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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 87th edition. All of our take5 articles are advertorial free.

Why you should love the Meetings industry
5 things event planners are tired of
Meetings industry

American Meeting Planner Sarah Bigorowski just published a Linkedin article on why we should all love the Meetings industry. She comes with some good reasons too.

Take a look: it might be that little push you need to keep yourself going today. Let’s find out what makes us all special. Click here.

Do you often wonder why so many clients of yours seem to be plain stupid (excuse our words)? Well apparently you’re not alone.

Eventmanagerblog just published a very well written article on the five things event planners are sick and tired of. Take a look and find out whether you agree with them. Click here.
So much wisdom packed into so few words
wisdom wisdom

You have no doubt noticed how much we love quotes at BBT Online - all that truth and wisdom packed into so few words.

Many of you certainly like them too, judging by all the likes we got last year on our FB page for the series of quotes taken with different MICE personalities.

For many years now, a quote has been posted at the top of each Take5 newsletter but there are just so many, we collected quite a few we like a lot - over 80.

Click here. Which one is your favourite? Let us know at

wisdom wisdom wisdom
BBT Online in the Philippines: Destination report

Our reporter Jonathan took off to Manila last month, to attend the ASEAN Tourism Forum 2016. ATF is a trade show focused on the ten members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Every year it is held in another member state. Because the lovely Philippines hosted this year’s fair, BBT Online did not only attend the event, but went on a simply marvellous post tour to El Nido and the Bacuit archipelago as well: one of the most magical places we've ever visited.

Read our full report here.

Philippines Philippines Philippines
It’s better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation!
Your event wherever you want it

So you took a walk through the woods and you just discovered a magical clearing, with mushrooms and Bambi deer and stuff like that – you know.
Wouldn’t it be grand to hold a meeting here, you think?

But alas, woodland critters tend not to cater to the MICE industry – there are no meeting rooms available here. Why not rent a Terra Pavilion? These are neat mobile event locations you can simply put anywhere you could possibly want.

They take just 2 hours to set up and can accommodate a dinner for up to 60 people.

event wherever event wherever event wherever
A bed burrowed in books
Urban Winery Hotel in Stockholm

Book and Bed is an interesting hotel in Tokyo. The owners really tried to sell the place: ‘you will find no comfortable mattresses, no fluffy pillows and no warm down duvets.’

What they do offer is a book reader’s heaven, where you can quietly doze off while reading until you finally fall asleep. The design is as weird as it gets: the beds are located in small niches IN the actual bookshelves.

Sounds like an interesting budget accommodation option for someone in want of a unique experience in expensive Tokyo.


The newly opened Winery Hotel in Stockholm – Sweden’s first combination of an urban winery and a boutique hotel – looks like an interesting new venue to us. They produce their own wine, and the winery is the heart of the whole building.

This is reflected in the architecture and the interiors, inspired by old Brooklyn factory buildings: lots of brick walls, concrete ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows. In contrast, grape-green walls and golden-brown cork floors create a warm ambience.

The Winery Hotel offers three meeting rooms as well, and is located close to the city centre.

We publish much more news than you can read and see in our monthly Take5 Newsletter. Follow us on our Facebook page.
Many changes at the Holiday Inn Brussels Airport

For Holiday Inn Brussels Airport, 2016 saw the start of a new and exciting concept: the development of ‘K’, the new ‘kreative’ restaurant as part of the SKOJ philosophy

Housing a blend of ‘surprising, kreativ, original and joyful influences’, this unique concept is guaranteed to tickle all of your senses. The thoughtful interior of wood, metal and glass completes your inspiring experience. Don’t forget your Starbucks coffee on the way out.

Beside all these exciting changes, there's also a new GM: Dion Maes. Dion, welcome back to Belgium!

Holiday Inn Holiday Inn Holiday Inn

ligne World Congress - Berlin World Congress - Berlin

Classic train trips through South Africa

Rovos Rail offers a couple of wonderfully furnished trains to travel South Africa in style. They come with elegant carriages and a wonderfully decorated dining coach.

