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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 80th edition.
of our take5 articles are advertorial free.

BBT Online is expanding

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. You can contact Frank via

BBT Online's first meeting with its new team member was held in the sunny historic centre of Mechelen. After business and lunch, there was time for some pictures as well.

team team
Free a girl from prostitution

On Friday, June 5th, Mandy Berding – GM of Oceandiva – locked herself in a 1 by 2 meter box for 12 hours to support ‘Free a Girl’. Millions of young girls are forced into prostitution worldwide. In India, 1000s of girls are locked up in pens like this, leading horrible lives.

Mandy’s efforts raised € 4.100 for the organisation. Together with 240 other Dutch participants, a total sum of €450,000 was raised: good to free 900 Indian girls from a life of prostitution. If you want to support this cause as well, please visit and make a donation.

Who wants to set up a Belgian edition with BBT Online? We will of course participate ourselves. Mail us at

Free a girl

The European canteen is open!
First pay per minute café
European canteen

The European Canteen is an urban experiment that proposes to share a table: for a lunch with friends, a coffee with strangers or a talk to the inhabitants. eQuama believes that the European quarter needs convivial public spaces, welcoming both users of the district and inhabitants of Brussels.

The experiment consists of modular tables which will be regularly moved to test different set-ups in the parks and public spaces of the European quarter. Seven Canteen will be placed in seven public spaces and each month, one of the places will host the “mama canteen” (150 seats!) to share some social time.

Paying for the time you’ve spent, not for the number of drinks: that’s how the first pay per minute bar in Brussels works. For just €4 you can have a seat at one of La Récré’s many tables. In exchange, you can enjoy as many cold or warm drinks (no booze though), snacks and as much fruit as your heart desires.

After the first hour, you’ll pay 50 cent for every 10 additional minutes you stay. A whole day will cost you about € 16. Wi-Fi is free, but you’ll have to pay extra for a sandwich or a soda. If you want to drink as much as you like for an entire month, it will cost you € 300 (it comes with access to the – no kidding – jacuzzi). Not too bad actually, thinking of what we usually spend at the bar.
Food waste in the event sector

Food waste

The French Parliament unanimously voted a law to reduce food waste in large supermarkets. The government decided to outlaw the destruction of unsold products. Supermarkets are now forced to cooperate with good causes and donate their unsold but still edible food to them, or offer leftover items as animal food.

Our own industry should follow the same example. It’s really infuriating to see the amount of good food that is thrown away after almost every event. So many people could be helped by just donating it to a good cause instead. On another note, less no-shows of course means less waste. Remember it well.
Also watch this new little movie about food waste in the MICE industry.
Events on historic locations
Events on historic locations II

Want to change the atmosphere of your next event? Why not go the historic route? The Egmont Palace and the Château de Val Duchesse have recently opened their doors to event organizers.

Both venues are located in a spacious natural haven in Brussels and offer different settings like large meetings rooms, breakout rooms, a private entrance, reception halls, dining rooms and Club 100garden terraces.

The Egmont II conference centre, a building adjacent The Egmont Palace, can accommodate up to 439 participants.
Ter Ham

Just 30 minutes from Brussels, Château Bayard offers another exceptional and historic meeting and event location. Owned by the same family since 1390, the castle got a thorough renovation last year. Now it offers all comfort and modern facilities needed to host events. It houses several salons that can be adapted to suit your wishes. They can accommodate 100 people for a meeting and up to 500 for a reception.

Also very interesting is Kasteel Ter Ham, a 15th century water fortress close to Brussels, offering 5 modern meeting rooms, an arched cellar and lots of open space.
World’s biggest cruise event comes to Antwerp

Cruise trips are becoming more and more popular in Belgium. 73,000 Belgians went on a cruise last year, a growth of more than 6%. The number might even be even larger next year, because the biggest Cruise Event in the world is coming to Antwerp for the second time.

On 26 and 27 September, the entire industry sets up shop in Flanders’ biggest city, showcasing a broad spectrum of cruise products and packages, for all tastes and budgets. Several presentations can be attended as well, and you can book and put together the cruise of your dreams à la carte.

Online registrations come with a 50% reduction on the entrance fee.


