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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 109th Take5 edition. All of our take5 articles are advertorial free.

Changes to Privacy Policy 

There are some new European privacy rules that will apply on May 25. We're using this opportunity to make sure we're really clear on how we you use your information

We take your privacy seriously and will only use your email address (this is the only information we have from you) to provide you our monthly online magazine and invitations on workshops, educational trips and so on.

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How to become a true leader
Sustainable team building sessions
true leader

Want to become an inspiring person, the world's best boss or a brutal but efficient dictator? Genius Quest is a 21 day programme spanning a year that teaches you how to fully develop as a leader and a human being.

Attention is spent on all levels of being: intellectual capacity, physical and emotional intelligence and life-work balance.

Four trips are on the programme: three days to Rockanje (yes, it's an actual place), four to Friesland, five to Tenerife and seven to Italy. In between these trips there is room for reflection and individual coaching on location. Interested?

Tired of doing all of these tropical island incentives? Want to strengthen the ties between your employees while doing some good for the world for once? Time4Society in Mechelen will help you achieve just that.

Want to spend a day building tree houses for the mentally challenged? Want to make a dessert buffet for the elderly? Maybe you want to play a game of football with a bunch of young refugees instead?

Why not spend the afternoon cleaning up a nature reserve? Call them and they will put you on the right track.
Sleeping in the tree tops
Animals for rent

The Domain of the Caves of Han now offers an exciting new arrangement. After an evening safari and a nice BBQ, you can spend the night in a tent hung in between the treetops.

Here you can drift to sleep under the stars, while none of the many wild animals will be able to get you. There will be a nice breakfast waiting for you when you wake up. Don't forget to visit the actual caves though.

You know what makes any event better? Wild animals – trust us. How much cooler would your party be if it had a llama with a bow tie trotting about on the dance floor?

A lot cooler – that's how much. Bert's Animal Rental covers all your furry needs, from bunnies to pigs, camels and alpacas. All of them are well treated and well trained.

In case you wish no longer to receive our monthly newsletter, you can unsubscribe safely at the bottom of our newsletter.
Unconventional Dutch meeting locations
Even more Dutch meeting locations

Meetables offers meeting tables – yes, the name is based on a play of words – in several unique venues all over the Netherlands. While some of them are quite small, others are surprisingly large.

Whether they are located in the polders or along the waterside, in a church, a villa, a train station, a garage, a warehouse or a granary: the location will always be both different and surprising.

Check out the website for some examples:

Dutch meeting

Wagenwerkplaats in Amersfoort is a fantastic event location offering seven industrial and historic venues suitable for a wide variety of events.

Loetje offers even more venues suitable for meetings, presentations and dinners. Loetje's Garage for example, is a genuine event location, while Loetje's Proeftafel is a homely venue for more intimate meetings.

Dutch meeting
IT&CM China 2018 – Destination report

Our reporter Jonathan once again took off to Shanghai, China last month, to attend the 2018 edition of IT&CM China, the most important MICE tradeshow in the country.

He'll tell you all about what's new in Shanghai and the Asia-Pacific market in general. He'll also tell you how to join him as a MICE buyer on next year's edition.

Click here to find out more.


It's better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation!
BBT Online in Japan – Destination report


ANA-All Nippon Airways and BBT Online took nine Belgian MICE agents on a four day joint venture famtrip to Japan last February.

Sabine Neirings In their short time in the land of the rising sun, they would discover the various MICE possibilities of Tokyo, Kyoto and Otsu, all while getting a first taste of Japanese culture.

Guest writing for us is Sabine Neirings of MaX Incentive Agency.

Click here to read her article.


A golden boot hotel
A new Martin's Hotel
SITE Belgium

Last month, suite hotel Gulde Schoen opened in the centre of Antwerp. It's housed in a historic building and is owned by Belgian Red Devil and dribbling genius Moussa Dembélé and his family.

The whole place was thoroughly renovated and now offers nine beautiful suites of different sizes and styles. A restaurant/bar is of course also part of the experience.

SITE Belgium
Martin's Hotel

Martin's Hotels is opening a new venue in Bilzen this summer, in the heart of a historical site, offering an exciting mix of culture, nature and leisure.

It comes with 69 rooms and three suites, multiple salons, a restaurant with terrace, a bar and three meeting and dining halls. It also sports a wellness oasis with a pool. The official opening takes place on 21 June.

Martin's Hotel
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Events on the race track
Events in a paper factory

Hippologgia is a brand new event space in Waregem, next to the city's famous horse racing track.

It offers several different rooms with a capacity between 200 and 550 people, and is ready to host a variety of different events.

Two big outdoor terraces offer more possibilities for events, as well as a nice view on the track of course.
paper factory

Quartier Papier is a new event location in Zaventem, housed in a former paper factory. It offers 600m² of space in various halls spread over 3 floors, making it possible to set up different configurations and programmes.

