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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 47th edition. All of our take5 articles are advertorial free.

The Private Loft
Benelux first: Icehotel Lumen

In the heart of Ghent Seaport organizers find the loftPrivate Loft. This venue is exclusive and original and can seat up to 50 for a private dinner or 80 guests for cocktails.

The venue offers plenty of parking facilities and has a unique and classy feel about it… the perfect place to wow the clients!

Style Icon designs own line for MAC

womenAt 90 years of age Iris Apfel, the world-famous fashion icon and interior designer has not only given her name to a new make-up line for MAC but will also be the face behind the line.

Another achievement in a well-filled career for a lady, who had her own retrospective show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2005.

The only and very first Ice Hotel in the Benelux can be found in Zwolle, the Netherlands. The entire hotel is made of snow and ice and has 3 rooms.

The room temperature is -8° but the management assures its guests they will have a comfortable night but do not forget your thermal underwear, a good woolly hat and warm mittens…
KLM launches “Social Seating”

Networking whilst you’re on a flight, a novel idea! As of 2012 KLM launches a news service using social media.

Via profiles on Facebook or LinkedIn passengers can look up their potential neighbors and book their seat next to a potentially ‘interesting’ passenger. This will be available for online check-in and passengers can indicate if they want this service to be available for them or not.
BTExpo is really for Travel Agents, not MICE

There was indeed a small MICE area at BTExpo. But it was never going to provide the former EMIF with any serious competition and attract specialist buyers from the MICE industry. There was some business there from Belgian agents, especially for the active DMCs with representatives in the market. But it was mainly for special groups and special interest travel, not MICE.

However some people we spoke to commented very positively on the networking brunches. Bruce Taylor reports … Click here.

BTExpo BTExpo BTExpo
Meeting & Motivation Industry Cocktail – what happened?

badIt was the first time in history that eight national MICE-associations united for the joint organization of what was billed as the networking event of the year! What happened?

Only 75 people were registered…a bit of a letdown, to say the least! Was it because the invitations were sent out late and only in Flemish? – an English version followed later. Was it because not all members of all associations were invitedClick here to read more.


To MICE or not to MICE
Belgium in force at EIBTM
To MICE or not to MICE. The eternal argument will never go away and there’s never likely to be agreement. Are we a separate Meetings (No MICE please, we’re British & American) industry as Hugo Slimbrouck claims? Or is Marc Dans right when he says we are part of the travel industry?

Like in everything in life, there has to be Belgian compromiseBruce Taylor gives his view.

Click here to read more.


It was great to see Belgium working together as a team with a real Belgian sense of humour and a modern efficient stand.

The cooking knives were out between Flanders & Wallonia……but only in fun!
BBT Online goes global!!!

Ten leading meeting and business events industry publishers announced at EIBTM that they will collaborate alongside event and association partners  (AIPC, EFAPCO, IAPCO, ICCA, PCMA and Site) to deliver the industry’s first online supersite.

International Meetings Review (IMR) will provide a global news hub with up to 20 separate satellite editions showcasing countries or regions, each delivered by the leading local publisher.

The 10 founding media members are:
  • BBT Online for Benelux !!!
  • CAT Publications with its leading magazine M&IT - UK
  • Questex Travel and Hospitality Group for the USA
  • TW Germany
  • Meetings International for Scandinavia and Baltic States
  • Kongres Magazine for South East Europe
  • TTG Asia
  • CIM Australia New Zealand and Pacific Islands
  • Meet Middle East out of Dubai
  • Meetings Review

The members of the network have been selected by IMR executive producer and Meetings review founder James Latham, and his industry association and event partners. Click here to read more …..

BBT Online - It’s Party Time on Monday January, 9!!!

party10 years ago, in hard times & just after 9/11, hardly anybody believed in the future of an online magazine, but all doubting Thomases were proven wrong and today BBT celebrates its 10th Anniversary already! Sheer determination and hard work have brought BBT Online were it is today: the leading MICE publication in Benelux!

