings industry in the region.
BBT Online's Bucket list

Every month we ask some prominent MICE personalities and members of BBT Online's Club 100 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 Sofia L. Vandaele, General Manager, Hilton Paris Opera. Click here to see her bucket list.

Sofia L. Vandaele Sofia L. Vandaele Sofia L. Vandaele Sofia L. Vandaele
Invitation: BBT Online's 12th B2B Workshop

bbt workshop

Come enjoy our summer vibes in the Kruitfabriek in Vilvoorde on Monday 3 July!
Because summer is for fun, leave your suit at home and put on something more colourful instead. 'In the spirit of Burning man' is our theme this edition, so let your creativity flow! Surprise us with your wildest outfit and you might just win a great prize!

Of course there will be a brand new selection of A-list suppliers waiting for you. The list is complete as we speak. There are a lot of promising newcomers to talk to, like Greece, Croatia, Vienna House, DMC Cox & Kings, DMC Norway, etc. Check out the full list here.

Register now, more info and registration form behind this link. This event is meant for national and international professional incentive and event agents and PCO's only.

Note that we will hold a separate event for corporate and association planners at noon on July 4 in the completely refurbished NH Hotel Sablon. Click here for the invitation.

Real Short !!

Consult BBT Online's MICE agenda, and don't miss any event.
8-13 June, New York City: Singles First 2017! Single and tired of all of these happy couples going on holiday together? Fear not, because Patrick van Rosendaal, Lisbeth Imbo and Berkeley International have put together a fantastic trip to NYC, exclusively for singles. Click here for more info.
The Belgian Association of Travel Management (BATM) will organise their next educational forum on June 12 at the Marriott Grand Place Brussels. The topic: Corporate Travel 3.0.
14-18 June, Catalonia: Meet Catalonia Workshop. The Catalonia Convention Bureau invites you to a 4-day famtrip bringing 90 MICE professionals from all over the world to the destination to experience its value for the meeting industry. Apply here.
11-15 August, Grand Place, Brussels: Flowertime 2017. This August, the Grand-Place and the adjacent city hall will once again become a perfumed garden filled with over 100,000 flowers. Not to be missed!
We’re very early with our dates for our B2B workshops of next year: 15-16 January and 2 – 3 July 2018. The venues are still to be decided. Suppliers can book themselves a seat by mailing us at

Dinner on a Lake is a temporary floating restaurant on the water around the Castle of Leeuwergem in Zottegem, allowing you to have a business (or romantic) dinner on the water.
A new co-working/meeting space opened in Brussels. They have 3 meeting rooms available, with capacity of 10, 16 and 30 people. Chester&Fields is located in a maison de maitre.
Tribes will open new co-working spaces in Brussels Airport’s passport building. These flexible and completely furbished rooms will have a fantastic view on the tarmac.
Le Pain Quotidien in Mechelen doesn’t only offer tasty sandwiches, they have a cosy and fully equipped meeting room able to accommodate 30 guests as well. It’s located on the first floor and is free to book if your group buys breakfast or lunch in there as well.
On the bend in the Scheldt river in Antwerp, a new bohemian summer bar will open this season. Jardim is the name of the pop-up, and it offers cocktails and finger food. The place can be booked for events as well.
Jon and Masa Kleinhample met in Berlin but moved to Antwerp to start Klein Agency in 2015. It’s a product- and furniture design studio that dabbles in food. Some evenings the pair hosts dinner parties for up to 14 people in their apartment that doubles as a workshop.

