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Appearing in your inbox every other week, TAKE5 gives you an update on the latest Meetings, Incentives and Business Travel related news. It contains short and to the point information on venues, people, happenings, lifestyle and general news that cannot wait to be told! BBT Online guarantees you 15 new ideas in just 3 minutes. Enjoy our 38th edition. All of our take5 articles are advertorial free.

Interesting UK Venues
New place to be

Corinthian The Corinthian Club, in Glasgow, houses a variety of private bars, dining and event rooms over five levels, including some of the finest 'Grade A' listed Victorian interiors in the UK. The private rooms provide outstanding corporate meeting, event and reception spaces. http://thecorinthianclub

Looking for an original place to eat in London? Go to the Wapping Project. This restaurant is located in an old hydraulic plant, which makes it a very strange but interesting place.

It is also an exposition and performance venue. Worth a visit.


the flat‘The Flat’ on Brussels’ Rue de la Reinette is quite a unique and trendy location. The whole place is decorated like a luxurious apartment. You can have a cocktail with your friends, relax or dance in the living room, the lounge or the bedroom, but even Mojitos in the bathtub are an option. Be careful about who’s joining you in there though!

Meeting Productively

A lot of meetings are long, boring and ineffective ordeals. Few people know how to manage one efficiently. Many aren’t well planned out and the initial goals are easily forgotten.

Antwerp based training centre Expert Academy can help you get the most out of your meetings and conferences. In “Efficient and Productive Meetings”, a practically oriented training program, you will learn all the necessary techniques through role playing games and interactive exercises.

Breaking MICE news from Belgium
Breaking Mice

China set to rescue EMIF
Major Chinese investment group, Wong Enterprises, is to invest seriously to make EMIF the top Sino-European Meeting Industry Fair. SEMIF, as it will now be known, is to alternate annually between Brussels and Beijing. “We all know the future is in China. It’s a no brainer. That’s where most of Europe’s potential delegates live”, commented SEMIF’s new international adviser, Paul Kennedy.... more info

Square meeting center turns into Circle
Brussels politicians have gone back to international consultants to rebrand meeting center Square which has not exactly reached top-of-mind among Europe’s PCOs since its expensive renovation two years ago. Circle was inspired by the Swahili ‘Boma’ concept of meetings-in- the-round and of course another large fee…... more info

Traumatic times for Belgian MICE
Following last month’s controversy when promotion of Flanders in Japan was taken over by NBTC (Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions), BBT Online has learnt from trusted sources that Tourism Flanders is to sign a full representation agreement with NBTC. From today, the Dutch look like being responsible for marketing Flanders worldwide... more info

OPT, the recently dynamically re-named Wallonia-Brussels Tourism is also in secret negotiations in Paris with Atout France and it is strongly rumoured that the French will take over international promotion of Wallonia under a new Atout Wallonia brand. Remember you first heard it here on BBT Online… more info
2 new luxury 4-star hotels close-by
Romance in the treetops:
les Cabanes de Marie

“Europe’s best kept secret” (dixit Lonely Planet) gets a brand new 4-star hotel: Sandton Grand Hotel Reyhof. Located in the city centre of Ghent this stately empire style hotel was totally renovated and the adjacent modern building contrasts well with it.

162 rooms, underground parking, meeting rooms and wellness centre. It’s scheduled to open in the middle of 2011.

Van Der Valk Middelburg

Last year the 4-star Van Der Valk Middelburg Hotel opened its doors. Middelburg is the capital of the Dutch Zeeland province, a region full of cultural and gastronomic attractions.

The hotel houses 121 spatial luxurious rooms (11 of them suites), ten meeting rooms, one congress hall and restaurant. If you look at the quality offered, Van Der Valk Middelburg is surprisingly cheap in its class.

As if a chateau in the Ardennes was not romantic enough, Nouvelle Restoration, who run Chateau de la Rocq, created the ultimate romantic hideout in the treetops surrounding the chateau: les Cabanes de Marie. Charming and with the necessary luxury, visitors will experience calm and quiet nestled in the majestic treetops of the park.

Situated within easy distance of Brussels and the French border, this can definitely be added to the list of unusual but must see venues!

Good presentations:
10 questions to ask!

Unfortunately we are still ‘submitted’ to them on a regular basis, bad or unprofessional presentations by so called professionals. And yet, they are so important and a lot of pitfalls can be avoided by asking yourself following questions:

  • Who are my audience?
  • What is the purpose of my presentation?
  • What is my opinion on the subject.
  • What are the advantages for my audience?
  • What will they miss out on if they do not take advantage of my proposal.
  • What are the keynotes of my presentation?
  • Do I have interesting quotes or supporting evidence to underline my point?
  • Do I have interesting stories or case studies to illustrate my point?
  • What is the action I expect from my audience after my presentation?
  • What is the positive conclusion to end my presentation with?
There are of course many more tips: practice, good visual aids, good research, good posture and eye contact with the audience etc… but the words of Dale Carnegie best illustrate the need for good presentations: “There are three kinds of presentations: the one you practiced, the one you gave and the one you wished you had given”.
BTExpo is expanding
Brussels Tourism & Meetings Awards

The 8th edition of BTExpo (December 8-9) comes with a major concept change. For the first time the MICE-sector is included in the program. The location is changing too. After seven years of Tour & Taxis the fair moves to Square, a venue right next to the central train station of Brussels. This makes the event more reachable than ever.