And there is plenty to celebrate!

  • 10 years of bringing the most up-to-date MICE news to our readers.
  • The fact that BBT Online has joined the International Meetings Review Network and goes global!
  • … it’s the New Year, good wishes and hugs are definitely in order!

This party is first and foremost to thank, for the 2nd year in a row, all the Club 100 members who are the staunch supporters of BBT Online. The event is for Club 100 members only!

Not a member yet, but you want to join the party? Join the club on

Click here for all all the details on the party and for registration. BBT Online Club 100: the place where you meet more planners than suppliers.

MICE & Event – 16th February
Brussels Kart
Korean Food is hot!

Let’s be clear: the Belgian MICE market needs its own platform and, although an honest ‘try’, let’s face it, BTExpo cannot be called a dedicated MICE trade fair.

MICE & Event offers: a no-nonsense, 1-day networking event (Feb 16) for professionals. No frills, no gadgets, just plain selling and establishing of contacts to follow-Agendaup on after the show. All stands same size but individualized with a visual and logo, a simple networking lunch and at the end of the day a get-together drink for all for further networking and waiting out the traffic jams.

Simple but efficient and budget friendly. Do not miss out on a day of good contacts and even better results!

Visitors registration is now open:
Korean food is rapidly gaining popularity across the globe, probably because of its well-orchestrated bursts of flavors and health-enhancing effects. Korean-Belgian celebrity chef Sang Hoon Degeimbre of l’Air du Temps**  and Jean-Pierre Gabriel, program director at the Seoul Gourmet Congres organised a 2 days Korean Culinary Food Lab in Hotel BLOOM! Brussels. European top chefs were invited to attend masterclasses and jamsessions on Korean cuisine.

Belgian chefs David Martin from La Paix, Filip Claeys from De Jonkman and Alain Coumont from Pain Quotidien assisted the event.
Go Burlesque on New Years Eve!
smoodsIf you are looking for a fun party for December 31st, then SmoodS is the place for you! Burlesque is the theme and guests are invited to dress the part! Red lipstick, fancy corsets and costumes, an exuberant mood and the party is on!

The menu is at € 89, the party afterwards at € 12, parking is free in the hotel and rooms can be reserved at special rates! Reservations:
Freeloaders, who needs them?...

EllenEllen van Ree is senior editor MICE for EventBranche Magazine in Holland and, like many of us, she has a big bone of contention with the many freeloaders  who –unfortunately – still end up at our parties, workshops and even fam trips!

A good read and yes, let’s eliminate these people who only cost money once and for all! BBT Online will add their name to the ‘F-list’. This list is accessible on simple demand at Click here for Ellen’s article – “Freeloaders Opzouten” (in Dutch).
iPad fun during your exclusive dinner
Dining with the Stars

At the very exclusive Restaurant La Terrasse of the Bellevue Palace (Bern, Switzerland) guests get to gzimmermanninteract with the chef in an original way. After the starter they are given an iPad on which they can follow the preparation of the main courses by the chef, they can even send him direct messages!

The iPad also gives access to the menu card, the cigar and wine & liquor list. This is definitely a chef who likes to ‘chat’ with his guests!

After the resounding success this year, Dining City has decided to organize the 2nd edition of the Dining with the Stars week.

Over 40 restaurants in the whole of Belgium with minimum 1 Michelin star, offer a special menu at a very interesting price from March 23 until April 1st 2012 included.

An original way of discovering a new restaurant!
Sparkz Conceptz – No more boring meetings
Elements of Success Meeting Ready for Takeoff Kick -off                A Brand New Day Kick-off

Recognize this? The third (or was it the fourth) speaker comes to the podium and tries – in full view of all – to find his presentation on his desktop and then starts his presentation. Your eyelids start dropping, tour thoughts are elsewhere on an important deadline or the lawn that needs mowing... STOP! It can be different!

