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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 59th edition.
of our take5 articles are advertorial free.

The 2013 Business travel trends
High Fashion Travel:
A unique new travel concept
Business travel

What would be this year’s business travel trends? We could of course give you a long and boring analysis, where we meticulously define all possible economic and social growth drivers/dangers to our industry. But be honest, you would probably not even read half of them.

That’s why instead, we’ll present you with a colourful pdf-file from Carlson Wagonlit Travel, highlighting all trends from A to Z. They even managed to used the Q and the X!

Click here to download the file.
High Fashion Travel

Who wouldn’t love to take a look behind the scenes of a famous fashion institute? Who wouldn’t die to meet renowned designers of handbags, shoes or parfum?

Helen Kuipers-Conijn started a unique travel concept to do just that. High Fashion Travel offers luxury travels to the fashion capitals of the world, including exclusive meet-and-greets and visits to the most famous fashion institutes.
Create a mobile event guide in minutes
Tone2 All Invite:
Invite your guests with music!

mobile eventTwoppy is a very useful app that can be used to easily create event guides that are consultable on a smartphone. It can be used for events of any kind: exhibitions, festivals, conferences, sporting events, etc. You can even make your own travel guide.

Using it is almost too easy. Just follow the steps on the website, put in all the information you want, add your own look or images, publish the app and wait for the usage statistics to roll in.

lovely_musicLooking for a creative way to invite guests to your event? Try sending an audio message to their smartphones!

Please, stop right there and keep your xylophone in the attic, where it should remain in shame: no need to do it yourself. Contact Tone2all to do it for you!

They will mix your spoken message with music and turn it into a thrilling and exciting audio message: personalised for every guest. Tone2all will even provide you with statistics on how many people actually listened to the message.
Managing & Selling more effectively

Keep calmWe’re living in difficult economic times, and it’s affecting our industry. It’s not a shocking revelation to say so.

If you’re in the MICE business and you want to survive, you’ll have to adapt to the current situation. But are we doing it the right way? Are there things we could or should change?

BBT Online reporter Jonathan Ramael wanted to find out. That’s why he went to Festivak in Antwerp and attended a lecture on the subject by keynote speaker, Dr. Nico Schraag. He came back with the following article as a summary of the presentation.

Some conclusions were quite surprising. For example: now is not the time to lower your prices. No, you should actually raise them! Interested? Click here to read more.

Invitation: Discover the Swiss Alps!
Invitation to Meedex 2013 – Paris

Join the Switzerland Convention & Incentive Bureau and BBT Online from 15 to 17 March 2013, for an exciting study trip to Flims Laax Falera: one of the Alps’ largest continuous skiing areas!

Our home in the mountains will be the Waldhaus Swiss AlpsFlims Mountain Resort & Spa.

If you are interested to join this famtrip, send us an email at to receive the full programme.

Only eight places are available. The entire trip and flight are completely sponsored.

For professional incentive agents only.

As the only media partner in the Benelux, BBT Online can invite 25 Belgian and Dutch MICE Professionals to Meedex 2013 in Paris, organized on 3-4 April in the famous Caroussel du Louvre.

Meedex is one of France’s biggest MICE events: over 300 hotels, event venues, conference centres, DMC’s and convention bureaus from over 60 countries will exhibit here.

Our delegation will stay in the Hotel Pullman Montparnasse. We will arrive by train on the morning of 3 April and leave in the late afternoon of 4 April. (We can arrange for you to stay a couple of days more, but you will have to do so at your own expense.) If you’re interested in joining us, register yourself via this link. Important: your identification code is BBT.
What’s legal... and what’s not? – Some reactions

TeamworkBert KnutsA couple of weeks ago, we published a newsletter on the legal differences between licensed and unlicensed event & incentive agencies, and why it’s so important that the agency you work with meets all necessary legal obligations. The original piece can be read here. There were a lot of reactions on this mailing, and most of them were positive.

A reaction, from Event Masters Bert Knuts, was more critical. GM of a fully licensed event bureau, Mr. Knuts pointed us out on the distinction we made between incentive agencies and event bureaus.  Since we like our discussions open and free, we decided (with his permission) to publish his entire reaction as an open letter. Click here to read it.

Feel like reacting yourself? Don’t hesitate and mail your response to

Merry Christmas from MPI, Site, Ema Society, Initiative and Meeting Leuven

MPIFive major MICE organisations held a Christmas drink for their members on 20 December, and BBT Online was present to take part in the celebration. Venue of choice was Craywinckelhof in Lubbeek: a beautiful old farmhouse, currently being renovated.

MPIOne little point of criticism though:
maybe it was the horrible weather, but only 60 attendants on the Christmas party of 5 important MICE organisations seems a little underwhelming to us. Although it must be said, a lot of the name tags never left the welcome table.

In addition, a little extra show-element would have been vastly appreciated!

BBT Online’s 4D Workshop: an event with balls!

