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 66th edition.
of our take5 articles are advertorial free.

Mike Tyson Live!
Culinary madness in Maastricht

Watch your ears, folks! Boxing legend and triple world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson will give a one time performance in Belgium.

On 3 April, he’ll be in the Cirque Royal in Brussels, sharing his personal story in a show directed by none other than Spike Lee.

The Undisputed Truth is, other than a title completely unpronounceable by Mike Tyson, a unique view on the life of one of history’s most legendary boxers. Ticket sales has been started.
Folie Culinaire

Pay attention, foodies! Two important culinary events take place at the same time in the same venue. From 7 to 9 October, MECC Maastricht is home to both Folie Culinaire and the BBB Horeca Fair.

At Folie Culinaire, top chefs like Jean-Francois Piège and Hans Snijders will let visitors experience and taste their culinary delights. On the BBB Fair, prime French wine growers will amaze the public with workshops and degustation sessions.,
Remembering the Great War

In 2014, it will have been exactly a century since WWI started. To commemorate this crucial moment in modern history, a lot of the places it touched will hold ceremonies and other events. The North of France is especially rich in Great War history. You could for example visit:

  • Sainte-Adresse: a charming Norman town, and de facto the administrative capital of the Belgian government during the war.
  • Picardy: France’s shield. The upper valley of the Somme, and the so called ‘Chemin des Dames’ were the setting of brutal battles.
  • Nord-Pas-de-Calais: central to the war, from start to finish. A lot of sites can be visited here.
  • Département la Meuse: home to the battlefields of Verdun and Argonne.

Great war

Brussels is attracting more visitors

SofitelSince the start of this year, the number of hotel rooms in Brussels rose from 16,700 to 17,420 (+4.3%). The occupancy rate stayed at the same height as before, at about 70%. This means the actual number of visitors grew with almost 4%.

A fantastic summer with some remarkable events of course had its influence on the numbers. This year’s national holiday, celebrating the new king, drew almost 600,000 people to the capital. Dance festival Tomorrowland, not even in the Brussels area, was good for 8,000 overnight stays in the city every day. Most tourist attractions saw their visitors increase with almost 10%.
Thank you, sunshine.

A new Belgian Beer temple!
Different habits for the Millennial generation

Praise the Lord! The Brussels Stock Exchange building will turn into a Belgian Beer Temple! The search for a good reallocation of the building was a long one, but in 2018, it will open its doors again as club 100an attractive, active museum.

A place for experiences, degustation and education, acting as a showcase for Belgium’s rich beer culture. The museum is expected to attract 400,000 visitors annually.

The Millennial-generation (°1980-2000) is entering the MICE industry and with them come different habits. A study by Amex asked 1,500 business travellers about their traveling habits, and concluded that the younger generation takes more personal time on trips.

Business trips are being expanded with a personal aspect: one or two extra days, visiting the sights, enjoying some wellness, etc. This is not a generation to bombard with an ‘all work and no play’ workload. Invest in them accordingly and the return might be surprising.
Hard Rock Hallelujah
Whatever floats your boat!
Hard Rock

Hard Rock International will open its first hotel venue in Europe. Club Don Toni and Hotel Don Toni owned by Fiesta Hotels and Resorts, will be transformed into a new complex called Hard Rock Hotel Ibiza.

The venue will open its doors to the public in May 2014 and guarantees a well-known formula of sun, sea and head banging. Faithful to its concept, the hotel will offer live shows performed by internationally acclaimed artists. Ibiza was already home to house and dance, but now the rock show is coming to town.
Mill Dormylle

Looking for a place to relax completely? Hampshire Hotel Fitland - Mill Dormylle might be the spot. It comes with a Wellness Boat: a state-of-the-art sauna and beauty resort that floats.

The boat has of four floors, housing a pool, various saunas, steam baths and a whirlpool. If you’d rather work out, Hotel Fitland – Mill Dormylle has a fitness centre as well.

