To optimally view our newsletter, we advise you to read the newsletter by clicking here.
To prevent BBT Online newsletters going into your junk mail folder,
please add our email address to your address book:

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 65th edition.
of our take5 articles are advertorial free.

Club-party during lunch break
A trip to the market
Lunch Beat

Lunch Beat is an exciting concept originally from Sweden. It’s essentially a club-party during lunch break, where a famous DJ spins some vinyl for exactly one hour while hundreds of people dance away, just to return to the office revitalised.

If you’re working too hard to go out at night, why not go for it at noon

Opening Pullman Brussels Midi
Pullman Brussels Midi

Pullman, Accor’s top hotel brand, opened its first venue in Belgium on 1 June.

Pullman Brussels Midi is located on the Victor Horta Square, right in the actual train station. Being the first hotel in Brussels Midi, it offers direct high-speed train connections to London, Paris and Amsterdam.

The whole hotel was designed by Jean-Philippe Nuel and offers 237 contemporary rooms, most of them with a direct view on the tracks. Pullman Brussels Midi has 10 modular meeting rooms (also with a view on the trains), able to accommodate 360 guests in theatre style. Wi-Fi, as well as an entire entertainment catalogue is freely available in every room.
boeremetIs there a better place to shop than your local market? The atmosphere, the freshness of the ingredients: it makes for a different experience. Brussels is home to several great markets, and we’ve listed two of our favourites.

Every Thursday, the Anderlecht Abattoir is home to ‘De Boeremet’ aka the Farmer’s Market. Thirty local producers present their products for tasting and sale. In for some shrimp croquets, calamari, wines, waffles or pastries? This is the place to go.

Looking for some funky clothes? Why not go to the Vintage and Second Hand Clothes Market in the Halles Saint-Géry?

It takes place every first Sunday of the month from noon to 7 pm. More than 40 vintage exhibitors and 20 young designers showcase their wares here.

You can also have lunch or listen to the DJ.
New hype: single dish restaurants

LobsterTired of picking what to eat? Single dish restaurants are the new hype. No more pointlessly looking at the menu just to later find out you’ve made the wrong choice! No, in single dish restaurants, you only get the speciality of the house.

If you go to London try Burger & Lobster (Dean Street 36) you’ll get, yes, burgers or lobsters. If you go to Bubbledogs (Charlotte Street 70) instead, you’ll only get hotdogs and champagne. No more agony of choice! The only trouble of course, is deciding which one to go to. Does it never end!?

IT&CM China 2013: back to Shanghai
Where to take a group in Shanghai?
IT&CM China

As customary, BBT Online travelled to Shanghai for the annual IT&CM China MICE Fair. A lot of things changed since last year, both on the fair and in the city. The number of Chinese exhibitors and buyers was much higher than last year, and more of them were corporate and association planners.

The Benelux was well represented too: Visit Brussels finally decided to showcase itself to the Chinese market with their own booth.

To read the complete article, look at the pictures or discover some interesting venues, click here.


Shanghai is not only a prime destination for MICE fairs, it’s also an interesting city to explore by yourself or with a group. Old temples and colonial buildings stand in the shadows of shiny new skyscrapers; along the river or in the many parks regular people make the best of their day; brand Shanghainew and massive museums hold ancient Chinese secrets as well as the most futuristic technologies, and outside the city centre a much different China awaits.

BBT Online asked China Star DMC to take them to a few of the most interesting spots, and this is what they came up with. Read the entire article by clicking here.
A visit to Poland’s best kept secret

Until recently, Wroclaw was largely unknown to the outside world. Rather odd you might say. As the country’s fourth biggest city it boast a range of historic treasures: remnants of quite a turbulent history. However, Wroclaw’s days of anonymity are quickly coming to an end. It entered the spotlight as one of four Polish cities hosting Euro 2012.

 It’s the country’s most popular destination for foreign investors and home to the Polish branches of several multinationals. In 2016 it will become Europe’s Capital of Europe. Time for BBT Online to take a closer look.  Click here to read more....

Wroclaw Wroclaw
Invitation for Benelux incentive & event agents:
BBT Online’s second Speed Date Workshop

Our first speed date workshop last February in Antwerp was a real success so we decided to organise another one. Join us in Brussels on 26 August, where 50 exclusive A-list suppliers will be waiting for Benelux incentive & event agents in the brand new Hotel de la Poste on the Tour & Taxis grounds.

Since the official opening is only planned in September, we’ll be one of the first to organise a B2B event in this venue! After the workshop, we’ll have a great party in restaurant/club Sett. Register now by mailing us at or for more info on

Note that this event is meant for professional Benelux incentive and event agents and PCOs only.

