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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!

Enjoy our 85th edition. All of our take5 articles are advertorial free.

BBT Online puts you in the picture

Two weeks ago, BBT Online started with a brand new column.
Because it's always good to get to know each other, we’ll showcase one interesting MICE personality per day on our Facebook page for 30 days. They'll be holding a quote important to them and tell us why.

All of the pictures were made by Luc Hilderson, who attended IBTM with BBT Online’s publisher Karin de Graauw.

Click here to see the whole series, and scroll down. The best is yet to come.

Another great meetings venue in Ghent
Rooftop city farm in Brussels

Red Loft is a new, atmospheric venue for meetings, seminars and workshops, right next to Ghent’s historic centre. It offers lunch and dinner as well.

Red Loft is located in a wonderfully restored 19th century textile factory and offers a tastefully decorated multifunctional space equipped with all the latest technology. A nice courtyard offers a green bit of peacefulness in the lively city centre. 

Guests can spend the night in the venue’s ‘Studio 17’ studios. Red Loft can accommodate events of up to 130



Foodmet – the giant new food hall next to the Anderlecht Abattoir opened just this year – will get a 4.000m² urban farm on its rooftop in 2016: a first in Europe as far as city farming goes.

It will have small gardens and greenhouses, and will produce fish, vegetables, fruits and herbs. The rooftop farm will come with a restaurant with terrace (they are still looking for a partner to open it).

Foodmet houses more than 50 bio food stores. Click here for more info.

shoulder to shoulder
We publish much more news than what you can read and see in our monthly Take5 Newsletter. Follow us on our Facebook page.
What does the number 7 means to you?

A new pop-up restaurant in the heart of Brussels. Together with 21 guests, you can enjoy an exclusive night at the BMW Brand Store Brussels with culinary masterpieces. In a luxurious and contemporary décor and with the number 7 serving as a recurring theme.

From the moment you step out of the lift on the, so called '77th floor', you and your guests will find yourself in an atmosphere that holds promises of the technology of the future. Until end January 2016.

loft7 loft7 loft7 loft7
Events on the water

We can’t help it: we really like boats. Who doesn’t?

Looking for a unique location for your next event? Le Formidable is a luxury ship especially adapted to accommodate events. It can welcome 600 guests and offers multiple spaces and rooms that can be combined, creating lots of different possibilities for business events, presentations, gala diners or parties.

Le Formidable has multiple places to dock in West Brabant (Holland) and in the North of Belgium.

Events on the water Events on the water Events on the water
New players on the restaurant market
Lots of nice places to stay at Nice2stay
New players

Concepts like Airb&b and Uber changed the hotel & taxi industry forever, and the restaurant industry is facing a similar challenger.

More and more people are cooking dinner for tourists and locals at their own home at very competitive prices. In France alone, there are more than 3.000 of these clandestine restaurants, and more and more are popping up constantly.

Positive evolution or not?
Read more here.


Nice2stay is a website specialised in providing unique and tasteful venues in Italy and Spain, including B&B’s, self-catering apartments and villas.

Every property is handpicked to make sure it fits the high standards of the rest of the collection. Nice2stay acts as a link between the owners of the property and the clients.
They will give advice and provide you with the necessary details to find the venue you are looking for.
Dining on a horse carriage
A whole lotta venues
horse carriage

Looking for a completely new dining experience? Look no further than ‘Le Chariot à Fondue’. If you book them, you can enjoy a tasty fondue dinner, horse carriagewhile passing quietly through the beautiful landscape of the Ardennes in a horse carriage pulled by two massive Ardennes horses.

There might be fancier places to eat, but sometimes fancy is not what you’re looking for. Fun on the other hand, seems guaranteed.
Restauration Nouvelle

Restauration Nouvelle is a family business with over 30 years of experience, offering catering and venues for up to 2,000 guests. They have 23 beautiful and original venues in their catalogue.

Their newest venue is the Brasserie de la Presse on the Rue Royale in Brussels, with a lovely interior design full of contrasts. It offers rich, traditional cuisine with a lot of local classics. Brasserie de la Presse can accommodate events of up to 50 guests.

Check out their site for the full list of venues and services, it’s quite impressive.

It’s better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation!
Urban Camping in Amsterdam
Urban Camping Urban Camping Urban Camping

Summer might be still far away, but this great idea is worth mentioning already.

