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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 120th Take5 edition. Our Take5 newsletter is completely advertorial free.

BATM’s summer education session
All about associations

Getting paid to travel around the world sounds like a dream job to most people. Travel Managers of international companies, whose task it is to streamline their company’s travel arrangements, know the truth is less glamourous.
BBT Online’s journalist Monica Rijpma visited BATM’s Summer Education Session and learned all about the tools making business travel easier for all parties.

Click here for the full story.


This summer, BBT Online attended several association events in Holland and Belgium, and spoke with leaders of the Global Association Hub Partnership.

Many interesting conversations followed, all of which you can read here. Near the end of the article, we announce the most important dates for your autumn association agenda as well.

Click here for the report.

New congress hotel in Liège
Work hard, play hard
congress hotel

Liège added another fine new hotel to its catalogue. Van der Valk Congres Hotel Liège is located close to the La Boverie museum, and comes with 219 rooms, suites and apartments.

It houses a brasserie and a restaurant as well, and the terraces and all three banquet halls offer great views on the Meuse River.
To top it all off, the venue also has a sky bar on the tenth floor, as well as a wellness centre and a trendy indoor pool.

Koezio – the largest indoor adventure park in Brussels (over 6,000m²) – recently launched a new “Work hard, play hard” formula for companies. The package includes the use of a meeting room (10-140 pax) for half a day, followed by the famous Koezio special agent mission.

This is a great teambuilding activity focused on developing group cohesion within your team. The best squad gets to take a trophy home. You can also book an extensive meal afterwards.
A fairy tale forest venue

Le Flore, right in the middle of the La Cambre Forest in Brussels, is a very creative new venue. It boasts pastel pink walls, funky furniture straight out of the sixties, flowery wallpaper, retro tiles and big windows looking out over the trees. It comes with a great terrace as well.

You can have lunch, aperitifs and great desserts here, and every Thursday afternoon there’s an afterwork party. Sounds like the new place to be in the capital. And if you’re into hikes, it also serves as the info point for everything you want to know about the surrounding forest.

Le FloreLe FloreLe Flore
Wining and dining in Hong Kong
Solextours along the Dutch coast
Hong Kong

Every reason is a good one for another visit to one of Asia’s most vibrant cities, but this one is exceptional. From 31 October to 3 November, Qvo Vadis and Tour East offer a wine and dine festival tour through the city.

You will visit a large culinary festival on the harbour front and taste the best wines and gourmet food imaginable, but you’ll also venture further out and go for a fisherman experience, learn how to make cocktails, enjoy an authentic HK walking tour and take a dim sum cooking class.

Contact for more info.
Bicycle tours

Not every incentive trip needs to be in some faraway tropical destination. Sometimes you want to keep it short, fun and simple. Why not go for a nice solex tour in Zeeland, one of the Dutch coastal provinces?

Solextours Zeeland offers a couple of different routes (max 50km) that will lead you past the region’s nicest highlights.

You can also put together a route of your own choice, with their professional input.
We publish much more news than you can read and see in our monthly Take5 Newsletter. Follow us on our Facebook page.
A book about MICE
A book about MICE

With more than 23 years of experience in the industry and after 13 years as a lecturer, Gebert Janssen decided to write a book about the Meeting and Event industry. 'The Real MICE Book' covers all the exciting facets of the industry, and will be a great foundation for anyone looking to work in it, as well as an inspiration to the current generation of professionals. 

In his book, Janssen covers MICE from different angles by involving specialists from all over the world. Our readers can get the book for a discount: €27.50 instead of €39.50. - Inlogcode: BBTonline19
Switzerland meeting trophy 2019 – Destination report


The end of June is when most people start thinking about their summer holiday. Not our team of Belgian MICE professionals though. They were headed for a sun-drenched and superhot Switzerland to compete for the Switzerland Meeting Trophy with other teams from all over the world

Did they win gloriously? Nope. Were they even close? Not at all. Did they have lots of fun while discovering a wide range of fantastic venues and activities? Very much so! 

Check out the full story by our journalist Jonathan right here.

