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NH Meetings

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 76th edition.
of our take5 articles are advertorial free.

To the Balearic Islands with Star Clippers

The Balearic Islands are one of the main holiday destinations of the rich and famous: it’s where the royal yacht of King Harald V of Norway is docked, where Michael Douglas invites Woody Allen and Jack Nicholson to his place, where Claudia Schiffer comes over every year and where both Princess Di and Empress Sissi enjoyed their holidays as well.

Want to be one of those happy few for a short moment? The Star Flyer can make it happen. This summer it will sail the western Mediterranean, between the islands and the Spanish coast. The cruise lasts a week, has a very varied programme and starts and ends in Palma de Mallorca.

Interested? To see the whole program of the 3 ships of the Star Clippers for 2015/2016, including the Caribbean, click here.

Visit or send a mail to

Adventures in Panama – Destination report

BBT Online’s Karin de Graauw just returned from a 5-day famtrip to Panama with several Belgian incentives houses. We were invited by Air France/KLM and Travelmediate, who represent the DMC Quetzal Motivo in Belgium and the Netherlands.


Panama’s incentive possibilities were quite impressive. Very varied programmes can be offered here. Every day was completely different to the previous one and – unique for Panama – all of this could happen without any long transfers. Everything is very close by.

Click this link for the entire article and for some great pictures. Feel free to comment on our new article lay-out!
For the movie on the trip, click here. - -

Panama Panama Panama
Panama Panama Panama
Precious Poznan – Destination report

We’re getting quite familiar with Poland these days. In addition to our articles on Wroclaw, Krakow and Świętokrzyskie, the Poland Convention Bureau, the Poland Tourist Organisation and the Poznan Convention bureau invited us to experience another destination.

Poznan is one of the oldest cities in the country and was the Polish nation’s first capital. It’s a well-known MICE destination and offers everything from impressive views to great local food and wine, modern meeting facilities and innovative event concepts.

Guest writer Eline van Nunen-Jansen will tell you all you need to know right here.

Poznan Poznan
3Square teams up with Justine Henin
Café Local in Antwerp reopens
Justine Henin

3Square Ghent and Club Justine Henin in Limelette will start working together very closely from now on. The facilities in Limelette were 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. The centre opened on 14 February.

Save-the-date: Monday August 31. We’re very happy to announce that our 2nd B2B workshop of this year, will be held here!!

Justine Henin promised us to be present as well during the workshop.
Café Local

After going bankrupt last year, Café Local – one of Antwerp’s best known party temples – reopened with new owners and a brand new interior.

The name will stay the same, but the venue is completely refurbished and new concepts were announced – like a recurring after work party. Although the renovation is due to be finished only in April, on 5 February the new Café Local already welcomed its first guests.

Antwerp’s trendy south district seems ready to party again!
New culinary hotspot in Ghent ...
.... and in Brussels
abbey of Boudele

The historic abbey of Boudele in the centre of Ghent gets a second life as an indoor food market by the end of 2015 – modelling famous examples in Barcelona and Copenhagen.

Trendy food stalls and concepts will occupy this beautiful old religious building. 12 different shops should open in the venue, and the central hall will be transformed into a place to sit down and eat. A champagne and gin bar will take care of refreshments.
Garage à Manger

Le Garage à Manger is an old Mazda garage, refurbished into a hip and trendy place to dine.

It’s the home base of Joël from El Camion – the food truck that drives across Brussels. The Garage is located on the Rue Washington (area Place Chatlain), and offers quick, tasty and healthy biological lunches in a trendy and very spacious place. You can get a three course meal for just € 18.
The venue can also be rented for events.
From heaven to under your feet
The Adam & Eve suite

Looking for a spectacular place to stay in New Zealand but Hobbiton is filled to the brim with a party of uninvited dwarves and a wizard? Why not opt for a PurePod instead?

Staying in a PurePod means total immersion and a completely private experience of your own slice of beauty. PurePods are made of heavy duty glass, so you can see everything - from the heavens above to the plants growing beneath your feet.

Pull back the sliding doors on all three sides and enjoy the isolation. Stay in the bush, right next to the ocean or with the Maori. The choice is yours!
Pink Apple

Looking for a nice place to stay en amoureux? Le Loft by Pink Apple might suit you! This contemporary but cosy little paradise just opened its doors in the centre of Liège.

The Adam & Eve suite will suit your every romantic need. There is a sauna, a jacuzzi, an open fire and an Italian rain shower to enjoy. Time to take your significant other to Liège and order some champagne or a candlelight dinner.

Need more info? Send a mail here:
Fake money, real fun!

You will have most likely noticed them if you attended our last B2B workshop, since they gave you the chance to double your prize money at the roulette table. Crazzle brings the casino experience to your parties and events, anywhere in Belgium and beyond.

