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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 53rd edition.
of our take5 articles are advertorial free.

Wish you were here ...!
Restaurant Restaurant

We don’t know about you, but here at the BBT Online redaction we have visions of warm summer evenings. So therefore for all of you, to dream away ….

The pictures tell the story…each and every one has either a special location or a breathtaking view or is just incredibly original in its approach. Enjoy and who knows, you may find inspiration for your next getaway…?

Restaurant Restaurant
Restaurant Restaurant
WU Wei, a zen venue in Kortrijk
Your meeting solution nearby!
San Alfonso del Mar

Wu Wei, a state-of-the-art wellness centre, opened its doors end of March 2012. Wu Wei accommodates a spa, a restaurant with cookery workshops, meeting and seminar possibilities and a hotel, all under one roof. But it remains relatively small. It’s a place to meet and play in a restful environment with all types of activities organized to stimulate all your senses.

There are many good reasons to visit Wu Wei: its 5000m² site, the impressive wellness facilities, the hotel with its 14 authentic rooms all with high standard sleeping comfort and spacious bathrooms. The business environment can accommodate groups up to 100 people and offers all conveniences needed for meeting seminars as well as the opportunity for after-work activities.

WU Wei


A choice of more than 500 holiday houses, chalets in the Ardennes and about 50 of the larger and more luxurious ones can also be used for small meetings, seminars, team buildings etc.
All houses are well equipped and offer not only a good infrastructure but are usually in a region where activities abound and the opportunity for good living is present. From 8 up to 45 persons.

Make your choice on and find the villa, chateau or luxury chalet for your next team meeting! Most of the big villa’s have some very well equipped kitchens. Why not to put some collective cooking lessons on the agenda?

Click here to find out our favorite, or maybe this one? or this one?  So hard to choose...



Site Intl: Berlin enthrals international incentive community, and next.. Antwerp!

Berlin can look back on a very successful Site EMEA Forum, the city literally enthralled the international incentive community by its versatility and original venues. It has definitely set high standards for President elect Belgium Chapter Sophie Coumont for 2013 when the Site EMEA Forum comes to Antwerp.


From March 11 till March 13th 2013 Antwerp will welcome the international delegates and be able to show of not only its unique charm and know-how but also the rest of Belgium. Pre- and Post-tours will introduce delegates to the sometimes rather well kept secret that is Belgium!

Sophie will be surrounded with fellow organizers Inge Marstboom of the Antwerp Convention Bureau
Dirk Bracaval – Educational Committee
Thierry Delcroix – Sponsoring
Christophe Verstraete – Communication
Brigitte Boone for Logistics & Organization and Jean-Pierre Cornelis for Budgets & Finances.

The event will be centred around 3 themes: networking, education & great experience.
Antwerp here we come!!

MICE Insight & Networking Evening for EU-HQ by Glocal Solutions

Glocal Solutions, a privately held Management Consulting, Project and Association Management Company, hosted the first MICE Insight & Networking Evening on May 31st in their Brussels offices.

This professional event tailored for the meetings industry attracted about 100 delegates representing corporations, associations, institutions, media, agencies, association management companies, hotel executives and other stakeholders in the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences & Exhibitions (MICE) sector.  It was a great way to interact with peers across the industry, and on top, it was for free.

The program announced presentations of ‘meeting gurus’, unfortunately due to the short time allotted to the 4 speakers, they had to stick to the bare essentials in their presentations. As a result they kept it very simple to the point that it felt to be an exercise in ‘back to basics’. Click here to read more.

Mice Mice Mice
This Summer you can meet smart @ Scandic Hotel Antwerp
Scandic Hotel Conferences are anything but boring when it depends on Scandic Antwerp! Our meeting planners can earn points for a KitchenAid, chef Jamie Oliver comes up with an inspiring twist, and in the meantime we keep the environment in mind.

And we haven’t talked yet about the beautiful view of the Antwerp skyline…

KitchenAid special summer action
Scandic Antwerp came up with a unique Meeting Action: if you book a meeting at Scandic Antwerp, you can receive your own KitchenAid in the colour you like by gathering points. In July, August and September, these points count double! You can subscribe by sending an e-mail to This special action is available till the 31st of December 2012.

