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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 78th edition.
of our take5 articles are advertorial free.

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?

Carnaval Michel Troch

This month, we’ve asked Michel Troch (Sales & Marketing Manager at 3Square Gent & 3Square Club Justine Henin Limelette) and Baris Soyogul (Account Manager Business Events at Rotterdam Partners).

Click here to read their top 5.

ocean race Baris Soyogul Train
We are Street Food World, and we're on a mission!
Street Food Street Food Street Food

Street Food World is a wonderful site made by Dutch writer/photographer Mirjam Letsch and the Duniya Foundation – an organisation aimed at improving the lives of children and women in India, Vietnam and Kosovo.

The website offers street food books and recipes - all illustrated with amazing beautifully travel photography. Learn how to cook South East Asia’s, India’s traditional local food or make a Kosovar nettle BBT Favoritepie, or just simply get inspired to book another trip and taste them for yourself.

A large share of the books proceeds are donated to local humanitarian causes. Books available in Dutch and English. 

BBT Online fully supports this initiative and therefore will give away 10 books on our next B2B workshop on August, 31.
Also watch,

Street Food Street Food
Our favourite summer hangout
SO: the best of both worlds in Leuven

For years known as the place to be for a sunny lunch, a romantic dinner or a cocktail on the beach, Strantwerpen transformed itself into an original event location.

A white sandy beach, a warm and cosy interior, a professional kitchen, a covered pavilion and a partly covered terrace: all assets are available to make your event a success.

Whether you are a planning a workshop, a meeting or a culinary dinner: the Strantwerpen team is at your service.


SO – (three in one) the best of both worlds, is a slick new meeting venue in an innovative and inspiring environment in the centre of Leuven, close to the St. Donatus Park. The space can be used for meetings, seminars, presentations, receptions, exhibitions and the likes.

SO also offers service, support, training sessions and professional advice to Apple users. Their sessions offer an opportunity to network and exchange knowledge and can be booked both individually and in groups.

Furthermore, they offer lessons and activities on logic and intuition, focused on facing challenges in both your professional and your personal life.

strantwerpen SO
Meetings in a cloister
cloister cloister

Kloster Heidberg (Eupen), originally a convent for the nuns of the Order of Recollects dating from the early 18th century, now serves as a seminar & event centre, located in Belgium’s German-speaking Community.

The convent “Heidberg Kloster” offers 38 beautiful rooms, all with different layouts and sizes. It comes with six meeting/training rooms for 12 to 150 people. Larger events up to 300 people can be organised in the venue’s beautiful historic chapel. The centre also provides ample incentive opportunities in the surrounding area.

cloister cloister
Naxhelet Hotel & Golf Club: meeting in nature
Naxhelet Naxhelet Naxhelet

The very recently opened Hotel Naxhelet is a beautifully renovated estate in Wanze – 20 minutes from the centre of Liège – that now serves as a luxury hotel.

It welcomes you in a giant refurbished barn, covered with an impressive wooden ceiling. Naxhelet comes with a golf course, a restaurant and a wellness centre – all benefitting from green technology.

The venue offers 33 rooms, 2 suites and 3 conference rooms. One of the suites is housed in a 17th century chapel. Perfect for a heavenly night!

Naxhelet Naxhelet Naxhelet
Pentahotel Brussels City Centre
New meeting venue near Durbuy

Pentahotel Brussels City Centre – formerly known as the Mercure Brussels Centre Louise – was rebranded and opened its doors on 1 April. It’s located next door to the prestigious Avenue Louise and offers 202 rooms and 9 conference rooms.
The largest meeting room can accommodate 160 people in theatre style and 112 persons for a banquet.

80 parking spaces are available in the public underground car park.

Pentahotels are famous for their informal style, providing a sense of lively community among hotel guests.

Consider this a nice scoop: Pentahotel Brussels Centre is where BBT Online will organise its January, 11 B2B Workshop!
Azur en Ardenne

Looking for a green, stylish and quiet meeting on a great location? Perched on the heights of Barvaux-sur-Ourthe, five minutes from the cobblestone streets of Durbuy, Azur en Ardenne is a brand new meeting location. Built in the middle of a beautiful natural setting, the complex offers panoramic views only 500m from the city centre, with possibilities for kayak, golf etc.

