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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 122nd Take5 edition. Our Take5 newsletter is completely advertorial free.

What’s the buzz about platform technology? - Educational report

Maybe you don't think of it, but we are all consumers of platform technology. If you forget the digital part, it is easy to understand what a platform is; it is a stage or market square, a place where peers meet and share and where supply and demand come together.

At the BTM Conference 2019, Gwellyn Daandels from IT company Cognizant helped making the connection to today's virtual platform. And he told us that the 21st century economy will be driven by it.

BBT Online’s reporter Monica Rijpma attended the conference, click here for her report.

New boutique hotel in Ostend
A waterside hotel for meetings
Hotel Monarc

Hotel Monarc is a stately old mansion dating from the late 19th century. It was closed for two years for a complete renovation, turning it into an boutique hotel housing 21 stylish rooms

It’s located close to the Ostend beach, the city centre, the hippodrome and to Casino Kursaal.  The rooms look absolutely lovely.

Resort Waterrijk Oesterdam, in the middle of Oosterschelde National Park in Zeeland, The Netherlands, is a beautiful resort offering luxurious hotels suites as well as unique water villas: spacious houses with their very own jetty

It’s suitable for meetings, company events and gala dinners, and comes with a private dining area for 40 guests, a large event room for 200, a meeting room for 50 and an open rooftop with spectacular views for 140 people.

Several outdoor activities can be organised: paintball, rib experience, buggy, paintball, escape room etc, etc. More behind this link.

We publish much more news than you can read and see in our monthly Take5 Newsletter. Follow us on our Facebook page.
Green event venue on the Dutch coast
Twistvliet Twistvliet Twistvliet

Landgoed Twistvliet is an event venue with a recreational farm in Walcheren, Zeeland. It’s not far from Antwerp and Ghent, and lies close to the sea in a natural environment. You can rent villas, cottages and suites here, all at superb rates

There are also halls available for parties and events, and lots of teambuilding incentives are on offer as well: jeep drives, horse riding, carriage rides, etc. Meeting rooms can be booked too. 

Cool venue, and suitable all year round.  

Twistvliet Twistvliet Twistvliet
Surprising event location in Antwerp
Foodies Arena Ghent
The Market

The Market, an interesting new venue located in Antwerp’s former fish market, houses three different event spaces. The Dome is the beating heart of the place and can seat up to 80 people in a space with a lounge area, a floating auditorium and a bar. 

The Square is a configurable setting for up to 120 people that can cater to everything from board meetings to exhibitions. The Booths are smaller meeting rooms for up to 14 people.
Foodies Arena

This brand new and unique location in Ghent, close to St. Pieters Station, houses five kitchen units, a master kitchen and a large professional kitchen, available for rent to all cooking enthusiasts. 

It works as an event venue as well, offering lots of cooking workshops from all over the world in combination with a meeting, a company party or a seminar in one of the many available spaces.
Make-over for Thon Hotel Bristol Stephanie
Find your place – Venue finder
Thon Hotel Bristol Stephanie

Thon Hotel Bristol Stephanie, on Av. Louise in Brussels, finished the renovation of its meeting rooms and coffee break area.  They now look way more modern and come with the latest meeting technology

The hotel can host meetings for up to 300 people, and offers 142 bedrooms and 7 meeting rooms. Its standard rooms are the largest in Brussels.

Stanhope Hotel Brussels – part of Thon Hotels – will be the venue of choice for BBT's b2b workshop for associations and corporate MICE planners on Tuesday, December 3rd. Click here for the invitation.
Find your place is a website allowing you to quickly find the perfect venue for your next event.

Looking for a nice restaurant for a business dinner or a hall for the perfect company event

Use more than 50 selection criteria to find the place that completely meets your requirements. Simply, direct and free of charge.

Try it out for yourself and/or click here to have a YouTube clip explain it for you (in French).

It's better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation!
Dwindling profits for the Belgian communication industry

According to a survey by ACC – the association of communication agencies in Belgium – the agencies are looking at lower profits due to the growing wage cost of expensive experts. 

The playing field is getting ever more complex, which forces the bureaus to adapt and hire external experts. Clients see this as an evident measure, but are usually not willing to pay the extra cost.
A visit to Belgian Limburg


BBT Online together with several MICE planners who attended our workshop last June were invited to come and experience Terhills Hotel: a beautiful venue offering 59 rooms in Maasmechelen. Located right next to National Park Hoge Kempen – a 120km² green haven – and to the Maasmechelen Village outlet shopping experience, it offers various opportunities to head out.

