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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 88th edition. All of our take5 articles are advertorial free.

It is with utter disgust and deep sadness that we heart of the killings in Brussels. We are first and foremost relieved that all the team are accounted for and safe and would like to extend our condolences and thoughts to those who have lost loved ones.

These are difficult times, not just for MICE companies such as ours but for everyone. All sectors are affected when such a tragedy occurs. We would like to strongly reiterate our thoughts published following the attacks in Paris: We are not scared. We will continue to ensure all our events take place and will encourage everyone in the meetings and events sector to do the same. We need to present a united front, standing in solidarity against the few whose world vision is blinded by hatred. By carrying on with our everyday lives, we take the power from the terrorists and take it back for ourselves. People and businesses move forward, even through difficult times and that is what we shall continue to do.

The last couple of days BBT Online asked several persons to share their thoughts on the Brussels attacks. How do you think the future of the sector will be in Brussels. Who should cover the bill in the event of a terrorist attack? In the hotel sector 12,000 jobs are at risk. Read our special edition, the MICE sector reacts, click here.

Karin de Graauw – Publisher BBT Online
Invitation: Discover Meetjeland
Wallonia Food Festival & Symposium

MeetinGent & East Flanders is planning special discovery days on 22 and 29 April. On 22 April, you can visit Ghent and discover some of the city’s lesser known spots.

On 29 April, you can visit Meetjesland and experience the incentive and meeting possibilities of the area: you’ll ride a steam train, take part in a cooking workshop, have lots of sporting stops and visit several meeting venues.

Info and inscription, click here.
Food Festival

Namur was recently awarded the title of European Capital of Gastronomy. Why not celebrate the occasion with a fantastic food festival? From 4 to 7 June, Generation W presents Mindjî (‘to have dinner’, in the Walloon dialect), organised at the Citadel de Namur.

Two dozen chefs from 20 different countries will join ranks with the Generation W (=‘Wallonia’) cooks. There will be tastings, demonstrations and conferences all around town.
Events in a brewery
Club des V

Antwerp city brewery De Koninck was recently completely renovated.

It now comes with a brand new interactive visitor experience, and a couple of exciting new rooms and spaces for events. Their De Koninck and Duvel bars are able to accommodate between 50 and 100 guests, and their Brewer’s House and the VIP Cellar are two extra unique multipurpose rooms.

Take a look here for rates and pictures:
Club des V

The Club des V in Brussels is an exclusive private club dedicated to the world of motor racing. The space brings together exceptional pieces from the collections of some of its members; racing cars, models, signed helmets, etc.

The club and its amenities can be rented for private or corporate events, dinners, conventions and incentives. It offers 500m² of space, enough to accommodate cocktail parties of up to 500 people and seated dinners up to 50. There’s private parking nearby.
It’s better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation!
Belgian brawn in Paris
Ten outdoor things you can only experience in Belgium
Belgian brawn

The website ‘Vlamingen in de Wereld’ just interviewed Sofia L. Vandaele (42). Sofia is a hotel manager who has been working abroad for 13 years now.

She built herself quite a career in the international hotel industry, leading a 54 storey venue in New York when it was built up. Recently, she accepted another challenge, becoming GM for Hilton Paris Opera. She turned the old Concorde Saint-Lazare from a ruin into a luxury venue in the heart of the city of love.

Click the link to read the whole article (in Dutch).

Belgium might be small and the weather isn’t what you’d call uplifting, but it’s full of unique and wonderful activities.

Ride a go-cart on the boardwalk, get lost in a Agendacornfield labyrinth, have dinner in the sky, visit some of the world’s best festivals, etc - only in Belgium!

Take a look at the full list here.
A house on the beach
Your event in an 18th century castle
house on the beach

What would be better than staying in a nice place right on the beach? Well, in Kamperland, a village in Zeeland, the Netherlands you can do just that. The beach homes of Roompot are equipped with every comfort needed for a quality stay. You can actually fall asleep watching the surf from your terrace. If only summer was still here.
You can also find (smaller) beach homes in Katwijk, not far from Amsterdam.

Hof Ter Linden

Hof Ter Linden in Edegem (close to Antwerp), is a beautiful romantic castle with a luscious garden. It can be used for all sorts of events from 10 up to 1,000 guests.

The venue has multiple unique chambers and halls suitable for meetings as well as gala parties, and the domain surrounding it is a versatile space for teambuilding activities.
A room with a seaside view
Virtual credit cards
Hotel Vesper

Hotel Vesper is a lovely boutique hotel in Noordwijk on the beautiful Dutch coast, offering a splendid mix of classical and contemporary elements. It houses 27 spacious rooms, all of them unique and with design furniture, handmade mattresses and luxury bathrooms.

The hotel has an a la carte restaurant and offers three different meeting rooms; the largest is able to accommodate 24 people.