Azur en Ardenne comes with brand new and modern infrastructure, 54 elegant modern rooms, four state-of-the-art meeting rooms, a large free parking lot, lots of green space and a free wellness centre with an indoor swimming pool.

There are also 14 seperated cottages available for 6 to 8 persons which can be used for leisure but also for business. The whole complex was designed with sustainability in mind.
“Belgitude” by Radisson Blu Royal Hotel - Advertorial

Radisson Blu Royal Hotel Brussels got a complete makeover (an investment of € 7 million). Every guestroom and all of its 18 conference rooms are now refurbished in modern Urban style: edgy, colorful and with a simple, clear design.

The new design incorporates lots of touches paying tribute to Belgium. The Brussels Grand Place is illustrated in the foyer and the ceilings in the meeting rooms were inspired by some of Magritte’s most famous paintings. Radisson Blu also pays homage to the Munt Theatre close by, by creating glimpses of cabaret style lighting in its meeting spaces.

Also in the spotlight are lots of Belgian products and delicacies.

Radisson Blu Radisson Blu Radisson Blu
Invitation to Benelux MICE planners: Game, set, match!

Join us on Monday, 31 August 2015 for the seventh edition of our B2B Speed-Date Workshop!

This time, BBT Online takes you to Limelette – just 15 minutes from Brussels – for an exciting event at 3Square Club Justine Henin! This versatile venue was completely refurbished and expanded with four modern meeting halls able to accommodate 12 to 800 guests combined with a restaurant and sports-bar. It officially re-opened last month. Everything was restyled by designer Evelyn Moreels. 3square Justine Henin Club comes also comes with a 3500m² event hall, which can handle events of up to 1500 people and is accessible to cars and machinery.

BBT Online welcomes you at 4.30 pm for some welcome drinks & snacks. After meeting a brand new selection of exclusive meeting and event A-list suppliers (among which New York Convention bureau, Kerzner resorts, Thai Airways Intl, etc), there will of course be a festive dinner, lots of surprises and more networking opportunities.

Justine Henin – former tennis star and one of Belgium’s greatest sporting heroes ever – will attend the event herself and is available for pictures and of course a couple of games (not that any of us have a chance obviously).

Interested? Register now by mailing us at! Check also our FB event page, click here.

Note that this event is meant for professional Benelux MICE planners only!

A SITE visit in Maastricht

On 17 March, SITE (Society of Incentive Travel Excellence) Belgium organized a famtrip to Maastricht. The tour started at the Kruisheren Hotel – a design hotel in a renovated 15th century monastery with a Gothic facade.

The guided tour continued with a nice walk through the small streets of the city centre, full of churches, city walls, monumental merchant houses and big squares filled with terraces and a varied range of shops. The highlight of the day was the private guided tour of the TEFAF art fair at the MECC. The day finished with dinner at the Caverne de Geulhem.

We have one question though: why do we always see the same group of about 10 people at Site events? Site Belgium should make it a priority to attract some new faces.

Meetings Africa 2015: MICE fair report
Meetings Africa Meetings Africa

From 23 to 25 February, our reporter Jonathan Ramael attended the 10th instalment of Meetings Africa in Sandton, near Johannesburg. As it was a special anniversary edition, Africa’s premier MICE trade show promised to be one to remember. It sure was!

After three eventful days filled with exciting networking opportunities, festive evening activities and interesting site visits, he came back with a full report and a whole collection of pictures.

Read the article by clicking this link.

Meetings Africa Meetings Africa
Incentives in the African bush: Destination report

After attending Meetings Africa, Jonathan took a post tour to the impressive coastal city of Durban. After that, he visited Swaziland and explored its wonderful national parks.

He touched a wild rhino, stood on top of a hyena den, flew over Durban in a helicopter and took a walk in the bush while cape buffalos stampeded around him.

Check out the full report (and a lot of beautiful pictures!!!!) here.

African bush

Meetings in Mallorca: Destination report

Jonathan had a busy month, he also joined a group of Belgian planners to the Spanish island of Mallorca. Occasion for the trip was the opening of the new Maritim Hotel Galatzo.

Although the weather was surprisingly not what everyone expected, the programme was fun and varied, and he had a lovely time. Read the full report here.

Mallorca Mallorca
Tintin Talks 2015: Educational report

TintinTintin Talks is the annual Belgian showcase of London Speakers Bureau – managing the most extensive keynote speaker network in the world. This year, the event took place in the Warwick Barsey Hotel in Brussels.

