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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 73rd edition.
of our take5 articles are advertorial free.

New column: What is on your bucket list?

Starting this month, we’ll ask a prominent MICE Personality to share his/her bucket list. Five things they desperately want to do before they seize to be, push up the daisies, kick the bucket or go to meet their maker. In short: what would you definitely want to do before you die?

And of course, we couldn’t kick off our new feature without asking our publisher Karin de Graauw and Jonathan Ramael to share their personal bucket list:

This is Karin's (50) top 5:

  1. Someday I’d like to go on a tour of Sicily on a Vespa, stopping at every beautiful spot I come across and feel the Godfather vibes.
  2. Some might think I'm too old for it now, but I don't care: I would love to go for a real party on Ibiza and go crazy, followed (preferably without a hangover) by a quiet day on the north of the island, enjoying the quiet and the beauty of nature.
  3. The idea of spending a month working as a volunteer in a developing country really attracts me.
  4. When my son becomes a teenager, I’d like to go for a nice far-away trip with just the two of us (if he still wants to join me of course).
  5. And finally, I’d love to master a lot of different styles of dancing, from Tango to Hip-Hop.
dance Ibiza godfather

This is Jonathan's (31) top five:

  1. I’d like to write stories someday, but I’m afraid I’m not patient enough to write stuff longer than your average article.
  2. I would like to see some of my work appear in National Geographic Magazine. Pictures exhibited a museum would be fine as well. I still have time, right?
  3. I would like to run out of countries to visit someday, and then start revisiting the first ones.
  4. A trip to outer space to have a look at the earth from above would be nice, but I don’t think it fits my bucket-budget.
  5. I’d like to visit a festival featuring Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Cash, Jim Morrison, Layne Staley, John Lennon, Michael Jackson, Ray Charles and Janis Joplin. The good thing is, I can do this after my funeral.

Inspired? Send us your bucket list at

Cath jonathan bucket
Yummy, black burgers!
Drink your coffee in style
black burgers

Burgers and booze, a conveniently titled new burger and cocktail bar in Antwerp’s fancy South district opened its doors on 27 October – and it offers a dish you’ve never seen before: Belgium’s first Black Burger.

The ‘White Lie Burger’ comes with black camembert, black ketchup, black mustard and a black sandwich, only the burger retains its original colour (no one likes burned meat). How did they do it? With bamboo charcoal and squid ink apparently. In for a bite?

Ponti Corner is a new coffee place designed by Antoine Pinto (Belga Queen). It’s located at the base of the Brussels Stock Exchange. The venue was envisioned as an ode to good coffee and offers Belgian specialties with a twist.

The architect apparently is a coffee enthusiast and wants to share every way of drinking it with his clients. The atmosphere is brilliant: raw concrete, wood, big chandeliers and good loungy armchairs. We could hang out here.
Trendy new hotel in Brussels

Zoom hotelA new hotel opened right next to the Avenue Louise in Brussels. Zoom is a trendy design hotel in a cosy industrial style, offering modern rooms decorated with pictures of the capital chosen via an online urban photography competition.

The 37 original rooms were designed by Michel Penneman.
PS: the hotel comes with a Belgian beer and chocolate bar, which is never a bad idea.

Don’t worry, be ‘Appy’
Automated event check in

British Airways introduces a new option for its popular iPhone app. Travellers in Heathrow’s Terminal 5 and 3 will now receive ‘push notifications’ on their smartphones, containing relevant flight information like their gate number and the boarding hour.

They can check this info in their iPhone’s message centre without having to open the app itself. When arriving at the Terminal 5 lounge, travellers will receive a welcome message, offering a Wi-Fi password and a walkthrough of the app.

Tired of using paper and pen checking in guests on your events? Abusol’s Eventcheckin app solves this and offers you a better event preparation, a more fluent reception and more info on your visitors.

It allows you to quickly find them by typing the first letters of their name or company. Unexpected guests can be added on the spot. Larger events can use several synchronised tablets. By adding confirmation emails with barcodes, check-in can be shortened further. Sounds easy, doesn’t it?
Invitation for Belgian and Dutch MICE organisers – Join BBT Online to Monaco

monacoIndulge yourself in the glitter and glamour of Monaco, and join Monte-Carlo SBM on a famtrip to one of Europe’s most exclusive spots!

Visit the Principality as you’ve never done before and discover a surprising destination for business events, incentives and meetings. Date: 5-7 December. AgendaInterested? Send us a mail at

This invitation is meant for Belgian and Dutch MICE Professionals organising events abroad only.

ligne Meet Ireland

Fair report: IT&CMA Bangkok

As is customary as a media partner, BBT Online visited the 22nd edition of IT&CMA in Bangkok, the oldest and biggest of the IT&CM fairs. Joining us was a delegation of no less than 10 Belgian buyers. Want to read the whole story? Click this link.

