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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 75th edition.
of our take5 articles are advertorial free.

The ultimate selfies
Selfie Selfie

Fed up with the endless stream of boring selfies that seems to flood Facebook these days? These people took it a couple of hundred steps further. The resulting pics are a lot of things, but boring is not one of them.

On our FB page you can see more of these pictures, click here, and scroll down a bit.

Selfie Selfie
BBT Online’s 6th B2B Speed-Date workshop
BBT's workshop BBT's workshop

On 12 January, BBT Online held the 6th edition of its B2B speed-date workshop. 50 suppliers and 90 meeting and event planners gathered in the trendy Martini Bar in Brussels. The entire beau monde of the Belgian MICE industry was present. We would like to thank all planners, suppliers, staff and entertainers for making it a memorable event. You can check the first batch of pictures on our Facebook page. Click here.

For your agendas, the next edition will be on 31 August.

BBT's workshop BBT's workshop
Magical light festival in Ghent
Attend Convene 2015 as a hosted buyer
light festival

As of 29 January, Ghent will blaze with light. The third edition of the Ghent Light Festival will run for four days, along a route even longer than last time, allowing you to marvel at all kinds of light sculptures, projects and installations by contemporary artists.

In 2012, more than 500,000 people attended the event. Entrance to the Light Festival is free of charge. It will be held in the historical centre and art district. The five kilometre route passes many historic sites and monuments.
Convene 2015

Organised by the Vilnius Convention Bureau, Convene features the countries of the Baltic Sea Region. Around 160 hosted buyers will meet 80 exhibitors from Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Poland, Denmark, Sweden, Russia and Belorussia.

It’s the perfect way to meet representatives from some less obvious destinations, and to discover a UNESCO World Heritage city. Interested? Mail Karel Ooms at to register. The trade show takes place on 11 and 12 February 2015.
Invitation for Meeting and Incentive planners:
Fam Trip - Swiss Skiing

Join the Switzerland Convention & Incentive Bureau and BBT Online from 20 to 22 March 2015 for an exciting study trip to the Valais Region!

The Valais is home to the country’s highest peaks and some of the world’s most famous resorts. The region offers a dazzling setting for any gathering: glaciers, 4000-metre high summits and state-of-the-art conference and meeting facilities.

We’ll stay in Hotel Suisse in Champéry in les Portes du Soleil – a chalet style venue – and in Montagne Alternative: 100 year old but fantastically renovated barns. We’ve put together a fantastic programme for you, including traditional dinners, a concert on the slopes and of course lots of skiing.

The number of seats is very limited. Please send us a mail at with a short motivation on why you would like to participate.


ligne NH Meetings

Mind-blowing meetings in Copenhagen
Destination report: Danish Delight

From 1 to 3 December, BBT Online joined almost 60 other delegates to Copenhagen for the fifth edition of MINDevent, organised by Visit Denmark and Wonderful Copenhagen.

We got to know the destination, met local partners and learned everything there is to know about the Danish meeting design concept of Meetovation. Most of all we enjoyed three wonderful days in a lovely city.

Click the link for the entire article and for some nice pictures.

MINDevent introduced us to the value of Copenhagen as a meeting destination. But the Danish capital is much more than a conference city. It’s lively, trendy and often surprising.

We decided to stay a bit longer and take the grand tour. Guiding us was Enerjy Aps, an independent DMC based in the city centre. They would help us get a good idea of some of the opportunities Copenhagen has in store for incentive, business and leisure groups.

Click here for the full article & pictures.
First smart watch ticket showcased
Presenting the world’s first smart suitcase
black burgers

Eventbase Technology inc demonstrated the world’s first wearable ticket for smart watches at the LeWeb Conference in Paris.

Powered by Eventbase and integrated with the Xing Events registration system, the LeWeb mobile app could be paired with an Android Wear smart watch to display a user’s credentials. That attendee could then have their watch scanned to access a building, without ever taking their smartphone from their pocket or showing a printed badge.

Tired of losing your suitcase? Prepare to be amazed! The Bluesmart suitcase is a smart little piece of technology realised by crowdfunding. It allows you to control your luggage from your phone.

With an app, you can lock and unlock it, weigh it, track its location, be notified if you are leaving it behind and find out more about your travel habits. You can also use it to charge your phone with the built-in battery. Not bad, is it?
Five gadgets for the business traveller

keyboardThis blog article talks about high-tech gadgets that could easily fit in your hand luggage and would come in very handy if you travel a lot. Some of them are downright futuristic looking.

