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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 40th edition. All of our take5 articles are advertorial free.

Meetings on the Costa del Sol – Destination Report

From April 2 to 5, BBT Online was invited to cover the first Iberian MICE Forum in Marbella and Malaga. AgendaForeign buyers met with Spanish suppliers.

It is of course hard to really appreciate a region without discovering it in person, so the first two days were spent venturing into Marbella, Ronda and some surprising venues on the countryside. The region has 188km of beaches, 51 golf courses and Malaga is Spain’s second largest cruise destination after Barcelona. It seemed like we wouldn’t run out of sightseeing opportunities soon. Jonathan Ramael reports. Click here to read his report.


How to analyze group pricing – a must read for hoteliers
Don and Yvo van der Tol
Don Bundock, President of Quality Track
International and Yvo van der Tol

Yvo van der Tol has a strong back ground in the International hotel sales and revenue management. His professional experience made him interested in the GroupMetrix and Quality Track products. The GroupMetrix will assist hotels to analyze the group pricing and handling of price resistance in their market.

Yvo experienced that revenue meetings are very much individual segment orientated, mainly due to the lack of group market intelligence reports. The GroupMetrix changed revenue meetings in hotels and assists with making the annual budgets. The GroupMetrix will reveal trends on positioning and rate changes in the market.

Click here to read more.

Wish you were here!

Standing on the banks of the River Boyne in the rolling landscape of County Meath, Bellinter House exudes period glamour. The House meticulously preserves its classic Georgian heritage while enhancing it with the best of modern Irish design

Bellinter House is a magnificent example of an eighteenth century country house in Palladian style. It’s located just under an hour away from Dublin city and Dublin Airport. A bed & breakfast double room can be booked for € 148, including one evening dinner on a night of your choice.

Bellinter House Bellinter House
VAT Legislation
What’s changing?
Education and Inspiration

The new VAT legislation: What’s changing for the MICE sector? For some of us it’s a maze of facts and figures, but it’s important to know the basics.

Since January 2011 the European Union changed some of the VAT rules for the event sector, and these changes are particularly important for anyone organizing events abroad or for foreign customers. Time to briefly review the changes.

Click here to read more. Jonathan Ramael reports.

meetopolisOn September 29th, Belgian based meeting & event planners are invited to Square in Brussels for a day to meet, be inspired and share information, experiences and ideas with colleagues, renowned speakers and moderators.
Meeting & Event planners need to be constantly aware of novelties and developments in their branch of work but also "out-of-the box". While attending Meetopolis, you will debate these trends and how to face them. The main goal is to directly transpose everything you learn during the day into your professional activities.

Innovative and proactive techniques of animation, networking and exchange will be used to make the Forum an experience you will remember. Meetopolis, The First Education and Inspiration Meeting & Event planners Forum.

Inspection tours – Does a perfect formula exist? – by Bruce Taylor

Let’s be absolutely clear. We are talking here about educationals, educ-tours, fam trips …for groups of tourprofessionals, not short site inspections for clients, although some of the same principles may well apply.

So, to answer the question!  In a business where we all strive for perfection, the answer is probably no. But on the other hand the imperfect tour certainly does exist, and most of us have been there, more often than we would wish!

Meeting, incentive & event planners are the most critical audience you will find anywhere. They have to be, that’s their job. They see things through the eyes of their clients to whom they will eventually have to sell the product. And remember, no two planners think alike, so you will never get 100% agreement on anything. This is still a world of individualists, one of the few left in the travel business.

However, you can reduce the chance of problems, if you follow some simple golden rules… Click here to read more.
The event crew: They make or break an event

event crewHaving a well-trained and well-briefed staff is one of the most important factors when it comes to organizing successful events. If your staff knows what to do and how to communicate with your guests, they will boost up the whole evening in a positive way.

Professional communication coach Christoph Van Doninck gave a seminar, powered by RendEvenement, on this subject during EMIF. A few basic rules can make a world of difference.

Click here to read more.
NY’s rooftop bars – On top of the world in style


Watching the sun set over New York’s skyscrapers from one of its many rooftop bars: better views are hard to find. Let’s have a look at some of the best ones.

Salon de Ning at the Peninsula Hotel, New York
Watch the lights come up all over central Manhattan from this beautiful bar and lounge, inspired by the glamour and style of 1930’s Shanghai.

Ink48, New York
Located in a former printing house (hence the name), this Kimpton hotel’s rooftop bar comes with a beautiful long, narrow pool. Go for a swim overlooking the big apple!

Penthouse 808 at the Ravel Hotel, New York
Combine drinks and dinner with some dance moves in this nightclub and bar. A retractable greenhouse makes sure you can always enjoy the city that never sleeps, even when it’s freezing cold outside.

Salon de Ning Penthouse 808

Glass Bar at the Hotel Indigo, New York
This intimate rooftop bar in New York’s Chelsea district is an elegant location to cure your party fever. It features live-DJs every night.

Ava Lounge at the Dream Hotel, New York
A modern looking bar offering a very relaxed atmosphere as well as magnificent views over Time’s Square and the Hudson River.

