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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 79th edition.
of our take5 articles are advertorial free.

Cheap flights with Skyuber

Uber is now officially airborne. The very popular taxi app signed an agreement with several flying schools and a couple of minor airlines, and will offer empty chairs in planes to its users via the new Skyuber app.

The main targets are business travelers who need to get somewhere last minute and cheap. The Uber team is convinced the app will benefit from very good rates, since a lot of planes fly back to their airport of origin empty.


BBT Online’s Bucket list

Every month we ask two 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?

Beatrice-Mondelaers Zambezie tahiti

This month we asked Martien Claes (35) who will start to work the 6th of June for Midnight Coffee and Glenaki’s Beatrice Mondelaers (38). Here are their answers, click here.

Martien-Claes kitsurfing air balloons
The Apple watch travel app!
Two new Belgian Convention Centres
Apple Watch

Five months after revealing the Apple Watch, Apple announced pricing for the device as well as a release date and more details about its features.

As of today, six travel apps are listed as coming soon to an Apple Watch store. During the demo an app for Uber was shown, allowing users to e-hail an Uber-taxi using the Watch.

A small nap before taking off

Want to take a nap at the airport before your next flight? Sleeping pods are exactly what you need.

Everyone ready to catch some Z’s at Helsinki Airport can now withdraw to a Gosleep Sleeping Pod. These pods are ergonomic chairs that can be transformed into a bed and filter out all background noise.

There’s a plug on the inside to charge your phone, tablet or laptop while sleeping. Helsinki is the first European airport offering this technology.

Brussels Convention Centre

Brussels has officially announced the three candidates to compete for the conception, construction, financing and maintenance of Neo II: the capital’s first world-class convention centre, with facilities for up to 5,000 congress delegates and a 4-star hotel with 250 rooms surrounded by natural green areas.

Neo I – a shopping centre, offices, housing and leisure facilities – is already underway. Neo II is due to be assigned in 2016 and completed in 2020, followed by a new national stadium and Neo III and IV with more housing, schools and social facilities.

This € 1.5 billion project will transform the Heysel area into a new sustainable neighbourhood combining modern urban life with green leisure areas.

Also Antwerp is working on it’s new congress centre, named ‘Elisabeth Center Antwerp’. It will open its doors in November 2016 with facility for up to 2,000 congress delegates.

Large crowd formations

The Chinese art of the crowd. The subjects of these pictures are military parades or world-record attempts, mass exercises or enormous performances, the images are remarkable.

The masses of people can look beautiful or intimidating. Enjoy these 35 pictures amazing pictures. Only possible in China. Click here.
Ten things no one tells you about being an event planner

plannerNot everything about being an event planner is as rosy as it seems. It’s a demanding job and some of the characteristics you need to be a good planner can actually be a nightmare to the people around you. published an interesting article on the downsides of working as an event professional. Interesting read for everyone in the industry.

Design hotels at exceptional rates
Airbnb wins 2016 Olympic bid
Design hotels

Motel One is a booming German low-budget hotel chain, with 50 venues in eight European countries. They offer a high quality design product on excellent locations for a very attractive price. By 2017, Motel One wants to have no less than 24 additional hotels.

Their only Belgian venue so far can be found on the Rue Royal in Brussels. It looks very nice, and it’s located close to most of the major attractions in the city centre.

Room rates start at just € 79 per night. Breakfast is just € 7.50. Not too shabby!

Airbnb just signed a contract to become an official partner for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. It will provide visitors with about 20,000 additional rooms.

This news is quite surprising, especially when you know it was absolutely forbidden for private individuals to put their rooms up for rent during the London 2012 games. This is the absolute first time one of the big global sporting events is asking the public for short term help providing accommodation. It’s a crucial step for Airbnb as well, as it grows ever closer to becoming a global hospitality brand. The big hotel chains can start worrying now, as this move gives customer more possibilities.
Meet Dubai in Brussels
Meet in Ireland this September

Dubai Business Events - The official convention bureau – and its partners invite Belgian Meeting and Incentive planners to discover what the Emirate has to offer for business events during an exclusive evening of haute cuisine and warm hospitality at the elegant WY Brussels at The Mercedes House on Wednesday 10th June.

Many surprises are waiting for you!

Please register before Monday 1st June 2015 by clicking this link.

Go on a discovery of Ireland on 24 and 25 September. Meet the people behind the best venues and meeting spaces and take part in a stimulating workshop – along with pre & post fam tours.

You’ll 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 a mail to Orla Kraft
How to run your association like a football team – Educational report

On 5 and 6 May, BBT Online attended the third edition of the European Association Summit (EAS) in Square, Brussels. EAS is a platform created by and for association executives to share best practices & ideas and to learn from each other’s mistakes.

