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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 113th Take5 edition. All of our take5 articles are advertorial free.

Invitation - educational trip for Incentive Agents: Discover Hong Kong with us
Hong Kong Hong Kong Hong Kong

Tour East, Cathay Pacific, Brussels Airport and BBT Online invite you for an exciting famtrip to Hong Kong from February 14 to 18. Stay in the exquisite Murray Hong Kong and discover the city centre, Victoria Peak, Lantau Island, Macau and the Dragonback Mountains.

Need more information? Interested in joining us? The famtrip is ONLY available for MICE planners attending our b2b workshop on 3 December, which means visit the Cathay Pacific and/or Qvovadis table if you wish to attend this famtrip. Not registered yet for our b2b workshop? See below to find out how.


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 totally new group of absolute top suppliers are already waiting for you. Click here for the full list of 80 suppliers. Again our edition is completely sold out.

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 – less than 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.

circus circus circus circus
Association meetings market keeps growing
ICCA A new ICCA report recently showed that the number of international association meetings doubled every 10 years from 1963 to 2013.

According to the current data, this exponential growth trend seems to have slowly transcended into a more mature, yet still solid, growth pattern in the last 5 years.

The number of overall participants has increased across the board. The average meeting size has decreased, but more meetings are being held on a more frequent basis.

Click here for the full report.

We publish much more news than you can read and see in our monthly Take5 Newsletter. Follow us on our Facebook page.
Publish your very own travel guide
A round trip for Instagram addicts

Polarsteps is an app tracking your every move while on incentive trip or on holiday, to then bundle your trip in a nice overview afterwards. This means fun for yourself, but also for those left behind at home.

You can put pictures in there, funny anecdotes, travel tips and the best bars and restaurants you discovered on the road. You can either print this travel guide or share it online.

Corendon launched a round trip travel package taking people to the best Instagram spots in a country. The first trip in this series will take you through Anatolia in Turkey, and will include a visit to the marvelous landscape of Cappadocia.

All major highlights will be checked off, allowing everyone to impress their friends at home with some fantastic, jealousy invoking images on social media.

More info, click here.
Karaoke on another level
Largest hotel in the Benelux

Duke of Tokyo is a karaoke bar in Amsterdam. Not that special you say? Wrong! It has a very surprising and unique interior, full of little alleys leading you to the karaoke booths. It’s based on one of Tokyo’s quirkiest neighbourhoods and features lots of Japanese street art and neon lights.

The toilets are also special and are apparently hi-tech Japanese robots. Take some time to figure out how they work, before you have any “accidents”.

Nhow Amsterdam RAI, right next to the RAI Convention Centre, will become the largest newly built hotel in the Benelux: 650 rooms divided into 25 floors in a building reaching a height of 91 meters.

The nhow brand offers unique lifestyle hotels designed by famous architects. Nhow Amsterdam RAI is expected to open in the spring of 2020 and aims to become a new social, multicultural hotspot for tourists, locals and business travellers. There are 6 different room designs, so it might be difficult to choose which one you prefer. For sure they are different than everything we have seen before. We’re fans.

It's better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation!
Wish we were here: Corsica
domain domain domain

Le Réserve de Saparella is a fantastic domain in the gulf of Ajaccio on Corsica we got to know on a recent famtrip by Atout France – check out the destination report soon. It is a very exclusive place: there’s no website or Facebook to check out, you simply have to know the right people.

The site covers 80 ha of nature and is equipped with a beach bar for 450 people. You can also go for some glamping here. 120 double beds are available, as are open air bathrooms and a restaurant that can serve as a seminar room. The venue proposes plenty of incentive activities and team building events.

DMC Corsica Events will be present on our B2B Workshop on 3 December. They will tell you everything you need to know about the destination.


Guest article: Wonderful Indonesia – Destination Report
Indonesia Indonesia Indonesia Indonesia Indonesia

Our perpetually travelling friend Hugo Slimbrouck (Ovation Global DMC) took off to the beautiful nation of Indonesia this time. As a country consisting of more than 17.500 tropical islands, with incredibly varied landscapes, cultures and biodiversity, it is quite hard to describe to someone who has never been there.

Hugo did his best though, and discovered all the best venues in and around Jakarta before eventually ending up on a Bali beach.

Read the whole story here.

Hugo Indonesia Indonesia Indonesia Indonesia
Adventures on the Dutch coast – Destination report

BBT Online was invited for a famtrip to the Dutch region of Zeeland recently. This meant long white beaches without any high-rises or mass tourism, cosy cities like Middelburg, Goes and Veere and interesting incentive activities like golf, cycling and even prison breaks.