The Hudson Hotel’s sky terrace, New York
Located on the 15th floor, this Sky Terrace is the ideal spot for soaking up the sun and enjoying a quiet drink after a hectic New York City day.

ROOF on theWit, Chicago
Enjoy your fresh cocktail next to one of the table-side fire pits while the live band is playing. This stylish venue has it all, including some of the best views in town.


Kamamma cooking in South Africa
New creative meeting concept

South Africa is a magnificent destination, guaranteed to give you an enduring impression. To make your travel experience more authentic, you could consider joining the Kamamma tribe for a traditional African meal.

Every social group in this country has its own language and its own cooking style. Thanks to Dreamcatcher’s cook-ups, you can now order a Kamamma dinner while you get introduced to their way of cooking. You actually help them prepare the meal. Up to 18 people can broaden their cultural experience while providing the locals with an income. And remember: there’s no shame in asking for seconds here!

Dream catcher: Live the dream with us to put an and to aid without end.
Crowne Plaza

Crowne Plaza Amsterdam City Centre is testing two new concepts to help business guests get the maximum out of their meetings. A new meeting room – the Ideation Room – was designed to stimulate creativity.

A three-in-one whiteboard allows the speaker to project his PC-screen on the board to help him navigate through documents and let him save interactive notes. The new space is also perfectly suited for trainings and focus groups because of its one way see-through mirror, which creates an observation space.

Another novelty is the lobby connect lounge concept, which gives the guests the possibility to have quick meetings in the lobby without the labor of booking a meeting room.

Real Short !!

The 1st education & inspiration Meeting & Event planners Forum will take place in Brussels on September 29, 2011. Meeting & Event planners based in Belgium can register now at
After just one week, more than 20,000 people visited the “Tutankhamun: his tomb and his treasures” exposition in Brussels. It will last for six months and is expected to attract more than 200,000 visitors.
Share a Table could be an interesting initiative for business travelers who hate dining alone. In participating restaurants, one table is reserved to be shared. This makes it easy for travelers to join others at their table and eat together.
Star Clippers launches a series of cruises on the Baltic Sea in the summer of 2012. The impressive sailing ship “Star Flyer” will be the vessel of choice. Cities like Hamburg, Oslo and Stockholm are important stops, but smaller, more picturesque ports will be visited as well.
Consult BBT Online’s MICE agenda, and don’t miss any event.
Since the BBT Online office is getting too small for us, it is time to move. This means that the current office will be available for rent, suitable for 1 or 2 persons. It’s located between Place Chatlain and Bois de la Cambre (Brussels), just next to Av Louise. It has 1 office space of 5 x 5.5m², and a storage room of 3  x 2m² and 1 toilet. There’s also a separate meeting room, shared with one other company. The rental price is € 495 and € 125 charges per month. Parking available for € 75 month. If you’re interested, please send us an email to make an appointment for a visit.
If you haven't already, do hook up with us if you're on Facebook so you can be kept in the loop of the latest news.

The Accor group was elected as a 2011 Top Employer by the CRF-Institute, an independent organization of HR-experts. The group was rewarded for its continuous efforts on human resources. 95 % of Accor hotel managers started their career as basic employees.
With the opening of the new hotel in Leuven (139 rooms), Etap now has nine Belgian venues. The newest addition is located right next to the train station and rooms can be rented for as little as € 49 per night.
The new Sofitel Ashgabat Oguzkent is the first Sofitel venue in Turkmenistan. It offers 229 luxurious rooms, a conference room and three restaurants.
The Oberoi Group announced the opening of The Oberoi Gurgaon, calling it one of India's most luxurious city hotels. It is located in the prime business and shopping district of Gurgaon in the New Delhi Capital Region.
Hotels are deploying new technology to combat one of their biggest expenses – replacing stolen towels and bathrobes. The anti-theft system uses washable radio-frequency tags stitched into towels, robes and other linen which triggers an alarm if removed from the premises.
The brand new 25hours Hotel Wien, in the heart of Vienna's creative hub, is quite a special sight to behold. It’s full of fanciful aesthetics, mixing antiques and wall treatments with memorabilia of the city’s three permanent circus buildings. Member of Design Hotels,

35% of airline passengers frequently get annoyed during flights according to Seats in sleeping position, seat bumping, loud passengers, people standing up right after landing and crying babies are the main sources of irritation.
Solar Impulse, the company that built the first solar-powered plane, chose Brussels Airport for its first international flight. After landing, it will be showcased from May 23 till 29 before it flies to Paris.
A Danish-Icelandic study says closing the European airspace after the Eyjafjallajökull eruption was legitimate. Ash particles released by the volcano were capable of causing serious risks to planes in flight. The decision was very controversial at the time.
Jet Airways now offers daily flights to Colombo (Sri Lanka) from Brussels via Mumbai and Chennai.

Barbara De Meulemeester will leave the Royal Windsor Hotel at the end of this month. She will start working as Warwick International’s Social Media & Marketing Manager Europe and will be based in Paris.

Laughing is good for you! A T-Mobile commercial gives you a glimpse of how entertaining the British royal wedding could have been! Click here.


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