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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 94th edition. All of our take5 articles are advertorial free.

New hype: luxury fries
Duvel on tap
Fine dining fries

Star chef Sergio Herman will open the first Belgian branch of his luxury fries shop in the center of Antwerp. The ‘Frites Atelier’ as it is called, can be visited from the end of November, and is located in the Korte Gasthuisstraat. The interior was created by famous designer Piet Boon. A first venue was opened in The Hague earlier this year.

In Rotterdam though, snack bar Tante Nel now offers fries with caviar together with a gin-tonic. We’ll take our chances at Sergio’s.

The first and up till now only bar offering precious Duvel beer on tap, is not located in Belgium but in Utrecht, The Netherlands, and is called Olivier.

Don’t start gloating now, Dutchmen, because Olivier is a very nice Belgian beer bar café housed in a well preserved former clandestine church.

Many elements of the ‘hidden church’ from 1860 have been retained, such as the altar, the vaults and the organ.
It's better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation!
New hotspots in Brussels

What’s nicer than discovering new restaurants and venues? Here are three new hotspots in Brussels that can be used as event locations, both big and small.

Fromagerie Artisanale’ near Place Flagey: everything is bio here. The owner makes great brunches and the shop can be privatized for events of up to 30 people. Very reasonable rates.

Le Grand Central is a new concept in the European Quarter. You can fill your own plate with healthy food for a fixed and very democratic price. They offer DJ-nights as well, and you can privatize the place. MPI Belgium holds their monthly drink here.

Another hip venue in a different part of Brussels, next to the fish market, is Chicago Café. During the weekend there are too many kids, but on weekdays, it’s a lovely place to be. This venue can also be privatized.

comptoir du Samson Grand Central Chicago Café
Pristine meetings in a cloister
Re-opening in Brussels

Do you love history or literature? Are you a rabid Harry Potter fan who wants to experience a little bit of Hogwarts magic?

Ghent is where you’ll find it. The wonderful historic library, the baroque church or the beautiful inner garden of the Thagaste cloister are unique locations available for events.

The monks are still living on the premises, but a variety of different event spaces is waiting for you, right in the city centre.

NH Collection

NH Collection Grand Sablon, formerly known as NH Hotel du Grand Sablon, can be found on one of Brussels most lively squares – full of antique shops and chocolatiers – and is only a walk away from the Grand Place and most of the other sights.

All 191 rooms were completely refurbished, and the hotel also offers nine meeting and event spaces. The first NH Collection in Brussels opened last year: NH Collection Brussels Centre.

NH Collection
MPI: EMEC 2017 in Granada
Master class in protocol

From 5 to 7 March 2017, Granada will host the 2017 Edition of the MPI European Meetings & Events Conference: a signature event focused on education, networking and business exchange.

The three-day conference features programming and people that will allow participants to think and grow in new ways, while gaining exposure to sound business practices and the latest business trends.

Think of lots of networking and marketplace opportunities, connecting participants to industry peers and partners that will expand their business network.

Click here to register.

Meet Slovenia in Brussels

On November 22, the Slovenian Convention Bureau invites you to a special business networking evening for Belgian MICE Planners. Celebrating 25 years of independence, the festivities start at 7 pm in the Sofitel Jourdan Brussels hotel.

The evening offers a varied programme with Slovenian meeting partners, a presentation by Nicolas Vanderbiest, social media education and a prize draw. Slovenia is a compact, accessible, green and varied destination very much worth discovering. Register here.
Master Class

Want to know how to manage a visit of a high-level delegation? How do you handle formally written communication? How do you navigate a formal dinner or be aware of the sensitivities of placing guests?

You can learn all of this and more on a new three-day practical protocol training session in Brussels, a cooperation of the Protocol Bureau and the English Manner. More info, click here. 3 different dates are available. The first one starts December, 7.

Also MPI Belgium offers a hospitality training as well, on November 8 in Ostend. The training will be given by Vincent Vermeulen, founder and director of the school for butlers. Click here for more info.

Break assumptions in the Event Business

International speaker and author Cyriel Kortleven just published a list of 21 assumptions in the event business and how to break them. What would happen if you let several speakers talk at the same time in the same room?

Why not let your audience choose their favorite speakers? Why should a conference take place on one physical location?

These questions and more will be answered behind this link.
Guest writer Yannick Busaan: The devaluation of Brussels
Yannick Busaan

From now on, we will invite a monthly guest writer from the industry to share his thoughts on a certain topic with us.

We’ll kick off with Yannick Busaan, Senior Partner at Antho Consulting and former GM of hotels in Brussels, Paris and Switzerland. Yannick expresses his frustrations on what’s happening in and around our national capital Brussels in recent times, hoping to initiate a constructive debate. 

Click here to read the full article.  