Ever wanted to turn your own skin into a touch screen? If that’s too weird, why not make any wall you see into a giant 80 inch touch screen by connecting your phone to a projector? Are you more into portable phone and battery chargers or a laser keyboard? It’s all available.

Check the full article here.

MPI Educational: Food awareness in the MICE industry

When it comes to food, the taste of customers Is evolving rapidly and the demand for local and healthier options keeps rising. On top of that, the new European allergen law came into force. That’s why Jonathan Ramael attended an MPI educational session on the topic in Antwerp’s beautiful city hall.

Multiple speakers provided him with tips and tricks to smoothly adapt to these new regulations and demands. Another presentation talked about how event organisers should prepare to meet the needs of food-allergic event participants.

Read the full article here.

MPI mice

ligne Silversea

Wish we were here: Hotel Bikini Berlin

In the heart of Berlin’s City West district, this historic building serves as an urban oasis for visitors and locals alike. On one side, the wide green expanses of Tiergarten Park and the animals in the Berlin Zoo; on the other, the bustling Breitscheidplatz, the lively Kurfürstendamm shopping street, and the majestic Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church.

This duality carries over to the interior of the 149-room hotel as well, with a playful ‘urban jungle’ concept that includes warm colours, natural materials and floor-to-ceiling windows that offer direct views of the monkey enclosure. But the most surprising view of all comes from the wide-open rooftop Monkey Bar and Neni restaurant with its rare, 360-degree panorama of Germany’s capital.

Bikini hotel

Hotel-dates: because why not?

Hotel-datesEver felt lonely in your hotel room as a business traveller? Who hasn’t? But times they are a-changing. The Parisian hotel – Mama Shelter – where every guest can make a picture of him/herself in the lobby. Every other guest can scroll through these images from their room. If they like a certain person’s appearance, they can go to the lounge and meet up.

Another venue, the Aloft Hotel in NYC, even allows you to make a profile of yourself while checking in, ranking interests, passions and hobbies. A whole other concept of Speed-dating…

Air Malta’s PEP Trade promotional offer

The Malta Tourism Authority, in collaboration with Air Malta and Malta Hotels, invites MICE agents, Tour Operators and Travel Agents to experience the diversity of the Maltese Islands. From 1 November 2014 until March 2015, trade partners can book a return flight for a representative & one accompanying partner, from as little as €50 per person + taxes (subject to availability, terms & conditions of Air Malta). To take advantage of this offer, please visit our unique ‘hidden’ webpage on the website:

For more info on the Maltese islands and their incentive opportunities, visit, recently updated and now available in English, French, Italian and Dutch! More questions or interested in organising an event on Malta? Contact Marianne Hoogeveen via

Malta Malta
Real Short !!

28 Jan – 1 Feb: Feria de Madrid, Spain: FITUR International Tourism Trade Fair. The 35th edition of this huge trade fair welcomes over 9,000 exhibiting companies. The first three days are open to professionals only.
1-3 February, ICE Krakow, Poland: MPI EMEC 2015. A unique platform for business leaders to connect with relevant content in conference education and strengthen their personal network. Our very own Charles-Eric Villain XIIII will be one of the speakers. Almost the entire Belgium MPI board will be present.
3 February, Dominican, Brussels: The Hague & Rotterdam client event. Two of the Netherlands’ premier meeting destinations present themselves to the Belgian public. Click here to register.
5 February, Steigenberger Grand Hotel, Brussels: Mobility in Business Travel. ACTE and BATM invite you to this educational session full of network opportunities and round table discussions led by industry experts. Register here:
12 February, Taets Art & Event Park, Zaanstad (Amsterdam): EvenementContact 2015. A large trade fair for the event industry with over 300 exhibitors. More info on:
6-7 May, SwissTech Convention Centre, Lausanne, Switzerland: International & European Associations Congress 2015. A must-attend event for association professionals. The 15th edition will attract over 200 association employees from Europe and beyond. Attend and learn about best practices & success stories, share knowledge and network with fellow industry professionals. More info on:
Consult BBT Online’s MICE agenda, and don’t miss any event.

