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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 60th edition.
of our take5 articles are advertorial free.

New venues in Belgium
New venues in Belgium

There’s always new (or undiscovered) venues popping up in and around Belgium. That’s why we decided to give you a short overview of the ones we found most interesting this month.
Check them out!

- Brasserie Restaurant Canal, Vilvoorde: Stylish new venue with two conferences rooms opened a few months ago, conveniently located next to the Brussels ring road. Perfect for a short business lunch, a copious multi-course dinner or just to have a drink with a view over the canal.

- Restaurant M, Ghent: Both in name, style and atmosphere a nice homage to our favourite special agent 007 – is a new venue in Ghent that takes dining in the city to a higher level. The restaurant is located more than 30m above the city streets, on top of the ‘Nieuwe Molens’ industrial building. M can be privatised for groups as well.

-La Merveilleuse, Dinant: Wonderful monastery: hotel, restaurant, spa and several meeting & event rooms, offering a view over the Meuse and the Dinant Citadel. Beer lovers beware: Maison Leffe can be Bbt Onlinevisited on the premises.

- Val de Targnon, Stoumont: Located on a 25 ha private domain in the Ardennes are two separate venues. A chalet complex next to the river, suited for groups of up to 35 persons, and a castle on the hill in the forest, suited for 16 to 30 persons. The castle and the rooms are very stylishly decorated. We really love this place! There’s also a great kitchen available for teambuilding activities. In short: a nice place for seminars or workshops.

New venues in Belgium
A romantic weekend in style

Looking for a romantic getaway this Valentine, but the local drive-by motel doesn’t fully suit your needs? Maybe you should check out one of these five mojo-inspiring venues, selected by Design Hotels.

Paris of course, is always a good option for a love-filled weekend. That’s why two venues are suggested here: La Maison Champs Elysées and Hotel Gabriel Paris Marais.
Somewhat further away is The Library, on the Thai island of Koh Samui, or Alila Diwa Goa, on a beach near the Indian Ocean. Or maybe The Vine on Madeira is something more suitable for you after all?

Take a look here for more info about the venues:

Romantic weekend in style

Find the perfect historic venue for your event
Your event on a sailboat armada
perfect historic venue

Ever wanted to have an event in a castle or historic mansion, but didn’t know where to start looking? is a handy website where you can easily search around in a database filled with hundreds of historic venues of all types and sorts in (mostly) Holland, Belgium and some other European countries. You can book directly, request for proposal or ask for free advise to help you find the historic venue of your dreams.

To be allowed on the site, venues have to be at least 75 years old (most of them are much older), have to have historic value, and have to offer quality service.


Is there a better place than the open water to organise a memorable event? At just 30 minutes from Antwerp and 1 hour from Brussels you can enjoy an inspiring sailing day in Zeeland.

Fly and Sail offers a fitting sailing event for every occasion. Do you want a personal, intimate trip with just one boat or yacht? Perfect! Do you want your own personalised fleet for a huge commercial event? Just as good! Fly and Sail’s team of experienced and licensed sailors can organise a fleet of up to a hundred ships. Quite impressive, for a company party, no?

Augmented reality at the Dominican

With ‘Augmented Reality’, The Dominican provides a platform that will enable anyone with a smartphone or tablet to access exclusive content about the hotel brand.

By downloading the app ‘The Dominican AR+’, your camera will detect two main triggers (The Dominican logos). As soon as it has recognized one of them, a promotional video will be launched. When it has played, anyone will be able to access the booking tool, the website and the Dominican Facebook page.

Though this is of course just small a first step, the possibilities are almost limitless: a whole new way of interacting with possible clients.


Apps, apps, wonderful apps!

AppsLike apples, apps seem to grow on trees these days (surely there’s an app for that). There are millions of them and most are utterly useless. Some of them are nice though, or useful in our business, like the ones we mention here.

- Triposo is a mobile travel app, that shows you the local sights depending on where you are. Want to have dinner? Just check the app and it will suggest some restaurants.
- Vocre is a translator app. Just let someone speak into your smartphone and then listen to the translation.
- Photaf lets you make impressive panoramic shots that are directly uploadable to Facebook.

- IAmHere sends out emails from your phone, letting other people know exactly where you are, so that they can automatically look up info and maps about the location. This could come in handy, but might just be a scary little piece of technology after all.
- GateGuru gives you info on flights, shops, restaurants and services on airports.
- Need to make a nightly toilet stop without waking anybody up? Check out this nice lamp app.
- Want to record all expenses during a trip, so you can see exactly how much money you can spend? You’ll also get a nice overview at the end of the journey.

Montagne Alternative:
an unusual mountain stay
Comics Café:
dining with your childhood heroes
Montagne Alternative

Ever wanted to stay in a real, rustic old farm barn in the middle of the Swiss Alps? Now is your chance!

Montagne Alternative in Valais offers completely renovated wooden farmhouses, located in a peaceful small mountain village surrounded by nature. Barns can be rented for leisure as well as business. A wide range of services and sporting & cultural activities is close by.

Montagne Alternative is one of the 33 exhibitors on our Speed Date Workshop on 25 February.

Montagne Alternative

Comics Café is a new brasserie (200 pax) right in Brussels’ historic centre at the Sablon, where you can order a quality dinner, even at midnight. Surrounded by original comic art, you can enjoy a variety of Belgian specialties, or try a Popeye Burger or a huge Obelix Burger if you have the appetite.

There’s also a comic book shop and an art gallery in the venue. After just four months, Comics Café became the most popular restaurant in Brussels on Tripadvisor. Comics Café is one of the 33 exhibitors on our Speed Date Workshop on 25 February.