While travelling you don’t just sleep in the usual beds; you get a whole suite. There are 36 of these rooms – some of the most spacious you’ll ever see on a train – able to accommodate up to 72 travellers.

A train trip like this is probably one of the nicest ways to discover one of the world’s most beautiful countries.

trains trains trains trains
Invitation educational trip:
Discover Forte Village with BBT Online
New East African MICE fair
Forte Village

BBT Online, Forte Village and Alitalia invite you to sample the possibilities of the biggest conference and exhibition venue in the Mediterranean in two unforgettable nights from 26 to 28 May.

Set just 40 km from the Sardinian capital's Cagliari airport, nestled in over 40 hectares of tropical gardens and situated a stone's throw from the clear blue sea, Forte Village was awarded the title 'World's Best Resort’ at the World travel Awards for the past 18 consecutive years.
2016 sees the renovation of the resort, comprising 8 superb hotels, 8 villas, 44 exclusive suites and 21 restaurants, sure to cater to any appetite.
Interested? Send us a mail at

Note that this invitation is only meant for official Club 100Belgian meetings and incentive agents, and that BBT Online Club 100 members will get priority. Not a member yet?

Join the Club for only 100 euro per year (as well for suppliers as planners).

Click here to see the great trailer of the renewed Forte Village.

Forte Village

A new trade show focused on the MICE industry will be launched this June, 9 - 11 in Ethiopia. The First MICE East Africa Forum and Expo in Addis Ababa has the goal to put the country on the African MICE map: attracting more international meetings and facilitating MICE Events to ensure they will be successful.
Mice AfricaOrganisers are inviting more than 150 hosted buyers - with a focus on European conference and incentive travel organisers - for a three-day visit. If your application is accepted, return airfare, hotel accommodation and Forum registration will be offered.

Apply via mail here: 

The Mile High Club Mile High Club

We at BBT Online are curious to know who of you are member of the Mile High Club. Are you? In our own team we have 2 members, probably not the ones you expect.

It’s one of the few clubs that is free of charge. The magazine Jetsetter published 7 surprising facts about this club. Click here to read them.


New meeting concept in the French Provence
Goodlife in Belgium at the Beach
Dolce Fregate

Dolce Fregate Provence offers a new meeting concept for its ‘Bastides’: 15 exclusive hamlets built with natural materials in the heart of their golf course.

They now offer an all-inclusive 3D seminar: breakfast with local flavours, a morning jog along the coastline or Pilates besides the pool, meals from fresh baskets delivered by a nearby farm and a fully equipped, naturally lit meeting room.
All inclusive from €238 exc. VAT for a single room.

Dolce Fregate

We know, it’s still winter but we cannot wait till it’s summer and visit this venue. Goodlife Beach in Stekene is a beach & lounge club offering exotic drinks, a tapas & salad bar, burgers & oven-baked pizza.

It’s located on the De Wal domain, transformed into one giant beach with tons of white sand. Sit yourself in one of the lounge chairs, order a nice cocktail and be happy with the fact that you don’t have to go all the way to the seaside to enjoy some summer vibes.

Escape boredom in an escape room

Looking for a great and fun new teambuilding activity that stimulates your grey cells as well? Why not try an escape room.

Essentially you and your team get ‘locked’ inside a closed room. To get out you need to solve puzzles, and do so in time: a fun video game experience, but in real life. If you want it to be a bit more challenging, you can opt for the prison break theme; puzzles combined with physical tests.

More than 350 escape room locations are already open for business in Belgium and Holland.

Escape Escape Escape
It’s better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation!
Brussels Mice Day 2016 is getting closer:
Latest news
Business travel can be grueling
Plein Publiek

Brussels Mice Day 2016 is getting closer. Here, we present a round-up of the latest news about the event.

Education Programme Brussels Mice Day 2016

Brussels MICE DayThere will be a strong focus on education this year, with two not-to-be-missed keynote presentations. The programme begins in the morning, from 10.00 to 11.30 with a talk for association planners entitled ‘The Importance of “Value-Focused” Marketing for Associations’.
Click here to read more.