A new wing for conferences and meetings was just added to the hotel, and outside a new event square will be built. The venue has a cosy, homely and welcoming atmosphere and can be privatised as a whole.

The Elaisa Energetic Wellness was opened this September, just a ten minute walk away. The venue is a bit bizarre and quite massive, but is a nice venue for wellness enthusiasts. Connecterra – one of the most splendid parts of the National Park, lies right next door as well and offers the most beautiful panorama in Flanders. Also close is Terhills Cablepark – which can be privatised as well – where you can go for some water-skiing and wakeboarding.

Lunch was had at Le Petit Belge, after a workshop at Palmira Proietti. Looking for a nice place for dinner? Book at Osteria Cellini.

Terhills Hotel Terhills Hotel
Terhills Hotel Château de Vignée
Invitation educational trip: Dreams are made in Italy

Palazzo di Varignana Resort & Spa is an elegant venue in the Emilia countryside around the Italian city of Bologna. It’s housed in a beautiful 18th century villa, and offers 140 rooms, an exceptional 3,700m² spa with five outdoor pools, three restaurants, a modern conference centre and loads of event space

The resort is located on a stunning domain, part of the prestigious “Great Italian Gardens” network. 

The Palazzo will be one of many top suppliers on our next b2b workshop, and will be the setting for one of BBT Online’s educational trips in 2020How to attend this educational trip? Go to see the sales manager on our workshop and mention your interest.

Palazzo Palazzo
We publish much more news than you can read and see in our monthly Take5 Newsletter. Follow us on our Facebook page.
Invitation educational trip: Kempinski’s newest Caribbean resort

Kempinski comes with a new conference and incentive destination in the Caribbean. Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski Dominica opened this October and will be the first five-star resort on the virtually untouched island of Dominica – which is NOT The Dominican Republic for the geography buffs out there. 

It comes with 151 rooms, suites, duplexes and villas, three restaurants and a large and luxurious

Dominica is right next to Guadeloupe – one of Air Belgium’s newest destinations – and is an island probably none of us have ever travelled to. BBT Online is working on a famtrip there in early 2020. If interested, mail us at:

Dominica Dominica
BBT Online in Kenya: destination report
Kenya Kenya

Woni Safaris invited BBT Online for a weeklong press trip to beautiful Kenya - lucky us. Our reporter Jonathan spent two days in the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro in the mythical Amboseli National Park and then travelled to bustling Nairobi, visiting various social projects on the way. 

A stop at the Magical Kenya Travel Expo was also part of the programme. Kenya proved to be a unique and inspiring travel destination, slowly setting its sights on the meetings industry as well. 

Read the full story behind this link.

Woni Safaris will be one of the many top suppliers on our b2b workshop this December.

Kenya Dominica
Easier Visas to St Petersburg

European citizens can now apply for a Russian visa in a much easier and cheaper way. The Simplified Electronic Visa started working as from 1 October this year. EU visitors entering and leaving the country from St. Petersburg can now apply for their visa online

It last for up to eight days, it’s free (our last Russian visa of only 1 month ago did cost us €150) and it’s very easily done. Just apply on the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and bring the printed confirmation letter with you.

RusMICE DMC will be present on our b2b workshop on 2 December will be happy to give you more information on this new evolution: start planning your incentive trips.

St Petersburg St Petersburg St Petersburg
It's better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation!
Invitation for Meeting and Event planners: BBT Online’s 17th b2b workshop
BBT workshop BBT workshop

Join us on Monday, December 2 for the 17th edition of our b2b Speed-Date Workshop. This time we set up shop in Silo Brussels: a brand new venue in a completely modified 100 year old brewery next to the canal. The venue can be found close to Vilvoorde, and is not located in central Brussels. No need to drive into the city!

We’ve got a whole new list of top suppliers ready for you. Behind this link you can find the list, which is still growing.

To get you into the mood, check out these short movies of our last two editions: winter 2018 and summer 2019.

Of course there will be plenty of entertainment and refreshments as well, and everyone having to drive more than 60 km to the venue can get a free hotel room offered by BBT Online.

Click here for the registration form. Don’t hesitate or you might miss it.

Do you want to participate as a meeting, event and/or incentive supplier? Contact us at for more info. There are only a few places left.

