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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 69th edition.
of our take5 articles are advertorial free.

Designing effective meetings
Ferrari land
Designing meetings

Want to know how to make your meetings more effective? Looking to improve the content side of your meetings? Want to focus on and reach your objectives? Don’t know where to start? We do! MPI offers a one day educational course on effective meeting design or the ‘Meeting Architecture Process’ as they call it.

Join them in the NH Hotel in Brussels on 1 April and pick up new skills, techniques and confidence to improve your working rate with meeting teams. The Meeting Architecture Process (MAP) is a comprehensive, practical, applicable methodology with a set of tools and easy to apply templates. Find more info here.
Ferrari land

Vroom vroom! PortAventura reached a licensing agreement with Ferrari to establish ‘Ferrari Land’, a new theme park dedicated to the Italian brand within the PortAventura destination resort near Barcelona.

The new site is expected to open in 2016 and will be the sole Ferrari theme park in Europe. Total cost? Over € 100 million. The park will include a new premium hotel with 250 rooms and 5 star service, restaurants, shops and large simulation areas for car racing.

All good and well, but will we be able to race an actual Ferrari there or not? More info, click here.
Fun meetings at Skoj Beach
The best travel apps
Skoj Beach

Looking for an original, sunny event location this summer? Try Holiday Inn’s Brussels Airport’s SKOJ Beach! As of May, the hotel’s terraces and gardens Agendawill be transformed into a hip beach bar with white sand, beach cabins, a volley pitch, hip furniture and a festive summer atmosphere.

The perfect way to start summer. Surf’s up, dude! More info behind the link.
Skoj Beach

Travel apps can save you a lot of trouble when exploring a new destination. Where are the best sights? Which restaurants are ok and which should be avoided? Should I stay in a certain hotel or not? Where can I find the nearest metro stop? You name it, they’ll tell you.

There’s a lot of them though, and not all of them are great. Behind the link is a list of 26 travel apps which can make the difference.
Click here
to view them all.
BBT Online’s fourth B2B speed-date workshop

B2B WorshopAs everybody knows, US President Barack Obama visited Belgium & the Netherlands recently. Universally seen as a man of good taste, the President spent the night in Grand Hotel Huis ter Duin in The Netherlands, one of our suppliers attending our next Speed Date Workshop on 28 April.
In Brussels he slept in The Hotel, venue of our previous workshop.
Are we trendsetter or is the CIA is monitoring our newsletters? Who knows!

We would very much like to invite all Belgian and Dutch professional incentive and event agents and PCO’s for another B2B Speed-Date Workshop. This time, on Monday 28 April, we’ll have our workshop on the outskirts of Ghent, in 3Square Village: a new landmark close to the major cities, housing eight multifunctional meeting rooms, a fine dining restaurant, ample parking and office space.

Another NEW group of top suppliers will be waiting for you to inspire you with their exceptional venues, destinations or services.
Come talk to for example: Grand Hotel Huis ter Duin (Obama’s home during last week’s Nuclear Summit), Selman Hotel in Marrakech (designed by Garcia), Killarney Hotels in Ireland, the Champagne Convention Bureau, the Stockholm Tourism Board, Seville Convention Bureau, Valencia DMC and many others.

Don’t miss this opportunity! Click here to register as a planner and here to view the list of suppliers.

Switzerland’s newest convention centre
BBT Online visits Arosa - Switzerland

After a 3-year construction process, the SwissTech Convention Centre in Lausanne opens its doors this April. The completion of this spectacular building constituted the largest construction site in Western Switzerland for several months. The SwissTech Convention Centre completes the ‘Quartier Nord’, which now comprises commercial stores and facilities and a hotel.

Thanks to its hyper-modular installations and its 3,000 seat capacity, it could quickly become one of the new first choice options in European convention centres.

BBT Online reporter Jonathan Ramael decided to experience a touch of winter this year, and joined eight Belgian MICE professionals on an exciting famtrip to Arosa in the Swiss canton of Graubünden.

As one of the country’s oldest winter sports destinations, Arosa offers an exciting mix of sports, nature and MICE opportunities. The full article will be published later this year.

In the meantime, enjoy the group picture (without the photographer, our journalist)!
Advertorial: Chateau de Limelette: Exceptional events in a historic setting

Looking for a very special venue for your next meeting or event? Château de Limelette welcomes you to a 19th century Anglo-Norman style residence, and offers more than 25 years of know-how and experience.

Settled in a quiet and green environment at the heart of Walloon Brabant, Château de Limelette offers a haven of peace, just 20 minutes from the centre of Brussels and 30 minutes from Brussels Airport. The venue houses 80 luxurious rooms and 16 fully equipped, air-conditioned meeting rooms with private terraces and natural daylight – the largest able to accommodate up to 350 guests – as well as a range of sports and wellness facilities.