Discover the other side of Ibiza – Destination report
Ibiza Ibiza Ibiza

In the November edition of our Take5 Newsletter, BBT Online’s publisher Karin de Graauw published her personal bucket list. Her number two entry was the following: ‘Some might think I’m too old for it now, but I don’t care: I would love to go for a real party on Ibiza and go crazy, followed by a quiet day on the north of the Island.’

Ibiza Ibiza

A while later she got a phone call from Carla Witpas of Global Star Events DMC based on the island. She had arranged a complete trip – fulfilling everything on Karin’s wish list – without her even asking.

One thing is for sure: Ibiza is amazing and it is so much more than just a party island. Read the entire report here.,

Ibiza Ibiza Ibiza
A stay at Hotel Naxhelet; Belgian and bio – Destination report

BBT Online recently had the pleasure to discover and enjoy Hotel Naxhelet near Huy. Meetings, golf, spa, gastronomic dining: the place has it all, and all of it is ‘Belgian and Bio’.

It opened very recently and we truly recommend it for your next meeting or incentive – or for a relaxing weekend of course.

Read the full article here.,

Naxhelet Naxhelet Naxhelet
MPI Belgium’s BE Conference

Our reporter Jonathan Ramael attended the MPI Belgium BE Conference in the beautiful Château Fond’Roy in Brussels.

MPI Belgium celebrated its 20th anniversary and wanted to spoil its members. That’s why everyone got a personal reception by a wonderful team of the School for Butlers and Hospitality. Founder Vincent Vermeulen was also one of the keynote speakers, and talked about body language, etiquette and what companies can learn from butlers.

Could he actually teach Jonathan some manners? You’ll read all about it in our next Take5. In the meantime, enjoy the pictures: click here.

The best things in life are for free

best things

BBT Online’s Bucket list

Every month we ask 2 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?

Bert Knuts Bert Knuts Bert Knuts

This month, we asked Event Masters’ Managing Director Bert Knuts (36) and our own Frank De Neef (51). Here are their answers, click here.

Frank De Neef Frank De Neef Frank De Neef
Real Short !!

July, 29 – 31. Invitation for Belgian Incentive Agents. Ovation Global DMC, their partner Galaktika, Brussels Airlines and the fabulous Ritz Carlton want to show you how cool Moscow is for short haul incentive and meetings. 3 days in July. Interested? You want more info? Mail to or Only 6 seats available, so react quickly.
Monday August 31. BBT Online’s B2B speed-date workshop. Behind this link you can find the invitation and inscription form.
11-13 September, Brussels: Brussels Art Days. This annual event is one of the highlights in every modern art lover’s agenda. 30 top galleries join forces to start the new season with a bang.
17 September, Royal Library Belgium, Brussels: Brussels Museums Nocture Kick-off. Every Thursday evening from 17/9 to 10/12, several museums will open shop – 66 over the whole period. There are tours, workshops, demonstrations and meet & greets to be enjoyed for just €3 pp. The season kicks off with a free vernissage in the royal library.
24-25 September, Sofia, Bulgaria: Meeting design training course. Interesting programme let by Dutch Meeting designer Eric de Groot.
17-19 November, Barcelona, Spain: IBTM World. IBTM (not EIBTM, the name changed) comes early this year. Registration for one of the world’s biggest MICE fairs is now open.
4-8 February 2016, Brussels Expo: Brussels Holiday Fair 2016. Japan will be hosting this year’s edition of Belgium’s biggest travel fair. A very good idea, since new direct connections between Brussels and Tokyo can be booked starting this fall.
Consult BBT Online’s MICE agenda, and don’t miss any event.