The Hi Belgium pass is a new, advantageous travel formula based on a unique cooperation between Brussels Airlines, Brussels Airport, NMBS and several tourism boards, cities and attractions. Tourists can now fly to Brussels Airport from 50 different European cities, get an unlimited train pass and free entrance to multiple museums and attractions. Hi Belgium Passes start at €149.
Brussels is launching the new campaign "Where will Brussels take you?" to promote the city both within Belgium and abroad. The website gives visitors the possibility of fully personalising their stay in Brussels with the objective of making it a unique experience that goes beyond the traditional clichés. The aim is to allow visitors to call the city "their own Brussels". The video received two million views on Youtube in its first week.
BelOrta is a giant fruit and vegetable market in Mechelen – trading up to 4,000 tons of the healthy green stuff on one day. It’s the largest cooperative auction in Europe, and can be visited by groups of 15-25 people. A guide will accompany you and teach you all about the auction system and the trajectory fruit and vegetables cover from field to supermarket.
Join the Belgian Team for the Switzerland Meeting Trophy from 29.6 to 2.7.2017. The Switzerland Convention & Incentive Bureau Brussels is looking for candidates from agencies to “battle” for the Meeting Trophy this summer. Belgium has won the trophy more than once, so do you feel inspired to defend our colours? Mail Myriam Winnepenninckx.
Finland is now officially the safest country on the planet for travellers. The title was given during the World Economic Forum last month. United Arab Emirates took second place, while Iceland finished third.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, Hotel BLOOM! offers its guests a virtual reality trip. This way, clients can experience the venue before they even visit it. It works via the Oculus app, downloadable on your smartphone. Club Med offers this service as well.
Park Inn by Radisson Brussels Airport just opened. It offers 162 rooms and facilities for meetings right next to the airport.
Hyatt announced the opening of Hyatt Regency Amsterdam: the first Hyatt Regency venue in the Netherlands. This upscale business hotel is located in the centre of the Dutch capital, and offers 211 rooms, a large restaurant and over 500m² of event space.
COQ Hotel Paris is a trendy urban jungle style hotel in the French capital. The interior is colourful and eclectic, full of French design, art and antiques.
Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts will open its first venue in Tunisia by the end of this year. The hotel will be located in Tunis, close to the business district and most of the tourist attractions, and will offer wonderful views on the coastline.
Hilton opened a second venue in Rio de Janeiro – the hundredth Hilton hotel in Latin America. The new place is housed in the former Windsor Atlantica and offers no less than 545 rooms looking out over the Copacabana. Not the worst location of course. is a fair and straightforward hotel booking site for dedicated sustainable hotels – aka venues that get overlooked on the big online booking engines.
Villa Nicosa is a monumental residential building dating from 1900 in the canal ridden heart of Amsterdam. The atmosphere is splendid and grand, in a different league from standard B&B's.

BBT Online finally has an Instagram page! Follow us via and get to see glimpses of the trips we take way before they appear in our newsletters.
You’re not going to organise the same boring event again are you? Here are some ways to add a bit of fun to otherwise serious events.
Tired of all these filthy no-shows on your events? Here are some non-violent ways to reduce their numbers.
Pharos Reizen offers some of the nicest road trips in Europe. Check out their whole range here:
According to tri-annual consumer research by NBTC-NIPO research, the Dutch MICE industry grew 2% in the last three years. The Dutch took 8.6 million business trips last year, and the MICE market grew to a value of €2 billion.
@wezienwel_travel is a wonderful Instagram account run by a couple from Antwerp that spent the last year in Latin America. Wonderful pictures.
Brussels Airlines is replacing 7 of its 10 long distance planes in the next two years. The new A330 planes will sport a brand new cabin.

Isabelle Birot left AIM Group Belgium after five years of service to accept a new challenge organising events and congresses for Seauton.
Midnight Coffee is looking for a new project coordinator/manager with at least five years of experience in the MICE industry. Sounds like the perfect job for you? Mail
The SITE community has lost a cherished friend and industry legend. Jane E. Schuldt, CITE, CIS, beloved incentive industry leader and advocate, died 20 May of pancreatic cancer. She was 63 years old. The BBT Online team would like to express its condolences to Jane’s family, friends and colleagues.


Karin de Graauw – Editor-in-chief BBT Online
Rue de l'Aqueduc 149 – 1050 Brussels – Belgium
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