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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 112th Take5 edition. All of our take5 articles are advertorial free.

The new EU package travel directive
A new chapter for Marc Lambert

On 30 August, SITE Belgium organised another networking evening for its members. Lots of new event gadgets were taken to the test, but the main reason for meeting was more serious.

Koen van den Bosch, CEO of the Federation of Flemish Travel Bureaus, came to speak about the consequences of the new EU Package Travel Directive that comes into effect this year, and will have quite the impact on our business.

Get yourself a speed course by clicking this link.
Marc Lambert

Qvo Vadis Tourism and Hospitality Company signed a cooperation deal with France based Beyond Limits. Beyond Limits has a network of 30 boutique travel and event organisers in the MICE industry, from Azerbaijan to Vietnam.

Marc Lambert, Qvo Vadis owner, will actively do sales on behalf of Beyond Limits in the Benelux.

Click here for the list of DMCs and for Marc’s contact details. &
Former MPI Belgium’s presidents starts a new life in the States

After two years as President of the MPI Belgium Chapter and two more years as Executive Director, Mariska Kesteloo is leaving Europe and the low countries behind for a new adventure in Houston, Texas.

In de middle of settling both into her new home and her new cowboy outfits, she found the time to write us a letter of goodbye. Show those Americans how it’s done Mariska, and we hope to see you soon and stay in touch with Belgium!

Click here to read what she wrote us.

Mariska Kesteloo Mariska Kesteloo Mariska Kesteloo
BBT Online’s 15th B2B Workshop – Invitation for Belgian and Dutch MICE planners
circus circus circus

Join us on Monday, 3 December for the 15th edition of our B2B Speed-Date Workshop.
Come enjoy the winter vibes with BBT Online in De Kruitfabriek in Vilvoorde. Normally we never use the same venue twice, but as it got completely renovated recently, we decided to revisit it.

A new group of absolute top suppliers are already waiting for you. To mention just a few: DMCs from Chili, South Africa, Czech Republic, and many others; airlines like Cathay Pacific, Air Italia, Icelandair; many hotels and surprising new venues.

We'll make sure you'll get plenty of new meeting and event ideas, entertainment, tasty food and party music. Get more information and register via this link. Don’t miss out as we only have space for 150 MICE agents! (Participation is free of charge, no-shows and last minute cancellations – one week prior to the event – are not).

Traditionally our workshops always have a theme. This time we’ll take you to the circus. We promise we won’t book any scary clowns, but everything else will be there. For the brave ones there’s the possibility to have a photo shoot with a tarantula on your face or a giant snake around your neck. To get an idea, watch this 30 sec video.

circus circus circus circus
Switzerland meeting trophy:
educational trip
A Dutch educational trip:
A destination report

The Switzerland Meeting Trophy is an exciting annual event where several national delegations battle it out in Switzerland. They fight for the much wanted title while they discover parts of the country and its splendid MICE infrastructure in the process.

Seauton’s Jan Samyn was part of the Belgian group. Jan wrote an article about his experiences. Did Belgium manage to win the trophy once again, or did our heroes fail to secure first place?

Read all about it here. To see the event movie of the trophy, click here.


Leiden and Delft might not be the most widely known destinations in The Netherlands, but they’ve been very important throughout the country’s history and are still major knowledge centres today.

They are interesting for MICE planners as well: easily accessible by train, plane and bus, very compact and walkable city centres, close enough to each other to make for a 2-in-1 trip and full of interesting venues and sights.

Our journalist Jonathan decided to go check them out for you. Read his report here.

We publish much more news than you can read and see in our monthly Take5 Newsletter. Follow us on our Facebook page.
Beautiful Bruges: educational trip – Destination report

Every year Meeting in BruggeThe Bruges Convention Bureau – invites a group of meeting planners and BBT Online for a visit of the city to check out the latest developments on the MICE market.

This year, we were treated to a Bruges bathing in the warmth of a perfect Indian summer day. With every terrace full of happy people, the sunlight turning the canals into shimmering mirrors and the last weekend of the Bruges Triennial taking place, it looked like the absolute ideal moment for a visit.