Great looking, traditional tables with red suede cloth and black leather armrests bring the authentic casino feeling back to life. If you want to, you can print the company logo, or a funny picture of the CEO on the banknotes to brighten things up even more.

Crazzle Crazzle
BBT Online’s bucket list
bucket bucket
Jan Van den
Vilain XIIII

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 AIM Group International’s Jan Van den Broeck and our very own Charles-Eric Vilain XIIII.

Click here to see their bucket list.

bucket bucket
MPI’s Europe meetings & events conference

Almost 400 participants gathered for the MPI Europe Meetings & Events Conference (EMEC) which concluded last week in the amazing new ICE conference centre in Krakow, Poland. Our own Charles-Eric Vilain XIIII was one of the speakers. Over 50 high quality educational sessions were given on various industry and non-industry related topics.

This year, technology was crucial for the conference, showcasing an important meeting trend: we’re all connected. Mobile phones were used all the time during the sessions. There was a constant interactivity/interconnection between the audience and the speakers. Nearly 2,100 tweets were sent using #EMEC15, the MPI Global Event App was opened 8,500 times and was viewed almost 31,000 times. The speakers could reply directly on questions while on stage and the audience could reply directly on questions from the speaker.

Another highlight of the conference was the dinner in the Unesco world heritage salt mine of Wieliczka and the rendez-vous party at Hard Rock Café Krakow.
Next year’s MPI EMEC conference will be in Copenhagen. 7 – 9 Feb, 2016.

Invitation Workshop Oman

OmanCome to Hotel Pullmann Brussels Midi on Wednesday 11 March and meet 16 partners from Oman on Glenaki’s annual Oman Workshop.

The workshop is open from 11am to 4pm and the following hotels and DMCs will be present: Nahda Resort, Al Bustan hotel, Intercontinental hotel, Alila resort & Spa, Shangri-la’s Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa, Khayam Travel, Khimji's House of Travel, Muscat Desert Gate, Magic Arabia, Sifaway Boutiqhe Hotel, Six Senses Zighy Bay, Elite travel & tourism, Orient Arabic, Zahara Tours, Arabia Expert, Kurban tours and Bahwan Tourism Agencies.

Register via or via 050/61 42 15. Note that this invitation is meant for travel professionals only. Please register before 23 February.

Real Short !!

26 February, Pullman Brussels Midi: Glenaki Trade Workshop. PR and marketing agency Glenaki invites travel professionals to a trade workshop to showcase every one of their many destinations and partners. Register via mailing
4-8 March, ITB Berlin Fairground: ITB Berlin 2015. One of the main trade fairs for tourism. 114,000 professionals attended the event last year.
17-18 March, Stadsschouwburg, Antwerp: Shen Yun. Shen Yun takes you back to ancient China. Discover classical Chinese dance – rigorous, athletic en exceptionally beautiful – backed by stunning animated backdrops and an orchestra combining East and West. Tickets available here:
20-22 March, Valais, Switzerland: Switzerland Convention & Incentive Bureau study trip to the Valais region and discover world famous resorts & impressive mountain peaks, and enjoy a varied programme with lots of skiing. See Invitation for Belgian incentive agents only.
26 March. Event Online celebrates its tenth birthday and celebrates the occasion with a marvellous party in Antwerp. More info here.
30 March, Amersfoort: MPI NL Conference 2015 – Evenemens! A major congress for the MICE industry, concentrating on networks and how to improve them. For more info, click here:
6-7 May, SwissTech Convention Centre, Lausanne, Switzerland: International & European Associations Congress 2015. 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.
24 June, Brussels: MPI BE Conference. For its 20th anniversary, MPI Belgium celebrates its members. This year’s BE Conference is titled “It’s all about you!” More info to follow soon!