Guest writer Guest writer Guest writer
10 minutes a day
Protect yourself, your kids and your stuff
cloister10 minutes a day

When Jean-Paul Meus – owner of Goodwill Decorations – took his holiday on Bali earlier this year, he was appalled by the amount of trash he found on its supposedly pristine beaches. He couldn’t stand what he was seeing, got himself a bag and started picking up the garbage he found washed ashore. He never stopped doing this since, the situation in his own street not being much better. If we all did our part and took care of our surroundings for ten minutes a day, everything would look much better and less trash would end up in nature.

On 27 October at 1.15 pm, Jean-Paul will sweep the cobblestones in front of the Antwerp city hall, together with mayor Bart De Wever. Dates in Ghent, Brussels, Hasselt and Bruges will soon be announced.

BBT Online was present on the first 10 minutes a day action in Antwerp last month and fully supports the initiative. We would like to invite the rest of the MICE industry to follow the example. Check out

Jean-Paul Meus is one of our speakers during our next B2B workshop on January, 9.

ERRIC is an international and multilingual online search and find platform, founded by Belgian businessman Filip Willems. He was recently invited as a speaker at the Site event in Brussels to talk about his new concept in a presentation called “The changing heart of a business man”. allows everyone to register important - and at times even crucial - information for free.

This information could help you and others in case of emergency or loss. ERRIC stands for Emergency Rescue Retrieval Information Code. In short: a code that helps you save people or retrieve belongings.

This app allows you to upload important medical information about yourself and it can help you find your pets, your stuff or even your kids when they get lost.

We publish much more news than you can read and see in our monthly Take5 Newsletter. Follow us on our Facebook page.
Airport Wi-Fi passwords
Airports going green
Airport Wi-Fi

Flying economy, no access to the lounge but really want to check your emails (or let’s be honest: watch some Youtube videos)?

Thank Anil Polat, travel blogger and computer security engineer, because he published an interactive (and regularly updated) map of Wi-Fi passwords for most of the world’s major airports.

Click here for the map.
Airports going green

From 31 October to 2 November, Schiphol Airports hosts the Airports Going Green Congress: focused on sustainable visions for the future concerning the aviation industry.

This year’s theme is ‘Sustainable Encounters’. Several speakers and representatives will give presentations. Schiphol itself received its Airports Going Green Award in 2014 and continues working on sustainable practices.
Visit Africa trade day
Africa Trade Day Safari Lodges

Come to Flanders Expo in Ghent for the very first edition of the Visit Africa Trade Day on 10 November – the largest Africa fair in Belgium with 35 different exhibitors: a mix of specialized Belgian tour operators, tourism boards and representatives for hotels, lodges, safari operators and airlines.

Take part in the masterclass ‘Big Five in South Africa’ and conquer your spot for a famtrip to the country.

BBT Online’s 11th B2B Speed-date Workshop
Lamot Lamot

Join us on Monday, 9 January 2017 for the 11th edition of our B2B Speed-Date Workshop in Mechelen/Malines, Lamot’s conference and heritage centre.

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.

This time we decided to start the workshop at 4pm. If you arrive at 4, you’ll avoid losing time in the traditional horrendous traffic jams and you’ll be awarded with two interesting speakers and a bottle (75 cl) of Laurent-Perrier Champagne to take home with you. As usual, we’ll take care of the entertainment and a lot of wonderful surprises! After dinner, Patrick van Rosendaal (BE NY), will give a presentation on the ins and outs of New York city.

Interested? More info and registration, click here.

Note that this event is meant for Benelux meeting, event and incentive planners only.

Patrick van Rosendael Tom Meyers ean-Paul Meus
BBT Online's Bucket list

Every month we ask some prominent MICE personalities and members 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?

Michèle Nomes Michèle Nomes Michèle Nomes

This month we asked Cloud 9 Events’ Michèle Nomes (35) and Efficient Hotel Partner’s Tim van der Pas (26).

Tim van der Pas Tim van der Pas Tim van der Pas
Real Short !!

Consult BBT Online's MICE agenda, and don't miss any event.
24 November, Concert Hall, Bruges: Tourism Salon. The focus of this year’s event is on the importance of capacity to today’s city tourism. More info via this link.
On 29 November in the Old City Hall of Gouda, the annual congress on event safety has lots to talk about. This congress is focused on increasing the security on your events in every way possible, and will include a presentation on how to deal with terrorist threats.
1 December, Ghent: The Conference 2016. A Travel360° event for travel professionals offering 6 top speakers and a day of networking.
3 December – 15 January, Antwerp Zoo: China Light ZOO. After a successful 2014 edition, Belgium’s oldest zoo will once again be turned into a nocturnal light spectacle this year. Hundreds of colourful creations will get you ready for a great holiday season.