Business travel can be gruelling. A dash to the airport, quickly writing a presentation on the plane, then a taxi to the hotel or meeting, sandwiches at the conference table for lunch and only getting back home after the kids have gone to bed. Journeys can be long.

According to tClara, a company dedicated to deliver high-value analyses of corporate travel data, the top 5% of business travelers spend an average of 214 hours on an airplane every year with 65% of this on personal time in the evenings and Agendaweekends. This all means that some travelers are away from home for around 2.5 months a year, spending more time traveling than on paid annual leave.

Click here to read more.


BBT Online’s Bucket list

Every month we ask two prominent MICE personalities who are member of BBT Online’s Club 100 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?

Brigitte bucket Brigitte bucket Brigitte

This month we asked B-Ways’ Brigitte Van Vlierden (58) and our very own and brand new writer Colin Moors (52). Click on their names for their full lists.

Colin Moors Marc Lagrange Bucket Marc Lagrange
The BBT Online team is expanding

ColinRecently we expanded our team with the honourable Colin Moors. As a journalist, writer and IT guy, his talents are diverse and useful. As, a UK citizen living in Belgium for the past 16 years, he brings in-depth knowledge of the English language to the writing team, along with a very British sense of humour. He worked on several high-quality Brussels-based magazines as a writer and an editor and has written for many trade magazines and B2B publications.
When he’s not hammering the keyboards, he can be found indulging his main passion in life: food and drink. Whether it’s cooking it, writing about it or eating it, he’s happiest when he has a good dinner to look forward to. Welcome to the team, Colin!

Real Short !!

Consult BBT Online's MICE agenda, and don't miss any event.
10 March, Brussels: Brussels Mice Day. Join the trade show/workshop in Brussels dedicated to business and MICE travel.
14-15 March, Paris: City Event. The annual forum for sporting events - postponed because of the Paris attacks - will now take place in March. Representatives of host locations, sports federations, event organisers, brands and sponsors from all over the world meet here to plan national and international
21-22 March, Park Spoor Noord, Antwerp: Venuez 16. This two day hospitality event offers a look at the newest trends in the North European food service industry.
23-24 March, Jaarbeurs Utrecht: Event 16. The 18th edition of this fair concentrates on Creation & Design, Knowledge & Content, Atmosphere & Taste and Image & Sound.
24 March, Kinepolis Antwerp: Bea Awards. Attend the annual high mass of the Belgian event industry, celebrating and awarding the best among us.
10-12 April, Estrel Hotel & Convention Center, Berlin: World Associations Congress. Creating Value Now and Developing for the Future. Register here:
Join BBT Online on Tuesday, July 5 2016 for the 9th edition of our B2B MICE Speed-Date workshop at Strantwerpen in Antwerp. Registration is open, click here.

Do you know that we publish much more news than you can read in our newsletter? Every day we post exiting news on our FB page. Click here.
Are you lacking that bit of inspiration to take your events to the next level? Eventmanagerblog just published a list of five ways to be an amazing event planner: click here.
Also interesting are these ten tips to organise a successful ‘ask me anything’ session: click here.
From 27 February, you can visit the Salvador Dali expo in Liège, after successful runs in Paris, Tokyo, Shanghai, London and Singapore.
MCI announced the opening of its first office in the Colombian capital Bogotá. The company has six other offices in Latin America, in Argentina, Brazil and Chile.
This March, the MIMA Museum opens its doors to the public in Molenbeek. Located in parts of the old Belle Vue Brewery on the Brussels Canal, it will offer insights into street art, graphical design, music and skating & tattoo culture. Works of contemporary artists like Banksy and Invader can be enjoyed here.
Skift and Travelmedia published a free report on Instagram strategies for travel brands. Click here to download it.
Travelmedia also published its Travel Trends for 2016: a trend report on tourism. Click here for a free download.