Want to join us as a hosted buyer on one of the next instalments of IT&CM in Shanghai or New Delhi? Send us a message via

Destination report: Adventures on the Estoril Coast

Our reporter Jonathan took off to Portuguese Estoril for four days of treasure hunts, sailing, driving jeeps, shooting arrows, natural wonders, fine-dining and cultural discoveries. Did we mention he has a very tough job?

While there, he saw there’s more to Estoril than just resorts. The natural surroundings are fantastic, it’s just a 20 minute drive from Lisbon and to top it off, it has tons of meeting space and teambuilding possibilities.

Check out the full article and pictures here. Feel free to comment on our new article layout!

Estoril Estoril
Wish we were here!

Set along the waterfront of Kralendijk – Bonaire, Piet Boon Bonaire is a collection of nine individually styled villas in the heart of the Caribbean. Designed by internationally lauded architect Piet Boon, these spacious and expertly crafted beach villas have their own private gardens and offer breath-taking views out over the sparkling Caribbean Sea.

More info, click here.

wish wish
wish wish
In search of the Northern Lights

Northern LightsThe Northern Lights are one of nature’s most magical spectacles. Who wouldn’t want to see it even for a moment? Dancing, shimmering greenish light with tints of pink and violet, covering the sky like a velvet curtain.

Scientifically the northern light is nothing more than charged particles of the sun hitting our atmosphere. This happens in the aurora belt around the earth, and the north of Norway lies exactly under it: the perfect place to witness this natural wonder.

Check out this site specifically made for trips to the Northern Lights:

Join the BECI Executive Club to Washington DC

WashingtonAre you CEO of a company employing more than 100 people? Take this chance to join 19 of your peers for a three day trip to Washington where you can strengthen your strategic vision and network on the highest of levels. You’ll fly first class from Brussels, accompanied by Bernard Gustin (CEO Brussels Airlines), meet the Belgian Ambassador in private and be welcomed by the Chamber of Commerce in Washington.

You’ll have talks with two key prospects (chosen by you beforehand), meet several local commercial players and enjoy a guided tour of the White House. The trip takes place from 29 to 31 March 2015. For more info, contact Angela Leone (

Moments before ...

Sometimes photographs are made at the exact perfect moment. The perfect moment for us that is, not necessarily for the people in the picture – as you’ll see. More pictures, surf to our Facebookpage, click here.

Moments Moments
Moments Moments
Real Short !!

19 November, Hilton Antwerp: CAPA Corporate Travel Innovation Summit: Attend this important summit on air procurement and corporate air travel by registering via
24 November & 25 November: Québec Original. Showcasing Québec as a tourist and MICE destination. Register here.
Meet every major Spanish Convention Bureau in just one night. 3 December at Jeux d’Hiver in Brussels. More info, click here.
3 December, NH Hotel Brussels du Grand Sablon: BATM 2014 Travel professional of the year. To give the name(s) of your preferred candidate(s) please click here.
5-6 December, Sandton Grand Hotel Reylof, Ghent: STIMA International Marketing Congress 2014. This year’s edition offers a nice mix of speakers talking about a range of marketing topics. Speakers include people like Hans Bourlon (Studio 100), Steven Martens (KBVB) and John Porter (Telenet).
9 December, Square, Brussels: Meetopolis Half-Day Annual Forum. Half a day of presentations, workshops and round table discussions led by renowned speakers. You can attend in the morning or the afternoon. Register here.
10-11 December, Wild Gallery, Brussels: BTExpo. Attend the 11th edition of this trade show for tourism & MICE professionals.
Save-the-date: January, 12 & August, 31 - BBT Online’s B2B speed-date workshops.
19-21 January, Hotel Boscolo Exedra, Rome: DMC CEO Forum. This educational two day programme features interactive sessions from several keynote speakers. Upcoming trends, technology & media techniques and future practices will be taught and discussed, focusing on the impact they could have on DMCs. Register here.
23-25 February, Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg: Meetings Africa 2015. Join us on a trip to South Africa on the continent’s biggest MICE fair. Registration is now open:
25-26 February, Sofia, Bulgaria: Eventex Congress 2015. Join more than 800 event professionals from more than 30 countries for this congress with a self-proclaimed “festival vibe”. A nice combination of shared expertise, networking and great entertainment! More info here:
Consult BBT Online’s MICE agenda, and don’t miss any event.