BBT workshop BBT workshop
BBT Online’s bucket list – Marloes van Klinken

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 Oceandiva’s Marloes van Klinken.

Marloes Van Klinken Marloes Van Klinken Marloes Van Klinken
Real Short !!

Consult BBT Online's MICE agenda, and don't miss any event.
20 November, The Lab, Ghent: Travelmedia Congress. Enjoy a day full of interesting speakers, engaging workshops and networking opportunities, only for people from the travel industry.
22-23 November: Helsingor, Denmark: MPI European Education Exchange. Exclusive education and face-to-face connections await you on this MPI event. Earn your certificate from the MPI Academy, meet colleagues to network and learn, and draw inspiration from your surroundings in historic Helsingor. Click here to register.
Till 15 March, Train World, Brussels: Paul Delvaux: The Man who Loved Trains. Check out this temporary exhibition of the works of one of Belgium’s most interesting and strangest contemporary painters.
22-23 April, Autotron Rosmalen: iVENT. Register for this new and inspiring tradeshow for the event industry.
BATM organises its next educational forum with a hot topic: sustainability. What can travel managers do to implement a sustainable program? How to set measurable objectives? More info and registration, click here

‘The International Greeters Association’ is celebrating the 27th anniversary of the creation of its concept. This is the perfect opportunity for Julie Fueyo, a Brussels Greeter, to take us to Watermael-Boitsfort: a green district in the Belgian Capital she would like to introduce by bike. Click here to watch the video.
In order to attract more tourists to the country, the Indian Ministry of Tourism has lowered the cost for e-Tourist visa fees. You can check out the rates here.
According to the ‘CWT Meetings & Events Future Trends Report’, London is still the most important city for meetings & events in the EMEA-region, followed by Frankfurt, Paris and Berlin.
Brussels and Bruegel are inextricably linked. A variety of original exhibitions and activities are on offer throughout the year to celebrate the 450th anniversary of the painter’s death. This is the perfect occasion to rediscover the monumental work of the greatest Flemish painter of the 16th century.
Ottawa Tourism and The Hague Convention Bureau signed a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ that will bring the two cities’ convention offering closer together in the future. This includes joint sales activity and the identification of clients that would be interested in both destinations.
With Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics games in sight, you can source your event venue via the collection of Tokyo Unique Venues. Shrines and temples, gardens and parks, observatories and clubs can be used for private dining and corporate hospitality.

QvoVadis, Destination Solutions by Marc Lambert based in Brussels will organise a famtrip for BeLux MICE planners to Sri Lanka (dec 2019). Dutch MICE planners can attend as well but note that departure will be from Brussels. Interested? More info? Mail
Oceandiva London will become the world’s first CO2-neutral event ship. It will be powered electrically and have a circular waste management system. Together with the modern design and the great acoustics, it’s the perfect location for every high end event. The ship will be operational by the end of 2020., representing several DMCs around the world, decided to export the Dutch love for cycling with a large number of unique travel experiences by bike, arranged by local partners. is a new site focused on finding jobs in the meetings, events and tourism industry. If you have any vacancies, publish them here.
ICCA announced its three nominees to compete for the ICCA Best Marketing Award at their congress in Houston: The Estonian Convention Bureau, International Convention Centre Sydney and Convention Bureau Italia will compete for the award.
Gault&Millau launched the fourth edition of their guide of the finest chocolatiers in Belgium and Luxembourg. Now you’ll know where to go when you give up on your diet again.
DJ Tom is an all-round party and event DJ with over 25 years of experience. Check out his Facebook page here.
Girls Gone Working published an interesting article on the ten things you learn when traveling solo as a female. Click here.
More than 100 companies and organisations signed the International Tourism Plastic Pledge in order to reduce plastic waste on holiday destinations and in planes. Nice.