Mercure Hotel Oostende is a brand new venue in Ostend. It offers 95 rooms and is located just 250m from the beach, close to the Casino and the Ensor House. It comes with a meeting room able to host 25 people.
The brand new Radisson Red in Brussels, the first of its kind, offers a new hospitality concept connecting people through art, fashion and music. Its guest and meeting rooms were designed to fuel creativity. The official opening of the world’s first Radisson Red is planned in April this year.
Hotel Barsey by Warwick on the Avenue Louise was completely renovated. You are invited to come and discover its brand new style.
Since May last year, part of the old Belle-Vue brewery in Molenbeek has served as an industrial looking hotel with 150 rooms. Located right on the Brussels canal, it offers one of the nicest views in the capital. The venue was converted into a passive, energy conserving building.
The Artevelde Hotel – close to AA Gent’s Ghelamco Arena and built by the same group – is a yet-to-be-built 4-star venue offering 249 rooms. It will look futuristic with lot of glass and an interesting U-shape. It will open its doors in the summer of 2017.
Starting this February, Ghent will have its own indoor glamping site as well. Treck Hostel combines the charm of a camping trip with the comfort of a warm bed. It can be found in the renovated brick-yard on the outskirts of the city and offers themed caravans, dorms and a place to put your own tent.
This February, Four Seasons organised a lunch in Brussels aimed at incentive agents. Ten hoteliers from all over the world were present, from Paris to Vancouver, Texas and Casablanca. The following cities opened a new Four Seasons this year: Casablanca, Begota, Dubai, Ubu Dhabi, Honolulu, New York, Florida, London, Seoul and Bogota. See more info,
The new and fantastically designed Hilton Amsterdam Airport Schiphol opened for business with a huge party on 9 February. The venue offers 433 rooms, a grand ballroom and an entire conference centre.
Why just go to the front desk when there are much cooler ways to check into a hotel? Jetsetter has published a list of the craziest ones here.

This summer – from early May until late October – United Airlines offers two daily flights from Brussels to New York. Perfect for visit to the Big Apple. The extra flight will leave at 11.30 am.
United Airlines enlisted award-winning celebrity chef Art Smith to uplift its customers’ experience at United Club and Lounge locations worldwide. He will contribute to the lounge menu planning and design.
Seatswap is a controversial new app allowing travellers to switch their airplane seats with others on the same flight – for a fee of course. Interesting if you’re desperate for that aisle seat.
Award Wallet is a handy tool keeping track of all of your reward programmes in one place: frequent flyer miles, hotel & credit card points.
Members of Alpha Charlie 3 (a group of chartered flight advisors) noticed a demand growth of no less than 24% in rental planes compared to the previous year. The foremost reason for this growth is safety – when someone is using a plane of their own, they can be 100% sure of what happens to it.
Initiated by the Movement on the Ground Foundation, Sunweb and Transavia have decided to open a service line to the Greek island of Lesbos, making it accessible for relief aid.

ANWB Reizen expands its activities in Flanders by appointing Lieven De Craemer (49) as their Belgian Director. Previously, De Craemer worked for VTB-VAB Reizen, Touralp/Pierre et Vacances, TUI Travel Center and Jetair Center.
Swiss star chef Benoit Violier, whose l’Hotel de Ville de Crissier was recently awarded the title of world’s best restaurant, was found dead in his own home. Cause of death is presumed to be suicide.
Patrick Culot (60) recently passed away after an emergency operation. He was a well-known figure in the incentive industry and founder and owner of V.I.P. Travel international. He held managerial positions at (amongst others) TUI Belgium, TQ3 Travel Solutions Belgium, BCD Meetings & Incentives, BTS Travel and Omnia Travel. The BBT Online team would like to express its sincere condolences to Patrick’s family and friends.
Holiday Inn Brussels Airport appointed Dion Maes as its new GM.

BBT Online Club 100 welcomed the following new members last month:
  • Valerie Devaleriola, Chef de Service, Atout France

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. Having a bad day? Don’t worry; even the best of us screw up once in a while. These television personalities for example. Enjoy this very funny compilation of bloopers.


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