Moderator was former US Ambassador Howard Gutman, and two interesting lectures were given by Dr. Bernard Kouchner (Former French Minister of BBT AgendaForeign Affairs and Co-Founder of Docters without Borders) and Julie Brown (Belgian based Polar explorer). Her husband Dixie Dansercoer even dialled in from somewhere in the arctic.

Click here to read the full report.

MPI’s BE Conference is all about you!

MPISave the date: on 24 June MPI Belgium celebrates its 20th birthday with a festive edition of its annual MPI BE Conference. This year’s theme “It’s all about you” is completely focussed on thanking and pampering the organisation’s loyal members.

Venue of choice is the Château Fond’Roy in Brussels, a fancy royal castle: you’ll be treated like a king or queen throughout the day, while at the same time learning new and interesting ways to improve the hospitality and service at your events, venue, hotel or company. One of the keynote speakers is Vincent Vermeulen, founder and managing director of the School for Butlers and Hospitality

Interested? Click here for more info or to register yourself.

A Belgian book on Event Marketing

boekPeter Decuypere, Professor Event Marketing at KDG Antwerp and founder of for example I Love Techno, published a brand new book offering a daring view on the world of marketing. As a professional, he felt there weren’t any decent publications rooted in the real world.

That’s why he wrote one himself – from his own experience and background in marketing. ‘We Love Events’ not only teaches you how to create value on your events, but how to pass it to the people attending as well. It’s full of practical examples, instead of only focusing on theory.

Real Short !!

Brussels Food Truck Festival – May 8 – 10, Brussels. The largest annual gathering of Food Trucks in Europe is setting the table for a second edition! This next generation of tastemakers offers a different, innovative, surprising but also traditional tasting experience. More than just a meal break, this gathering is an activity in itself.
26 May, The Dominican Hotel, Brussels: Workshop Mexico for travel agents.
Mexico draws more than 29.1 million tourists every year, making it one of the top ten destinations worldwide. Want to discover this colourful, versatile destination? Come to the Dominican in Brussels on 26 May at 6 pm for a nice dinner with cocktails and for a chance to meet some of the most important Mexican exhibitors. More info via
3 June, Hotel Van der Valk, Oostkamp (Bruges): Travelmedia Congress. This congress is meant for people working in tourism, travel, hotels or MICE. A wide range of interesting speakers will be present. Check them out here:
11-15 June, Catalunya, Spain: Meet Catalunya. A business networking opportunity for MICE organisers and representatives to discover one of Spain’s most beautiful regions. Comes with a 2 day educational tour.
24-25 September, Ireland: Meet in Ireland. Experience what makes Ireland a unique MICE destination, including the highlight of a “scenic safari” on the Wild Atlantic Way – Ireland’s stunning coastal route. Interested? Send us a mail at For official MICE planners only.
23-25 October, New Delhi, India: SITE Global Conference. Delhi might be a bit harder to reach than Rotterdam, but registration for SITE’s Global Conference is now open. As always, a list of interesting speakers and some amazing social events and post tours will await you. Register here.
25-26 November: Jaarbeurs Utrecht: Festivak Nederland. Holland’s most important trade show for event organisers and suppliers. More info on:
Consult BBT Online’s MICE agenda, and don’t miss any event.

Switzerland tourism launches a new tool for organisers of business meetings: Online Meeting Planner on
Based on the information provided by the user the brand new tool provides the ideal location and the matching social programme including information regarding transportation and price indication for the various options.
BBT Online attended Eventonline’s 10th anniversary party. It proved to be a very entertaining night, the birthday was celebrated in style. We would like to congratulate founders Erik Wood and Olivier Wauters!
MPI announced that speakers can now apply for its 2016 European Meetings & Events Conference (EMEC). The conference is scheduled for 7-9 February 2016 in Copenhagen. Proposals will be accepted until Wednesday, 6 May 2015.
The third edition of The Event App Bible is out: the go-to publication if you want to learn more about event mobile apps. Get it for free here.
The Carolus V Festival takes Brussels on a journey back in time to the Renaissance, from May to September 2015. Among the many activities lined up, Brussels offers guided tours to discover the period of Charles V, the most powerful emperor of the 16th century.
Eric de Groot, Meeting Designer and co-author of ”Into the Heart of Meetings” is one of the Top 10 Conference Speakers for 2014. That is the opinion of the editors of who travel all over the world to meetings and events to identify the most inspiring speakers.
These are the winners of this year’s Awards:“Public initiative 2014” : Parcours d’Artistes, “New concept 2014” : Nationa(a)l Expo Store, “Evening experience 2014” : Boeremet, “Most noted exhibition 2014” : 14-18, c’est notre histoire!/14-18, dit is onze geschiedenis!, “International event 2014” : Brussels Jazz Marathon, “Best gastronomic concept 2014” : Brussels Food Truck Festival, “New event location 2014” : Belgian Chocolate Village, “Hotel newcomer 2014” : Hôtel des Galeries “International congress 2014” : TEDxBrussels.