Bowling Stones Wemmel proved to be the perfect venue for our 4D workshop’s 10th anniversary edition. A full house, exciting destinations, brand new meeting rooms, competitive games of bowling, a fiery spectacle outside, and of course: Santa!

We would like to thank you all for your much appreciated attendance. Check out our 2 different albums of 2 different photographers on our Facebook page, click here.

4D Workshop

BBT Online’s first Speed Date Workshop: 25 Feb 2013


On 25 February we’ll return to Antwerp, for the first edition of our brand new Speed Date Workshop: not a plan to lighten up (y)our sad, lonely lives with a new boy/girlfriend, but an exciting MICE event organised in a wonderful, funky and privatised Little Buddha Restaurant.

We present you with an impressive list of 33 suppliers (click here for the list) containing only quality and originality. If you’re interested in participating, pls fill in the application form, click here.


A perfect choice for your incentive
Castell D’Emporda:
The choice for foodies

Salt on your skin, wind blowing through your hair, dolphins fooling around in the water, a cocktail in your hand: nothing beats a luxury sailing trip, a perfect choice for an incentive!

Barefoot chic on board, with a high grade of pampered comfort, because life aboard is blissfully relaxed, much like travelling on a private yacht. The weekly cruises of Sailing-Classics are a fine mix of faoritesailing, excursions, island hopping, bathing and relaxing.

Programmes on board and on-shore are tailor-made. The Kairos can accommodate 18 passengers, and the Chronos (maiden voyage in July) can take 26.

Sailing-Classics will be one of the 33 exhibitors of BBT Online’s Speed Date Workshop on 25 February.

Spanish castle

Salvador Dali fell in love with it long ago, but a Dutch couple bought it twelve years ago.

A hidden gem in Spain, not far from Girona: a castle from the 13th century. After a serious and tasteful restoration, Castell D'Emporda opened its doors again as a boutique hotel. Chef Maurice de Jaeger, with big names like Oud Sluis and Pure Sea on his culinary CV, made Castell D’Emporda’s restaurant Drac famous, and attracted foodies from all over the world.

For events, there are several well-equipped rooms. Groups can go cycling, visit magical medieval villages hidden in the breathtaking landscape or enjoy eight splendid golf courses. And of course, there are several museums with some of Dali’s paintings close by.

Castell D’Emporda is one of the 33 exhibitors on BBT Online’s Speed Date Workshop on 25 February.

Castell D’Emporda
Real Short !!

22 January, Courtyard by Marriot Brussels: MPI Belgium’s BE Conference has the following theme: “Back to Innovation?” The conference is centred around the question of how innovation can provide us with answers to the challenges of today’s society.
31 January – 1 February, Brussels Travel Top. Organised by and for travel professionals, the Brussels Travel top will be concluded with a big debate among international speakers like Frank Meysman (Chairman Thomas Cook Group), Johan Lundgren (Deputy CEA TUI Travel) en Thierry Geerts (Country Director Google Belgium).
5-6 February, Earls Court 2, London: Business Travel Show. One of Europe’s main exhibitions/conferences for corporate travel buyers, managers and bookers to source, learn and network.
10-12 February, Corinthia Hotel, Budapest: MCE CEE. Organized by Europe Congress, this event brings together handpicked planners from leading European agencies, corporate companies and large international associations to discover the increasing number of quality conference and incentive facilities in Central and Eastern Europe.
18-20 February, Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg: Meetings Africa 2013. The biggest and most influential pan-African business event & trade exhibition on the continent.
22 February, Hotel Sofitel Brussels Europe: Brussels Executive Forum. ACTE and BATM teamed up and developed an educational experience touching on the important topics for travel professionals.
Site Belgium and the City of Antwerp are proud to welcome the Site EMEA Forum ( from 11 to 13 March 2013. The Site EMEA Forum’s three-day educational programme includes targeted discussion groups, lively panel debates and inspiring invited speakers.
Consult BBT Online’s MICE agenda, and don’t miss any event.