Click here for the full report.


Pillows grand hotel Reylof reopens
New event location in Ghent

After a complete renovation, Pillows Grand Hotel Reylof in Ghent will be open for business once again on 6 October. The stately 157 room venue got a complete and fantastic makeover.

The famous LOF restaurant was refurbished as well. The restaurant will become a signature venue for Ron Blaauw – one of The Netherlands’ most famous star chefs.

Maison Citadel is a new temporary location in the centre of Ghent. It is open for business as from September, and is very well suited for corporate events.

It comes with a marvellously decorated Jardin d'hiver, and offers an all-in package with an extensive menu, excusive decorations and all extras like light, sound and video included.
New industrial event location
New cultural centre in Limburg
Blanc Fixe

Blanc Fixe, located in the old colour factory in Drongen close to Ghent, is a great looking new location for all sorts of events. Temporary art exhibitions are showcased in the gallery, which is also used for seminars, receptions and walking dinners.

Its main hall is a loft space with both an upper and a lower floor. Looks like the perfect for parties and product launches.
De Muze

On 9 September, a select group of MICE professionals got a first look at "De Muze": a new cultural centre still under construction in Heusden-Zolder.

Once finished, it will house a grand auditorium (400+ seats), a ballroom and even a bunker. It’s located right across from Villa Zwart Goud and Watt17 on the same site. This will turn the Heusden-Zolder mining site into one of the biggest event locations in Limburg. De Muze will open in April of 2019.
It's better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation!
New venues in Brussels

Fosbury and Sons will open three new co-working spaces in the Belgian capital: great looking vintage spaces with inspiring design and good and healthy food. The first one will open at the end of this year, and the other two will be ready for business somewhere in 2019.

Whether you're a small business in need of a flexible desk or a company looking for a large private office, there will be more than enough room for everyone. These venues can also be rented for events.
Budget business hotel with crazy rates
Diamonds are forever

Upstairs is a brand new hotel in Ostend, offering rooms as from €50 for two. These rooms are modern but quite cosy, and have an industrial look.

The hotel comes with an underground swimming pool, a restaurant, several meeting rooms and a wine and cocktail bar.

It also offers lots of teambuilding activities and room for events. Check it out: the rates are insane for what you get in return.


Antwerp got itself a new museum this summer. Almost right next to the city hall you’ll find DIVA: the new diamond and silver museum. There’s a state-of-the-art tour to enjoy and the venue is suitable for events as well.

Your guests can even have dinner on a silver table with silver tableware, which is quite fancy indeed. Don’t forget to take a look into the Ruihuis next door as well. From here you can venture under the city into a maze of canals that were covered centuries ago.

We publish much more news than you can read and see in our monthly Take5 Newsletter. Follow us on our Facebook page.
Wholesome breakfast brakes
Sailing the seven seas in style
Breakfast Breaks

The HR & Well-being Breakfast Breaks bring HR professionals together for a shared purpose: to bring more well-being to the workplace.

On 12, 19 and 26 October, in Ghent, Antwerp and Brussels, former television presenter Eva Daelemans will try and hand you the tools to integrate more flow and relaxation into your life and your workplace.

The workshops are completely free.

Click here to register.
Mamma Mia

Star Clippers just presented its new travel catalogue for 2018-2020. Its marvellous sailing ships will travel to a couple of new destinations during this period. Borneo is probably the most exotic one.

A Greek island cruise visiting every Mamma Mia film location is another new option.

New cruises through the Panama Canal and a journey across the Atlantic Ocean are possible as well.
BBT Online’s bucket list – Tamara Weide

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 Tamara Weide from the Belgian Limburg Convention Bureau. As it happened, Tamara did not really have a bucket list anymore, since she’s very happy with her life as it is right now – however she gave us a list with five things that changed her view on life and what she recommends to all of us.

Tamara Weide Tamara Weide Tamara Weide
Real Short !!