If you’re more into doing actual business, various meeting facilities for big or small events are available on site.
How is the Event Industry using Social Networks?

NetworksAmiando (expert in event management software) published its third annual Social Media & Events report. In it, the latest developments and the newest social media trends in the event industry are highlighted. Additionally, the report offers tips for an effective use of social networks during events or in your marketing strategy.

Some of the more important conclusions are that event organisers rely ever more heavily on social media activities for promotional means and will do so even more in the future. Confidence in the potential of social media grows every year, and the primary goal for using it is increasing event awareness.

The full report can be downloaded here:

BBT Online’s 2nd Speed-Date workshop
speed date speed date

BBT Online would like to thank all planners and suppliers for being our guests at another well-attended Speed Date Workshop in Hotel de la Poste, Tour & Taxis at the end of August.

Although there were some minor flaws (too much running about and some planners taking their breaks a little long) we were very pleased with the attendance, the results and the positive reactions we got.

Our next workshop, on 9 December will be in an exciting, completely new and very special venue. Save the date!

speed date speed date
speed date speed date
Destination Report: Friesland

Our Dutch correspondent Ellen van Ree decided to visit a part of her own country she had yet to discover: beautiful Friesland. She took off to the far north of The Netherlands to fish for eels, stab a lance through some rings while on a horse and to find out all she wanted to know about the province’s vast MICE possibilities.

Most of all though, she wanted to visit a renowned hotel that was on her wish list for ages. Click here to read all about it.


Invitation for Meeting, Congress and Incentive planners: Discover Beautiful Krakow

KrakowThe Polish Tourism Office and LOT Polish Airlines invite you to an interesting MICE famtrip to Krakow from 11 to 14 October 2013.

Visit Poland’s most beautiful city and discover unique venues like the Polish Museum of Aviation, the Museum under the Market, the Old University, the Tram Depot and last but not least: ICE Krakow, a brand new congress centre opening in 2014.

If you’re interested in joining this trip, send a mail to
Real Short !!

Breaking news: Oad, the Netherland’s third biggest Tour Operator (turnover in 2012: € 732 million) was officially declared bankrupt by the Commercial Court. 1,750 employees are on the verge of losing their job.
Plopperdeplop! Plopsaland de Panne built itself a brand new theatre. Plopsa Theater is a huge venue, suitable for a variety of shows, business possibilities, dinners and receptions. It’s the biggest theatre on the Belgian coast after Casino Kursaal in Ostend, offering 1,406 luxury seats and a foyer able to accommodate 1.400 guests.
Sportpaleis Antwerpen and Vorst Nationaal, two of Belgium’s most renowned concert halls, will start joining forces. As of 1 October, Brussels’ legendary rock temple will be exploited by the Sportpaleis group. Ownership of the venue remains in the hands of Music Hall, but daily business will be left to the group.
Get your winter jackets ready, because luxury cruise liner Seabourn launches cruises to Antarctica and Patagonia. From November 2013 to January 2014, the Seabourn Quest will set sail to the vast white south four times. No teasing the penguins please.
Tokyo was named host destination for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Japanese capital was selected by the International Olympic Committee members during the 125th IOC session in Buenos Aires, beating competition from Istanbul and Madrid.
For the fourth consecutive time, the Belgian Event sector shows growing numbers. In 2012, the 18 most important event bureaus reached a business figure of € 94.7 million. The number of events increased as well.
This fall, Petra, one of the seven new wonders of the world, will travel from Jordan to the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden (RMO) in Leiden. The exhibition ‘Petra, wonder of the desert’ can be visited from 9 October 2013 to 23 March 2014. Its 150 artifacts make it the biggest Petra exhibition ever. More info on en
12-13 February 2014, Convene, Vilnius/Lithuania. Hosted buyer registration for this major MICE fair is now open. Click here.