Chateau de Limette Chateau de Limette
Advertorial: Meet in Ireland’s loviest spot

Killarney, a picturesque and charming town in the Southwest of Ireland, is one of the country’s top tourist destinations, well known for its splendid nature, excellent shops, restaurants and cosmopolitan appeal. Easily accessible with direct flights to Cork International Airport, it makes for a unique and close-by meeting & incentive destination. The region offers plenty of attractions suitable for both incentive and leisure trips: the Killarney National Park, the Gap of Dunloe and Muckross House and Gardens to name but a few.

Three marvellous venues complete a stay in this part of Ireland. The five star Europe Hotel & Resort overlooking the famous Lakes of Killarney has won 22 awards since 2008 (the most recent being ‘Best Hotel Spa of the Year – Western Europe & Scandinavia’ at the World Spa & Wellness Awards 2014). It offers 4500m² of Spa area, several flexible lake-view meeting rooms as well as dining options, 187 spacious bedrooms, free Wi-Fi, free horse riding and much more.
The Dunloe is another five star venue overlooking the Gap of Dunloe. Ard na Sidhe Country House is a lovely country manor on the shores of Caragh Lake.
All three venues are in close proximity of numerous top-tier golf courses.

Looking for an enchanting destination not too far away? Killarney is the place to go. For more information send a mail to or call 00353 64 6671340.

Killarney Killarney
Killarney Killarney
And the winner is ....

The Visit Brussels awards were presented on March 27 at a ceremony in ‘The Egg’ in Brussels. These awards recognize the most dynamic initiatives that have contributed this past year to the appearance and attractiveness of the Brussels-Capital Region.

The general public selected three nominees for each category. It is ultimately a jury composed of journalists and members of various associations in the tourism sector that designated the winners.

Visit Brussels Awards

And the winners are ...

- In the category Hotel newcomer : FunKey Hotel
- In the category International event: europalia.india
- In the category New concept: Brussels Light Festival
- In the category Most noted exhibition: Kandinsky & Russia
- In the category International congress: 14th European AIDS Conference
- In the category Best gastronomic concept: Les Filles
- In the category New event place: Palais 12 /Paleis 12
- In the category Evening experience: Museum Night Fever 2013

More information:

Real Short !!

3 April, Grand Café Horta, Antwerp: Feel the Greek Experience. Meet a large number of Greek travel and incentive partners during an interesting workshop with presentations, cocktails, dance, music and a lucky draw. Register via mail here:
23-26 April, Venice: Best of MICE Networking Forum. A B2B event bringing together decision makers responsible for international corporate events and representing international corporations in several sectors. More info, click here.
April 28, BBT Online’s B2B speed-date workshop. Another group of exclusive A-list suppliers will be welcoming Belgian and Dutch Incentive agents and meeting planners in 3Square Village. More info, click here.
9-11 May, Brussels Park (Warandepark): Brussels Food Truck Festival. Brussels Park will be transformed into a stage for the newest generation of creative gastronomic professionals and passionate cooks. They will offer you a tasty adventure, enabling you to sample all kinds of local and exotic dishes. The organisers expect more than 15.000 visitors.
10-12 June, Orange County Convention Centre, Orlando: AIBTM 2014. The leading global exhibition for the U.S. meetings and events industry. Register early via:
MPI’s EMEC 2014 in Istanbul this February can be viewed as a success story. During three days, 300 delegates attended 51 educational sessions on a variety of topics in Europe’s biggest city. EMEC 2015 will take place in Krakow, Poland, from 1 to 3 February. Venue of choice is the brand new ICE Krakow Congress centre, scheduled to open in October 2015. For more info or to register, click here:
Consult BBT Online’s MICE agenda, and don’t miss any event.

