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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 107th Take5 edition. All of our take5 articles are advertorial free.

European association summit 2018
Association world congress
European Association Summit 2018

In the coming days the sixth edition of the European Association Summit (EAS) will take place in Brussels: the big annual meeting for association professionals. It will take place on 8 and 9 March 2018 in Square.

As always, it will allow experts from the international association sector and professionals from different fields to meet each other and share their experiences.

There will be lots of speakers, lots of interesting workshops and lots of new ideas to enjoy.

Click here to register and for more info.
Flanders Meeting

Another big conference for the association world takes place in Antwerp from 12 to 14 March. The Association World Congress is the largest conference for employees and officers of associations in Europe. Over 400 delegates will be present.

Venue of choice is the splendid Flanders Meeting & Convention Center next to the Zoo, but much of the city will be incorporated into the programme and a lot of interesting speakers will be present. BBT Online is partnering the event, so expect a full report in our next newsletter.
A peek at tomorrow’s hospitality
Brussels ambassadors night

VENUEZ18, taking place in Antwerp’s Park Spoor Noord from 25 to 27 March, is an event created to give visitors inspiration and a glimpse of what hospitality might mean tomorrow. In three days, a wide variety of the latest and most innovative trends in the hospitality industry will be showcased here.

A range of leading experts, entrepreneurs and bartenders have been invited to share their vision with the audience. Get ready for a trade fair full of discoveries in food & drinks, experience and design.
Brussels Ambassadors

12 partners were named as ambassadors for the city at an exclusive gala evening on 31 January. They were rewarded for their great contribution to publicise Brussels in 2017, confirming its status as an international MICE destination. 150 guests attended the event, including BBT Online.

The aim of Brussels Ambassadors Night is to create a network of professionals who will help to attract new international events to the city, adding to the international prestige of the Belgian capital and showcasing local talent and expertise. Click here for the pictures.
We publish much more news than you can read and see in our monthly Take5 Newsletter. Follow us on our Facebook page.
MPI BE Conference:
Energise your future
Thor Central

MPI Belgium will host its annual BE Conference on 12 April in Genk this year. The event will take place in the beautifully restored Thor Central – a former coal mining site – and will be centred on the theme "Energise your Future".

It will be a collaboration with the German MPI chapter, whose members will also be present. Click here to register and for more info.
Sharing economy beneficial to travel programmes?
MICE impact on a destination

A new poll of buyers from the Business Travel Show has shown a distinct thawing towards the incorporation of sharing economy providers in travel programmes and their independent use among travellers. 58% of European buyers now admit the likes of Airbnb and Uber are a good thing, compared to 37% 12 months ago.

A spokesperson from Uber for Business said that integrating services like Uber into travel programmes is a win-win, for both traveller and travel manager, and that they will continue to work with these partners to harness the full potential of on-demand technologies.
Hard Rock Hotel

To give you a very concrete example of what MICE projects can mean for the local economy, we bring you the Mercedes Benz business event on Ibiza, taking place from February to April. Three hotels were completely privatised for 14,000 employees to stay in: Hard Rock Hotel, Ushuaia and the Grand Palladium Palace.

More than 50,000 overnight stays are booked in total, which means lots of seasonal workers will be able to start the season a couple of months earlier this year.

The whole event will leave the island’s economy with about 20 million euros of extra cash. Not bad.
With BBT Online to Switzerland – Invitation for Belgian incentive agents

Join the Switzerland Convention & Incentive Bureau and BBT Online on a study trip to beautiful Lucerne and the surrounding area.

The trip will take place from 24 to 26 March. Discover one of Switzerland’s most beautiful cities and its venues, to then venture into the mountains. There you’ll visit (among others) a lovely lodge with panoramic seminar rooms on top of the building.

You'll of course also have the opportunity to hit the slopes. For those who don’t like to skie there will be another program. Interested? Click here for more info.