The Hotel, a landmark on the Avenue de Waterloo in Brussels, is finally finished after a two year renovation project. 421 rooms and suites, 12 meeting rooms, 2 ballrooms, the foyer, the restaurant, and the Urban Spa & Fitness were completely refurbished.
Hotel Chez Odette in Williers, one of France’s smallest villages only a few miles from the Belgian border, got five brand new rooms. This former tavern on the town square was turned into what is now the most renowned hotel in the area a couple of years ago, sporting 13 rooms, a bistro and a restaurant. Chez Odette is also suited for seminars and workshops.

Etihad Airways decided to tackle one of the biggest annoyances of frequent flyers: obnoxious little children. By the end of 2013, 500 flying nannies will entertain these kids during long flights: playing games with them, giving tours and stimulating their creativity.
A somewhat sad survey by British Airways, conducted on 2,000 British tourists, concluded that 1 in 3 people questioned could not point out their latest holiday destination on a map. An extra reason for the annual autumn depression? Most definitely. was nominated as ‘Website of the year’ in the category ‘Leisure and Travel’. More than two million people visit the site and its apps each month. Skyscanner searches for airline tickets, on all official airline sites. This way the user can compare prices and transfer times, and choose the ticket most beneficial to him/her.
As of Easter 2014, Jetairfly offers two direct flights a week from Brussels to Miami. Florida, together with New York and the national parks on the West Coast, is one of Belgium’s favourite US destinations.
Thomas Cook Belgium offers various amenities for MICE travellers. All business travellers can use the fast lane for security checks. MICE-groups will always be seated together in the first rows of the aircraft, and are welcomed with a glass of bubbles, followed by a meal inspired by Bart De Pooter of the Michelin-starred ‘De Pastorale’ in Rumst. A nice alternative for business travellers. Info: Nathalie Constant, or Johan Six,

Kris Vanderstappen, Senior Manager Meetings and Events Benelux, leaves American Express to become Director of Sales for Accor.
On September 16, Michel Troch became the new Sales & Marketing Manager at Hotel MeetCentive Contact & Consulting Partners (HMCCP), working closely with CEO Josiane Feierabend. He will mainly concentrate on prospecting corporate customers.
Pim Poppe is the new Sales & Events Manager at Bowling Stones Wemmel.
After 17 years of faithful service, Veerle De Boeck left ABTO (the Association of Belgian Tour Operators). She held the function of Secretary General. Veerle is a jurist by education and is looking for a new career direction.
MPI Belgium (Meeting Professionals International) presented it’s new board: Gemmeke De Jongh, Steve Segers, Mariska Kestelo, Pieter Allaerts and Grace Mutyebele.
Aroonwan Kosiyakul leaves TAT (Tourism Authority of Thailand) after fifteen years of service. Glenaki will take over the duties of TAT in Belgium as of 1 October. Aroonwan will keep giving advise. Birgit Defoort and Lien Deleu will be responsible for promoting Thailand from now on. You can contact them via or by phone on +32 50 61 42 00
Are you Ghent’s new Congress Manager?
Gent Congres is looking for a Congress Manager. You should apply if you have at least two years of relevant professional experience in tourism or MICE. You will put Ghent on the map as a MICE destination, working on a business development plan both domestically and abroad. You will build a customer base and will exhibit on international fairs and workshops. You will advise and support your clients when they visit the city and you speak Dutch, French and English fluently.
Interested? More info, click here: or Tel 09/266 7560

Ben jij Gents nieuwe Congres Manager?
Gent Congres is op zoek naar een Congres Manager. Sollicitanten moeten beschikken over minstens twee jaar relevante professionele ervaring in toerisme of MICE. Als Congres Manager zet je Gent op de kaart als een MICE bestemming door te werken aan een business development plan in België en het buitenland. Je bouwt een klantenportefeuille uit en bent aanwezig op internationale workshops en beurzen. Je adviseert, ondersteunt en gidst je klanten in de stad en je spreekt vloeiend Nederlands, Frans en Engels. Geïnteresseerd? Klik hier voor meer informatie: or Tel 09/266 7560

BBT Online Club 100 welcomed the following new member 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!


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