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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 105th Take5 edition. All of our take5 articles are advertorial free.

New board Site Belgium announced
New event space in Mechelen
Site Belgium

Site Belgium announced its new board this year. President for 2018 will be Frank Bouckaert (De Buck Agency). Other board members are Jean-Pierre Cornelis, Sophie Coumont, Hugo Slimbrouck, Koenraad Pevenage and our very own Karin de Graauw.

You can meet the new board right before the BBT Online Workshop in Holiday Inn Brussels Airport on 15 January. At 3 pm, before the start of the workshop, you can attend an interesting presentation on the last evolutions in meetings and incentive travel, offering views from hoteliers, DMCs and incentive houses.

Register here.

Wagenoord is a brand new venue housed in an old garage building in Mechelen. It will operate as a restaurant, but also as a co-working space and an event hall.

Want to be away from your own office for a while? You can book your spot here, for a day or for a whole period. Looking for a place in the city to organise events for up to 250 attendants? Wagenoord can handle it.

The venue organises its own culinary events on a regular basis as well.
Invitation for Belgian and Dutch Meeting and Event organisers

Join BBT Online on Monday, January 15 2018 for the 13th edition of our B2B Speed-Date Workshop!

We’ll hold a lovely winter garden party at the Holiday Inn Brussels Airport. A whole new group of A-list suppliers is already waiting to meet you, but there’s going to be so much more to enjoy!

We will make the holiday spirit last a little while longer in our cosy (heated) winter bar tent decorated with more than 7,000 lights and special effects. There will be lots of bites & bubbles, and after the workshop we’ll start a crazy party with live DJs and entertainment. Not to be missed!

Worried about getting home after one too many drinks? No need to! You can spend the night at the hotel free of charge!

As you can see, there’s no reason at all for you not to come. So don’t hesitate, register now via this link.

BBT invitation

Promote your venue/destination in VR
Live from New York City

Why organise a site visit when potential clients could experience the full scope of your venue or destination from the comfort of their own office? Wouldn’t it be nice if every attendee on your event could enjoy the same “front row” view?

This and much more is exactly what the Oculus – a state-of-the-art set of virtual reality goggles by Nextar Entertainment – can provide you with. Click here for an overview of the limitless possibilities the Oculus can bring you.

New York City

Our friend Patrick van Rosendaal – yellowest tour guide in New York City and author of the books BE NY and BE NY 2 – will open his very own Youtube channel. "BE NY-minute" is the first Belgian channel uploading from the Big Apple and offers little slices of daily life.

With short, one-minute videos, you’ll be able to discover the newest places, best ice cream, coolest facts and funniest anecdotes, straight from NYC.

Click here to subscribe.
We publish much more news than you can read and see in our monthly Take5 Newsletter. Follow us on our Facebook page.
Sheep in Schiphol
Bad Belgian news for

Schiphol installed an area of grassy sound-ribs around the airport to minimize the sound of landing planes for the neighbours.

Since cutting the grass in such an area is hard to do by hand and since using a tractor would destroy the ribs and thus the purpose of the whole thing in the first place, a herd of sheep will do the work instead and graze the grounds on a regular basis.

Click here to see them in action.

Kris Peeters, Minister of Economy and Consumer Affairs, just dealt a major blow to the power of This happened after complaints from the hotel sector in May this year. The platform used to prohibit hotels from offering lower rates on their own websites compared to the ones on theirs. Due to a new law, these kinds of policies are now forbidden.

Hotel owners can once again put their own rates they want on their own platforms, which will – according to Horeca Vlaanderen – strengthen the freedom of both hoteliers and customers.
Meeting in Bruges: Destination report
Bruges Bruges
Bruges Bruges

Once a year Meeting in Brugge – the Bruges Convention Bureau – invites a group of meeting and event planners and press to come visit the city and see what’s on offer for the MICE Market.

On the menu are site visits to both classic and new venues, culinary delights and some samples of the quintessential "Bruges Experience". As always when there is something interesting going on: BBT Online was present.

Click here to read our full report.