Eventonline, the online eventguide took over it’s main competitor Semindex.
Independent Travel now offers Gin-trips to London and Whiskey-trips to Edinburg. These are group trips for a minimum of 12 people and come with a lot of exclusive visits. Interested?
BEB, or Brabant Event Bureau, is a brand new initiative started by Marieke Hendriks and Naomi Ester (The Event Agency), aimed at putting the Brabant region in the MICE spotlight. We’re talking about Dutch Brabant, not the Belgian provinces.
Travellers on the Thalys trains should be able to enjoy faster internet and more bandwidth near the end of this year. This thanks to Swedish expert in mobile and internet connections Icomera.
Visitors from 43 countries can now get their visa for India online. The list of nations includes Australia, Brazil, Germany, Finland, Norway, USA and some barely known countries like Djibouti, the Cook Islands, the Kingdom of Tonga and even Palestine, which we are not even allowed to recognise. No mention of either Belgium or the Netherlands though. Ah well…
USA and Canada specialist American Travel Guide (ATG) launched its new website. On, you’ll now find a much more complete and user friendly way to discover the most unique trips to the US or Canada.
We now have a thousand Facebook fans! As promised, our lucky number 1,000 will receive a magnum bottle of Laurent Perrier Champagne! Congratulations Joris de Vos, and welcome to the club!
The 3rd of February several partners from The Hague Convention Bureau and Rotterdam Partners met with Belgian meeting planners in the Dominican in Brussels, for an interesting evening of networking, dining and one-on-one talks. Check out the pictures here.
Following the ACTE Conference in Brussels, BATM and AFTM announced they will be working together more closely in the future. They will exchange best practices, organise events together to promote Travel Management and stimulate knowledge exchange between their members. As of now, being a member of AFTM will automatically make you a member of BATM as well.
Former Regus and Chalet Group chief executive Eduard Schaepman presented his plans for a new and pioneering mobile office network named Tribes. Over the next five years this will be developed into a global network. In 2015 Tribes will open at 11 primary business locations across the Benelux countries.
Chinese conglomerate Fosun beat Italian businessman Andrea Bonomi in the battle for Club Med. Fosun now owns Club Med for the hefty sum of one billion Euros, making it a Chinese brand.
On the 57th Vakantiesalon, ABTO calculated that 300.000 extra holidays will be planned between April and December this year, compared to the same period in 2014 (12 million compared to 11.7 million).

The Steigenberger Grandhotel Brussels completely renovated its 267 rooms and suites. The new rooms are modern and elegant, with a personal touch.
Hilton Paris Opera opens its doors again after a € 50 million renovation. One of the French capital’s most iconic grand hotels now has a contemporary, stylish new look. The original hotel first opened in 1889, just a stroll from the Champs-Elysées, and was completely restored to its former glory.
As of this summer, 3-star restaurant De Librije in Zwolle has a sister venue in the Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam. “Librije’s Zusje” is very popular and already received its second Michelin star, opening the way for other sister venues if the right people can be found.
Business travel can be a lonely routine, shuttling from hotel to hotel in places where you may not know a soul. The smartphone in your pocket could be the ticket to a more social experience. Enter LobbyFriend, an app that for the length of a hotel stay will enable users to to get information on events near and at the property, as well as send messages to other guests, creating the first ever temporary social network.
Booking Now is a new app created by hotel website Booking. Everyone looking for a last minute hotel room (up to 48 hours prior to arrival) can use the app to quickly find a fitting place to stay.
The PAUZ siesta bar is a great way to relax during your daily break from work. It has 6 individual relaxation areas, offering visitors the opportunity to relax and enjoy all the benefits of a siesta and a massage. Perfect for a quick revitalisation before you head back to your hellish job.
Just before the new year, the official Green Key awards were held. 104 venues in Flanders were given this international label, only awarded to those companies with the most sustainable vision and policies. The absolute highest score was achieved by Kasteelhoeve Wange: as of now the most sustainable venue in Flanders.
Wyndham Hotel Group acquired Dolce Hotels & Resorts, a group of 24 MICE hotels located across Europe and North America. In addition, 12 new Wyndham venues will be opened recently: in Istanbul, Antalya, Abu Dhabi, Tashkent, Melbourne, Bali, Leicester and Tanzania.
British Airways published a list of its six favourite airport restaurants. In no particular order they are: Croque Madame (JFK), Gordon Ramsay’s Plane Food (Heathrow), Quill (Tambo Int. Johannesburg), Bubbles Seafood & Wine Bar (Schiphol), Airbräu Brauhaus (München) and Ink.sack (LA).
For the fourth consecutive year, Business Travel News named Delta Air Lines as the best airline of the year. Voting was done via a survey filled in by corporate travel managers.
Air France has plans for 800 voluntary layoffs. Mostly this will affect the ground- and cabin crews. Financial results were disappointing in recent years, which prompted the airliner to slow fleet expansion, implement wage moderation and strengthen productivity.
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol started Google Glass tests for staff as well as travellers. Maybe in a couple of years we’ll all be catching our flights wearing these things. Check out the video here:
Already dreaming of summer? Maybe this will help. Dutch airliner Arkefly now offers direct flights to Curaçao and Aruba from Eindhoven.

Wilfried Lauwers and Etienne De Nil sold their BTExpo shares to Charles Bedoret (BTExpo) and Bernard Philippart (Travex). Both say this decision will not affect the actual event. Lauwers and De Nil will attend the next edition as exhibitors for their respective companies.
After over 15 years of loyal service, Kathleen Van Parijs quit her job at Swantegy SA and accepted a new challenge at Destination Unlimited SA & Destination Rally (a subdivision of Destination Unlimited).

BBT Online Club 100 welcomed the following new member last month:
  • Jacques Spelkens - CSR Manager, GDF Suez

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 l’Aqueduc 149 – 1050 Brussels – Belgium
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