Two years ago, an urban camping site popped up in Amsterdam, and since then it’s been moving to another part of the city every year. It’s an open air art exhibition that offers a place to spend the night as well – you’ll sleep in the actual art installations.

A brand new way of discovering the Dutch capital

Urban Camping Urban Camping Urban Camping
Not enough quiet hotel rooms
Ten event concepts you’ll want to duplicate
quiet hotel rooms

Noise is one of the most common complaints among travellers. Still, plenty of hotels don’t properly insulate their rooms, this according to the Sound Insulation Knowledge Centre, initiators of the Quiet Room label: the only label of its kind.

Hotels are interested in the QR-Label but often don’t want to spend lots of time and money to get it. That’s why the Centre now developed a new concept shortening and streamlining the insulation process using soundproofed products. All necessary adaptions will be done at once and the room will be certified with the QR-label immediately.

Experiences to remember, that’s what most delegates want to take home after an event.

Eventbrite came out with research results revealing that 78% of millennials would rather spend their money on live experiences than on material things. A very positive evolution for event planners, but it won’t be easy to accommodate them, since audiences are getting more demanding every year.

To help you on your way, published a list of ten awesome event concepts you’ll want to try out for yourself, 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.
Guest Column: Does your mother know?

Hugo SlimbrouckLast month, BBT Online started giving industry professionals wanting to get their opinion out a platform to do just that. This month’s guest writer is Ovation Global DMC’s Hugo Slimbrouck.

Hugo: "Does your mother know what you are doing for a living? You haven’t told her that you’re working in tourism, have you? You may be using the same vehicles like hotels, trains and aircraft to support our activities, but that's not what our industry is about, right?"

So which industry are we working in then? What's the purpose of this sector? Can you explain to your mother what you are doing for business? I guess that when you tried, the acronym MICE didn’t help much, did it? It is definitely not going to help you to convey your story to someone who is not working within our industry.

Interesting read behind this link.

MICE goes Fair Trade – It’s time our industry sticks together

In the meetings and events industry everybody travels a lot. What comes with traveling, is the realisation that we were very lucky to be born in this little country in Western Europe. It gave us a huge head start from birth. Because we feel so privileged, we want to give something back.

Fair TradeOn Tuesday 8 December BBT Online, Eventonline & MPI Belgium (Something positive has been achieved through these sad times: more solidarity than ever before!) will privatise Midi Station for just one day, a fancy bar/restaurant (designed by Pinto) where you can enjoy an entertaining evening out with your friends and colleagues (Exceptional in the MICE sector, for once you can bring your partner or good friend with you). In a separate room you will be able to buy all the Fair Trade products you need.

The doors will open at 4pm, for those who are not free during the evening and do want to show their support. But the real party will start from 7pm on. For obvious security reasons, you will get a bar code verifying you as a guest after registration. You will need to bring this code in order to get in.

The entrance fee is 10 euro. Inscription obligatory, click here. It’s in times like these our industry needs to stick together. The purpose of the event is still Fair-Trade primarily but unfortunately it also takes on another meaning. If the MICE sector stops attending event, we can’t expect our clients to. We need to set an example.

PS. Perhaps not everyone associates a Fair-Trade Oxfam evening with an evening out filled with DJ's, music and fashion photographers. But think of it as hot dogs and champagne - not a logical combination but definitely the new big hype!

So, you want to be a trendsetter? You want to create beauty? You want to support Fair-Trade? You want to show that in our MICE industry we are more determined than ever before? Join us!

Park Inn by Radisson Brussels Midi Hotel (5 minutes walk from the venue) offers 10 rooms at the Friends & Family rate 70 euro incl breakfast and city accommodation tax (double or single occupancy). You can book through with the code BBT-FAIRTRADE.

Fair Trade Fair Trade Fair Trade
BBT Online’s 8th B2B Speed-date workshop

Join us on Monday, 11 January 2016 for the 8th edition of our B2B Speed-Date Workshop @ the brand new Pentahotel Brussels City Centre – completely transformed into Brussels’ most exclusive Club 100speakeasy for a day.

Chat with your colleagues and enjoy some drinks and a festive dinner, but most of all meet a brand new selection of surprising and exclusive A-list suppliers.

