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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 51st edition. All of our take5 articles are advertorial free.

Beachclub Fuel – a Dutch highflyer!
Titanic and Belfast 100 years later!

The Dutch love the water and are masters at using great waterside locations for unique venues. Beachclub Fuel in lovely Bloemendaal is the living proof that a location by the North Sea can be hip and cool and ideal for creating that special relaxed atmosphere for events.

Great location, superb views and a unique pavilion where time will fly because of all the fun!


You had to be living in a dark cellar these last couple of weeks if you do not know that it was exactly 100 years ago that the famous ship Titanic left Southampton on its doomed voyage.

What not so many people know is that the famous vessel was built in Belfast. The new world-first Titanic Belfast visitor attraction is now open nearby where the famous ship was build and launched 100 years ago. A stunning structure and a host of event opportunities in a unique setting!

AgendaThe structure has definitely put Belfast back on the map as a cultural destination! 2012 is Titanic Year in Belfast with a long list of Titanic related activities. In our June edition we will come back with a more detailed destination report!
Brusselicious, an abundance of mouth-watering ideas!

Dinner in the Sky
Dinner in the skyBrussels has always loved surrealism. For Brusselicious 2012 there just had to be a surrealist experience on offer to raise high the flag of our gastronomy.
Dinner in the Sky has met the challenge by providing a unique occasion to discover Brussels’ high cuisine in the most extraordinary manner possible: 22 guests and 1 ‘starred’ chef will share an unforgettable gastronomic experience in the skies over the capital, enjoying an unparalleled view of Brussels and its surroundings while delighting in rare dishes and fine wines. 

The chefs change and also the locations: in front of the Royal Palace, in the Bois de la Cambre, near the emblemic Atomium and on the esplanade of the Cinquantenaire. 


PiqNiq in the Park
picnicBrussels is so green that there are not enough adjectives in the dictionary to describe its parks: magnificent, bucolic, astounding, luxuriant, ...

As soon as the joys of spring are in the air, every Sunday from May 1 until September 30 2012, you will find yourself waiting for a touring pret-a-manger picnic that will set up shop in a different park each week -baskets filled with organic goodies, napkins, soft drinks and even some classical music to soothe the sense.

Don't forget to bring a blanket to catch forty winks ...check on the website for more details.
Monthly earth hour in Oman
Book lovers go to Haye-on-Wye

The yearly Earth Hour in March has inspired the Six Senses Zighy Bay Resort in Oman to go that extra mile. To illustrate their total commitment to the environment they will have each month a Slow Life Hour during which all energy consuming machinery and other will be quiet.

This hour will take place on the full moon night during which the resort will organize eco-friendly activities and even a Dinner in the dark experience.
Book lovers

For the travelling book enthusiast, Haye-on-Wye, on the border between England and Wales in the Powys region, is an absolute must.

You can wonder around the small village and visit no less than 39 bookshops (there is one bookstore for every 30 residents); it is also the home of the internationally famous Hay Festival.
On top of the many bookstores Haye has a fine collection of antique shops, definitely a nice destination for culture buffs!
Wish you were here: Supporting the Greek economy in style

Kick off your shoes, wiggle your toes in the sand and relax into the languid pace of life at Ekies All Senses Resort, a stripped-back retreat that takes a barefoot approach to holiday relaxation.

Celebrating its Greek roots and stunning natural location, the simple design embraces the notion that luxury should be measured by one’s ecological footprint. It is located on an unspoiled beach in Vourvourou,  on one of three peninsulas in Halkidiki.

Ekies Ekies
Ekies Ekies
Back to basics in Germany
A unique meeting experience…
it must be Ghent!
Das Hotel

Maybe not the hotel room your clients are dreaming of, but worth mentioning as an original and definitely unusual venue.

The Parkhotel in Bernepark near Essen qualifies on all accounts: recycled drainpipes converted in comfortable rooms an situated in luscious green, the contrast could not be bigger! Wacky but fun!

Storks always bring good news!

A group of architects have revived an old farm abandoned by all, except or the storks that have been nesting there or over 90 years.

They turned the old building in Prague into a first class meeting and event venue and added a remarkable stork nest construction to the restored farm building which houses a hotel, meeting facilities, a pool and a spa as well as a riding school.