Bruges Bruges
Join us to Shanghai as a hosted buyer
Register your bid for the awards 2018
IT&CM China

BBT Online has been a media partner for the IT&CM trade shows for many years, which allows us to bring our own hosted buyers to the event. Next on the schedule is IT&CM China 2018, hosted in Shanghai from 20 to 22 March next year.

Want to be part of the biggest MICE fair in China, meet all the most important players in the region, make use of the ample networking opportunities and enjoy several pre and post tours in and around the city?

Mail us at or check out
Visit brussels

Started Thursday 7 December, the Awards 2018’s search for applicants is under way. For more than a decade the Awards ceremony has honoured projects that actively promote Brussels' image at home and abroad.

Original productions, projects, activities and concepts are invited to apply under one of nine categories. The three best projects in each category will first be selected by the public, and then judged on several criteria by a panel of experts. Applications close on 19 January.
New indoor ski run in Antwerp
Chocolate workshops

The brand new Aspen indoor ski track in Wilrijk (Antwerp) is by far the biggest in the country. 12.000m² of snowy fun is available on a 250m long and 50m wide slope.

Since Switzerland Tourism and the Valais region are partners, skiers can enjoy beautiful vistas of the highest Swiss peaks while skiing in Antwerp. 350 people can use the track at the same time, and it comes with two meeting rooms and a 400m² hall for events.

Good news for chocolate lovers! Chocola-Tuti is a new venue in Kampenhout (close to Leuven) where you can learn all about chocolate and where you can handle some of that sweet cocoa with your own hands.

They do workshops, tastings, lunches and dinners, and several rooms can be used for a variety of activities, including a meeting room for 12 people and a breakout room with a kitchen.
It's better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation!
New Park Inn in Hasselt
Hygge in Belgium
Park Inn

The new Park Inn by Radisson Hasselt, offering 84 rooms, was officially opened last month. At the same time the already running Radisson Blu Hotel Hasselt opened its new meeting and events hall able to accommodate up to 300 guests.

Since the two venues are directly connected to each other, both of them combined now form the largest MICE hotel in the province of Limburg.

Hygge – a word that can’t be directly translated from Danish but essentially stands for enjoying the smaller things in life and feeling all cosy – became a popular concept in the hotel world in recent years. Now Brussels is joining the party with its very own Hygge Hotel, close to Avenue Louise.

Belgian designer Michel Penneman came up with a Scandinavian style interior for the hotel’s 50 rooms that should make everyone feel right at home.

Silva chalet on the roof
Are you talking to me?
Guest writer article
Chalet on the Roof

Thanks to collaboration with Weventures and Le Chalet Suisse, Silva Hotel Spa-Balmoral offers a unique pop-up restaurant with a view this winter season.

Located on their private terrace on the 6th floor, offering a spectacular panorama over the Valley and the Lac Warfaaz, the chalet is the perfect location for a festive dinner for up to 14 guests.

Bigger groups can enjoy a welcome drink on the rooftop, followed by a dinner at the Austrian bar La Grange in the hotel.
Hugo Slimbrouck

Designing an incentive program begins with understanding the customer, his or her business, the companies’ leadership and a profile of the program participants. Knowing your customer and your customers’ customer should be the basis for this motivational management tool.

Guest writer Hugo Slimbrouck (Ovation Global DMC) will tell you all about how to determine whether an incentive program is a good fit for the business goals of your client, and how to explore how to build the program to meet these goals.

Click here for the full article.
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 Dominique Jansen, Director Sales & Marketing Radisson Blu & Park Inn by Radisson Antwerp.

Dominique Jansen Bucket list Bucket list
Real Short !!

Consult BBT Online's MICE agenda, and don't miss any event.
25-28 January, Expo Antwerpen: Vakantiesalon Antwerpen 2018. The Antwerp Vacation Salon celebrates its 40th anniversary, and does this with lots of new exhibitors and of course the occasional party. More info here:
20-22 March, Shanghai, China: IT&CM China 2018. Join us as a hosted buyer to China’s largest MICE trade show. Mail for more info, or click here:
11-14 November 2018, Dubai World Trade Centre, ICCA Congress 2018. Meet MICE professionals from all over the world on this event organised by the International Congress and Convention Association.

