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NH Hotels

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 74th edition.
of our take5 articles are advertorial free.

Brunch beats
Dinner with the stars
Brunch beats

A new brunch concept (+18) will be organized on 14th December. The Dominican was chosen to be the setting for the launch of the first Brussels Sunday brunch party: Brunch Beats.

As from 12.30, pm have a brunch with friends or simply have a great time followed by a little day party starting at 14.30 until 19.00. Sunday vibes will be provided by DJ Neon. Toast your Sunday with good music and a tasty brunch. .. A very limited number of tickets will be sold!

For more information, please contact the Brunch Beats team at

Villa in the Sky

Perched 120 metres above the street, Brussels’ top restaurant La Villa in the Sky gives gastronomes the headiest view of Europe’s capital city – with a quality of cuisine to match the altitude. The location is the roof of the IT Tower on Avenue Louise.

At the modernist glass restaurant Alexandre Dionisio’s menus vary each day. Dionisio has a CV to be envied: 33 years old and trained in the kitchens of Comme Chez Soi and The Sea Grill. In 2010 Alexandre opened his own restaurant and received his Michelin star within 6 months.

It’s possible to book La Villa in the Sky exclusively for events. The room can accommodate up to 24 people.
We say stop!
BBT Online’s 6th B2B workshop

Whether you are a traveller, a tourist, a professional in the tourism sector or just someone concerned about this issue, steps can be taken to combat child abuse exploitation in the tourism sector.

In our own way, each one of us can take action and fight child prostitution, both here and abroad. Reporting, acting, bearing witness, relaying information, making a donation: find out how you can do something, specifically and at your own level, to save the lives of those who can’t save themselves.

For more info, please follow the link:

BBT Workshop

Join BBT Online on Monday, 12 January 2015 for the sixth edition of our B2B Speed-Date Workshop!
Come celebrate the new year with us in Brussels’ marvellous new Martini Bar.

Chat with your colleagues and friends, enjoy some drinks and a festive dinner, but most of all meet a brand new selection of surprising and exclusive A-list suppliers. There’s no better way to start 2015 with a bang!

Interested? Register now by mailing us at!

Note that this event is meant for professional Benelux incentive and event agents and PCOs only.
Book Room 141 for original events
Room 141 Room 141

Designed and developed to make you feel “at home”, Room 141 offers tailor-made solutions ranging from a simple dinner amongst friends to a professional cocktail party.
Room 141 offers 300 m² of space, and can accommodate up to 150 people. It offers infrastructure suited to all kinds of events: meetings, professional presentations, conferences, cocktail parties, seated dinners, BBT's favoriteas well as any of your private events.

Lastly, on request, it is possible to hold art and photography exhibitions here, as the room offers picture rails and lighting effects. The premises also include an internal courtyard, storage areas and every convenience needed for you to host a successful reception, including a professional kitchen, a giant screen, modular spaces and easy access.

Room 141 Room 141 Room 141

ligne NH Meetings

MICE Event report: Site Global Forum 2014
Site Global Site Global

From 14 to 16 November 2014, BBT Online joined more than 200 incentive travel professionals from all over the world in Rotterdam’s Mainport Hotel for the annual Site Global Conference.

We enjoyed three days of educational sessions, networking opportunities and site visits to some of the Netherlands most interesting destinations. Read the full report behind the link.

Site Global Site Global
Educational report: The science of buying

SuiteJohn-BradshawWhy do we like certain people? Why do we buy certain things? And more interestingly, how can we make others buy what we want them to buy? These questions and more were answered by Psychologist Jonathan Bradshaw on last month’s Site Global Conference in Rotterdam.

Our own Jonathan was there and took notes. If you want to become an influential and persuasive powerhouse, click here for the full article.

2014 EIBTM trends watch Report
Amex global meetings forecast
black burgers

The EIBTM Trends Watch report, presented by MICE Knowledge’s Rob Davidson, shows that most of the key market segments in the corporate meetings have experienced growth in 2014, boosting the demand for corporate conferences, product launches, and training events.

The developing world, in particular China and the Middle East, is where this growth has been most significantly witnessed. Read the full report here.