3Square Village, Ghent’s newest congress centre and the venue for our next Speed-date Workshop, received a 5-hammer classification from the congress and meeting quality label ‘Vergaderhamer’. 3Square village is just the fourth location in Belgium receiving the highest possible qualification. Rightly so: its hypermodern meeting facilities, easy accessibility, large free parking lot and exquisite 3Square restaurant make it one of the country’s top venues for meeting planners. Check it out on 28 April!
As of 20 April, Mechelen’s Nekkerhal will be the stage for the biggest musical spectacle Belgium has ever seen. A century after the beginning of WWI, ’14-’18 tells a story of friendship, love and loss during the Great War. A multitude of VIP-arrangements (from ‘soldier’ to ‘general’) are available for business clients. Click here for more info:
Visitors of travel site elected Bruges as best city trip in Belgium, generating the highest general reviews. Ghent and Leuven took second and third place. In Europe, Bruges secured the fourth spot. Krakow was seen as the best European city trip this year.
Euromic recently announced that Walpax has joined the association as a new member DMC in Brazil.
Research by Expedia and Egencia shows that working vacations are becoming more popular. More and more people keep working while on holiday, while a lot of business travellers try to incorporate some fun or sightseeing into their trips. People under thirty are especially fond of doing this. They tend to travel more in general as well.
Tourism numbers in London were actually better in 2013 than they were in the year of the summer Olympics. This only shows that organising the games can be a fantastic economic deal for a city IF the destination itself is worthwhile. More than 16 million foreign tourists visited the British capital last year. The British museum is still the most popular attraction, with a 20% rise in visitor numbers: 6.7 million people came to take a look at its rich collection. That’s almost as much as the total number of tourists visiting Belgium on an annual basis.
AirPlus, in cooperation with Mobile A.I.D.A., developed an innovative method of payment, allowing business travel costs to be settled via a central company account. This virtual payment solution is available as an app and can be used on any smartphone. The app makes it possible to generate a MasterCard number by phone, wherever you are. It will show a virtual number and a verification code, by which all travel requirements can be paid for with the central AirPlus Company Account.
After 25 years in the business, Organization Services’ Sonia Neefs decided to retire and sell her company. Organization Services is free of debts and specialises in themed evenings, team building sessions, marriages and Belgian folklore. It has a varied and loyal clientele and is well known in the Belgian event industry. An attractive price can be discussed and includes a variety of costumes and traditional games. Interested, contact Sonia at:

Brussels Airlines reported a net loss of nearly € 22 million last year, compared to a 60 million loss in 2012. The total turnover rose with 2,2% to € 1,138 billion. 1,7% more passengers were transported, good for a total of almost 6 million.
Vueling and Sony lanched the first app specially developed for the SmartWatch II. Now, passengers can check their boarding pass and all info relevant to their flight with a simple look at their SmartWatch.

Mercure bought itself a new top venue in Brussels for its 40th birthday. Mercure Hotel Brussels Centre Midi will be located near the Midi train station and will house 72 rooms.
Hyatt Place Amsterdam Airport opened its doors near Schiphol. It houses 330 rooms and is the first venue in The Netherlands bearing the new Hyatt-brand. Hyatt Place Amsterdam Airport offers 367 m² of meeting and event space.
New: The Diamant Conference Centre offers this summer a peaceful, trendy garden with 1.000m² of event space. A good setting for all you open air company events. BBQs, summer cocktail parties, team building sessions, you name it. In case of sudden rain(we’re still in Belgium) the conference centre offers a solution with a roof, so you still can stay in the garden.
Martin’s Hotels is the first hotel chain in Europe receiving the EMAS certificate for its environmental management plan. After thoroughly analysing its own workings, the group implemented a plan to limit its impact on the environment as much as possible. These efforts are now rewarded with being the first Belgian hotel chain earning both the ISO 14001 and EMAS certificates. This means all venues in the Martin’s group meet the most stringent European norms concerning sustainability. Martin’s Hotels owns ten venues in Belgium.

On March 1st, Jean-Pierre Cornelis joined Brussels Performance Incentives as MICE Manager, working with a team of 4 people, handling all types of corporate events in Brussels, Antwerp, Bruges & Ghent.
Vinciane Jacquiez now works for La Vie de Château, representing several prestigious locations in Wallonia. La Vie de Château has its own catering department.
The 86th ETC’s General Meeting in Brussels elected Peter De Wilde, Tourism Flanders, as President of the European Travel Commission for a three-year term.
The European Travel Commission (ETC) also elected Vincent Nijs, Research Manager at Visit Flanders, as the new Chairman of its Marketing Intelligence Group.
Philippe De Meyer was appointed GM of the new Kempinski Fleuve Congo Hotel in Kinshasa. Before this new appointment, he worked in amongst others the Kempinski Hotel Dukes Palace in Bruges. Talk about a change of scenery.
Carine Suenens is the new Sales & Marketing Director of the two Sofitel venues in Brussels: Sofitel Brussels Europe and Sofitel Brussels Le Louise. Carine also worked at the Dukes Palace Hotel in Bruges.
The Association of National Tourism Offices in Belgium and Luxembourg (ANTOR) chose a new president. Ivan Novak, Director of the Croatian National Tourism Office in Brussels and BBT Online regular, won the election. He’ll take over as president from Samanda Fersobe for the next two years.
Milo Vergucht left MCI and became the new CEO of 27Names in Brussels: Europe’s first live communications company. The new agency will provide multiple live communication campaigns for European institutions and international corporations.

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!


Laughing is good for you. Do it for Denmark! Check out the funny commercial. Click here.


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