Because some people have to drive a long way home, The Dominican, our workshop's official hotel partner, made 20 rooms available for our guests to spend the night in Brussels.
This offer is also valid for people living in or around the capital. This way, there's no need to worry about having one or two extra drinks. Send us a mail at if you want to make use of the offer.

dominican dominican
Visiting a giant

giantOn 13 June, Zeebrugge welcomed the Independence of the Seas, the biggest cruise liner ever to enter a Belgian port. One of Royal Caribbean’s flagships, the Independence is 339m long and its 15 decks accommodate 4999 people. While giantthe ship has a lot of incredible leisure features (a surf simulator, an ice skating rink and a lively, 150m long indoor shopping street, just to name a few), it’s also very suitable for incentives, meetings and large conferences.

The ship offers all the space needed for even the biggest events and can be privatised. Themed cruises are also gaining popularity. Click this link for an overview of Royal Caribbean’s MICE offer.

Site Belgium: A trip to sunny Ostend

Backed by the nicest weather in a long time, BBT Online joined Site Belgium on a MICE visit to Ostend on the 18th of June.

The programm proved varied and fun. A visit to the Thermae Palace Hotel & Congress Centre ( a look at the Wellington racetrack, retro style transport and a laser battle in Fort Napoleon that got everyone pretty competitive.

Followed in the evening by an elegant dinner on the Agua del Mar Ostend, with a lovely view on the North Sea and Belgium's wide sandy beach to conclude it all.

A destination worth discovering!

Ostend gent
Real Short !!

Zomer van Antwerpen: theatre performances at unexpected locations, open-air movie screenings, a beautiful international circus, music, atmosphere and of course, the Zomerbar. The programme started on 20 June and will run until 1 September, offering 750 activities on more than 30 locations.
18 July – 18 August, Knokke: Kooza. Come to the Belgian seaside and enjoy Cirque du Soleil’s newest show. Poetry in motion, and the human body in all its physical beauty, strength and fragility. Want to buy tickets? Click here to find them:
24-26 August, Kamerse Bos, Brussels: Fiesta Latina. Belgium’s best Latin Festival, with a schedule filled to the brim with concerts, shows and dance competitions.
26-28 September, Warsaw, Poland: Meet Poland 2013. The most important incoming tourism workshop in Poland. The event is supported by the major Polish tourism organizations.
4-7 November, ExCel, London: WTM 2013. On this year’s World Travel Market you can meet almost 5,000 exhibiting travel professionals. Registration is now open.

Visitbrussels once again rewarded the best new tourism initiatives from 2012 at the annual Visitbrussels Awards ceremony and gala evening in the city centre on 20th June. Click here to see the winners.
Interested in fashion? Why not try The Antwerp Fashion Hunt, a strategic group game with a fun mix of assignments, including activities, theme- and photo assignments. It can be played with groups of 6 to 200 participants.
Did you know that until recently, Belgium didn’t have its own Frietmuseum? An outrage that is now solved with the opening of the first one in Bruges’ Saaihalle. In it, you’ll learn all there is to know about the history of the potato and how it eventually turned into Belgium’s national dish.
Coca-Cola is testing something very ‘cool’ in Colombia: Coke in a bottle made only of ice. Your drink stays fresh and afterwards your bottle just melts away in the sun, leaving no garbage at all. This could be very useful on events. Check the clip here:
Faithful to the ‘Less is more’ principle, Cyriel Kortleven and Marc Heleven made a slideshow with 17 short but practical tips to enrich your life with less. Click here to learn more.
‘Creativity Today’ is a book about applied creativity written by Ramon Vullings & Igor Byttebier. It’s clear, practical, fun, and rich with twenty years of experience. The book is a personal creativity coach, offering ideas, exercises and inspiration. Users (not just readers) are encouraged to grasp the essence of creativity, to put what they have learned into practice and to inspire others.
After twenty years of restoration, Oman’s historic Bahla Fort is once again open to visitors. The Bahla Fort is one of four historic forts at the base of the Jebal Akhdar Mountains, and was acknowledged as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.

Thai Airways International introduces an extra flight on the Brussels-Bangkok route. Starting from 27 October, there will be four flights every week between the two capitals. The extra flight will be operated on Sundays.
Brussels Airlines started flying to Washington five times a week. These direct flights to the US Capital offer European travellers the perfect gateway to explore the rest of the continent. Washington Dulles is one of North America’s biggest hubs.
KLM and Air France operated their first flights with on-board Wi-Fi. Thanks to this new service, passengers can stay online during the flight, which is of course especially convenient for business travellers. KLM and Air France will further test the project on two Boeing 777-300 planes during the rest of the year. The service will be available to every travel class, at a price of € 10.95 for an hour and € 19.95 for the entire flight. Wi-Fi is available as soon as the plane reaches an altitude of 6 km.
Finnair began flying to Hanoi and Xi’an, further sharpening the airline’s strategic focus on connections between Asia and Europe. Finnair is currently the only European carrier offering direct flights to the two cities. It will operate service to both destinations three times a week throughout the summer schedule season, until October 26 for Xi’an and October 27 for Hanoi.
VALK, the Dutch institute for fear of flying introduces a mobile aid for people suffering from the condition: a digital breathing coach. This iPhone app will help people get their breathing under control, which will cause a direct decrease of physical fear complaints like palpitations and dizziness.