For more info, click here.


There is no mistaking the ever growing reputation of Ghent as an important and unique city destination in Europe, its reputation grows constantly.

Today Ghent has acquired an extra jewel in its already shiny crown: the 4* Sandton Grand Hotel Reylof158 comfortable guestrooms in the very heart of the city, culinary experiences in restaurant Lof or drinks in the champagne bar or the cocktail bar NJOY, a visit to the wellness with pool, sauna, steam room, solarium and relaxation facilities, a unique and cosy garden, these are some of the main arguments to convince guests to choose the Sandton Grand Hotel Reylof.

The hotel also proposes 9 meeting rooms, all with daylight and equipped with free Wifi and state-of-the-art A/V equipment. Special Meeting arrangements available during opening period.

SiteSite Belgium in partnership with Gent congres organised a site inspection on April, 15. All participants confirmed unanimously that Ghent has all the ingredients for a superb incentive program. For those who missed this unique visit, you still can have a look at the pictures of this entertaining afternoon/evening. Click here.
Eventainer – a colourful way to make your events special
Hugo’s meeting industry blog

The story of how one piece of equipment can change the whole aspect of your event and bring added value to your organization.

The Eventainer can be branded to your colours, with your logo and is the perfect positioning for the musical entertainment or a cocktail bar manned by professionals.

Hugo SlimbrouckIt is generally known that Hugo Slimbrouck is a prolific writer and that he’s always good for an interesting quote or comment.

Hugo recently attended a panel discussion during Motivation Week in London, his observations make for interesting reading: go to,
Destination Report - a double feature: Peru & Iguazu

Anja de HaenAnja De Haen, intrepid traveller and Teamleader MICE Belux for BCD Travel takes us on a detailed trip with a selected group of agents first to lovely Peru, followed by amazing Iguazu.

Anja’s travel log gives not only descriptions of all the visited places but practical hints and descriptions of hotels, do’s and don’t’s for travelling around that part of the world. A good read for those with business in that beautiful part of the world!

To read more, click here


More Destination: Magical Malta – Vast opportunities on a tiny island

Jonathan RamaelBBT Online correspondent Jonathan Ramael joined an international group of MICE professionals on a fam trip to sunny Malta: a tiny island nation in the middle of the crystal clear Mediterranean.
With a total territory of only 316 km² and a population of 413,000, it’s one of Europe’s smallest countries. It’s been a full EU member since 2004 though, and it holds a lot of surprising secrets for its size.

To read more, click here ….

Malta Malta
Malta Malta
Opinion Report: Hotels compete with DMC’s in Belgium

Lately a trend has been identified on the Belgian Market where it is noticed that more and more hotels badand conference boards are offering foreign bookers ready-made incentive program ideas laptopand services.

This direct competition for DMC’s seems to be quite specific to Belgium. When asking around we found little or no hotels outside Belgium who would do the same, they all refer immediately to the services of a DMC.

When did this trend start, who started it and, more importantly, why has it started? This unfair competition for DMC’s – they need a license, a hotel does not – is an unprofessional situation. 

Click here to read more.

Do they really prefer freeloaders... ?
Good Business Reads: Bedtime stories for overworked (wo)men

A strange thing happened on the way to… MITM Americas, a MICE fair that takes place in Panama this year early December.
In the past BBT Online has collaborated with this trade fair but always noticed that it was mainly attended by… freeloaders.

Great was our astonishment when we heard the story of Olivier Meyskens (2B Incentives) and Peter van Avermaet (Event Masters). Both gentlemen tried to register as hosted buyers and, as requested, duly submitted references of past business to South America and DMC partners.

Click here to read more.
Bedtime stories

BBT Online’s Bruce Taylor discovered an author – Gundula Welti – and some good reads that come highly recommended.

Gundula Welti is not only a trainer and a coach, but she also writes. Bruce has just finished her first book (in French only at present), La négotiation en enterprise or ‘Negotiating in business’.

Life’s all about negotiation. You start negotiating almost from the moment you’re born and you carry on throughout life negotiating with parents, partner, children, business associates…..