Guest writing for us is Alain Heggerick, from Rufie Events. Zeeland Meetings & Events will be present on our B2B Workshop on 3 December. They will tell you everything you need to know about the destination.

Click here to read the full story.

Zeeland Zeeland
Zeeland Zeeland
We publish much more news than you can read and see in our monthly Take5 Newsletter. Follow us on our Facebook page.
Sexy Seville – Destination report
Seville Seville

Our reporter Jonathan took off to Seville last month, for the official opening party of Eurostars Torre Sevilla: a new five star venue up in the highest tower in the city centre.

There was also ample time to discover Seville itself: one of Spain’s most beautiful destinations and the pearl of Andalucía.

Order some tapas and cava and click here to read the full report and enjoy the pictures.


BBT Online’s bucket list – Thomas Dupont

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 Thomas Dupont, Holiday Inn Brussels Airport.

Thomas Dupont Thomas Dupont Thomas Dupont
Real Short !!

Consult BBT Online's MICE agenda, and don't miss any event.
15 – 17 November, Nights 2018, Brussels – 4th International Conference on Nightlife.
27-29 November, Barcelona, Spain: IBTM World. Visit one of the biggest tradeshows in the industry and meet all the major players while listening to inspiring speakers.
3 December, De Kruitfabriek, Vilvoorde: BBT Online’s 15th B2B Workshop. If you haven’t registered yet, please do so via this link.
4 December, Bluepoint Brussels: BBT Online’s B2B Workshop for corporate and association planners. You can also register for this workshop via this link.
6-7 December, London: Event Roi Institute training programme. An intensive two day course by Elling Hamso in a beautiful house in the London area. Click here for more info.
The SITE Global Conference 2019 will take place January 11 - 14 at the Shangri-La Hotel Bangkok. The theme is ‘Incentivising Diversity and Innovation’. Click here for more info.
23-24 January, Ljubljana, Slovenia: Conventa 2019. Join the 11th edition of this trade show focused on the emerging destinations of new Europe and beyond.
24 June, location to be decided: BBT Online’s 16th B2B Workshop. Suppliers can already book a table for this workshop. Ask for the rates at
25 June, Brussels: BBT Online’s B2B Workshop for corporate and association planners. Tables for this workshop can also be booked via

Incentive trends are becoming more and more geared toward the future: a combination of eco-travel and tech-travel. Travellers want to enjoy ethical experiences, and favour respectful cultural interactions. Click here to read more on the change of trends in incentive travel.
According to Skift, more demand for meeting space has driven up prices around the world, giving upscale hotels more leverage during negotiations. Meanwhile, some planners are being left behind even as event technology catches on among more ambitious organizations.
According to BCD Travel, business travel is going to get a tad more expensive in the year to come, mainly because the supply can’t follow the increasing market demand. Hotel rates will rise between 1 and 3% and flight rates will rise up to 2%.
While the number of events is clearly on the rise as well as the available budgets for organising them, a shortage of suitable employees to handle this growth is becoming apparent in the industry. Eventbranche wrote an article on it.
Eventbranche also wrote an article on terror attacks on European events and how to prevent something bad from happening in the future. Click here to read the article.
Mechelen will host the next two editions of the BEA Awards – a competition rewarding the best live communication projects. The first one is taking place on 27 March. Event Masters will be partnering the show.
Milk Inc’s Regi can now be booked as a DJ for corporate events. If you want the crowd on your corporate party to go wild and you have the budget needed, you know who to sign.
On Monday, 22 October the first Brussels contest took place featuring the famous prawn croquette. After a blind taste test, a panel made up of culinary journalists and headed by Pierre Wynants reached a verdict and recognised Fernand Obb Delicatessen as the maker of the best prawn croquette in town.
MSC Cruises and Fincantieri signed a deal for the construction of four new ultra luxury cruise ships with a total value of 2 billion euro. The first ship will be delivered in the spring of 2023 and will have a capacity of 500 cabins.
MSC Cruises also vows to get rid of all single-use plastic by 2019. Plastic straws are the first step. They will be replaced by a 100% biodegradable alternative.
This October FCM Travel Solutions invited the Belgian MICE sector to check out their renewed offices, and the result was impressive. The result could absolutely be seen. The MICE and Business Travel Office is ideally located just in front of Brussels Airport.