The programme was filled with a varied array of speakers, presentations and networking opportunities. Very interesting was the keynote speech of Isabel Bardinet, CEO of the European Association of Cardiology. Looking for new ideas to bring the association closer to its members, she contacted the boards of FC Bayern Munich and Barcelona to find out how they market themselves to current and potential fans.

A very interesting read you can continue here.

Fun and Food at Dolce Fregate in the French Provence – Destination report

From 18 to 20 April, BBT Online’s Publisher Karin de Graauw stayed in the beautiful French Provence for an educational trip. Main goal of the trip was to showcase the Dolce Frégate Provence Hotel and its surroundings in Bandol.

On the programme were lots of culinary delights, cultural and natural sightseeing and a round of golf led by a pro.

The location of this 4-star hotel is absolutely fantastic – right next to the sea. The venue is surrounded by fantastic little villages such as Cassis and Sanary-sur-Mer, far more fun than St. Tropez. The food is top notch and delicate. The sun is out almost all year round. The 133 guest and the 13 meeting rooms are well lit and very spacious. There is both an indoor and outdoor pool and an 18 and 9-hole golf course.

Read the full report here.

Dolce Dolce
BBT Online at IT&CM China 2015 – Destination report
IT&CM China IT&CM China

Every year when spring sets in, we know it’s time for Jonathan to set off to Shanghai and attend IT&CM China. This year, the whole show moved from the 2010 Expo grounds to a new exhibition venue in the Hongqiao business district west of the city centre.

Each new edition attracts a larger percentage of Chinese buyers, which causes several non-Asian exhibitors to attend to try and lure the Chinese and their business to their destination. Discover the full article and lots of pictures here.

All of our IT&CM China pictures can be viewed and shared on Facebook.

IT&CM China IT&CM China
Art or kitsch?

World leaders doing their ‘Duty’ by Photographer Cristina Guggeri.

What do YOU think? Let us know at or on our FB page. Love it or hate it? In case you love it and want to see more of world leaders in this human position, surf to our FB page, click here.

leader leader leader
Advertorial - “Belgitude” by Radisson Blu Royal Hotel

Radisson Blu Royal Hotel Brussels got a makeover (an investment of € 7 million). The majority of the rooms are renovated in a modern Urban style: edgy, colorful and with a simple, clear design. As well all of its 18 conference rooms are renovated.

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
Real Short !!

3 June, Café Local, Antwerp: Why not Wednesday after work party. Forget about work for a bit, relax, have a drink and enjoy the music in the refurbished Café Local every first Wednesday of the month. Click here for more info.
BATM Educational Forum: Strategic Meetings Management could be seen as the last bastion of unmanaged travel. Corporates considering the journey of change are choosing to automate the labour intensive elements of meetings management, namely delegate registration and, to a lesser degree, the RFP process/venue find. Monday 8 June, Husa President Park Hotel in Brussels.
11 June, Breda, Netherlands: Business & Air travel Symposium. Three prominent experts talk about the optimal use of different ways of transport. Register here.
For travel agents and tour operators. June, 23 Travel South USA organises a workshop at the Hilton Brussels Grand Palace. Info and subscription, click here.
24 June, Chateau Fond’Roy, Brussels: MPI BE Conference 2015. MPI Belgium’s 20th anniversary will be all about you! Participants will be treated in a way they’ve never experienced before. Register here.
22-26 August, Vienna, Fleming’s Hotel Wien-Westbahnhof: 29th ECM Summer School. A great relevant and practical learning opportunity for all professionals in the MICE industry. Register at
From September, 10 till October, 11 Cirque du Soleil is back in Brussels with a new theater show: Amaluna.
1 October, Brussels. Save the date for MICE planners: On Thursday 1 October, New York City comes to Brussels with over 10 New York City Members. More details to follow.
Consult BBT Online’s MICE agenda, and don’t miss any event.

Brussels took 11th place in this year’s ICCA report, listing the number of international association conferences in states and towns. Developments in the European capital have been spectacular as it has gone from 15th place in 2013 to 11th in 2014.
From saving money to reducing risk and helping the planet, there are many benefits to conducting an event waste audit. But how do you actually do it? The following post on the Event Manager Blog outlines eight basic steps.
PlayPass, the Antwerp based start-up responsible for Rock Werchter’s “smart” entrance bracelets, won the Global Innovator 2015 in New York.
Two Belgian entrepreneurs have developed Showbase 2.0: an app that will improve the safety of people on festivals by for example warning them of abrupt weather changes or emergency situations.
Event Management Blog comes with a list of five principles to make every minute of your meeting count: comes with a list of the top 10 meeting trends for 2015. Click here to read the story.
Flanders received 1.6 million more touristic overnight stays in 2014 compared to the previous year. That’s a growth of about 7%. The biggest growth could be seen on the coast and in the so called “art cities”.
Will Tura celebrates his 75th birthday on 2 August this year. He’ll start the party by performing a must-attend birthday concert on the main square of his home town Veurne. Several VIP-packages including a champagne reception, a multi-course dinner, great seats and a meet & greet after-party are available to enjoy the concert even more. Contact for bookings.