Switzerland Switzerland
It's better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation!
Swiss workshop: Futurize yourself

On Monday, 14 October, The Switzerland Convention & Incentive Bureau invites you to an interesting workshop at Bluepoint Brussels. Theme of the day will be “Futurize yourself”, which means that you will discover a wide array of digital developments available to deliver business travellers a unique customer experience in Switzerland. 

Keynote speaker will be osteopath Tom Meyers. He will speak about the challenges that new technologies represent for the body, mind and spirit

 for more info.
Magical Malawi – Destination Report
Malawi loft Malawi

This May, our journalist/photographer Jonathan was invited by the Malawian Tourism Consortium to come and visit the country and make some pictures for their image library (“some pictures” turned out to be more than 800). 

During his three week stay in this wonderful but strangely unknown country, he saw a lot of impressive landscapes, fantastic wildlife, the world’s most unique lake and of course a ton of interesting and special venues

Click here for the full story.

loft loft
It's better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation!
BBT Online’s 17th b2b speed-date worskhop

Although summer is not officially over yet - luckily -, we’re already preparing our winter workshop on 2 December, and we’ve found the perfect venue to host it in. Silo Brussels is brand new, and just opened its doors in a completely modified 100 year old brewery next to the canal in Brussels, direction Vilvoorde. It’s easily accessible from Ghent and Antwerp as well. There’s free parking right in front of the door.

Silo Silo Silo
Silo Silo Silo

Its main feature is a gigantic pillared industrial hall: perfect for all sorts of big events. The venue also houses several other superbly decorated spaces, as well as a spacious rooftop terrace looking out over the water.

We’re very much looking forward to welcoming all of you this December, so take your agenda and save-the-date.

To get into the right mood for our next edition, check the pictures of our summer workshop in Antwerp here, and the event video here.

Ps In 2020 the dates of our workshops will be June 29 and December 7.

BBT's Workshop Switzerland BBT's Workshop
BBT's Workshop BBT's Workshop BBT's Workshop
BBT Online’s bucket list – Ann-Pascale Mommerency

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 Ann-Pascale Mommerency, General Manager of event company Kapcon

Ann-Pascale Mommerency Ann-Pascale Mommerency Ann-Pascale Mommerency
Real Short !!

Consult BBT Online's MICE agenda, and don't miss any event.
29 August, Living Tomorrow, Brussels: MPI Belgium session: Think Food Differently. This event will look into ways of reducing food waste and discuss ideas to make food breaks a great experience at events. Several top experts in the field will give presentations. Register here.
30 August, University of Hasselt: Limburg Inspiration Seminar. An inspiring day showcasing the province of Limburg as a MICE destination, full of interesting speakers and ideas.
3 September, Brussels Airport: SITE Belgium Meet & Lunch debate. SITE Belgium invites you to Brussels Airport from 12 to 2 pm. You will enjoy a nice lunch and a presentation by Leon Verhallen, Director Aviation Development, who will talk about how intercontinental flights are a key element to help foster the Belgian economy and MICE industry. Costs: Site Member 45 euro, non Site Member 65 euro. Register via
6-15 September, Malta: Pride Malta 2019. The Pride Week is the perfect time to visit sunny Malta. There are colourful parade floats full of party people filling the streets and more than fifteen different events to celebrate diversity. Malta is on top of the Rainbow Index for the fourth year in a row as well. It’s the most welcoming country for LGBTQ+
5-8 September: eat! BRUSSELS, drink! BORDEAUX. Culinary festival representing fifteen of Brussels’ partner cities, provinces and regions. Enjoy signature dishes created by local chefs, paired with fantastic Bordeaux wines.
9 September, Corendon Village Hotel Amsterdam: Business Traveller & MICE Fair. An interesting day full of information, inspiration and networking opportunities for every business travel
14-15 September, Square, Brussels: WODIES 2019. Dozens of healthcare professionals will meet in Brussels on the World Osteoarthritis Day to discuss the studies on this disease. Members of the general public are welcome to listen and learn in Square this September. Specialists will answer as many patient questions as possible on this free-of-charge event open to all.
18 September, De Broodfabriek, Rijswijk: The Next Event. This knowledge festival is exclusively accessible to corporate clients and organisers. Interesting keynotes and sessions, 120 exhibitors, lots of startups and innovators and food and drinks included all day.
30 September: Radisson Blu Royal Hotel Brussels: Travel Magazine Future Day. Together with BCD Travel, Travel Magazine organises a day full of different keynote speakers and panels. This year’s theme is all about tech innovations in business travel.
3 October, Roundhouse, London: The World’s 50 Best Bars Awards 2019. Go for another London visit and find out which 50 cocktail bars are the actual best in the world. The first one who visits all of them gets to pay everyone else a free round. Deal?
28-29 October, Jeux d’Hiver (Brussels) & Lamot Congress Centre (Mechelen): Belgium Travel Expo 2019. Two trade shows for the price of one, on two different locations in two different cities.
15 November, Hilton Antwerp Old Town: TM Travel Awards. Save the date for the 22nd edition of this gala event for the Belgian Travel Industry.
20 November, The Lab, Ghent: Travelmedia Congress 2019. Annual congress for everyone involved in tourism: tour operators, travel agents, hoteliers, DMCs, et cetera. It comes with an interesting programme full of speakers.
25 March, Congress Centre Lamot/Nekkerhallen, Mechelen: Bea Awards. Join the 22nd edition of Belgium’s most prestigious event award ceremony.
Save-the-date, in 2020 BBT Online will organise their famous b2b workshops on Monday June 29 and December 7.