Click here to read more.
Social Media explained “a la Belge”

Social MediaThe star of the recent annual ACTE/BATM Educational Forum in Brussels was Social Media with the Rana Walkerprovocative title ‘Why give a Tweet’
Rana Walker who describes herself as a Social Media Evangelist, gave an excellent presentation on social media and its relevance to business travel.

Rana Walker is the former North American Marketing Director at AirPlus and spearheaded the company’s global social media policy before moving to Brussels where she now works as a consultant, public speaker and trainer.

If you’re still an unbeliever who is not convinced of the value of social media to your business, read more. Click here.

PowerPoint presentations: a support or a drawback?
corporate powerpointViviane Vogels reports on a strong signal in the meeting industry. Who has not attended a meeting where the presenter(s) spent most of their time reading the slides of their PowerPoint presentation without creating any bond or interaction with the audience?

“I must admit, it annoys me no end these very unprofessional presentations with speakers literally hiding behind their slides….. these are definitely not the inspiring talks one remembers at the end of the day, potentially vital and interesting subjects lose much of their impact because of a uninspiring delivery.”

Click here to read more.
International Meetings Review: the MICE information highway
… and BBT Online is a founding partner!!
What do you get when 10 internationally renowned publishers in the MICE industry worldwide decide to join forces? You get a mega media which features the latest in trends, news and ideas in the Meetings & Events industry, you get a huge potential readers base of over 750.000 readers around the globe, you get an information highway!

International Meetings Review (IMR) – – has been constructed around the highly successful Meetings Review and has become a platform where planners and suppliers will find all the latest information.

BBT Online is one of the founding partners of this exciting new platform and will send you as of now, on a regular basis, IMR News Alerts with stories from all over the world.
Real Short !!

Don’t miss the 2nd edition of the Art Festival at the gorgeous chateau of Lavaux-St-Anne from May 6th till July 29th over 200 artists await you.
The spectacular garden & flower show Floriade can only be admired once every 10 years. This year until October 7 in Venlo near the Belgian- Dutch-German border. For more details, go to
Sir Richard Branson is coming to Antwerp for an exclusive lecture in the city theatre on 6 May! He’ll speak about his innovative success and entrepreneurship during an interactive panel conversation. “Screw it, let’s do it!”
Brussels – May 8. Expand your professional MICE contacts while enjoying the best bubbles and the best chocolate going with it. A joint venture of Alex & Alex and BBT Online.
Centaur Exhibitions is launching a major hosted buyer show for the UK meetings industry which will take place on 9-11 July 2013 at Olympia, London. The event will accommodate 1000 fully hosted buyers.
Consult BBT Online’s MICE agenda, and don’t miss any event.

Take 5 minutes and watch this truly inspirational performance! An absolutely must-watch, goose bumps guaranteed
Gourmet Tours of India which highlights the brilliance, grandeur and the romance of the country. Highlights include Feast on authentic Indian Cuisine, Shop for local produce at the  markets. Cooking in stunning  locations, Dine with Indian Families and Walking Tours. Download <> for the full itinerary and prices.
The winners of the Gouden Giraffe Live Communication Awards 2012 were announced in Amsterdam. “The Oddshop – De Opkikker van Bas” took first place in the MVO Category, “BKB – Conventie van Achlum” won Best Congress, Best Fair was “BrancheContact – EvenementContact”, Best Participation was “Wink B.V. – Douwe Egberts Festivals”, “B&S Events & Communication – Do Not Shave” won the Creative Category and “Joffi Events & Communication – Achmea 200 Festival” took first place in the Effective Category.
BCD Travel marvels at the 140% increase over last year in business travel per train from Belgium. Lower cost and the ability to work on are two of the main reasons for this increase.
MICE Agency Incentive Wise in the Netherlands celebrates its 5th anniversary by introducing Wise concept meetings. For contact & more details
Looking for an usuasual venue to rent for your next event in Brussels? Caravan’Serail definitely fits the bill! Multiple passions under one roof: artistic and multicultural elements located near Place Flagey.
Glasgow-based DMC, Hello Scotland has celebrated their 15th year in business with record figures. With over 80 groups travelling to Scotland with DMC, equating to 5,500 travellers which meant a busy year for the team of just 7.
If you haven’t done already, do hook up with us if you’re on Facebook so you can be kept in the loop of the latest news.