The venue can accommodate up to 400 guests for different events. It's close to the ring road, the E40 and the E19 highways and is only 10 minutes away from Brussels Airport.
The real reason why we do what we do – by Jan Samyn

Starting this month, we'll publish regular contributions by Seauton CEO Jan Samyn.

In these articles, Jan voices his thoughts on our industry, and perhaps also on life in general. This month, he tries to figure out why we all do what we do as MICE planners. We're stressed out, we don't have time for anything and it doesn't make us rich. If you know the answer, mail us at

Read the full article here.

Jan Samyn peraphs
Associations world congress - in–depth report
Antwerp Antwerp

BBT Online was a media partner of the Associations World Congress in Antwerp in March – a big international congress for association executives.

The event took place in the splendid new Flanders Meeting & Convention Center Antwerp, right next to the Antwerp Zoo, and about 400 delegates from the industry took part in it.

Read all about our experiences here.

Antwerp Antwerp
BBT Online’s bucket list – Jana Van Samang

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 Jana Van Samang, BCD Meetings & Events.

Jana Van Samang Jana Van Samang Nathalie Paternoster
BBT Online’s 14th b2b speed-date workshop at Lazy Jack in Antwerp – June 25

Our next b2b workshop, 14th edition 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 is the NH Berlaymont hotel, which is located right in the heart of the associations district.

We’re happy to announce that we have the confirmation of several new destinations attending like the Norway Convention Bureau, New York City, Hardrock Hotel Tenerife & Ibiza, Air Austral (Reunion first airline), DMC Smailing Bali – Ovation Partner, DMC CDM Thailand - euromic member, PortAventura Convention Centre. More are in the pipeline, among which technology suppliers, what about facial recognition for your next congress?

We'll make sure you'll get plenty of new entertainment, tasty food and party music! Click here for the invitation. Don’t miss out as we only have place for 150 MICE planners so register now!

Lazy Jack Lazy Jack
Real Short !!

Consult BBT Online's MICE agenda, and don't miss any event.
5-6 May, Brussels: Iris Festival. Celebrate the 29th birthday of the Brussels Capital Region with lots of concerts, street food and a tribute to Jacques Brel.
10-13 May, Waagnatie, Antwerp: Antwerpen Proeft. Big culinary festival in Antwerp. Television Chef Jeroen Meus is this year's special guest, and he'll take some of his ‘Haute Dogs' with him.
17 May, Ypres: Site Inspection Day. Discover the meeting and incentive facilities of this interesting and a tad underappreciated city in West Flanders. Register via
17 May, Hof ter Musschen, Woluwe: NMBS Spring Event. Thalys, TGV, ICE and Eurostar present you with their latest offers and novelties on this workshop in Brussels. Several other suppliers will also be present. A walking dinner will end the evening. Register here:
The most renowned Belgian event and communication agencies, members of ACC Belgium, organize an event to put the creativity of the event sector in the spotlight in the heart of Brussels – Place Saint Gery - on June, 19 from 5pm.
23-24 June, Zeeheldenplein, Ostend: A l'Ostendaise. Culinary festival focused on the local fishermen. 25 chefs take up the challenge of delivering creative dishes with fish and shellfish species from the North Sea. Special VIP arrangements are available. Click here.
6-9 September, Park de Bruxelles, Brussels: Eat! BRUSSELS, Drink! BORDEAUX. A culinary festival (with kind of a weird name) for lovers of good food and wine, spotlighting the big names of Brussels gastronomy while pairing them with the wines of Bordeaux.
25-27 October, Qingdao, China: World MICE Day 2018. Three days of social networking, matchmaking and business opportunities. Join WMD 2018 and meet 2000+ MICE industry professionals to expand your business.

Bart Peeters is planning three live concerts in de Singel in Antwerp this September. A pop-up choir of 360 people will support him through the ordeal, and you (yes, you!) could be part of it. Are you a man (sorry, female spots are already taken) with a nice singing voice? Then you should click here to apply:
NoteSupply is Belgium's first music sommelier. They have a database full of carefully selected musicians and DJs that can be booked for the appropriate occasion. Via personal advice and a template on their site, they will get you the music that will give your event that extra bit of pazazz.
Thalys ended 2017 with 7.2 million passengers (+7%) and a € 500 million turnover (+11%). Both are record numbers.
BCD Travel's semi-annual Industry Forecast predicts a 1% raise of flight tariffs and a 2-4% growth of hotel rates compared to last year.
EventMB just published a list of the top five qualities a successful event manager needs to have. Do you have all five? Do you have none? Should you get another job? Find out here.
EventMB also published an interesting case study showing how the correct use of an event app can increase engagement on a year-on-year basis: click here.