Hotel Vesper

According to BCD Travel, Virtual Credit Cards are the payment method of the future for business travellers. This new technology simplifies the battle against credit card fraud and is adapted to the new European legislature.

Considering  two in three organisations were victims or potential victims of credit card fraud last year, this is a good evolution. Virtual credit cards make it more difficult to pay for business expenses with individual cards as well. A programme like Virtual Payment Automation (VPA) creates a one-time only virtual credit card for every hotel booking.

To read more, click here.

shoulder to shoulder
Events at the beach
Werelds aan het Strand Werelds aan het Strand

'Werelds aan het Strand' is a versatile and flexible venue fitting for meetings, brainstorm sessions, product presentations, dining or parties.

It’s suitable for large (up to 1,100 people) and small events. You can find it next to the brand new Punt-West Hotel & Beach resort in Ouddorp, South-Holland (the Netherlands - easy to combine with a trip to Amsterdam), making it possible to organise events over multiple days. Most of all, it’s located right at the beach.

It looks absolutely stunning.

Werelds aan het Strand Werelds aan het Strand Werelds aan het Strand


The difference between a DMC and an Event Planner
SITE Global Conference 2016

Lots of people, some of them in the industry for years, are still not able to define what exactly the difference between an event planner and a destination management company is (the names should give you a couple of good hints).

To finally make everything crystal clear, please read this interesting article on the topic.

SITE Global Conference 2016

After Rotterdam in 2014 and Delhi in 2015, the Site Global Conference now sets sail to the small Central American nation of Panama. From 5 to 7 November, it will welcome several hundred delegates for a couple of days of education, networking and discoveries.

Panama is a country with very diverse cultures and beliefs, full of vibrant colours and festivals. It has connected the world’s two biggest oceans for years, but now it will connect MICE representatives from all over the world as well.

More info here.

BBT Online was last year on a famtrip to Panama with the DMC Quetzal Motivo. We only can highly recommend the destination.

Behind this link you can read about our adventures, click here
We publish much more news than you can read and see in our monthly Take5 Newsletter. Follow us on our Facebook page.
Hugo Slimbrouck at Convene and the art of Incentive Travel

Hugo SlimbrouckOvation Global DMC’s Hugo Slimbrouck was one of many speakers on Convene 2016, an annual trade show organised in Vilnius showcasing the MICE potential of the Baltic Region.

Because we weren’t able to attend this very well-organised fair ourselves this year (we did so in 2015: read our extensive report in our destinations archive), we asked our friend Hugo to write down his impressions.

Click the link to read his story.

The Art of Incentive Travel

Topic of Hugo’s presentation was ‘The Art of Incentive Travel’. What is incentive travel? Why would anyone use it? How do you design an effective incentive travel itinerary?

How to create motivational and memorable experiences? These are all questions we should know the answer to, but many of us don’t.

Hugo explains the fundamentals, click here.

BBT Online on Meetings Africa 2016 – Destination report
Africa Africa Africa
Africa Africa Africa

This February, BBT Online’s Publisher Karin de Graauw travelled to mesmerising South Africa to attend Meetings Africa 2016 in Sandron, close to Johannesburg.

She met lots of interesting people, got to go on a post tour to lovely Cape Town but was certainly impressed by two things: the care and professionalism of the South African Convention Bureau and organisers and the vast possibilities of Johannesburg – often overlooked for more popular destinations like Cape Town, Durban and the big game reserves.

Read the full article here.

Invitation - BBT Online’s 9th B2B Workshop
Strantwerpen Strantwerpen Strantwerpen

For our 9th Speed-Date Workshop, we want to revisit Antwerp.

Located on the left bank of the Scheldt River, Strantwerpen is one of the country’s hippest city beaches. Looking out over the city centre, it’s the perfect venue for a nice dinner, a cocktail party or a variety of events.

The workshop will take places on Tuesday (!!), 5 July, so save the date! We privatised the whole venue for our workshop! Registration is possible, just send us an email. Suppliers who want to book a table can contact us at

Special edition, we’re going to Ibiza!
Our 10th B2B Speed-Date workshop – special edition – will take place on location in beautiful Ibiza, from 28 to 30 August. And while we are there, we’ll make sure to enjoy ourselves. We have room for 15 suppliers and 15 planners.

Besides the workshop, the only official part of 2.5 days of Ibiza, everything is optional. Those who want to can discover the island with us – surprises aplenty – but you can also stay at the poolside with a cocktail for the rest of the trip. 

Want to participate? Send us an email @ and attend our workshop in July. Because we want to reward our most loyal members, we will have a lucky draw on our Antwerp workshop to find out who will be able to join us. All costs, from flight ticket, hotel and events, will be taken care of by BBT Online.

ligne World Congress - Berlin World Congress - Berlin

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?