KU Leuven is looking for a congress and event organiser. He/she will be responsible for organising corporate events, events focused on scientific communication, protocol and congresses/events for the different faculties, departments or staff of the KU Leuven. More info can be found here.
Work in PR? Love New York?
Hills Balfour has an amazing vacancy for a Senior PR Account Manager. You'll be based in their London office - representing New York in UK & Europe. Message for more details
3square Justine Henin Club is looking for a new GM. Interested? Contact
Sophie Van Der Straten, sales and marketing manager at the Scandic Grand Place has left the Scandic group. She will be replaced by Jessica Johansson. Sophie is looking for a new opportunity, you can mail her at

Star Clippers takes several internationally renowned chefs and sommeliers on its cruises this year. One of these celebrated chefs is Belgian Stéphane Pierre, who will board the Star Flyer for a seven day cruise from Parma on 18 July.
The Tall Ships Race returns to Antwerp for the sixth time in 2016. From 7 to 10 July the city will even be the event’s starting port, before the ships sail to Lisbon, Cadiz and La Coruna.
The annual CLIA report showed that cruising in Europe broke a new record: 6,387,000 Europeans took a cruise in 2014, despite the economic downturn.

Such a great idea, the highest open air roof top cinema in the Netherlands. Apollo Hotels – When in Belgium?
Belvilla, offering vacation homes all over Europe, now has a separate page on its website listing all the locations suited to be used as meeting venues.
South of Carcassonne and Limoux, you’ll find the charming town of Rennes-le-Château: a hiker’s paradise made famous by the Da Vinci Code. In it, a wonderful property is now for sale. Domaine La Maurine combines a nice personal home with a gîte for 4/5 people, a chambre d’hôte for 2/3, a mini camping with 6 spots and a fully furbished caravan for two. All of it finished and ready for use. It’s up for sale due to health reasons. Asking price: € 329,000. More info via or on the website.
Capri is now the destination where travellers pay the highest average hotel rate on the planet (€216). Phnom-Penh in Cambodia is the cheapest, with an average room rate of just € 41.
Google now offers hotels the possibility of a 360° virtual tour of their venue powered by the Street View technology. This will allow potential clients to take a first look at the place from their home pc.
The brand new Magic Natural Hotel now offers 250 cottages in Terra Natural, the Benidorm zoo. Ever wanted to wake up next to a gorilla? Here is your chance.

Geraldine Huybrechts resigned as Managing Partner at Borealis DMC to continue her career as an independent MICE Consultant with b-eventic. You can contact her at
Since SeaDream Yacht Club will stop focusing on the Benelux market, Paul Nuyens is looking for a new challenge in the industry.
He worked as PR, Marketing and Sales executive for SeaDream in the Benelux during the last 5 years. Before that he worked for Iberotel, Best Tours and as Resident Manager at Thomas Cook. He’s fluent in French, English, German and Spanish. You can contact him via or via +32 473 13 13 30.

BBT Online Club 100 welcomed the following new members last month:
  • Jihane Mamouri, Global Director of Sales France & Benelux, Jumeirah Group
  • Philippe Visette, Business Developer, Libramont Exhibtion & Congress
  • Maris Kuklis, Senior Manager UK & Europe, Dubai Business Events
  • Maddalena Riva, Sales Manager, Rocco Forte Verdura Resort , Italy
  • Georgine Guelton, Meetings & Conventions advisor, Visit Brussels

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.
We publish much more news than what you can read and see in our monthly Take5 Newsletter. Follow us on our Facebook page.


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