Get inspired by Jamie Oliver
Falling asleep during a long meeting? Impossible! Thanks to Jamie Oliver's meeting concept, our guests enjoy inspiring alternatives to traditional lunches and breaks.

Click here to read more.

Scandic hotel
Advertisement feature
Summer only venues
Green Globe certificate

In Belgium you have to learn 1 thing for sure: take advantage immediately of any nice weather day! If the sun appears between the clouds, or when one of these glorious sunny summer days is announced, do not hesitate and plan a fun day/evening out.
Strantwerpen (in Antwerp of course) and Terrasse de l’Hippodrome (in Brussels) are two places that definitely deserve a visit. Both offer fun, music, cocktails and summer bites. They are places to see and to be seen, places to enjoy good weather, friends and the good things of life! and for more details on activities, DJ‘s, programs and such!
Green Globe

The Crowne Plaza Brussels – Le Palace on the Place Rogier is the first hotel in Belgium to have obtained the ‘Green Globe’ certificate, a structured assessment of the sustainability performance of the hotel and its suppliers.

Together with a Belgian Agency (RDC) they had a thorough analysis made of the hotel’s unnecessary energy consumption and loss and the changes and adaptations suggested by RDC have been implemented wherever possible.

It remains of course important to the hotel to balance whether everyone benefits from it – the guest still needs to receive high quality service and products that he or she can expect from a four star hotel.

Tobacco Theatre Amsterdam

The Tobacco Theatre is housed in an old tobacco auction house in the centre of Amsterdam. This fully restored city monument is located between the Central Station, theatres, the Berlage Stock Exchange and the Red Light District (for those... special needs).

It’s a perfect industrial setting for all your presentations, (theatre-) dinners, meetings and (cooking) workshops. Take a look here for more info and pictures:

Tobacco Theatre Tobacco Theatre
Tobacco Theatre Tobacco Theatre


Floriade: for blooming meetings
Meet on the water

Every 10 years Holland really goes overboard where flowers and plants are concerned and organizes the Floriade. This year this green extravaganza takes place from April till October 7th Agendain Venlo (close to the Belgian border), in the purpose build Floriade complex.

The Floriade is certainly also an original venue for meetings, they have even organized their own convention bureau to help you with all the details.
Meet on the water

We are fan, as it’s certainly something different: accommodation, parties, meetings and/or team building on a converted cargo ship with fixed mooring on the Maasplas ‘De Spaanjerd’ (Belgian Limburg). With multi-purpose halls, private meeting room, cooking grandma’s style sessions, different water sports facilities and 12 double huts (9 standard, 3 deluxe).

Experience and enjoy the tranquillity of the water at one of the most beautiful water sports locations in Belgium, and not unimportant, interesting rates.
Next 4D workshop on the new newest sensational venue: the Badboot

If you have not yet registered (30 of you already did!!) now is the moment to send us your request for registration at our next 4 Destination Workshop on Monday September 3rd on the famously new Badboot In Antwerp.

BBT Online brings you another first. Participants at the workshop will be attending the first ever B2B event at this great venue. We also have 4 great Destinations for you: Bruges, The Gambia, Spain and Tahiti (in cooperation with Aeroports Charles de Gaulle). Do not miss this opportunity and why not, Belgian weather permitting, bring your swimsuit!

Send us an email if you’re interested to attend . For Event and Incentive Agents only.

Badboot Badboot
Destination Report: Lovely Limburg - A trip into Belgium’s MICE Mine

Some would describe Limburg as “the forgotten province”. Others would ask themselves what it still has to offer since the collapse of its prosperous mining industry in the eighties. ‘Well, actually quite a lot!’ would be the only appropriate answer, because Belgium’s most hospitable province comes with varied, green landscapes, nice panoramas and an interesting mix of lively cities and picturesque little villages.

It also offers a MICE industry on the rise, combining a broad selection of original meeting locations and partners for every group or activity.

Click here to read more ...