No more boring meetings! That’s the mission of SPARKZ corporate events from Amsterdam. We offer surprising, out of the box help for the creative process of meetings or events, even for fellow event organizers. It’s up to you to decide how to use us: we can write your concept or give advice on concepts and events or handle the total organization of your event.

Read all about the new CONCEPTZ© on

For further information: + 31(0)20-617 17 44 or
Advertisement feature
The Tram Experience by Brussellicious 2012


In February 2012 VISITBRUSSELS and its partners will launch the ‘Tram Experience’ as a part of Brusselicious 2012.

As its name suggests, ‘Tram Experience’ aims to offer a gastronomic and touristic experience. Guests will be able to enjoy several classic dishes of Belgian gastronomy, all modified for the occasion by top chefs. At the same time, they will be travelling along some of the Region’s most attractive roads, seated inside a vehicle with a white, sleek and modern decor.

A great welcome
New Hotel concept: The Exchange

We have all had on occasion wished we had a nice banner to welcome friends, family or one’s favourite sports team at the airport.

Schiphol Airport installed the very first ‘banner machine‘ in arrivals Hall 2, the BannerXpress. In an easy to follow 5 steps process, banners up to 3m long can be produced in a matter of minutes, now that we call a great idea and with largest format at € 14.95, not even all that expensive!

Let’s hope the idea will quickly find its way to other places!

Hotel The Exchange in Amsteram is a hotel with a special love of fashion. Students of the Amsterdam Fashion Institute dressed the rooms like models on the catwalk. The result: a hotel where architecture meets fashion.

Hotel The Exchange has 61 rooms, ranging from 1 to 5 stars. Each room has been designed and dressed by graduates and alumni of the Amsterdam Fashion Institute (AMFI).
Yes, bidding has changed!

MarketingAll parties at the recent IAPCO Seminar at EIBTM, chaired by Philippe Fournier, IAPCO President, were in agreement. More obvious changes in the bidding process were the move from glossy bid books to on-line submissions and the demand for-ever increasing subsidies, subventions, donations to assist the event’s bottom line.   

But perhaps less obvious was a fundamental principal of selection.  The mind-set has changed and selections are made on the basis of looking at the Association’s point of view, rather than just a destination. 

The selection is political and strategic and objective assessments are made. It’s a fact of life that some Associations will only go to cities where there are financial incentives, CSR on the other hand was not felt to influence the process. Yes, Bidding has changed.   Nothing is taken lightly, associations have to be seen to be objective and they need to make the right decision.”

Real Short !!

It’s party time! We celebrate our 10th Anniversary! Join BBT Online on January, 9. More details and registration,
Amsterdam Tourism & Convention Board presents
I AMsterdam MICExperience 2012 -Thursday 19 January and Friday 20 January 2012. Register via
Tuesday February, 7 - 2012 BBT Online’s next 4-Destations workshop.  For professional Event & Incentive organisers only. Watch your inbox for the official invitation.  London, Poland and Wallonia will be present.
South Africa and surrounding safari countries remain a great destination. Meetings Africa, from 28 Feb till March, 1 – 2012, with interesting post tours.
20 & 21 March: Brussels is the venue for the Bocuse d’Or Europe – the most prestigious cooking competition in Europe comes to Brussels during Horeca Life.
IT&CM China 12-17 April – Shanghai - Registration is now open! Want to be a hosted buyer, register on
Consult BBT Online’s MICE agenda, and don’t miss any event.