According to the American Express Meetings & Events 2015 Global Meetings Forecast, European meeting planners will need to focus on “doing more with less” in the year ahead and budgets are reflective of this. In addition, meetings activity predictions from European survey respondents generally mirror the economic situation of individual countries in 2014.

Belgium and the Netherlands have a positive outlook, with a predicted 1.4% increase in overall meeting spend and a 4.7% increase in the number of conferences and tradeshows. For the full report, click this link.
Join BBT Online to IT&CM China 2015

ChinaThe 9th edition IT&CM China & CTW China 2015 will be held from April 14 to 16 at Shanghai Exhibition & Convention Center of International Sourcing. The 2015 event expects an attendance of 3,000 MICE professionals from sectors Agendaincluding DMCs, PCOs, corporate travel and associations, some 400 hosted delegates, over 10,000 business appointments as well as over 60 business, education and networking sessions.

Interested in joining us as a hosted buyer? Send us a mail at

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Grand opening Pentahotel Leuven

BBT Online attended the grand opening of the new Pentahotel Leuven. This hip and flashy venue, right in the old city centre, is one of several Pentahotels opening up in Belgium this year.

It houses 103 modern rooms, 2 meeting rooms and an underground parking lot. We had a blast at the opening party, and were joined by a lot of the young and trendy, several celebrities and a couple of familiar faces from the event industry.

Check out the pictures on our FaceBook page, and scroll down a bit, click here. Click here for more info on the hotel:

Grand Opening Grand Opening Grand Opening
Merckx & Ickx: the exhibition

No one has ever ridden a bike like Eddy Merckx – not before, not since. First across the finish line 525 times, he’s the most successful cyclist of all time. Jacky Ickx’s career is one of the richest and longest in the history of motorsport. His list of achievements is unrivalled in its variety.

In 2015, Eddy Merckx and Jacky Ickx both celebrate their 70th birthday, as well as their long friendship. So it’s high time for the first major exhibition about this pair of Belgian sporting legends.

Authentic race cars that made ‘Mister Le Mans’ great, original racing bikes on which ‘The Cannibal’ broke the One Hour world record or won the climb to the Col du Tourmalet, never-before-seen photos and films, and highlights and memorabilia from national and international collections, are all brought together for the first time at the Heysel in Brussels in a dazzling display covering no less than 2000 square metres. Eddy Merckx and Jacky Ickx have also given us some of their personal souvenirs to put on show. Add to this the interactive exhibition route and the stunning installation by renowned Belgian photographer Stephan Vanfleteren and you have a complete and fascinating picture of what made these two extraordinary sporting heroes great.


BBT Online’s Bucket List

Every month we ask 2 prominent MICE personalities to share their bucket list. What are the five things they desperately want to do or achieve before they seize to be, push up the daisies, kick the bucket or go to meet their maker. In short: what would they definitely want to do before they die?

This month, we’ve asked BCD Travel’s Anja de Haen and The Dominican’s Gilles Devos.

Anja’s reaction was the following: Dear BBT Online, when you asked me to share my personal bucket list, my first reaction was: “Piece of cake”. But then I sat down to give it a real thought and realized that it was not at all that simple, naming five things I desperately want to do before “I push up the daisies” as you yourself so eloquently name it.
Checking out other people’s lists on the web made it even worse and gave me a rather blasé “Been there, done that” feeling. Guess my life is far more richer than I realize(d)… It finally took me about 3 weeks.

This is Anja’s (47) top 5:

  1. Anja de HaenI am not tone deaf at all, but I simply cannot keep a tune. However, I love to sing and
    ever since my first trip to New York in 1995, it’s always been a dream to star in a musical on Broadway, with a huge preference for “Cats”. But since Andrew Lloyd Webber’s best musical ever was discontinued – and keeping in mind my out of tune singing – this will probably always remain a dream.
  2. After a 25 year career in mainly incentive travel, I have gathered quite some knowledge and expertise on the topic. I’m not at all considering a career switch, but it would be great to take up teaching as a side job to share my enthusiasm and passion for our industry with the next generation and to prepare them to take over. But not too fast, I’m not giving up yet!
  3. I would like to travel more for myself, as opposed to travel for the job. In random order:
    discover Australia & New Zealand, take a trip to see gorillas, drive from Seattle to Key
    West “Thelma & Louise style”
    (but with a happier ending), go killer whale watching off the Vancouver coast, take tango lessons in Argentina and return to Namibia...
  4. And while I’m at number 3 – I’ll just throw Orlando in the bucket too! I absolutely want to ride the Skyscraper, the world's tallest roller coaster – opening in 2017!
  5. People who know me well, know that I love to dance – to disco music. For years, I’ve been dreaming of throwing my own Studio 54 party! Maybe something for my birthday 7 years from now?
ThelmaandLouise studio54 cat