The exhibitor stands will also be different. All of them will be set up identically: a table, four chairs and a wifi-connection.

By bringing the travel and the meeting industry together, BTExpo positions itself as a direct and frontal competitor of EMIF.

On March 14, BI-TC (now VisitBrussels) presented the annual Brussels Tourism & Meetings Awards, honoring initiatives that contribute to Brussels' international appeal. The winners were selected by over 600 professionals from the tourism and congress sector.

The Queen Elisabeth Competition won the award for ‘International Event 2010’ before the Memorial Vandamme and the Tour de France. ‘Cultural Exhibition’ went to Frida Kahlo y su Mundo. ‘New Place to be’ went to Villa Empain. Asia Europe Meeting won the ‘International Congress’ award. Best ‘Newcomer Hotel’ was the Aloft Brussels Schuman hotel. Afterwork Shopping won the award for ‘New Concept’ and ‘Party Experience of 2010’ went to Aperos Urbains.
BSAE: Think global, act local!

Association management in Belgium & the role of BSAE

bsaeEMIF was the perfect location to shed some light on BSAE: the Belgian Society of Association Executives, a networking group uniting some of the key players of the Belgian Association World. BBT Online attended the presentation, which quickly changed into an interesting debate about the purpose and the tasks of associations.

In Belgium, association management is not a small industry. More than 500 professional associations are employing more than 2.500 people. The association world is evolving fast, internal as well as external. The socio-economic environment is more complex now than ever, and the number of stakeholders and competitors is rapidly increasing. That’s why future associations need to be open, professional, transparent and adaptable. They have to be community driven and innovative to survive.  Click here to read more.
Can EMIF survive? – By Bruce Taylor
Emif Emif Emif

It’s the million dollar question everyone asks themselves every year. Up until the Monday before EMIF, I had thought ‘the answer my friend is blowing in the wind’. By Wednesday night, and the end of EMIF, my response had changed to ‘Yes it can’.  I had seen green shoots, encouraging signs and a half full glass ….

Click here to read more.
Croatian night to remember
Triple not double dutch …

The annual Croatian Dinner & Gala Concert has had a makeover and a change of style.

This prestigious event is organised every year by the Croatian National Tourism Organisation in co-operation with three Brussels-based Croatian Ambassadors for all their contacts in the Capital of Europe.

Thanks to new young Tourism Director, Ivan Novak, it is now has a more modern touch and feel.

Click here to read more…

Three Dutch starsMaastricht, Rotterdam and The Hague - were in town for EMIF 2011, each with a strong sales team of commercial partners. They worked intelligently together to organise a 3 Stars presentation and dinner, alongside EMIF at Tasso in Tour & Taxis on March, 15. 

59 planners enjoyed a relaxing soft-sell evening and networking event. Lucky winners of the business-card lottery like SITE Belgium President Dries Jacobus will get the chance to make their own inspection tour to one of the cities.

Click here to read more …
Wish you were here ….

AgendaIn the very heart of the Ardeche, a contemporary house has been built to live outside –within. By using pure and basic materials a purity of form has been created around a large open space and there are 4 bedrooms, each with their own bathroom and breathtaking views of the Ardeche mountains.

The infinity pool is totally in sync with the environment and in the evening the crickets make music… a heaven of peace! Les Blanches de Payzac.

Blanches de Payzac

Real Short !!

April 12: Portuguese cooking atelier and workshop about Estoril in The Sol Ar in Brussels.
April 12-13: Event Material Days, Lorentz, Harderwijk, the Netherlands. Fair for event organizers full of workshops, presentations and product demonstrations.
April 13-14: Business Travel & Meetings Show, Düsseldorf Exhibition Centre. Germany’s biggest fair for meetings and incentive planners.
April 14: Portuguese cooking atelier and workshop about Estoril in The Colour Kitchen in Amsterdam.
April 28: Touch of Antwerptainment. A day to experience Antwerp and discover out of the box ideas for your next event. A mix of workshops, activities and evening entertainment.
May 17: ACTE Amsterdam Executive Forum in the original American Hotel. Keep an eye on their site for programme updates.
June 22-23: Business Travel Market, ExCel London. BTM proudly announces the number of European buyers being brought to London as part of the VIP Hosted Buyer Programme will be increased by 25%. Up to 500 buyers will be hosted.
July 18-19: The Association Congress, Business Design Centre, London. The leading conference for international, European and national association executives and association conference organisers.
August 11-13: India Travel & Information Technology Mart, HICC, Hyderabad, India. The first premier B2B trade event in India focused on the MICE & Travel market.