Get submerged in real Christmas party spirit, plan a visit to Chateau de Modave open until January 8th.
BCD Travel has compiled a checklist for business travellers, what to pack: go to
Destination Ardennes is proud to present their latest production: check it out and enjoy!
An original way to motivate staff: a fresh fruit basket every week! Free delivery anywhere in Belgium by Fruitsnacks!
UNESCO has recognized the Portuguese Fado as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The National Park Komodo in Indonesia has been selected as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature.
EIBTM announces record turnout and record business for 2011 edition, the sun did shine in any case!!
The publishers of Grande launch a new lifestyle magazine Ultimo.
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You have a colleague who wants to be kept up to date on the latest business travel and MICE news and doesn’t receive our newsletter? You can subscribe free of charge on our homepage,

Hard Rock Cafe comes to Brussels; opening planned for March/April 2012.
Belvilla launches bookings on the farm. <> .
Rezidor announces opening of new 150-bedroom Park Inn by Radisson at Amsterdam Schiphol; opening fall 2012.
South Tirol has once again underlined its position as a region where the living is good by adding 3 new Michelin star restaurants to its already well filled listing of good addresses. has calculated that Budapest is the best value for money citytrip in Europe as far as hotels are concerned.

After a successful try-out, Ryanair has announced that it will introduce seat reservation on all flights as per January 10 2012. The supplement is € 10 per flight… or did you think Ryanair was giving something away?
As from April 2012, Brussels Airlines will considerably increase flight frequencies to five African destinations. Travel possibilities and seat capacity to/from Yaounde and Douala (Cameroon), Abidjan (Ivory Coast), Nairobi (Kenya) and Bujumbura (Burundi) will be enhanced, while Kinshasa will be served four times a week non-stop. The frequency increase is made possible thanks to the introduction of an additional long haul aircraft.

It came to our attention that Kathleen Bertier has been let go quite abruptly from Meeting Brugge. Kathleen, Past MPI Belgium President, can be reached via
Elly Nijs, MICE Manager at CSM Benelux left the company due to financial restrictions and is looking for a new challenge. She can be reached on
Also Petra De Zutter, after many years lost her position of PR at Rezidor and can be reached on
After 9 years Anne-Françoise Piette has decided to look for a new challenge and has left Eurostar. She can be reached on
Alain Brosse is the new Manager in charge of all sales channels for Thomas Cook in Belgium.
The Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC) announces that Philippe Fournier, President of the International Association of PCO's (IAPCO) and Managing Director for France, MCI Group, has assumed the Presidency of the Joint Meetings Industry Council. Fournier replaces Leigh Harry.
Garry White signs up as the new CEO of European Cities Marketing.
On January 2012 the MICE department will be closed in the Brussels office of NBTC due to savings of the Dutch Government. Gemmeke de Jongh found a new job as Sales Manager at the Conference Center De Ruwenberg at Den Bosch; she can be reached on All queries for NBTC can be addressed to or

I always read your newsletter with pleasure and seeing the comments on your event at Breckpot I can only confirm it all: original location, professional service and an organization that is ‘always reaching for the extra mile’…
Leentje Van Nuffel – MICE Project Leader - BCD Travel
Thank you again for organizing the BBT Workshop in Mechelen! The location was great and the catering was perfect. The workshops were interesting as was the networking afterwards.
Martine de Ceuleneer l Travel Advisor  - Carlson Wagonlit Travel

BBT Online Club 100 welcomed the following new members during December:
  • Sacha Otten – Meetings and Events Consultant Global Accounts at HelmsBriscoe
  • Padraic Gilligan – Vice President, Industry Relations at MCI Group
  • Arjen Lemstra – Creative Eventmanager and Fair Organiser
  • Pankaj Patpatia - Directeur Commercial, Asian Trails & Distant Frontiers and SITA
  • Luk Soers - Managing Director at Give a Night Belgium
  • Hanna Manuel – Sales & Marketing Europe, Creative Travel
If you’re interested in joining yourself, don’t hesitate any longer. You will find the conditions and the existing members behind this link Membership is linked to the person, not the company. We also created a LinkedIn group for members only.

Laughing is good for you! You know how sometimes things are so embarrassing that you yourself get embarrassed? Yeah well, this is it. Click here.


Karin de Graauw – Editor-in-chief BBT Online
Rue de Toulouse 49 – 1040 Brussels – Belgium
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