Consult BBT Online's MICE agenda, and don't miss any event.
7 October, Dockx Dome, Brussels: American Day. Event focused on the USA and Canada as destinations. On the programme are lots of speakers (Tom Waes and Patrick van Rosendaal just to name two) and great food and entertainment.
8-9 October, Ghent/Liege, Oude Vismijn/Les Comtes de Méan: Cruise Workshop. Come over to Ghent on the 8th or to Liege on the 9th of October and meet representatives of 17 cruise lines. Register by mailing
Site Belgium start with a new initiative; Sha-Di Dinners (stands for Share & Discuss): Informal talks about your formal problems and dreamy opportunities in the MICE sector. 2 dates have been chosen: Monday 15th of October at Brasserie Bijgaarden (Groot Bijgaarden) and 22 October at Brasserie Anton Pieck (Zaventem). It starts at 7pm. Site Belgium pays your apero, you pay your meal. For more information and inscription mail Site’s president Frank Bouckaert. For members only.
17 October, Van Der Valk Hotel Gent, Caribbean Tourism Organization Roadshow. If you’re interested in the Caribbean as a destination, this is the place to be. Representatives of several Caribbean countries are awaiting you.
24 October, Hof ter Musschien, Woluwe: Swiss Workshop. Organised by the Switzerland Convention & Incentive Bureau, this workshop will showcase the country’s many MICE assets. Contact to register.
From 1 to 3 November, Clarion Hotel & Congress Malmö Live will host the first edition of The Nordic MICE Summit. Destinations such as Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Poland, Hungary, Croatia, France, Portugal, Italy, Monaco, Spain, Latvia, Lithuania, Ireland & UK have already signed up.
13 November, Auditorium BNP Paribas Fortis, Brussels: Sustainable Tourism Congress. Organised by Travel360° and Joker/ViaVia, this is a congress all about sustainable travel – a wakeup call for travel industry professionals from all segments.
15-18 November, Central Portugal: ANVR-Congress. Organised in Ilhavo, Aveiro and Coimbra, this Travel Industry Congress focusses on people, purpose and passion.
21 November 2018, Van Der Valk Hotel Brugge-Oostkamp: Travelmedia Congress. Interesting congress for everyone involved in the travel industry. This year celebrates Travelmedia’s 10th anniversary. Lots of chances to network as well.
22 January, Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels: Meeting Matters. An intimate "invitation only" event where you can network with 12 different countries and 20 various convention bureaus as well as with fellow colleagues from international associations.
31 January, Ahoy, Rotterdam: EventSummit. One of the largest one day platforms for our industry in the region. This year’s theme is “Make the difference”. Expect lots of suppliers and interesting speakers.

British newspaper The Independent ranked ‘t Eilandje in Antwerp as one of the ten coolest neighbourhoods in Europe. Obviously, we knew this way before them, which is why we decided to organise our B2B workshop there last summer. is launching the second edition of the 'Urban Culture Guide'. This guide will immerse you in Brussels' urban culture. From street art to tattoo parlours and skate and roller parks, the guide offers a collection of great addresses for fans of the urban arts.
Brussels is celebrating the anniversary of the end of the Great War with a selection of exhibitions. A good occasion to focus on the timeless character of values like liberty, solidarity, social cohesion, the concept of a motherland, independence and democracy. More info here:

Seabourn, one of the world’s premier ultra-luxury cruise lines, will start sailing to Cuba from Miami and San Juan (Puerto Rico). The first ship – the Seabourn Sojourn – will set sail from Miami on 4 November of 2019.
French cruise line Ponant opened a new flagship office in Brussels. You can find it on the Avenue Louise 98. In 2020, Ponant will double the size of its fleet with the emergence of the Ponant Explorers: smaller but way more sustainable and technologically advanced ships.