Limburg Limburg
Destination Report 2: Malo-Les-Bains - Sun, Sea and Incentives

Our young, intrepid journalist Jonathan Ramael went all the way to Malo-les-Bains (no, not St Malo!!) to discover a close to home destination with lots of undiscovered venues and treasures.

Situated just across the French-Belgian border it is a destination for budget conscious travelers looking out for uncluttered seascapes and French hospitality.

Click here to read more …

Malo-Les-Bains Malo-Les-Bains Malo-Les-Bains
Destination Report 3: Quebec, official supplier of excitement since 1534!

Bruce Taylor is fast becoming a real Canada Specialist. He has assembled his impressions of his trip to Montreal and Sacacomie in handy, sometimes funny and definitely interesting guides to these 2 wonderful regions of Quebec.

Read about Montreal and Sacacomie as experienced by Bruce….

‘It was one of the best destination educational tours I’ve ever taken part in. It was certainly the first one specially created and carefully planned for meetings & incentive specialists.  It was a brilliant combination of city and nature with new experiences, thrills and many memorable moments. In short, an outstanding incentive to bring business to Québec…’ Click here to read more …

Also interesting to read, the comments of the other participating incentive agents on the possibilities of this region.

Yannick Bertels, Ycare Brussels
“I know Canada well: the quality here is constant. There are no ups and downs and Québec is always improving.  Apart from Montreal, there are so many other things to see and do.
It’s very rare for me to accept such an invitation for a study tour, but this one was exceptional. It was organised for professionals and gave us an ideal update on Montreal for incentives and events. Breakfast at Birks for example was unique, just the sort of experience we need for an incentive.”

Click here to read the other reactions.


Belgians stick together!
Brussels gets a new mega event hall

Reactions on the Toerisme Vlaanderen decision re trade fairs (see our newsletter), have been pouring in, showing, whatever the reasoning behind the decision was, that ALL professionals from all over Belgium are in agreement that this is a wrong decision.

La Dernière Heure published our article  – without mentioning BBT Online as the source by the way! – and also highlighted the underlying – complicated – politics.

Let’s end this on a positive note: when faced with a situation affecting our international image or for sports, we Belgians stick together and all sing from the same hymn sheet…!
Palais 12

Palais 12 of the Brussels Expo complex on the Heysel will be rebuilt within a year into a mega event hall capable of receiving 15,000 visitors for trade fairs, concerts or sport events.

The multipurpose room should be ready by mid 2013 and is part of the famous NEO-project that is set to give the Heyzel area a whole new impulse. Brussels invest between 12 and 15 million euro in the project which could be seen as a competitor for the Antwerp Sportpaleis were it not that Antwerp is expanding its capacity to over 20,000 seats. Foret/Vorst also does not see the new hall as a competitor as they cater to more ‘intimate’ events up to 8,000 visitors.
Real Short !!

Rotterdam Marketing and The Hague Marketing invite 20 Belgian Meeting and Incentive Planners for 3 inspiring days: 23 – 25 August. For the full program and inscription, click here.
access 2012 – The place to be for Austria’s meetings industry - 24 and 25 September, Hofburg, Vienna -
From 14 – 16 October 2012, the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) will host the ACTE Global Education Conference, the world’s leading business travel education and networking event at the Rome Cavalieri, Waldorf Astoria Hotels and Resorts.
October, 16. Meetopolis at the Square Brussels Meeting Centre. A cross industry training and inspiration platform for corporate and association planners.
tRavel, the Workshop organizes its 13th edition. France, Holland, Luxembourg and Great-Britain with partners NMBS and Accor all meet together at Sheraton Airport on Saturday October 20th from 1.30 pm till 5.30 pm.
2012 edition of the Night of the Proms in Antwerp. November (8-9-10-16-17/11) don’t miss it!
24-28/01/2013 –  Vakantiesalon van Vlaanderen and B&B expo under one roof in Antwerp Expo.
Consult BBT Online’s MICE agenda, and don’t miss any event.