Two star chef Yves Mattagne is opening a chic restaurant/brasserie on the Liege riverfront, in the Mercedes-Benz Barvaux garage. The venue will be able to accommodate around 100 guests and should open by the end of this year.
MICE tourism in Flanders grew 13% last year. While the industry was already slightly recovering after the 2009 crisis, the number of overnight stays in 2011 rose considerably with 450,000 more nights compared to 2010.
As the first hotel in Antwerp, the Lindner Hotel & City Lounge Antwerpen has equipped the majority of its meeting spaces with 3D LED screens adding an extra experience to your events!
Crowne Plaza Brussels Airport was awarded the Quality Excellence Award by InterContinental Hotels. This award recognises hotels that excel in delivering the best guest experience and satisfaction. To celebrate this achievement, Crowne Plaza Brussels Airport introduces the Quality Excellence Hour at the Bar. Other Quality Excellence celebratory promotions include the Bubbles & Chocolate Meetings Special and the Buffet Loyalty Card.
A new B& B in pure Art Deco house in Brussels: Lenoir96, a little gem ideal as a base for discovering Brussels!
New opening: Grand Hotel Ter Duin Burgh-Haamstede in Zeeland, the Netherlands: 134 rooms & suites and meeting facilities in a wonderful green environment.
Lucien Barriere Hotels & Casinos celebrated its 100th birthday on 15 March. Venue of choice was the beautiful Tasso restaurant in Tour & Taxis. 140 guests joined the celebration. For pictures of the evening, click here.
Pullman announces the deployment in its convention hotels of solutions by MeetingMatrix International, the world benchmark in meeting planning software solutions. &
An imaginative LEGO® experience awaits families and businesses at the 150-room, fully themed LEGOLAND hotel in Windsor, Great-Britain which opened in March at the world famous LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort. This is the first LEGOLAND hotel outside Denmark.
Pullman opens its first hotel in Marrakech and with this ninth resort, the brand continues to expand its international network across the world’s top tourism destinations.
Luxury Moroccan Dream Realized with opening of the Selman Marrakech, an exceptional privately owned palace hotel 5 minutes from the Marrakech city centre. interviewed over 400 regular business travellers who quoted as their top priority the access to wireless internet, without extra charge. Next came breakfast included in room rate and free parking facilities.

Ryanair does it again! Fly Ryanair to Paris-Vatry-Disney and land… 120 km from Disneyland. The airport is actually closer to the Belgian border and the champagne region than Disney…!
Be original and arrive in style at the London Olympics: rent a helicopter or private jet! Land near where it all happens after only a short flight from the continent, a total VIP experience.
Schiphol has started a trial project with automated self-service passport control booths. All passports with chips from the EU as well as Norway, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Iceland can be used in the machines.
As largest stockholder KLM is investing 65 million in Kenya Airways. Together with capital investment by other shareholders this will enable the airline to purchase new aircraft.

Thanks again for a very professional event with high-level buyers.
(note regarding BBT Online’s 4 destinations wokshop)
Barbara Jaminson –  Head of Business Development Europe - London and Partners

After 4 happy years Christel Cabanier leaves Hotel Bloom to become General Manager of the Park Inn by Radisson Brussels Midi and District Director Belgium, Holland & France for Park Inn.
And per May 2nd Hotel Bloom welcomes the new General Manager Jan Henningsen (36). Jan is German but developed his management career in the USA where the last couple of years he was the General Manager of The Standard in West Hollywood and The Standard Los Angeles Downtown.
Kathleen Bertier steps up from Bruges and becomes the acting Manager of the Convention Bureau Flanders-Brussels at Toerisme Vlaanderen. Great to see you back Kathleen!
Bent Hadler has been elected as director on the board of ADMEI (Association of Destination Management Executives International) with a portfolio of International Task Force.
Dolce Hotels & Resorts announces the appointment of Karine Pinson as Vice President Sales for Europe based at Dolce Chantilly in France.

BBT Online Club 100 welcomed the following members last month

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.

NEW: The Company membership : enroll up to 4 people from the same company for € 250!!  For more information:


Laughing is good for you! They call it iPad Magic, we call it the best and most inspiring fun presentation we have seen in a long time. Watch, smile and enjoy… and Stockholm is definitely next on our list of places to visit! Click here, and enjoy.


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