BMW opens the ‘Apéro & Dinner’ pop-up lounge on the Knokke beach. Looking for a Saint-Tropez atmosphere at the Belgian coast? This is where to head. It can also be used as an event location. Parts of the venue can be privatised for dinners, events or presentations. The lounge opens from 12 July to 31 August.
The Xavier Degroote group took over Dukes’ Palace in Bruges. This expands Degroote’s portfolio in Bruges to 4 venues, good for a total of 311 rooms. The hotel will drop the name Kempinski on 1 July. Dukes’ Palace remains the only 5-star venue in Bruges, and was awarded several times.
Because of the on-going economic crisis, lots of companies will no longer book 5-star hotels for their business travellers. This causes several hotels to reduce their stars to 4. The latest case was the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel in Brussels. Manager Gaston Gellens says it was a very hard but necessary decision. It might lose them some prestige, but will keep their loyal customers booking. Brussels now has 9 five star venues left.
Meininger Hotel Brussels City, opened in May, is the first Meininger venue in Belgium. The formula is unique: a hotel and a hostel under the same roof. The 3-star hotel offers rooms of up to 8 beds. It aims at families, backpackers as well as business travellers and can be found at the Henegouwenkaai, right next to the Graaf van Vlaanderen subway station. It has 150 rooms with 719 beds. The building was part of the former Bellevue brewery.
‘Stadscafé van Mechelen’ is a new gastro pub located in an old garage at the Sloterkade in Amsterdam. The space is large and industrial.
Amsterdam welcomes a new and unique restaurant concept. Restaurant View, located at the Oostersedok Quai, is a Japanese grill and teppan yaki restaurant, sporting more than 100m of conveyer belts made by Pre-Motion. All you can eat or drink, moving right by you while you sit. It’s called living the live, people!
Books & Bubbles is a very special book-shop in Amsterdam. They don’t only sell books but also organise events like conversation dinners, workshops, writer nights, book clubs and champagne tastings. Cook & Book in Brussels is a similar venue. See and
The Buddha-Bar London restaurant recently launched EAT.PLAY.LOVE – a fun fuelled evening of decadent dishes and live musicians, organised every Thursday evening.
The brand new Africology Spa in the Maslow Hotel in Sandton, Johannesburg, won the World Luxury Spa Award 2013. It can call itself the best spa in South Africa for a year. Voters were extremely satisfied with the excellent level of service.
Moscow, apparently ranked as the world’s most expensive hotel destination, gets its first Japanese-style capsule hotel. The Sleepbox Hotel offers travellers a night’s accommodation in the city centre for just €62. The fact that the ‘room’ is only a less than 4m2 box, is of course something you’ll have to cope with. Not for claustrophobic people.

Geraldine Huybrechts became a managing partner at Borealis Incentives and will lead the company on a daily basis. Owner Dries Jacobus will take on a more strategic role, looking over the company and thinking out of the box. Jean-Pierre Cornelis will become an independent co-worker based in Antwerp.
After 37 years with the German National Tourism Board, Rita Cartois retired on 21 June. During the years, she was responsible for press and PR, and for the organisation of countless fairs and events.
Viviane Vogels, who worked with us for a long time, created a new dating service for everybody over 50 and single called SoulMatcher! The website is available in Dutch, French and English.
Airline Air Europa is looking for a new colleague in Brussels. Job function: Corporate Sales representative. Someone who knows the corporate market, speaks Dutch and French, but also Spanish and English. Are you interested or do you know someone who fits the description, please send a mail to
Open Slide & Services, expert in speaker and presentation management, is looking for a fulltime Project & Business Manager in Brussels. The job description can be found behind the link. If you think you have what it takes, don’t hesitate to send them your CV. ProjectManagerBusinessManager.pdf
Mieke Rasson will become the new GM of Bowling Stones Antwerp on 15 August. She left ‘Het Godshuis’, where she was Operational Manager, on 1 July. 

Laughing is good for you. BBT Online recently joined a famtrip to Friesland, perhaps Holland’s newest and least explored meeting destination. If you want to know everything about the region in a fun and entertaining way, but you have only five minutes to spare, click this promotional Youtube clip. You won’t regret it.


Karin de Graauw – Editor-in-chief BBT Online
Rue de Toulouse 49 – 1040 Brussels – Belgium
Join us on Facebook
Twitter Linked In