Dinner in the Sky will open for business in Amsterdam with a first event on 19 June at the Amsterdam Tasting Club next year. Click here to book your seats.
Steigenberger Wiltcher’s in Brussels completed the works on its new events area. Guests can now book new, contemporary meeting rooms as well as a spectacular pillarless ballroom restored to its original splendour.
Terhills Resort is a soon to be built holiday park by Center Parcs in Maasmechelen. 250 villas and a central zone with a restaurant and an in- and outdoor pool should be finished by the spring of 2021.
Ghent Marriott gave its lobby a brand new look and celebrated the occasion with a splendid party last month. Missed it? You’re always welcome to come and check out the new look in person.
From 15 November to 31 January, Crowne Plaza Antwerp will open up its very own winter bar. Winter finger food, a winter buffet or a winter BBQ: you can have it all in a unique setting in a cosy heated chalet. Perfect for a winter holiday event.
Park Inn Antwerp Berchem is a brand new hotel close to the Antwerpen-Berchem Train station. It comes with 142 rooms, a restaurant/bar, five meeting rooms for up to 220 people and a 200m² terrace. A spectacular pedestrian bridge takes you straight to the station.
Bar Palmier is a cool new place to eat in Antwerp’s South District. It’s owned by the people behind famed restaurant l’Epicerie du Cirque, and it comes with a cool “jungle” interior and lots of inventive cocktails and snacks. Next door is Moss: another place ran by the same crew, this one primarily for breakfast, brunch and lunch.
Pur Sang is a new catering company founded by Philip Leflot. The main kitchen is located in Puurs, and it produces tasty, contemporary dishes.
Nana Princess is a five-star beachfront resort in Hersonissos, Crete, offering extensive and adaptable meeting, conference and event space.
Chalet Alpen Valley is a new hotel opening this December, overlooking Mont Blanc. It offers 28 warm rooms and suites, for two to up to eight guests.
30s Magazine published a list of London’s most Instagrammable restaurants: places where the food, drinks and backdrop will guarantee you lots of tasty tasty likes, click here for the list.
Kempinski announced a new luxury project in Saudi Arabia. The property, located in Makkah, will come with 380 rooms and suites, several restaurants and a sky lobby. An impressive ballroom and spacious convention rooms will also be added. Click here for more info.
Radisson opened its third venue in Nairobi. Radisson Blu Hotel & Residence Nairobi Arboretum is located in the beautiful Arboretum Park: the ideal base for day trips and safaris in and around the Kenyan capital. It comes with 122 rooms, event space for over 200 guests and a secure parking lot.
The Design Hotels Book for 2020 is out, showcasing a global collection of independent, design-led hotels. It was released on 28 October and can be bought for € 59.99.

As from 29 March 2020, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will replace one of its daily services between Brussels and Schiphol with seat capacity aboard the Thalys high-speed train. In recent months, KLM, Thalys and NS Dutch Railways developed a long-term plan to reduce the number of flights between Brussels and Schiphol in order to be more sustainable.
Loganair has announced that it will offer an enhanced routing between Brussels and Aberdeen, reducing the journey time to just over three hours. This will enable customers in Brussels to travel to the Scottish oil and gas hub much faster through Newcastle.
Daxing International Airport just opened south of Beijing: officially the largest aviation hub on the planet. It has a 143 hectare terminal, four landing strips and parking spots for 268 planes. 5G is available all over the airport, which will prove not to be useful at all when you discover every interesting website is still blocked by the Great Firewall of China.
As from 4 November, Brussels Airlines is offering flights (6 per week) to the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana. It will be the 19th European capital in BA’s network.
Sadder news for the Slovenia’s Adria Airways though. The company has applied for bankruptcy and cancelled all its flights. 500 employees will have to look for a new job.
Qatar Airways will use A350-900 Airbus planes for its flights between Brussels and Doha as from 27 October. This will mean more comfort and leg space both in business and economy class, as well as 25% less CO2 emissions per passenger.
Travellers using Icelandair and Air Iceland Connect can now easily compensate their CO2 footprint with the new CO2 Calculator. When booking a flight, passengers get the possibility to pay an extra fee to compensate the CO2 foot print of their trip. This fee will be used to cultivate forests on the island nation.

Event Masters hired four incentive specialists from the bankrupted Thomas Cook Business Incentives. By hiring Nathalie Van Holsbeke, Kelly Lammens, Hanne Verreecke and Sarah Vijt, Event Masters significantly strengthens its international events department it has had for over 20 years, offering extra expertise and more destinations to its clients. 
Director Alain Depauw left HRG Belgium, right in the middle of the merge with American Express Travel. He’ll leave tourism altogether and will begin a new adventure working for the Start People interim bureau.
Catherine Latour started as a project manager at Tellus DMC.
KonseptS Events was nominated for a UNIZO KMO of the year award in the category: “KMO service company of the year". The national finals will take place on 4 December. 


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