Event ROI Institute expands training programme

Event ROIEvent ROI Institute has provided training for many event planners in Europe during the past seven years. The new programme ‘Designing Events for High ROI’ combines Event ROI theory and case examples with best practice design of event formats and learning experiences.

Elling HamsoDr. Elling Hamso says: “The biggest challenge is to turn objectives into really targeted and cost effective event formats and content. That’s why we have added a fundamental understanding of how to design good event content to the already very successful ROI training course”.

The new course is being launched in 13 European cities (including Brussels and Amsterdam) during the next 6 months. It is a 2-day practical, hands-on training course followed by six months of personal coaching. The new programme is accompanied by a new company website on

Invitation for Meeting and Events professionals: Discover Friesland

In the north of the Netherlands (3 hrs drive from Brussels), lies the charming region of Friesland. Here you will find an enormous diversity of culture, history and landscapes. It is also a new player on the MICE market, offering several interesting venues & activities, and more than enough hotel rooms.

Now you can experience it yourself, because Congress Bureau Friesland invites you, free of charge, to a two day educational trip on April 11-12 2013 (with option for an extra night)! You can register for one of three completely different programmes, all concentrated on one specific regional feature. This invitation is of course meant for professional meeting and event planners only. If you want to receive more information send us an email at


Real Short !!

Invitation to all qualified Belgian and Dutch Meeting and Event planners: Join BBT Online on
25 February
in Antwerp, for the first edition of our brand new Speed Date Workshop! Click here for more info.
Ria Mooijaart & Partners are organising a variety of different famtrips for Belgian and Dutch incentive agents in 2013. Click this link to get a nice overview of what will happen this year.
4-7 July, Berlin: Meeting Place Berlin. A 4-day event concentrated on Berlin as a MICE destination. Meet local suppliers and discover the city’s possibilities.
30 September – 3 October, London: ILTM Spa. A high end focused event dedicated to innovators of spa and wellness travel, including destination spas and leaders in the medical tourism sector.
Consult BBT Online’s MICE agenda, and don’t miss any event.

Congratulations to MPI Belgium who organized January 22nd a very well attended (over 100 participants) BE Conference. Great speakers and excellent networking opportunities. We particularly enjoyed the great way of pushing boundaries by Marieke Vervoort and the new way of thinking and creating ideas by Luc de Brabandere.
It’s always nice to receive compliments. Why not publish one this time?
“Thank you Karin for a fine job your team is doing at BBT Online! I receive a great amount of newsletters from the industry – honestly, with most of them I just browse the headlines and very rarely stop to read in details – they all look and sound like the same articles recycled many times. But with BBT Online, I read every headline carefully and there is almost always a piece that attracts my attention to read it in details and to recommend it to friends and colleagues.”
-Ranko Filipovic, Executive Manager, Perfect Meetings Croatia.
MPI released a white paper addressing meetings technology. With so much technology available, it’s hard to keep up. ‘The Future of Meetings’ research uncovers some of the technologies that researchers at Leeds Metropolitan University identified as key shapers of the meetings industry. From what is available in the present: internet, mobile apps and social media, to much further ahead: a world of targeted audio, augmented reality and robotics. The paper can be accessed by MPI Members here:
Duurzaam toerisme doe je zo! – Reisgids naar 2038” is a new book offering a coherent and practical manual to promote sustainable tourism. The book can be ordered or downloaded online via:
Interested in Sailing with Star Clippers’ Star Flyer? On 28 August, a ten day trip leaves from Ostend, with Lisbon as the final destination. This cruise is a unique way to get familiar with the level of comfort on the Star Flyer. The ship makes stops in Honfleur and La Coruna. During five full days at sea, you’ll get to know all do’s and don’ts of sailing. Prices range from € 2,035 to € 2,738, depending on the type of cabin., the quite recently (Sept 2012) launched B2B social network for the travel specialist in Belgium, ceased to exist. Reasons for this decision? Not enough active participation and input from the suppliers. It is precisely this interaction between travel professionals and suppliers that is crucial to keep such a platform interesting. The site’s management Jeroen van der Velde ( and Freshfield Recruitment) and Jan Leenders decided to pull the plug now, instead of letting Travelclan die a slow and quiet death.
Looking for one of our older destination reports? Now you can find them via our new search engine on:

On you'll find really impressive discounts for the world's most beautiful hotels. We like!
The Maslow Hotel is a new Sun International venue in Sandton, Johannesburg, right in the middle of the business district. The hotel holds 13 conference rooms, an auditorium, a ballroom and a very special Africology Spa: where you can try out ancient African treatments, cures and remedies.
On the next B&B Expo, the best Belgian Bed & Breakfasts abroad will be awarded for their efforts. More than 3,000 visitors voted for their favorites on
  Click on the following links to check out some of the winners. In France:, and In Spain:,, and

British Airways published a list of their 13 top destinations for 2013. The list goes as follows:
1. Sri Lanka, 2. Rio de Janeiro, 3. Seoul, 4. Croatia, 5. Vietnam, 6. Punta Cana, 7. Derry, 8. Las Vegas, 9. Tbilisi, 10. San Diego, 11. Cape Town, 12. Alicante, 13. Dubai.
Enough inspiration for a trip? We think so!

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.

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

Laughing is good for you. Originated in New York, ‘No Pants Subway Day’ is now a “rich cultural tradition” practised in a lot of different cities around the world. The basics are as beautiful as they are simple: you buy a subway ticket and then take off your pants while acting as if they’re still there.
Check the video for the Amsterdam version. That’s one tradition we don’t want to see in the Brussels Metro.


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