Brussels on Stage is a café-theatres festival in the Belgian capital, which will run all through November on 15 participating locations.
CWT Meetings & Events published its top ten business & events cities in Europe, the Middle East and Africa for 2019. London takes the top Spot, followed by Moscow, Barcelona, Berlin and Hamburg.
Chile’s new Ruta de los Parques is a 2,800 km hiking route through Patagonia that will take you through 17 national parks. The perfect trip if you have a couple of months to spare.
The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) revealed that The Hague Convention Bureau (THCB) is in the finals for the renowned ICCA Best Marketing Award. THCB is nominated for its efforts to strengthen The Hague’s position as the Cyber Security Capital of Europe. The winner will be announced during the 57th ICCA Congress.
Visit Brabant Convention Bureau published a brand new 1 minute video clip to quickly promote the region. The Dutch province will also be present on our 3 December Workshop for the first time. Be there!

The team might be doing horribly at the moment, but right next to Zulte-Waregem’s Regenboogstadion, a new boutique hotel with 30 rooms will open next summer, taking care of the major lack of business hotels in the city centre. The venue will be called DR Hotel. Parkhotel will open a 72 room venue in the city as well in the summer of 2021.
The future nhow Brussels Hotel, in the building of the current NH Brussels Bloom next to the Botanique, will open its doors in the second half of 2019 with 305 rooms. The concept is a mix between a design hotel and an art gallery, and will stimulate its guests’ creativity.
Mechelen is expected to expand its hotel range with a very nice addition in September 2019. De Ouwen Dok – an empty swimming pool – is being transformed into a four star Van der Valk venue with 124 rooms and a restaurant with terrace. It comes with conference facilities for 500 people and a big beautiful pond where the pool used to be.
Riu will build a four star Riu Plaza Hotel next to London’s Victoria Station close to Buckingham Palace. The opening is planned late 2020. The venue will have 350 rooms, and will be the first Riu Plaza in the UK.
The Dutch authorities have announced an increase in its 6% reduced VAT rate to 9% as from January 1st 2019. The reduced rate is applicable to hotel accommodation and restaurant services, and will thus also affect your MICE activities in the Netherlands.
Less than a year after the opening in October 2017, Hotel Franq became the 1st Antwerp hotel to join Relais & Chateaux, making it the 4th hotel to do so in Belgium.

Belgocontrol and Brussels Airport Company signed an agreement with Brussels Airlines, TUI fly and DHL Express to take joint initiatives that will reduce the environmental impact of their business. Specialists of the respective companies will hold frequent meetings to start research and green initiatives.
Thai Airways will serve local street food to its Royal Silk and Royal First business class passengers. Not just ordinary street food though, everything is thought out by Michelin star chef Jay Fai. Sounds delicious!
An Atlantic Airways flight connection between Schiphol and the Faroe Islands might become reality in the summer of 2019, as the island group’s official airline is in the last phase of negotiations to get three flights a week to Amsterdam next year.
Air Transat will offer new connections to six Canadian destinations as from May 2019: three direct flights a week from Brussels to Montreal and direct flights between Schiphol and Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary.
As from May next year, Icelandair will offer extra flights to and from North-America over Reykjavik, this from most of the major European airports.

Valérie China quit her position as Sales Manager at R Hotel Experiences. Christophe Eggen and Pauline Gaspard will take over her duties.
Sylvia van Rooijen is the new Associate Regional Vice President for HelmsBriscoe in the Netherlands, after being with the company for more than two years. HelmsBriscoe is looking for leaders in Belgium and The Netherlands as well. Contact:
Quartier Papier is an event location in the heart of Zaventem. The venue is looking for a Venue Officer. Interested? Contact Stein Hoogstoel: More info click here.
Griet Esselens will strengthen Uniglobe Robins Travel as Senior Project Manager.
After 13 years of loyal service as Sales and Marketing Director, Dominique Jansen will leave the newly renovated Radisson Blu Hotel Antwerp. After 25 years in the hotel industry, Dominique will pick up her passion for languages and communication again. From 2 January on she will be available for assignments as a translator, (English, Spanish, Dutch), copy writer, sales trainer, or event manager.
Paul Cordier (ex The Dominican Hotel, Brussels) has launched a new luxury hotel initiative. With the Utopian Hotel Collection he wants to reach travellers who are looking for sophisticated contemporary luxury. The portfolio so far has 28 hotels.
Accor Hotels Belgium has welcomed 2 new sales representatives within Meeting & Events. Florence Timmermans is the new Key Account Manager for Meeting & Events with a focus on luxury properties. Valerie de Langhe is Sales Manager Meetings & Events Belgium for Midscale & Economy market.
Meeting in Brugge is looking for a Meeting Consultant. You can post for the job till 25th of November, more info click on this link.


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