U Eat & Sleep U Eat & Sleep U Eat & Sleep
It's better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation!
Wish we were here! - Tbilisi, the Georgian capital
Georgian Georgian
Georgian Georgian

Tbilisi might not be topping everyone’s bucketlist, but since the Soviet Union collapsed almost 30 years ago, the Georgian capital quickly rose to become one of the hippest destinations the region. It comes with a lot of trendy venues as well.

The Rooms Hotel is a stunner and can compete with its contemporaries in London or Paris: it comes with a nice courtyard where locals mix with guests, the lobby is filled with art and book shelves, the staff wears designer clothing and the rooms are grand. Maybe we should put Tbilisi a bit higher on the list.

Georgian Georgian Georgian
Glamping in Corsica

Is there anything better than camping in the open air, watching the sun rise over a pristine natural environment? Of course there is: doing it in style and luxury. Cocoon Village Corsica offers you three different luxurious "cocoons" to enjoy the island from.

Solar powered and completely sustainable, these cute little bubbles away from home are built along the side of a rocky cliff and come with a little private terrace, offering insanely amazing views. Perfect for a really peaceful stay.

coccon coccon
MIAT becomes ‘Industrial Museum’
Dinner in an inner city greenhouse

The Miat (Museum about industry, labour and textile) in Ghent has been around for 40 years and now announced big plans for the future. The museum will be revamped and repositioned to reach a new audience. It’s moving away from its acronym in favour of a new name that speaks for itself: Industrial Museum.

With various activities such as guided tours, workshops, performances, demonstrations, walks and bike and boat rides, the rejuvenated museum will be put on the map once again.

Right next to the Saint Nicholas Church in the centre of Ghent, you’ll find a brand new greenhouse that can be used for events from after work drinks to product presentations.

RAY is a venue for those who want to be seen: it’s a complete eye catcher.

Putting a glass structure in the middle of a public square seems quite an unusual idea, but apparently it is working very well.
We publish much more news than you can read and see in our monthly Take5 Newsletter. Follow us on our Facebook page.
Dinner in a football stadium

Ever wanted to enjoy a Michelin starred dinner while looking out over the newest and prettiest football venue in Belgium? That’s exactly what you get after booking a table at Restaurant Horseele in the Ghelamco Arena in Ghent.

The restaurant looks out straight on the pitch, and there are several separate boardrooms available for small meetings or private dinners. Splendid venue which is completely renewed with a colonial interior.

horseele horseele
horseele horseele
BBT Online’s Bucket list - Frank Bouckaert

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 SITE Belgium’s President and Managing Director of De Buck agency, Frank Bouckaert.

Frank Bouckaert Frank Bouckaert Frank Bouckaert
BBT Online’s 14th b2b speed-date workshop at Lazy Jack in Antwerp – June 25

It’s only been slightly over a month since our last workshop in Holiday Inn, but we’re already working hard on the next one. It will take place in Antwerp, on 25 June for incentive agents and PCOs. On 26 June we’ll hold a much smaller edition for corporate and association planners in Brussels, with a maximum of 20 suppliers.

Monday’s venue will be Lazy Jack, a new and great looking place located in a refurbished hangar next to the docks. The venue in Brussels for our corporate and association planners workshop will be announced soon.

MICE planners can already register for the event, and suppliers can start booking their tables as of today.

We'll make sure you'll get plenty of new entertainment, tasty food and party music! Mail us at to secure your spot. Don’t miss out and register now!

Lazy Jack Lazy Jack
France for MICE

Last month, BBT Online attended the Atout France advisory board in the beautiful Louise 345 in Brussels.

During the meeting, we discovered some of the latest trends and venues on the French market, and we – and the other industry people present - discussed the pros and cons of using France as a MICE destination.

Read the full article here.