Old white guys seem to be the trend when it comes to speaker line ups at events. A couple of weeks ago the event industry earned its first internet meme when a site asked readers to submit event websites or guides with all male panels, just to send them a David Hasselhoff Thumbs Up sticker, renamed Hoffsome. Funny, but sad at the same time. What’s wrong with some diversity? Click here for an example.
Eventmanagerblog published an article listing 6 creative ways to thank your event attendees. Read the full piece here.
HelloCrowd is a new do-it-yourself platform that allows event managers to build native event apps for all of their events, large and small. Read a full review here.
GinKing offers gin tastings on location. Besides tasting lots of quality gin, you’ll learn how to make perfect serves, which dishes to combine with gin (and taste them) and much more.
Another interesting article by Eventmanagerblog. Seven ways to get to the next level in your event planning career: click here.
Summer@Work by event communication agency ‘A First Impression’ offers cosy pop-up bars at your own company or at a location of choice. Different concepts are possible: BBQs, cocktail parties, walking dinners and even breakfasts. More info here.
Need some motivation? Here are ten quotes on dreams selected by Virgin boss and well-known rich guy Richard Branson.
Bookings for the 4th season of the wonderful tram experience are now possible. The first tram leaves at 21 August. The tram experience is essentially fine dining prepared and served on a moving tram. Exceptional experience!
Flair magazine published a list of some great travel blogs. Click here to discover them.
Lots of trouble with your colleagues? Here’s an article telling you how to deal with conflicts at the workplace.
Will Tura turns 75 this summer, and he’s going to celebrate this milestone with a birthday concert on the main square of his home town of Veurne. There are VIP packages available for those who want to attend this historic performance in style. Click here to find out what’s included in the ‘Mo Vint Toch’ package!
HelmsBriscoe, in cooperation with Hilton Brussels Grand Place, organized on the 30th of June an afternoon on meeting design for the association market yesterday. BBT Online was there, so our pictures on our FB page.

Crowne Plaza Bruges refurbished all of its rooms and bathrooms according to the new Crowne Plaza ‘Room of the Future’ concept.
Nikki Beach Worldwide opens a season long pop-up beach club & restaurant on the rooftop of the Fairmont Monte Carlo in Monaco. It will open daily from 9am to 2am.
The new Center Parcs Le Bois aux Daims now offers real fairy-tale tree houses to stay in. They’re not just regular homemade shacks, but offer all the luxury and comfort of a modern house. Perfect for a unique stay.
On another note, Center Parcs Erperheide now offers Pony Holidays: 10 cottages with direct access to everything your kids ever want to do with a pony: barns, arenas, tracks, et cetera.:
Belvilla published a special themed page listing all of their properties suited for business meetings. Check it out here.
Rocco Forte Hotel de Rome in Berlin opened its rooftop terrace for the summer season, offering an impressive panorama of the Berlin District of Mitte.

Airberlin announced an extra direct flight from Düsseldorf to Curacao. Flights will depart every Saturday as of 7 November. Just in time to escape winter.
Good news for Japan lovers! Japan’s biggest Airline ANA launches direct flights from Brussels to Tokyo this fall. This will be the only direct connection from Belgium to the land of the rising sun.
Lufthansa Group will start asking for an extra € 16 fee for bookings made through GDS systems. Tickets ordered through their own booking channels will be free of this charge. This directly influences business travellers and companies, who tend to use these systems often.
Ever wanted to attend the Oktoberfest in Munich? Now is your chance. The party starts on September 19th and lasts until October 4th. BMI Regional offers 8 flights per week from Liège to Munich starting from € 57 for a single flight (including taxes).
Apparently, Suvarnabhumi Airport in Thailand has the fastest Wi-Fi of any airport worldwide. For the rest of the top ten, click here (surprisingly, there was no mention of Brussels Airport. Who would have known?).
21,393 passengers flew to their destination from Antwerp Airport this May: the highest monthly number in more than 10 years. Most important reason are the eight new VLM Airlines and Jetairfly connections.
The CEOs of the five biggest European airlines (good for half of the flights in Europe) held a joint press conference. They called for a ‘new revolution’ concerning the new EU air travel policies. The companies want more liberalisation and less costs and taxes. They also want the realisation of a unified European airspace.

Joost de Meyer was honoured with the 2015 SITE Master Motivator Award during the IMEX Academy Awards Gala Dinner in Frankfurt, Germany. The Master Motivator Award is presented annually to a SITE member who upholds the highest standard of excellence in creating and executing successful incentive travel and motivational experiences and demonstrates a genuine enthusiasm for supporting and strengthening the global incentive travel community.
Lesley Williamson left her job as Regional Manager at VisitEngland to become Press and PR Consultant at Aviareps. You can reach her by mailing this address:

BBT Online Club 100 welcomed the following new member last month:
  • Maris Kuklis, Senior Manager UK & Europe, Dubai Business Events

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!

This month’s Something Funny plays tricks on your eyes. Ok, it’s a car commercial, but it offers a couple of stunning optical illusions you simply wouldn’t have noticed if the car hadn’t moved. Check it out.
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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