This is Gilles (42) top 5:

  1. Gilles De VosFlying to Kathmandu and tracking through the Himalaya with a soul mate for a week or two: confronting myself with the basics of life, the simplicity, the beauty of nature, the physical and mental suffering… Traveling to discover myself, living the depths of life on top of the world!
  2. Attending the Burning Man in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert: sharpening my creative soul by living around and with extravagant people, and experiencing total freedom.
  3. Discovering Machu Picchu in Peru.
  4. Getting invitations to (or even better: hosting) a genuine Great Gatsby party: no fake, no imitation, only the real stuff! Same mansion, same people, same dress code, same decadence.
  5. Branding my own name somehow, someday…
gun Machu Picchu gatsby
Real Short !!

11 December (2-5 pm), Leyszaal, Antwerp City Hall: Educational “Food awareness in the MICE industry”. MPI Belgium’s educational session introduces you to the new European allergen law, providing you with explanation, tips and cooking sessions. Improve your customer's experience in 2015 by getting up to date on the latest food trends.
11 December, Amsterdam Arena: MICE & Business Travel Event. The Netherlands’ biggest single day MICE event. Entry is free. Register via This year’s keynote speaker is fiscal expert Wouter Brookman. Also included is a behind the scenes visit to Ajax’ famous football temple.
Join BBT Online on Monday 12 January for the sixth edition of our B2B speed-date workshops, more info click here.
25-26 February, Olympia Grand, London: Business Travel Show. Join 6,500 other business travel professionals on this major three day event in London. Registration is now open.  
1-2 April 2015, Jaarbeurs Utrecht: Event 15. The aptly named ‘event’ is a leading tradeshow for the event industry, full of opportunities to learn, network or catch up on the latest innovations.
Consult BBT Online’s MICE agenda, and don’t miss any event.

MISCELLANEOUS asked for the opinion of 1,500 event professionals how they use social media, what are the pain points and what should be ignored. Download this free of charge research, click here. A must read.
Looking for an easy way to create a floor-plan for your next event location? The Locometric app can help you do this in a couple of seconds. Just put your smartphone against one of the walls and wait for the beep. The app will come up with an accurate floor-plan including every door and window. Take a look at the clip to see how it works, click here.
Mister Holland published a list on LinkedIn containing the seven most common planning mistakes. Click this link and find out whether or not you’re still make them.
Hogg Robinson Group (HRG) will take care of NATO’s worldwide travel management services for the next three years. This three year deal is the result of an extensive bidding process and will develop through different phases.
On the SITE Global Conference in Rotterdam, SITE awarded nine companies with Crystal Awards, recognising them for creativity in program design, marketing, corporate social responsibility and, most importantly, business results. Check out the winners here: changed its name to Today, it offers more than 5,000 partner locations housing more than 27,000 rooms in total. It’s the biggest online and real-time platform within Europe for finding and booking meeting rooms.
Switzerland was the big winner of an independent guest satisfaction held by Mountain Management Consulting, called “Best Ski Resort 2014”. 48,000 guests in 55 winter resorts in 5 countries judged their destination on 24 points last season. Zermatt came out in the lead, Arosa, Adelboden-Lenk, Saas-Fee and Laax ended up in the top ten as well.
Starting next year, EIBTM will be called IBTM World. Six other trade shows managed by Reed Travel Exhibitions will also get a new name and logo. IBTM World takes place from 17 to 19 November 2015. Last edition welcomed 15,500 visitors.
MarketingProfs and the Content Marketing Institute published the results of their annual B2B marketing survey. Most notably, ‘Live-in-person events’ took first place in the ‘most effective B2B tactics’ list. Read the full report here.
Travel Magazine published its annual Travel Awards. Check out the long list of winners here. is a new brand portal, offering news from the Belgian meetings and incentive industry.