Atout France
Julien Bertauts (SNCF), Claire Gennart (Thomas Cook Incentives), Frank Bouckaert (De Buck Incentives/SITE), Michel Devis (Key Events), Paola Capaldi (Proximus), Vincent Toulotte (Atout France), Laurence Péan (Atout France & Hauts-de-France Convention Bureau), Gisèle Jamin (Atout France), Elie Lores Blanes (Master Events), Catherine Pourre (Atout France) and Viviane Vogels (Mediator)
Real Short !!

Consult BBT Online's MICE agenda, and don't miss any event.
3 March, Brussels: Museum Night Fever. On Saturday 3 March, 27 museums in Brussels stay open from 7 pm to 2 am for a night full of expos, guided tours, performances and parties.
On March 19th 2018, BATM organises its next educational forum. There is a start off with a networking lunch and afterwards you can hear more about NDC insights & impact. Focus will be on how NDC has affected the travel industry.
20 April, The Hotel, Brussels: Ecommerce Summit. Learn about the hottest ecommerce trends of 2018. 24 industry experts will be present.
2 May, ICC Ghent: Bea Awards. Annual award show celebrating the best of our industry. Take a look at the website to register:
10-13 May, Waagnatie, Antwerp: Antwerpen Proeft. You can now book tickets for Antwerp’s biggest food festival. Lots of new restaurants and chefs are part of this year’s edition.
27-28 June, Olympia London, London: The Meeting Show. Register now for one of London’s biggest MICE events, offering thousands of networking opportunities; hundreds of exhibitors and hours of free education.

Looking for a unique incentive? Ecco La Luna presents a wide range of activities in regard to the Flemish Masters: including thematic bike tours, 2CV tours and interactive city games.
From Brussels to Paris by train for just €19? It’s possible now. From 12 March until 8 April, IZY offers rides to Paris for exactly that fee. Perfect time for a city trip, no?
Eurostar is launching a new direct connection between London and Amsterdam this April. The trip will take less than four hours in total. Passengers getting on in Brussels will arrive in London in one hour and 48 minutes.
Up until 4 March, the public can vote for the Awards at Everyone is now invited to take part in selecting the best three tourist initiatives in Brussels in each category for 2017, from among 63 nominees.
Meet in Mechelen is organising several famtrips through the city in the months to come. Click here to find out more about them.
Event Masters, Meet in Mechelen, Tribune M and KV Mechelen are launching a new real-life whodunnit game with the KV Mechelen football stadium as the decor. On a tour around the venue with a guide, you’ll suddenly discover a"“murder". During dinner, you’ll try and find the perpetrator together with an inspector. Who did it and why? Exciting stuff!

The Costa Rica Convention Center (CRCC) in San Jose is scheduled to open its doors in May 2018. It will be the country’s first big convention venue, with a total capacity for 6,571 guests and a plenary capacity of 4,600. For more info, click here.
Tech.Lounge Brussels is a new 'connected' co-working space that opened to the public in February. It consists of 1,200 m² of workspaces with meeting rooms, relaxation and network zones, a recording studio and a fully digital training centre.

Hotels in Bruges scored very well on the 16th Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards. Lots of them were among the best in Belgium, and some were even considered among the best in Europe. Click here for a list.
The new Design Hotels Book 2018 is out. Read through 500+ pages full of the most unique and show-stopping venues. The book is priced at € 59.90 and you can pre-order it here:
Dubai opens the highest hotel in the world (again). At 358 meter, the Gevora hotel can be found about 2m higher up in the sky than its predecessor the JW Marriott Marquis – another Dubai hotel. It’s a four star venue with a lovely rooftop pool, but without an alcohol licence (maybe an important detail to take note of for some).

On a flight to Curacao, KLM used a special trolley to serve Heineken straight from the tap. It was only available in World Business Class, and the service will mainly be used on special occasions. What are you waiting for, Brussels Airlines?

Sofia Vandaele became the new GM at Intercontinental New York Barclay earlier this year. Previously, she held the same function at Hilton Paris Opera.


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