Seabourn's newest ship the Ovation is a so called ‘ultra-luxury ship'. It comes with 296 suites, five quality restaurants, five open bars (oh lord) and 24h room service.
Exciting times! MSC Cruises introduces a voice controlled AI personal assistant to help its guests. It will first be introduced on the company's new flagship, the MSC Bellissima. After that it will take over the world, Terminator style.

New York City – one of the exhibitors on our next B2B workshop on June 25 — welcomed a record number of tourists last year: an impressive 62.8 million. This in a year where tourism to the States in general is shrinking (making America great again, Donald?). Not in NYC though. 4,000 new hotel rooms should appropriately accommodate these new travellers.
The province of Flemish Brabant launched a new website to help meeting planners find the right venues, hotels and service suppliers in Leuven and Brussels' surroundings. On all the information you need for a successful business event is just one click away.
Last month on the Awards Ceremony & Networking Night, prizes were awarded to nine of Brussels' cultural and tourism initiatives that stood out in 2017. Once the public had cast their votes, it was up to a jury of tourism experts to select the projects that have helped to boost Brussels' reputation in 2017 in their various domains. Click here for the list of winners.
Aman is launching its first property in Mexico. Amanvari is an exclusive oasis nestled in between sea and mountains at the eastern tip of the Baja Peninsula in the Gulf of California. It will open in 2020.
Moxy Hotels, a hip and playful Marriott brand aimed primarily at young people, is expanding in Europe. No less than 50 new hotels are planned all over the continent in the next three years.
Meininger opened a second venue in Amsterdam. The new hotel is located right next to the Amstel train station and offers 186 rooms and 806 beds.
Steigenberger Hotels and Resorts expanded its portfolio by signing an agreement for a hotel in Luxor, Egypt. The Steigenberger Resort Achti is to be located on the East Bank of the Nile, and the plan is that it will open for business in the third quarter of 2018. As well as 281 rooms, suites and bungalows, the hotel will also boast six restaurants.
Also in Hammamet, Tunisia the hotel chain opened a resort on April 1st. 371 rooms, six restaurants and six conference rooms.

Prague is building a new convention centre. O2 Universum is aimed at hosting large international conferences and events. Thanks to the possibility of linking it with the existing O2 Arena on all floors, it will offer a capacity of up to 28,000 people. It offers 50,000 square metres of space and 21 halls of different sizes (the largest able to accommodate 4,500 people). The opening is scheduled for the summer 2019.
In Mechelen, the Hof van Busleyden Museum opens on 17 June. This Burgundian city palace is a crown jewel of the European early renaissance. Experience the exuberant court culture.

Ryanair is offering special conditions for groups of 20 or more people planning a winter trip in 2018. Submit your request forms to their Groups Team here.
Despite some troubles in the news a while ago, Brussels Airlines actually had a good 2017 with an operational profit of € 15 million, 17% more passengers and the recruitment of 645 new employees.
Air Belgium, a new Belgian airline, managed to get its Air Operators Certificate and started flying this April. They offer some surprising connections – a direct flight to Hong Kong starting from €449 for example. Not bad at all.
Brussels Airport welcomes 11 new routes and two new airlines this summer season: Cathay Pacific and Georgian Airways.
Brussels Airlines on the other hand will offer no less than 26 new destinations this summer, mostly because of its collaborations with tour operators Neckermann, Thomas Cook and Pegase.
Airports Council International (API) surveyed travellers in close to 2,000 airports in 176 countries. According to the results, the international airport of Mumbai is the world's best as far as customer service goes. Who would have known?
Are you an exceptionally lazy person? And we mean super, super lazy. Well good on you, because next time you're at Schiphol Airport, you can order a meal online in one of the airport's many restaurants, and some poor Deliveroo fellow will bring your order straight to the gate in less than 15 minutes.
VLM Airlines announces three new destinations starting this June: Aberdeen, Köln-Bonn and Rostock. All of these fly from Antwerp Airport.
Brussels Airlines revealed its new Aerosmurf: a plane painted full of Smurfs. This is the fifth plane in the Belgian Icon series, and it's going to brighten up international airports all over the world.
Brussels Airlines expands The Loft at Brussels Airport. Daily 1,500 business class customers and frequent flyers visit the Loft.

Dieter Vranckx became the Chief Financial Officer and deputy CEO of Brussels Airlines.
Damien Wibin quit his job as General Manager at R Hotel. He will be succeeded by Valérie China.
Christina Förster (GER) became the new Brussels Airlines CEO. In a first press conference, she stated that she will push back the decision to cut the brand name Brussels Airlines to a later date, because it is still too sensitive in Belgium.
Christophe Verstraete is stepping down as Executive Director of Euromic. He is starting a new professional chapter in life and wishes to thank everyone for the 18 fantastic years on the job. Therefore Euromic is looking for a suitable replacement for Christophe, who will stay on until July 2018 to smoothen the transition.


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