Sergio Herman and Nick Brill’s restaurant ‘The Jane’ in Antwerp got its first star at the presentation of Michelin’s new annual guide for Belgium and Luxembourg. De Karmeliet, Hof van Cleve and Hertog Jan keep their three stars and remain the country’s top restaurants. Belgium now has a total of 137 Michelin stars, 5 more than last year.
ACCOR Belgium, as a partner of ECPAT Belgium, signed the ‘behavioural code for the protection of children against sexual abuse in travel and tourism”. Accor is a worldwide partner of ECPAT international and will actively protect the interest of children in every country it’s active in. Most of it will be educating the staff to report suspicious situations.
Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach opened to the public this month. Every guest room and suite opens to large terraces that take in panoramic views of the open sea and Dubai’s skyline, and numerous outdoor dining and event spaces take full advantage of the Resort’s location.
Hotel The Pand, a four star venue housed in a renovated coach-house in Bruges, won the award for Best Romantic Retreat at the Boutique Hotel Awards in London. We know where to go next Valentine’s.
At the 2014 Hospitality Awards, organised in San Marco Village on 1 December, Aquamarijn in Lanaken was chosen as Best Wellness Center in Belgium, out of 20 candidates and after 5 mystery visits by industry professionals.
The Different Hotels group will open the Terhills Hotel on the eponymous Terhills site in early 2015. This new lifestyle experience hotel is located in the former main building of the Eisden coal mine in Maasmechelen.
KLM Introduces a digital travel manager that can be used to book flights for another person online. Inside this travel manager program, someone else can be appointed to book and manage your flights.
Etihad Airways starts flying its brand new Airbus A380 on the Abu Dhabi – London connection. If you have the dough, you can book a luxurious suite on the new plane. Price? Oh, just 20.000 US dollar. Three other A380 will be deployed in 2015 on connections to London, Sidney and New York.
Brussels South Charleroi Airport has to come up with €15.5 million next year in order to balance the budget. The European Commission decided BSCA has to pay this sum to keep using the airport infrastructure owned by the Walloon Region. Regional contribution is no longer allowed. Now the airport has to find 12.5 million on its own, plus 3 million in subsidies it ceases to collect.
Who would have known? Parking your car at a Belgian airport is pretty expensive. Parking for a week costs an average of € 72. The Netherlands are € 10 cheaper, and in Germany you only pay € 42. At least we get the traffic jams for free.
British airways created a special playlist for travellers to fully enjoy their dinner in the sky. The “Sound Bite Soundtrack” is based on a study by Oxford University on food pairing. In short, it says the right music can stimulate the taste buds. Some dishes were experienced as 10% sweeter or saltier when certain music was played.
For the third consecutive year, Brussels Airlines welcomes the holiday period by introducing the b.gif voucher. A can be exchanged for a European flight for one to four people.
Ryanair wants to start offering flights to the US as well as holiday packages. Free WiFi and a new interior for the planes are also on the planning. Ryanair’s transatlantic flights will be launched as a separate brand, and will connect four European airports with for American ones. “Business class” will be part of the offer.

After 18 years in the congress organising business, Momentum PCO’s Anne De Smet started a new challenge. She started as a co-active coach. Next year, she will help people reach their goals – professional as well as private. More info on co-active coaching can be found here:
Carole Vallet-Gallou left Rocco Forte Hotels after 2.5 years and will be replaced by Laurent Vannier. He can be contacted via
After two years, Thomas Cook CEO Harriet Green left the company with immediate effect. Peter Fankhauser will lead Thomas Cook from now on. Her decision was probably guided by the announcement of the company’s annual financial results.
Pierre Meert, Spend Manager Procurement – Professional Services at BNP Paribas Fortis, was elected Travel Manager of the Year 2014 by the Belgian Association of Travel Management (BATM.) They use this award as a way of rewarding creativity, professionalism and efficient cost management in the business travel & meetings world.
Dina Spiegel became the new Director of Sales Europe for GHS, Global Hospitality Solutions. She will be in charge of the German, Swiss and Benelux markets. GHS represents 145 four and five star hotels.

BBT Online Club 100 welcomed the following new member last month:
  • Bart De Swaef, Managing Director, Delta 3

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. This month especially for the ladies. Click here, and enjoy.


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