Conceptum decided to postpone the Business & Meeting Solutions Fair which should take place at Brussels Expo, 13 –14 March. Because of the difficult economic situation, the necessary response from the market was too small to create the qualitative platform B&MS was supposed to be. Exhibitors who already paid in advance, will of course get their money back.
BBT Online offers a welcome alternative with the Speed Date & 4D workshops. Contact us via for more info.
More and more adventurous spirits opt for a working holiday, volunteering to work with underprivileged children or helping to protect the environment. Since these kind of holidays are booming, Vakantiesalon Antwerpen decided to save a separate space on their fair for organisations offering projects like this: “SOS Wereldplein”.
EventStir is a new crowdfunding system for events. When someone publishes an event on the site and proposes to organise it, it will only take place when enough people confirm their attendance and donate the registration fee via the EventStir-system. Well, at least it reduces the number of no-shows. More info on
The famous Table Mountain near Cape Town, South Africa, is now one of the seven new world wonders. Its newly acquired status is believed to attract a lot more tourists to the site, creating both economic and social benefits for the region. Last November, the mountain attracted a record number of visitors, more than any other month in the last ten years.
On 11 December, the Brussels Days in Washington DC closed with an interesting programme of well-attended workshops and networking moments. The main goal was reached: making connections between two decision-making cities, and putting Brussels on the map as one of Europe’s premier meeting and convention destinations.
Till 17 February, the Brussels Stock Exchange is under occupation by the famous Chinese Terracotta Army. 150 threatening life-sized replicas of the warriors, horses and chariots of the first Chinese emperor are showcased.
EYE, Amsterdam’s new film museum, offers varied facilities as an event venue. The four cinemas and six other rooms can be rented for meetings, conferences, company presentations, workshops and film screenings. The venue can accommodate 600 people and is accessible by boat via the IJ.
Whales on waves comes with a new innovative breakthrough. The iConference is an interactive presentation tool that works via smartphones. Attendants can give comments or ask questions via their phones. These will be shown on big screens above the keynote speaker.  The application also comes with an inbuilt voting system.
Rejoice, all of you, for BBT Online recently joined Twitter! You can follow us on @BBTOnline1 to stay up-to-date with the latest industry news.

Open since December: Brussels’ new and stylish Martini Bar, on the Avenue de Waterloo, near Louise. The interior is fancy and elegant, with a big, central bar and appealing sitting areas. A glamorous place to have a drink.
Mövenpick Hotel Paris Neuilly, will become the hotel chain’s first venue in the French capital. Located  in a calm, residential oasis on Boulevard Victor Hugo, but just three metro stops from the Arc de Triomphe. The hotel houses 281 rooms and 19 suites.
Carlson Wagonlit Travel launched a new website for hotel reviews: CWT Hotel Intel. It gives up-to-date info about hotels, their facilities, prices and availability. Business travellers can rate these hotels and share their reviews with others.
Until 12 February, Chutneys, restaurant of the Royal Windsor Hotel Grand Place in Brussels, magically transformed into a Swiss Chalet. Take a visit and enjoy some fondue, raclette and other Swiss specialties.
From July 2013, inbound international travellers at Brussels South Station will be able to check in to a 4-star hotel, without leaving the station. Thanks to the new Pullman Brussels Centre Gare du Midi, 237 rooms and 1000 m² of high-quality conference facilities will soon be available just a few metres from the end of the platform. The hotel comes with a modular convention centre of 10 meeting rooms. Beats sleeping in the subway.
Holland has another unique hotel. The Ice Hotel Lumen, part of the Ice Sculpting Festival in the centre of Zwolle, offers three icy yet convenient rooms. For just €94,50 pp, you can stay in a luxurious refrigerator room, and you’ll get a big, warm breakfast to go with it. Book it now, before it melts!
The Steigenberger Hotel Group now has a presence at the very heart of Europe in the form of the Steigenberger Grandhotel Brussels.  The hotel opened on 1 January 2013.

Jet Airways, India’s largest private airline, added four new A330-300 planes to its fleet, and presented its new business class. “Premiere Class” comes with new Contour Vantage 2 seats with built-in air pillows and a massage function. Sounds really nice, doesn’t it?
Brussels Airlines reached an agreement on reorganisation and cost reduction (€110 million). A €100 million loan planned by minority shareholder Lufthansa will probably go through as well. The company is still waiting for a decision on a € 30 million injection from the Belgian government.
The European airline industry will make a slow recovery, with a predicted growth of 0,5%, according to credit insurer Euler Hermes. Reasons for this recovery are mostly the ongoing restructuring plans and new alliances being made.
BMI Regional, starts the new year with a big promotion. No less than 75,000 discount tickets (and that’s for the Belgian market alone) can be booked between 3 and 18 January, valid for flights between 1 February and 31 December 2013. More info on

BBT Online and its senior journalist Viviane Vogels decided to part ways. We would like to thank Viviane for the years of fruitful cooperation.
Ben Gosman, chairman of the Dutch chapter of SITE, resigned. The reason why is not clear: internal problems, different visions? Gosman was appointed only one year ago, during the General Assemble in January 2012. The next GA of Site Holland is planned for 28 January at Hilton Hotel Rotterdam. Until that date, Rotterdam Marketing’s Stephen van Es is replacing the chairman.

BBT Online Club 100 welcomed the following new members last month:
  • Marc Schwabach, President, World of DMCs
  • Olga de Torres-Bohórquez, Sales & Marketing Director, Ambiance Incentives
    (Barcelona/Sevilla, Spain)

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.

BBT Online Club 100: the place where you meet more planners than suppliers!


Laughing is good for you! Christmas is a time of joy and gifts. American talk show host Jimmy Kimmel asked his audience to do something special. Click here, and enjoy.


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