We’ll welcome you at 5 pm for a drink and some snacks. The workshop will start at 5.30 pm, followed by dinner. The evening will end around 10 pm. As usual, we’ll take care of the entertainment and a lot of wonderful surprises!

Interested? Register now, fill in the subscription form, click here.
Note that this event is meant for professional Benelux incentive, event agents and PCOs only.

Speed-date Workshop

It’s better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation!
The greatest speakeasies in NYC and Belgium

They were some of New York’s biggest secrets, hidden in dark alleys behind boarded-up windows: the legendary speakeasies of the Big Apple. These swinging but illegal cocktail bars were of course most popular during prohibition in the 20s, but some still exist today.

Some are still original, restored to their former glory; others are more modern. Some are quiet, others raucous, with live music playing and customers singing. Want to discover a couple of them by yourself? You can. The Greatest Speakeasies in NYC was just published as an e-book: the first in a series of Secret City Guides. Get it here.

Belgium has its speakeasies as well. Why not visit Chambers of the Curious in Brussels, The Pharmacy in Ghent or Private Bar in Antwerp.

Inspired by all of these great bars, we’ll turn Pentahotel Brussels City Centre into our own speakeasy for a day during our 8th B2B Speed-date Workshop on 11 January, click here.


BBT Online’s Bucket list
Anouk Carryn Anouk Carryn Bucket list Anouk Carryn Bucket list

Every month we ask two BBT Online Club 100 members 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 asked incentive house A.C.T.E Travel & Events Anouk Carryn (49) & Marion Flipse, Marketing & Communication consultant (52). Click on their names to see their answers.

Marion Flipse Marion Flipse Bucket Marion Flipse Bucket
Who doesn’t like funny animal pictures?
funny animal funny animal funny animal

A shy seal, a laughing mountain goat and a gorilla giving you the finger: the finalists of the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards are guaranteed to make you laugh. It’s the first time the prize for funniest animal picture is awarded.

1,500 participants from 52 countries joined the competition for a chance to win a photo safari in Tanzania and a Nikon D750.

funny animal funny animal funny animal
Real Short !!

A small request. For years we’re asking you - Those who organise events for the professional event sector - to share your events with us as we are a neutral medium. Most of you do and we can then share it in our MICE agenda - thanks for that!
Some are still not taking this opportunity to promote their events, which means nobody wins, as different events for the same small group of MICE organizers will take place on the same date. Ours is a small market, so please consider informing us about your event so we can add it to the Agenda. This will avoid date clashes, which means more participants for your event.
8 December, The MICE sector (a joint venture of BBT Online, Eventonline & MPI Belgium) goes Fair-Trade. More info, click here. An event for the whole MICE industry to support Oxfam and other Fair-Trade organisations.
Join BBT Online on Monday, 11 January 2016 for the 8th edition of our B2B MICE Speed-date workshop at the new Pentahotel Brussels City Centre!
January 14, MICE brothers Wood & Wauters, the dynamic duo behind Eventonline, Venues Online & MICE Magazine are throwing a party.
14-15 January, Marrakech: Meetings Morocco. Register as a hosted buyer for the premier Moroccan MICE trade show.
7-9 February, Copenhagen, Denmark: EMEC 2016. Registration for the 2016 European Meetings & Events Conference is now open. Click here to do so.
9-11 February, Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, Abu Dhabi: IBTM Arabia 2016. Buyers can now apply for hosted status for this leading Arabian MICE industry event.
12 March, Beursgebouw Eindhoven: Ibiza Xperience Fair. Discover the magic of Ibiza in Holland. Experience the best venues, brands and vibes from the most beautiful Spanish island in one unique location.
14 March, Brussels Event Brewery, Brussels: TEDxBrussels. World class speakers gather in Brussels to spread their ideas about the deeper future of technology, entertainment, design, social life and nature. Register here:
Consult BBT Online's MICE agenda, and don't miss any event.