Joris Eyck Joris Eyck Joris Eyck

This month, we asked 2 employees of HelmsBriscoe: Sacha Otten, Meetings & Events Consultant Global Accounts and Joris Eyck (39), Managing Director Benelux and Central Gemany.

Sacha Otten Sacha Otten Sacha Otten
Real Short !!

Consult BBT Online's MICE agenda, and don't miss any event.
18 April, Frankfurt: Site Nite Europe. Kick off IMEX with a celebration at the sophisticated Kameha Suite to connect with new colleagues and raise funds for the SITE Foundation!
24-25 May Amsterdam: Meeting Design Training Course. Meeting Designer and author of “Into the Heart of Meetings” Eric de Groot visits Amsterdam for a 2-day training course.
31 May – 2 June, Brussels: European Association Summit. Join this key event for international associations to exchange information, share knowledge and network.
5-17 June, Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Centre, Nashville, Tennessee: IBTM America 2016. The MICE event in the US.
22-24 August, RAI Amsterdam: Future of Events. Future of Events is a conference, exhibition and career centre, all in one. The aim is to provide event professionals with the tools to develop their personal and professional competence by providing new techniques, ideas and innovations to make future events game-changing.
11 September, Palais 12, Brussels. The Dalai Lama, spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism will come to Brussels to talk about individual engagement and global responsibility. Tickets can be bought 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.
Eventplanner just published an interesting article on 15 initiatives to reduce food waste at events – something we should all look into. It looks like The Netherlands seem to come up with more initiatives than we do.
By the way, did you know that by using only 25% of the food wasted in the US and the EU on an annual basis, we could most likely solve world hunger? Makes you think. Read the full article here.
Eventmanagerblog published an article on the five things smart trade shows are doing at the moment. Check it out here.
The Spanish city of Granada was selected to host the 2017 edition of MPI’s European Meetings & Events Conference (EMEC). The conference will take place from 5 to 7 March.
Interested in what influences venue selection? Click here to find out all about the seven most common trends.
Great idea: two young Indian inventors came up with a garbage bin that gives you 15 minutes of free Wi-Fi whenever you throw some trash in it. These Wi-Fi waste bins are already in place in more than 60 spots in Bombay. Are you reading this, Brussels?
Bruges will create new congress infrastructure on the site of the current exhibition hall, offering a qualitative and contemporary answer to the demands of the congress and meeting sector.

Copenhagen has just been awarded its first 3-starred restaurant. Surprisingly, it’s not Noma but the fully organic restaurant Geranium. The city boasts a record-breaking 20 Michelin stars in the Michelin Nordic Guide 2016 published today.
The Irish Times published a very nice article on the food trends of 2016, click here.
Moxy Hotels will open five new venues across Europe this year: new hotels will open in Munich Eschborn, Berlin, Oslo and Aberdeen.
Humphrey Restaurant is the newest hotspot for a great dinner in Brussels. It's close to the Dessins Animes Museum, has a lovely setting, delicious dishes and an excellent choice of wines.
Ter Elst (Edegem, near Antwerp) is expanding its facilities with a 1000m² Expo Hall, perfect for product presentations, receptions, dinners, meetings, fairs and whatnot. Ter Elst's total event space is now more than 3000m², including a 400 seat auditorium.

AVIATION allows you to check in quickly and easily with more than 100 different airlines. This tool was developed by Lufthansa’s innovation team.
The so called ‘help-a-refugee’ holidays on the Greek isle of Lesbos – offered by Sunweb and Transavia – turned out to be a flop. People could sleep in three or four star venues on the island, while helping the many refugees gathering on the beaches at the same time. Most of the flights were as good as empty.
Whether you have fear of flying or not, we all ask ourselves certain questions sometimes. British Airways is here to help. 1. What happens if someone opens the security door mid-flight? – Apparently this is technically impossible due to the air pressure in the cabin. 2. What is the safest seat on a plane?  - This doesn’t matter on a commercial plane. 3. Is turbulence dangerous? – Nope. Well, that’s cleared up now, isn’t it?

Joris Eyck recently assumed the position of Managing Director Benelux within the HelmsBriscoe Europe leadership team.
Marco Claes (52) left BCD Meetings & Events after many years of loyal service. He will now start working as an independent consultant, expert andtrainer in the travel and events industry.
Do you want to be a part of the success of Bruges in a varied and interesting job? Meeting in Brugge are currently looking for someone to support the Sales Manager in all aspects of the Events, Meetings and Conferences business managed by the company. They offer a fantastic package and excellent prospects in this full-time post - see Contact,

BBT Online Club 100 welcomed the following new members last month:
  • Michele Nomes, Managing Director Cloud 9 Events
  • France Vinage, Managing Director Gold & Corp 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!


Not funny, but very much worth watching: "Why? Because I'm a man": a wonderful video that shows people would rather not act violent. These kids are an inspiration.


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