Brussels is now offering new substantial incentives in the form of services to boost new and upcoming international events taking place in the city. Click here to see if your event is eligible.
From this summer onwards, people who visit the European capital will be able to explore the “real” Brussels with a helpful tool. developed an online, free guide in real time. is meant to showcase “the Brussels of Bruxellois”.
According to the latest UIA report (Union of International Associations), Brussels is also keeping its top spot as a destination for association congresses, conferences and events. It’s far ahead of Vienna, Paris, Madrid, London and Barcelona.
2018 was a record year for Belgian tourism. A total of 41.3 million overnight stays were booked in Belgium. That’s a growth of seven percent compared to last year. The growth in Brussels was more than 10%. West-Flanders (due to Bruges and the seaside) is still the most popular province by far, with more than 12 million overnight stays.
According to figures published by Westtoer, 17.9 million day visitors travelled to the Belgian coast in 2018, which accounts for about €800 million of tourist money spent.
Noordwijk, Amsterdam’s beach, invites MICE buyers to two different famtrips to discover the destination. One from October 18 to 20, one from November 22 to 24. Click here to find out more.
As from June, Tanzania banned making, using and importing all plastic bags. Tourists are also advised not to include any plastic bags in their luggage – not even the bags you use to hold your liquids at the airport. At least someone is taking this seriously.

This August, Sophie Naze of event agency KonseptS and Katrijn Desteghene started O’Revoir. The goal of this special initiative is to take away the taboo around death. Every goodbye should be unique and perfectly arranged. O’Revoir will help you put your loved one in the spotlight one last time.
After 26 years of existence, the Global Greeter Network – an organisation organising city visits by locals – founded the International Greeters Association, and its headquarters is in Brussels.
Looking for new eco-spots like zero-waste shops, honest bars, fair fashion, natural personal healthcare and creative workshops? You can now book eco lifestyle tours in Antwerp, Brussels and Ghent.
The European Association Summit 2020 is looking for your proposals as a speaker. Representatives of international associations can now submit their exciting case studies, success stories and best practices, and they might get featured as a keynote speaker next year.