Eurostar is opening its first cocktail bar in London St. Pancras International Station’s Business Premier Lounge. Here, you can enjoy a winter menu with exclusive cocktails designed by the famous London Cocktail Club, and asignature London Cocktail created by Raymond Blanc.
The European Association Summit is looking for speakers. Are you an association executive looking to share some of your experiences? Interested in hosting an hour long interactive session? Contact the organisation here.
Airbnb launches a new offer to help companies to attract, keep and motivate talent. Besides offering accommodation, “Airbnb for Work” will aim at teambuilding experiences, inspiring venues for meetings and temporary accommodation for people moving to a new city for work.
New: mourning trips for adults by “Rouw en Verlies Vlaanderen”. These trips are specially designed to help people get over their loss and move on. The first one takes place in Vresse-sur-Semois and will take 5 days. It costs 450 euro and everything is included.
"150 bars you need to visit before you die" is a book by Jurgen Lijcops, double winner of Gault Millau’s Best Sommelier and Best Host in Belgium award, and owner of Bar Burbure in Antwerp. It will take you to the most unique cocktail bars in the world.
Would you like to work as a bar tender on festivals and events yourself? Mail
Premier Suites Plus Antwerp is a new venue with 50 rooms and 60 luxurious Penthouse Studios almost right next to the Antwerp Central Station. It will cater both to the business and the leisure market.
Star chef Sergio Herman comes with another new concept: Blueness in Strandhotel Cadzand-Bad is inspired by the Japanese kitchen. You will discover pure Eastern flavours in both the bar food and the cocktails. Oddly enough the ingredients are all local: Dutch products with a Japanese touch.
The Gin and Whiskey lounge in Bruges has 400 whiskeys and 200 gins for you to try out, either pure or in cocktail form. The bar food is also quite special.
Jin Jiang is the new owner of Radisson Hotels, after taking over 51.15% of its shares. Jin Jiang also owns brands like Kyriad and Golden Tulip and is based in Shanghai.
TUI Group took over the Dream of Zanzibar hotel on the island sharing its name. It will reopen as TUI Blue Zanzibar in the 2019 winter season.
With the opening of Novotel Ambassador Seoul Dongdaemun in central Seoul, Novotel now owns 500 hotels in 58 countries. The newest one comes with 523 rooms full of state-of-the-art digital facilities.
AVIAREPS started a partnership with Rotana Hotels. They are now responsible for the sales activities of the hotel chain in the Benelux, France and Italy.
Felix Pakhuis & Bourla Theatre came out with an event brochure for the winter holidays. Several different themes are available, that will transform these two splendid Antwerp venues into a unique location for your next winter event. Click here for the brochure.
MeetingCentreR4 is a new venue in Ghent where groups from 5 up to 30 people can have a meeting in a well lit room with modern infrastructure and a great view.
Antwerp Expo started with renovation and reconstruction works that will turn this well-known venue into an innovative and accessible event location.

The International Air Transport Association published the results of a worldwide survey of human resources departments in the aviation sector. 73% of respondents expect job growth in the industry. 48% think finding new talent is the main challenge.
All Nippon Airways (ANA) will put a bigger plane on the daily route between Brussels and Tokyo starting at the end of October. 46 extra seats will be available every day.

Annelies Grientens became Efteling’s new commercial manager for Belgium and France. She’ll replace Margreet Paauwe, who held the position for the last ten years.
Lieve Daniëls became the new Groups, Incentives and Special Events Manager at Imagine Travel. She started her career at Jetair/TUI more than 20 years ago.
Canadian Benjamin Smith is Air France-KLM’s new CEO. This is the first time in Air France’s existence a foreigner will lead the company.
Olivier Barthez became the official representative of the Utah State Office of Tourism in Belgium. Utah is a region with some fantastic national splendour and Olivier is looking forward to showing this on the Belgian market.
Sylvia van Rooijen became HelmsBriscoe’s Associate Regional Vice President in The Netherlands.
Annabelle Stevens changed roles from MICE supplier to MICE planner and started a new job at @dmire as Account Manager.


Karin de Graauw – Editor-in-chief BBT Online
Av. Louise 279 – 1050 Brussels – Belgium
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