Destination DC, Dubai Association Centre, Singapore Exhibition & Convention Bureau and Visit Brussels announced their Global Association Hubs Partnership on IMEX America. The goal of the partnership is to grow the presence of international associations in the partner cities, support relevant key activities towards international associations in their respective regions and to promote the partner cities to the decision makers in charge of global strategies and expansion plans.
Sparksight published a list of the most common corporate event mistakes and how to prevent them. Better take a look.
Belgium won another prestigious award! On the European Best Event Awards, the Battle of Waterloo 1815 (a massive re-enactment celebrating the 200th anniversary of Napoleon’s demise) was awarded with the title of Best Event in Europe. The Battle of Waterloo re-enactment was organised by VO Communicatie, Verhulst Events and Luc Petit Création.
XP Amsterdam is an online travel guide with a twist:
The city of Genk now has its own convention bureau. Take a look at their website here.
A new museum will open in Brussels in March 2016. MIMA (Millennium Iconoclast Museum of Art) will occupy the former Belle-Vue brewery building along the canal. It will mostly showcase accessible and viral contemporary creations such as street art, and will be available for events (1,200m² of space is available).
Algiers will open a state of the art International Convention Centre in the spring of 2016. It will contain an amphitheatre for over 6,000 delegates and will have a total capacity of about 10,000. The configuration of the space will allow CIC to host multiple events at the same time.
Global meetings and events spend is expected to increase in 2016 for the first time in five years, a study has found. Click here for the report.

Brussels just came out with a gigantic and unique document called Caféplan Brussels. It features literally every bar in the city and a in large part of the surrounding boroughs: 1251 addresses in total.
Wu Wei is the first Belgian Wellbeing centre with a spa, a restaurant, a cooking atelier, seminar- and meeting rooms and a hotel all under one roof. Sounds great, doesn’t it? You can visit it for yourself in the city of Kortrijk.
Looking for a nice ‘glamping’ (luxury camping) spot but don’t want to travel far? Check out Ecochique @ Westouter, right outside of Ypres. You don’t even have to leave Brussels for your glamping experience, since the Vintage Hotel offers luxury camping in an Airstream caravan.
Mechelen is the perfect spot for a meeting or dinner, right between Antwerp and Brussels. Why not go for a glass of wine and a snack at Unwined? They offer more than 70 different brands and are very knowledgeable about the wines they sell.
The Augustin in Brussels on the Avenue de Stalingrad close to the Grand Place, got completely renovated. 47 beautiful & spacious rooms look out over the city or the garden terrace.
A new boutique hotel called The Roosevelt was opened this spring in Middelburg. It is located in a municipal monument, right in the heart of the Zeeland capital, two hundred metres from the main shopping street and the famous Middelburg Abbey. Middelburg is a city full of imposing monuments, elegant facades and medieval streets.
The legendary hotel ‘De Filosoof’ in Amsterdam closed its doors on 1 November this year. Mid 2016 it will reopen as the first Pillows Hotel in the Dutch capital. Pillows – a new city hotel concept by Sandton Hotels – offers luxury, warmth and comfort in an easy going atmosphere.
With a huge € 11 billion move, Marriott International took over Starwood Hotels & Resorts. By doing this, it created the largest hotel business in the world, offering 1.1 million rooms and 5.500 hotels in more than 100 countries.
The Sister is a new organic bar (they offer food as well) in Brussels where you can also enjoy good music. It offers a broad selection of artisanal Belgian Beers, and offers beer tastings for VIP groups. It can be privatised for events of up to 200 guests.

Coming summer, Vueling starts flying from Eindhoven and Maastricht-Aachen. The first connections will be Barcelona and El Prat.
Starting next summer, Brussels Airlines will offer five flights per week to Belfast City. Perfect for a visit to the birthplace of the Titanic, and it’s beautiful new Titanic Belfast Museum

Ovation Global DMC named John Iannini, Vice President of Melia Hotels International, Meeting & Events as winner of the 2015 Huggabilty Award.
SITE Announced its 2016 International Board of Directors. Rajeev Kohli from CIS and Joint Managing Director of Creative Travel Pvt New Delhi, will become the first SITE Board President from Asia.

Laughing is good for you. This time we visit our Dutch neighbours. Click here.
If the MICE sector stops attending events, we can’t expect our clients to – we need to set an example!

A lot of events, from small business meetings to huge concerts are being cancelled but we should stop being afraid. BBT Online had some cancellations for our event ‘MICE goes Fair-Trade’ evening on December 8 in Brussels. For a while, we considered holding it outside of Brussels. We didn’t give in – we will still hold the event in Brussels and will make it even better than before.
This event is for us, the events industry. If we stop attending events, we can’t expect our clients to – we need to set an example!

Karin de Graauw – publisher BBT Online


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