J&M Catering will take over Silverspoon Exclusive Catering & Events. Both brands will keep their own identity though.
Accor announced the winners of its first Planet21 awards. Ibis Leuven Centrum, Novotel Mechelen Centrum and Novotel Brussels City Centre were the lucky winners. The awards are a way to promote sustainability within the hotel group, for example by reducing food waste with at least 30% and by introducing vegetable gardens in urban hotels.
This December, Crowne Plaza Brussels Airport will let 150 Hotel management students of Erasmus hogeschool Brussel take over the hotel for a week. It will teach them the tricks of the trade in a more realistic way.
Double Tree by Hilton Amsterdam Central Station opened the first plastic free hotel room in the hotel chain’s Benelux properties. Everything in the room was replaced to get rid of plastic: tapestry, bed, curtains, you name it. And the TV (no plastic-free version available of course), was traded for a wooden chessboard. Which we guess is also fun.
Park Inn by Radisson will open a new 142 room hotel in Berchem (district of Antwerp). The venue will be centrally located, easily reachable and will have lots of meeting and conference space – all of this in a quieter and greener part of Antwerp.
Holiday Inn Brussels Airport does not only offer a summer terrace for events, they have a pop-up SKOJ winter chalet as well. And it’s getting even bigger this year: 250m² of cosily decorated heated space, suitable for all sorts of events. Perfect for any end of the year event.
Click here to download the specifics.
After two years of renovations, Raffles Singapore: one of the most famous hotels on the planet, has reopened. The number of suits was raised from 103 to 115 and a lot of public spaces were refurbished.
Hotels in Brussels showed a 78.3% occupancy rate this July: a new record. Biggest draw was of course the Tour de France passing through the capital, but Tomorrowland helped as well, with 63,000 extra stays as a direct consequence of the festival. Compared to ten years ago, this is a growth of more than 20%.
A brand new Meininger hotel opened in Brussels, close to Brussels Midi Station. This will be Meininger’s second venue in the capital. It comes with 150 rooms and 678 beds, and the interior is inspired by René Magritte.

Recently, a Room with a ZOO in Antwerp hosted the 61th Annual Conference and General Assembly of AIPC 2019.  You can watch the after movie showing the highlights of this grand conference here.

Antwerp Airport is getting a new airline. In a first phase, Air Antwerp wants to connect the city with three destinations, including London City Airport. The company hopes to attract a number of former VLM employees as well. They hope to start operating this fall, with one Fokker 50 plane.
Air Belgium announced the launch of two new direct flights a week from Brussels Charleroi to the French Antilles (Guadeloupe and Martinique). Flights are operated by an airbus A340 and will leave in the morning.
Passengers traveling from Brussels-Midi can now check in for their flight while waiting for the train to Brussels Airport (passengers traveling from Antwerp Central Station can do so as well). If you only have hand luggage with you, you can go straight to the security checkpoint once at the airport.
This winter, KLM will offer two direct flights per week between Amsterdam and St. Maarten. This makes for just nine hours of travelling to get there. Direct flights from The Netherlands to the island were halted after hurricane Irma hit it in September of 2017.
As from July, TAP Portugal flies from Brussels to Porto directly, twice a day. Flights leave in Brussels at 11:10 AM and 9:50 PM. Tickets are available from €98.
Brussels Airport and Fost Plus are joining forces to prevent more waste, to sort better and to recycle more. To this end, the various airport partners have signed a Brussels Airport waste charter. By 2023 all partners want to recycle at least 50% of all waste at the airport, including waste from passengers.
Lufthansa took Brussels Airlines out of the low-cost Eurowings group, reversing an earlier decision. In the near future, it will join the other network carriers like Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines and Swiss.
Ethiopian Airlines will start offering direct daily flights from Brussels to Addis Abeba this winter.

Ponant, world leader in luxury cruises, started the Ponant Foundation, which will support research, awareness and preservation projects for our oceans, poles and indigenous peoples.
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and the city of Dubrovnik signed a declaration of intent that will contribute to guarding and protecting the cultural heritage of the city. Targeted responsible tourism plays a very important role in this. It aims to become a role model for sustainable tourism in other cities.

Babs Nijdam will be the new MPI Netherlands President as from 1 January 2020. She will take over from Robbert Weddepohl.
After more than 40 years in the incentive travel industry, Peter Van Avermaet will quit his position at Event Masters to enjoy his well-deserved retirement.
Omnia Travel welcomes Sabine Loots (formerly American Express) as a new member of its Group Travel and Incentives department. She will be the Group Business Development Manager, insuring the further expansion of the department.
Lidwien Hoogeveen left Apollo Hotels to take on a new challenge as Account Manager Events at AVEX // Hulstkamp Event Facilities.
Claire Jeunhomme was named General Manager of the new NH Collection Antwerp Centre. She’ll be coming over from the NH London Kensington.
The Global Association Hubs Partnership (GAHP) has appointed Martin Sirk as its new Advisor, following the retirement of the network founder Hervé Bosquet. The partnership between Brussels, Dubai, Singapore and Washington DC will continue its development under new guidance.


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