Bo-Ness the new wellness sensation in the heart of Hasselt… on a boat! Great fun!
Autoworld Brussels has opened a “Sport & Competition” section in the museum.
Security comes at a price! In search of extra income, the Belgian Minister for the Interior, Joëlle Milquet changes the law whereby companies and organizers of events will now have to pay for the services of the Federal Police. A list of interventions that will be charged is being compiled.
Efteling does it again. The new watershow fountains, Aquanura, have cost 17 million euro and are the 3rd largest of their kind in the world!
Holland has rejoined the top 10 on the ICCA international convention destinations list in a 9th position! With 291 international meetings in 2011 this means a 33% increase over 2010 when Holland was still in position 13!
In the Netherlands, VAT on the performing arts will be lowered to 6 percent. The Rutte-cabinet raised it to 19 percent before, but the raise came with too many disadvantages.
Discover the totally new and innovative website of Dazzle events
Conference attendees and meetings with foreign colleagues represent 60% of all business travel and a BCD study reveals that the dates for these events are usually known well in advance, early airline and hotel bookings can save a lot of money.

The Mercedes showroom on Sablon (Brussels) was already a new venue for events, now 2 star Chef Bart De Pooter is turning it in an upscale brasserie named WY: luxury cars and luxury food, a great combination! The restaurant will be interactive: iPads, live steaming, open kitchen... WY will open its doors on September, 1 – 2012.
Accor reaffirms its position as largest international hotel operator in Asia-Pacific with the opening of the 1st Pullman Hotel in India, the Pullman Gurgaon Central Park, also the Group’s 500th hotel in the region!
Tripadvisor readers have awarded the Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town, South Africa as a “Best Service Award”.
Looking for a fast and easy way to book a meeting room? is the solution you have been looking for. Book & Meet in a simple format, a great tool for meeting planners.
Looking for a fun yet original venue in Amsterdam, next to the water at reasonable rates? Blijburg is the answer!
Want to be more central in Amsterdam? The Zilveren Toren Amsterdam with unforgettable views of the city!
And why not directly on the water? REM Eiland, a former helipad, is definitely different with splendid views of the Harbour!

Brussels Airlines started flying again to New York. Daily flights from Brussels Airport to John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) leave every morning, return flights leave at night.
Sri Lankan Airlines joins oneworld end of next year and was chosen as one of the fastest growing airlines in Asia.
Airbus wants to install extra-large seats in its American planes. They will be much more comfortable for that one important group in American society: XL people. The XL-seats will be installed on A320-planes and can also be used by mothers or very tall people. They will be slightly more expensive. is the new site created by Brussels Airport specially for the Dutch Market.
As of the last quarter of 2012, Icelandair equips all its aircraft with Wifi.
Thalys creates a special Platinum + Card for its frequent travellers as an extension of its loyalty card “The Card” which already has 160.000 cardholders.
In view of the global economical situation Jet Airways is temporarily cancelling its Brussels – New York (JFK)– Brussels route as of September 10th of this year. Jet Airways continues it flights to Newark.
Cyprus Airways is returning to Brussels Airport: The Brussels-Larnaca route will be served with 5 frequencies a week.
Air France announced that it is cutting over five thousand jobs in the coming 18 months, more than one tenth of the total. After the cuts, about 3,400 unneeded employees still remain at all sections of the company.

In September Harriet Green will take up her position as new CEO of Thomas Cook.
Jan van den Broeck has been promoted to the position of Country Manager Belgium for the AIM group international.
Angelo Brazerol takes up his new role as Manager Tourism Switzerland on July 1st. His predecessor Ivan Breiter has moved to Singapore as Market Manager for South-East Asia.
Meeting Professionals International (MPI) President and CEO Bruce MacMillan, CA, announced that he has chosen not to renew his current employment agreement, which ends on June 30, 2012. A CEO search committee has been put in place to be chaired by Chairman-elect Kevin Hinton, executive vice president for Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI).
Tom Janssens leaves Hotel Bloom to join the sales team of the 2 Sofitel properties in Brussels.

The quality of your editorial content and the geographical spread are extraordinary, keep it that way !
Annik Paquay – Group General Manager, Pepper & Salt Event Group

BBT Online Club 100 welcomed the following new 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.


Laughing is good for you! It does help to have your glasses checked on a regular basis…! Click here, and enjoy.


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