Show me those hands! After a successful summer, Regi Pinxten’s Madness Tour is now aiming at corporate events. Want to finish your party with a bang? You know who to call. Starting this February, Milk Inc babe Linda Mertens can be booked as a voluptuous special guest as well. Bookings via:
The ONLYLYON Tourism Office and Convention Bureau decided to make Lyon the first tourist destination to offer a pocket Wi-Fi router to its visitors. This unique mobile device was made available through collaboration with a Lyon-based start-up: Hippocketwifi. It allows travellers to stay connected throughout the city, anytime and anywhere. More info:
Next year, ACTE Corporate Buyer members can attend any ACTE event for a zero registration fee. The offer applies to their entire calendar of 50+ educational and networking opportunities.
The underestimated but beautiful Polish city of Wroclaw was chosen as European Capital of Culture of 2016, and will organise a multitude of cultural events to celebrate the occasion. BBT Online visited Wroclaw two years ago. Click here to revisit our report.
Attending a Parisian theatre show is no longer an activity exclusively for French speakers. Thanks to a service introduced by Theatre in Paris, English-speaking audiences can now follow plays with English subtitles. First play to be subtitled: Cyrano de Bergerac.
HQ Magazine won the award for best article on sustainability at IT&CMA in Bangkok last month. The trophy – a golden carrot – was handed out to Kelvin Lu, who attended the show.
Two new travel websites will soon be launched. (online on 1 December) offers everything you need to know about (who could have guessed) cruises, and (online on 8 December) concentrates on fun weekend trips for families and friends. Keep an eye on them.
Bites en Business is an organisation offering monthly networking dinners in several Dutch cities. They’re looking to expand to more cities and other countries. Interested? Check out:

Park Inn by Radisson Brussels Midi introduces a new bar concept: Tonic-Thursday. It comes with a DJ, some tasty bites and of course several refreshing Gin&Tonics. Tonic-Thursday takes place weekly from 5 to 8 pm.
Looking for a hotel that guarantees a good night’s rest? Check out This convenient site will soon list every hotel carrying a Quiet Room label, good for a perfectly silent night. The site allows you to directly book your room.
The first Penta Hotel in Brussels opens this November. After completely renovating the Alliance Brussels Airport, the venue now showcases pure Penta cosy style: the lobby offers pool tables, gaming consoles, free Wi-Fi and a bar, while there’s also fitness- and meeting space to enjoy. The hotel has 87 rooms.
Le Méridien, right across from Brussels Central Station, will reopen, but not under the same name. Hilton Hotels & Resorts will manage the venue starting 17 November, after signing a deal with owner HDI Brussels Management SA. The hotel will operate under the name Hilton Brussels Grand Place. Major renovations will take place in the coming year.
The Savoy in London welcomed the first group of Etihad Airways’ in-flight Butler trainees for a special training. The 13 participants were carefully chosen to fulfil the role, providing superior service to the guests of The Residence by Etihad: a three-room cabin featuring a living room, private shower-room and double bedroom. Also included is extra space for the gigantic wallet you need to carry to be able to pay for all of this.
Brussels Airlines opened ‘The Loft’ at Brussels Airport: a new business lounge (four times the size of the previous one) offering comfort, technology, trendy design and Belgian gastronomy. Several top brands and designers contributed to the concept. No Erik van Looy’s spotted yet. The Loft is exploited in cooperation with Microsoft, offering lots of gadgets and tablets.
Hurray! It’s officially alright to be obnoxious in planes again. The EU ruled that European airliners can now decide for themselves whether or not passengers are allowed to use their phones and tablets during flights. They no longer demand to put them on airplane mode after take-off.
A Skyscanner survey shows that 96% of travellers think they should be able to get free Wi-Fi at airports. This said, more than half of European airports only offer Wi-Fi for a fee. Spain is most expensive. You’re generally better off in Turkey and France.

Caroline Rivel, Travel expert at HRG Belgium, chose to leave the company on 1 October. HRG Belgium is led by Alain Depauw since 2012.
After Sun International closed its bureau in France, Patrick Genie started his own marketing agency. Proxima Marketing will be up and running by January and will be dedicated to tourism and leisure industries, including representation services.
Willem van der Zee will leave Carlson Rezidor after 16 years of service. As of 31 January, he’ll start working as Managing Director for Lapithus Hotels – a group with 18 venues in 6 European countries.

BBT Online Club 100 welcomed the following new member last month:
  • Josiane Feierabend, Independent Travel/HMCCP

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!

Enjoy this commercial for the new Fiat 500X. Apparently it’s bigger, more powerful and ready for action. How come? Well, they used a very special ingredient apparently. Click here.


Karin de Graauw – Editor-in-chief BBT Online
Rue de l’Aqueduc 149 – 1050 Brussels – Belgium
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