A MUST watch. The most amazing beautiful pictures: 36 epic beach hotels to visit before you die. Which one is your favorite?
The new Design Hotels Book 2015 tells the stories of some of the most visionary individuals in the hotel industry. Discover 279 handpicked hotels across more than 500 pages, featuring exceptional photography and behind-the-scenes stories of the originals who brought these properties to life.
Nathalie Meskens and her husband Jeroen Van Dyck opened a second Thai restaurant in Antwerp. ‘Nimman’ can be found on the Stadswaag.
The Harbour Club Kitchen is a new restaurant on one of the nicest spots in Amsterdam. It’s a BBQ restaurant, and it comes with a peculiar slogan: ‘If it ain’t grilled, it ain’t worth eating’. Sounds good!
Since 21 April l’Atelier Yves Mattagne and Tour&Taxis offer a new culinary experience. The bar is transformed to a live-cooking tapas bar at lunch. The menu will now change daily depending on what’s available on the local markets.
Alix – Table & Jardin d’Amis opens the gates of its city garden for a green picnic every Sunday from May till end of September. Come pick up your picnic basket between 11 and 12 am and just pick a spot to sit. Alix is located in Ghent and offers homemade style cooking.
Villa Stéphanie, the Brenners Park-Hotel’s new spa in Baden-Baden (winner of the ‘Most Luxurious Spa in Europe’ award) introduces a unique Digital Detox programme. It allows guests to disconnect from all digital channels with one simple press of a button. It will also block radiation from for example cell phones, making for a much more valuable night’s rest.
The Steigenberger Grandhotel in Brussels changed its name to Wiltcher’s. Wiltcher’s is the hotel’s original name. Wiltcher’s is a 5-star venue, offering 267 rooms of which 42 are luxurious suites. The bar, the lobby and the restaurant were refurbished as well. Cost of the whole project? Close to € 7 million.

Air New Zealand make the least boring air safety video ever! The local surfers give the safety instructions. See this funny little video and enjoy the images. Click here.
As of 2 May, Vueling started offering direct flights from Brussels to sunny Ibiza and Mallorca again. Belgian travellers can now choose between 11 direct connections to Spain, Portugal or Italy. They can also connect to 149 different destinations via Rome or Barcelona.
In collaboration with Pepsi Cola (weird), Vueling will also start equipping 60 of its planes with power sockets in the next five years. Vueling is the first European low cost airliner introducing this.
Boeing doubles its carry-on storage capacity by making the overhead spaces in its planes just high enough to put hand luggage in standing instead of lying down as we do now.
Demand for airplane tickets rose with 7.4% in March, compared with the same month last year. In February, growth numbers of 6.4% were measured. In the Eurozone, the average growth was 5.5%, but in Asia, sales grew with an astonishing 13.5%.
KLM announced it will be flying to Colombia three times a week from now on. Another very nice destination added to the list.
To celebrate the launch of it’s new scheduled flights, VLM Airlines offers you a unique chance to win your own plane for a two-day trip to a destination of choice in the VLM network - a flight for you and no less than 49 of your family members, friends or colleagues.

BBT Online welcomes a new team member from Antwerp. Frank De Neef – well known in the meetings industry – will strengthen our ranks. Frank will help us attract new partners and make sure all our future events are flawlessly organised.
Ben Scheefhals, CEO of Cruise Travel Belgium was chosen as the new President of CLIA Belgium-Luxembourg (Cruise Line International Association). He will take over from Peter Mathieu, who led the association for 13 years.
Helga Aerssens joined Convention Bureau Brabant (The Netherlands). She’ll be responsible for marketing and communication. She gained lots of experience by years of working in the congress industry.
Congratulations to Siviglia Berto from Delta Lloyd and to Ellen Van den Branden from Destination Unlimited for the IMEX 2015 Commitment to the Community Award!

BBT Online Club 100 welcomed the following new member last month:
  • Geraldine Huybrechts, Managing Director, B-Eventic

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!

Nothing too funny this edition, just a nice video showing a wonderful mix of stunning National Geographic images and nice music. Perfect for a moment to sit back and relax for a short while on a stressful day.
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
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