On EMIF, Washington and Brussels signed an alliance named ‘Power Cities’. It will focus on further promoting these meeting capitals to decision makers and meeting professionals worldwide.
The Belgian Association of Incentive Houses ‘Initiative’ changed its name to Qualified Incentives Specialists (QIS).
Brussels International – Tourism & Congress changed its name to VisitBrussels. They have a new website, a new logo and new videos.
OPT Wallonie-Bruxelles has become WBT (Wallonie-Bruxelles Tourisme) and changed its logo as well.
Meeting locations in Flanders can now apply for an independent ecological quality label called ‘Green Key’. The label is granted for one year and has to be re-earned afterwards.
Iceland has a new conference centre. The wonderfully designed ‘Harpa’ is a new icon for the city of Reykjavik. The conference hall can seat up to 750 attendants and the two main meeting rooms have room for 63 people.
The World Tourism Organization found out that although one in five ministers of Tourism is female and women are being employed in tourism twice as much as in other sectors, they still earn 10 to 15 percent less than men. This report stresses the importance of equal pay and equal rights in the tourism business.
BCD Travel expresses its faith in the Belgian branch of the organization by confirming a capital increase of 18,5 million euro, hereby sending a clear signal to its partners and clients.
A study of tour operator Kuoni teaches us Italian travelers have the most sex with strangers, Swiss people detest topless sunbathing and that the Swedes attach the most importance to sustainability and the environment.
According to a survey of Ascend, one in two business travelers expects to be traveling more in 2011. But ticket prices are expected to rise as well. Other complaints were a deterioration of service, a smaller supply of flights and longer waiting lines.
According to BCD Travel, 7 out of 10 business travelers like traveling despite minor annoyances. A surprising find was that traveling men tend to miss their wives the most, while traveling women miss their children more.
The new rules of the conference Industry are revealed: Discover the 7 new conference killer strategies.

B&B De Waterzooi in Ghent was pronounced Belgian B&B of the year during the opening of B&B Expo in Brussels. Second and third place were reserved for Huis ’t Schaep in Bruges and Le Manoir Ivoire in Namur.
Scandic Antwerp is one of the first Belgian hotels where guests can recharge their electric cars for free.
HOME@FEEK is an originally designed bed & breakfast in the heart of Antwerp. Its daring design makes it a B&B and a showroom in one.
Hilton Worldwide opens a 137-room hotel in the centre of Cape Town, South Africa.
Paris Le Royal has been reinvented by Philippe Starck and now oozes avant-garde French charm.
In Milan, Dolce & Gabbana Gold is opening, a very fancy concept restaurant with a very fitting name.
The avant-garde design of I-Suite in Rimini is a must see. Its bright colours, wavy curves and huge windows give it an absolutely refreshing feel. All 54 suites are spacious and hypermodern.


From June 2 until September 29, Adria Airways launches direct flights between Pristina and Brussels. Paris, Düsseldorf and Copenhagen will also be connected with Kosovo’s capital.
United announces the expansion of mobile check-in and mobile boarding passes to customers travelling with international itineraries. Customers may check in at beginning 24 hours before departure.
Jet Airways is talking to Air France-KLM, Delta Airlines and Alitalia about joining Skyteam. If this happens, their headquarters could move from Brussels to Amsterdam. In that case Jet Airways will work closely with KLM and take over its USA route. Jet Airways now flies from India to New York, JFK, Newark and Toronto via Brussels in cooperation with Brussels Airlines.
Starting this fall, KLM will fly to Havana, Cuba three times a week.
According to a survey of Emirates provides the best in-flight meals. Other airlines in the top ten are: Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, Aeroflot, Qatar, Malaysia Airlines, Thai Airways, Etihad, KLM and Air France.
Air France, KLM and Delta Airlines introduce one mutual contact point for incentives- group- and travel agent support. The phone number is 070222477 and the email address is

Paul Kennedy, director and owner of Kennedy Integrated Solutions and Group Exhibition Director for the EIBTM Group, will advise EMIF on the exhibition’s future development, turning it into a strongly hosted buyer led show.
Ghatin Kabbara was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Curaçao Tourist Board. He spent years working for marketing and consultancy bureaus in Miami and Spain.
After more than three years of working as a sales consultant for Antipodes Voyages and Voyages Nomades, Candice Neerman is looking for a new challenge in the world of Incentives. She can be contacted at
Robin Lokerman, CEO, MCI Institutional Division, has recently been inducted into the American Society for Association Executives (ASAE)’s 2011 Class of Fellows. Robin is the second ever non-American to be appointed a Fellow.
After having worked for Coca-Cola as an event organiser for more than 10 years, Anniek De Vlieger starts to work as a freelancer for MICE projects. She can be contacted on -

Laughing is good for you! This month’s video is more mindboggling than it is funny. Be amazed by this fantastic clip on the evolution of information technology. Click here.


Karin de Graauw – Editor-in-chief BBT Online
Rue Van Eyckstraat 29 – 1050 Brussels – Belgium
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