Valetta will be next year’s European Capital of Culture, which is quite well-deserved. Malta’s capital is a tiny gem filled with baroque palaces, a magnificent harbour and cultural influences from all over the Mediterranean.
EventMB just released an article on stress and how to prevent it from dragging you into an early grave. Feeling a bit stressed out? Better read:
Eventplanner is a new book by Kevin Van Der Straeten. All practical aspects of organising events are explained in a very up-to-date way. Click here to pre-order.

In the middle of Domein De Schorre (home of Tomorrowland), you’ll find Congrescentrum De Pitte. This congress centre is able to accommodate 120 people and can be used for a multitude of different events. A nice, centrally located venue in a green environment.
The new Flanders Meeting & Convention Center Antwerp won the ICCA Best Marketing Award with its ‘A room with a ZOO’ campaign. The conference centre is managed by the Zoo Foundation, and directly contributes to efforts in the field of animal welfare, heritage, breeding programmes, research and conservation.
Kinepolis Antwerp recently launched its new reception space. The so called "Loft" can accommodate up to 500 people on a surface area of 350m². It comes with a modern décor, a great view on the site and a separate entrance. Perfect for exclusive receptions or walking dinners, and why not for a movie afterwards?

Gault & Millau awarded L’Eau Vive the "Dessert of the Year" award. This two star venue close to Namur now officially makes the tastiest desserts in Belgium. The restaurant also offers cooking workshops, a small meeting room and six beautiful rooms. Time for a visit?
A new Mercure Hotel was opened in Blankenberge, offering 64 rooms, two meeting rooms for a maximum of 100 guests and very affordable rates. Check it out here:
Aman will open a luxurious new venue in Manhattan in 2020, looking out over Central Park. Aman New York will occupy the well-known Crown Building and when finished should offer 83 rooms and suites, three main dining venues, a large Spa, 19 private ‘Aman Residences’ apartments, and a huge Penthouse with breath-taking views of the park.
NH Hotel Group has entered into an agreement with Pandox, a leading northern European hotel property company, for a variable lease, under long-term arrangements, of the BLOOM! and Berlaymont hotels in Brussels.
A new association for Belgian event caterers was just founded. BECAS stands for 'Belgian Event Caterer Association' and is part of its bigger European cousin EPCAS. BECAS wants to support its members’ business, and wants to become a platform to exchange knowledge and experience amongst its members.

Brussels Airlines relaunched the – a travel voucher Christmas present. New for this year is that you can also buy one for far away destinations. Click here.
What’s more important during the holidays than being generous? Air Transat (Canada) wrote us to encourage its passengers to donate their change to the "Small Change, Big Hearts" programme used to fund SOS Kinderdorpen and the Children’s Wish Foundation. Lots of airlines have programmes like this. Next time you fly, empty your pockets and share the holiday spirit.
Starting on 22 January, VLM Airlines will offer two flights from Antwerp to Zurich and back every weekday. After London, Zurich becomes the second business destination sold by VLM from Antwerp.

Tim Evens left his position at Seauton International, for a new challenge as Sales Manager at Pentahotel Leuven.
Lionel Badart left his job as International Sales Manager for Warwick Hotels & Resorts in Brussels for a position as Business Development Manager for Asparagus and Cuisine & Co – two new brands of the Coser Group.
With deep sadness we inform you about the passing of IMEX Group Managing Director Paul Flackett. Paul had been ill for many years and finally lost his fight after a difficult last few months. BBT Online would like to express its sincere condolences to Paul’s family, friends and colleagues.
Ray Bloom, Chairman of IMEX Group and meetings industry legend, received ICCA’s highest honour - the Moises Shuster award - during the Farewell Dinner at the 56th ICCA Congress in Prague. The award is given in recognition of inspiring business success and leadership in the MICE industry, and for important contributions towards ICCA’s development and success.
Vincent Jamoulle, Global Travel Manager & Sourcing Specialist at Ion Beam Applications, was chosen as Travel Professional of the Year by BATM.
Marco Quagliarella became the new Director of International Operations at AIM Group International. Marco accumulated more than 20 years of experience in management roles throughout the last few decades.


Karin de Graauw – Editor-in-chief BBT Online
Rue Leon Cuissez 29 – 1050 Brussels – Belgium
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