3Square Ghent and Club Justine Henin in Limelette will start working together very closely from now on. The facilities in Limelette will be expanded and redesigned, with 3Square’s expertise as the main inspiration. 3Square will also run the centre, allowing it to meet every modern meeting standard.
BBT Online is very close to getting 1,000 fans on Facebook. This obviously makes us very happy. To speed things up, we’ll present the 1,000th person to like us with a nice gift: a magnum bottle of Laurent Perrier Champagne! Spread the word, and enjoy 2015! You can like our FB page here:
Oh dear! Our resident journalist/photographer Jonathan Ramael won yet another award. The Polish Tourism Board proclaimed Jonathan’s piece on Krakow and Swiętokrzyskie as 2014’s best Flemish article on Poland. Click here to read it again:
Soon, getting a travel visa to India will become much easier. When the new visa programme is in place, the entire procedure can be completed online with a few clicks.
More and more events try to be environmentally responsible, and green events are obviously something we support. But some products seem greener than they really are, which can have a negative impact on your business if you deceptively promote them as such. Are your company’s events at risk? Click here to find out.
Travel Media published its Travel Trends report for 2015. In the fifth edition of this annual report, a group of seven guest authors wrote a personal piece on their own travel trends. You can download the PDF file using this link:
Trendwatcher Vincent van Dijk spoke about his five biggest trends in hospitality for 2015. If you want to find out what they are, click here.
Eventmanagerblog also published its top ten trends for 2015. Check out the presentation here:
Tom Palmaerts is another trendwatcher – where do you study for this? He helped writing the European Youth Trend Report. interviewed him on what’s important for 18 to 30 year olds and how this will make events change in the years to come. Look at the video here:
Edith Piaf would have turned 100 years old next year, if a wild cocktail of booze, drugs and sex hadn’t killed her in 1963. Luckily her legacy and songs will live forever. To celebrate the occasion, Music Hall brings “Piaf: the Musical” to Belgium. Els De Schepper got the leading role. The play opens in October 2015.
De Kruitfabriek is a new event location in Vilvoorde (near Brussels). The existing venue was transformed into a place of creativity for the local community. Every hall is available for events. More info via
Travel organisations can now easily book hotel rooms for groups of 15 to 60 people. Accor developed a user friendly site where 30 rooms can be booked at the same time. The page is accessible from via the “tourism” link in the “Business solutions” tab.
Sparkzpeople is the first company introducing the “Do Something Different” concept to the Dutch market. Instead of normal training programmes, where you learn to think differently, DSD participants get three small personalised “do” assignments per week for eight weeks. More info on:
Discover the world’s first 3D printing pen and start creating innovative shapes and items. The plastic quickly tools and solidifies into a strong structure created by you. 78 euro.
Shoot retro photos with the most creative instant camera on the market, the only one with built-in wide wide angle lens and trendy colour filters.

15 employees of major hotels in Brussels graduated from the “Brussels Experts: back to basics” programme. This is a course developed by the Visit.Brussels Quality Academy. It gives hotels the opportunity to improve the quality of the welcome they offer guests by enhancing their employees’ knowledge of the destination.
Crowe Plaza Bruges received the international Hotel of the Year Award for Europe in Athens. On this annual event InterContinental Hotels Group recognises managers and venues for their exceptional performance and contribution to the hotel industry and the local community.
Brussels Airlines starts flying to St. Petersburg again this spring. Direct flights between the two cities were not possible since 2007. Flights leave at Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and take about three hours.
Good news for Brussels Airport. On 22 December, the airport passed the 21,637,003 passenger mark, breaking a 14 year old record.
According to Advito’s Industry forecast, plane tickets will not become cheaper because of the plummeting oil prices in Europe and North America. Au contraire: tickets as well as overnight stays will get more expensive due to the recovering economy. ranked the ten most important airline innovations in 2014. Design and technology are obviously important factors. Check the list here.
British Airways is working on the future of travelling and is fully experimenting with virtual reality technology. Three iconic American experiences will be brought to life by means of high quality 360° videos. Thanks to the Oculus Rift VR headset, travellers can ride a wild horse in Texas, skate on Venice beach or go for a round of ice skating with the famous NYC skyline as a backdrop. Hopefully for British Airlines, this will not make people quit travelling altogether.

Destination Unlimited’s Bruno Leunen stepped down as the company’s Managing Director to concentrate on a new challenge. Read his entire statement (and words of gratitude) on our Facebook page:
On Jan, 2 - 2015, Annick Debels passed away. This came as a real shock to the Belgian Meeting Industry, where she earned tons of respect throughout her long years of service. Rest in peace, Annick.

BBT Online Club 100 welcomed the following new member last month:
  • Günes Metin Asselberghs, Director of Sales Belgium, Pentahotels

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, click here.


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