The Brussels Region and Centre Pompidou signed a protocol agreement on the creation of a big cultural hub in the former Citroën garage located near the Place de l’Yser. One of the prime attractions will be a Museum for Modern and Contemporary Art.
The Droh!ME Park on the outskirts of Brussels opened a new pop-up village this month. A 500m² transparent tent next to the beautifully restored great tribune is available for rent. All included, the Droh!ME pop-up village offers a total of 1,500m² of event space.
On 24th September, the Antwerp Port Authority officially opened its new headquarters. Designed by renowned (and sadly recently deceased) architect Zaha Hadid the Port House is a new landmark on the Antwerp skyline. Groups and individuals can take a visit on Wednesday afternoons and at weekends.
Aspen Bocadero is a unique winter bar with restaurant in the Waagnatie Hall in Antwerp. It comes with an indoor ice ring for curling and there are all sorts of wintery dishes to enjoy.
De Efteling, The Netherlands’ most magical theme park is also open in winter. From 14 November to 31 January, the park will get a complete winter makeover with lots of Christmas lights and new winter attractions.

Meetinghand is a new all in one event management programme. Click here for a review.
Innovation does not mean we need to forget everything that worked in the past. EventMB just published a list of 13 things we need to keep in the event industry, click here.
Duvall published a new e-book called ‘100% Return for your Event’. You can download it for free, click here.
A new ebook called ‘The Future of Event Marketing’, can be downloaded for free via this link.
Always good to know: EventMB just published a list of 13 unmistakable signs your event is about to fail.
Instagram is now supporting businesses using the platform. Belgian companies can now activate a contact button, consult statistics and use new call-to-action buttons on advertisements.
Did your event costs just rise because of extra security measures during these uncertain times? This insurance might make a difference, turning these unforeseen costs into fixed costs.
MICE agency Seauton recently celebrated their continuous growth together with its suppliers and clients. Good food, good company, good times. Click here for the video review.
Travel author and Berlin expert Erwin De Decker now offers guided walks through the German capital – in Dutch. Every walk concentrates on the interests of the group in question.
On October 14th, the International Festival of Events and Live Communication has announced the winners of the European Best Event Awards 2016. The edition took place in Saint Petersburg. And the winner is … click here.
On 15 November during the ICCA congress in Malaysia – Borneo, ICCA will announce the winner of the 2016 ICCA Best Marketing Award. The finalists are: Taiwan Bureau, Greater Bogota Convention Bureau, London & Partners and Skycity Auckland Convention Centre. More info, click here.

AIM Consulting, a strategic consulting branch of AIM Group International, launched the "Hotel MICE Academy".
The Academy will offer operators in the hotel sector a made-to-order training program based on the long experience of AIMGroup in the Congress and Event Industry.
Three new hotels will open in Antwerp in the next few years. In December the Queen A Hotel (former Ibis Styles) near Berchem Station will open shop, in 2018 Park Inn Berchem opens in Zurenborg and in 2019, the new NH Collection Antwerp Centre will open next to the Central Station. The city also opened Mercado Groenplaats this October: an indoor food market in the old post building.
Discover Hotel BLOOM!’s brand new ‘Experience Floor’: 800m² of multifunctional space: trendy, contemporary, artistic and fitted with the latest technological marvels.
Pentahotels opened its first venue in Paris on 6 October. Pentahotel Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport offers 180 contemporary rooms in pentastyle.
BnB Assist offers shortstay services to owners who want to rent their house or apartment to tourists. They will take over every responsibility: from advertising, to booking, welcoming and cleaning.
Several Irish hotels announced by investments in their MICE facilities recently. The Citywest Hotel, Dublin, has announced €13 million in expansion of facilities, the Lyrath Estate Hotel in Kilkenny has finished its refurbishment, and the Trinity City Hotel in Dublin has signalled a €10 million investment in amenities.
Glenn Verhasselt (Sir Kwinten) won the ‘Belgium’s first chef’ Prosper Montagné award. Second and third place were for Bart Hoornaert (La Durée) and Lukas Moonens (Bistro Margaux).
Choux de Bruxelles, known for several venues, restaurants and catering services, now also has 4 food-trucks on offer that can be booked for events.
In December 2015, the Scandic Hotel near the Antwerp Ring Road was bought by the Van der Valk group. Eleven months later, the venue is completely renovated and officially reopened as Van Der Valk Antwerpen.
Wendy Parsley wrote an interesting article on how hotels and technology can create a winning combination, click here.
Already dreaming of your next trip and have a couple of bucks to spare? Here’s a list of incredible hotels you need to visit before you die.
Hotel The Pand in Bruges won 3 prestigeous awards recently: Belgium’s Leading Boutique Hotel on the World Travel Awards, Best Boutique Hotel Belgium on the Haute Grandeur Global Hotel Awards and an undisclosed award on the World Luxury Hotel Awards on 29 October (the category is still secret). Congratulations!

On 12 November, 16 vintage airplanes, together with 15 supporting aircrafts and helicopters, will take off from Crete for a five week air rally to Cape Town – a race connecting Africa’s most beautiful spots in the ‘Out of Africa’ style of the early pioneers.
Brussels Airlines survived the passenger dip after the March 22 terrorist attacks. Compared to the same period last year, the airliner actually welcomed more passengers from January to August 2016. 4.95 million this year, compared to 4.93 million in 2015.
New Belgian low cost carrier Air Belgium wants to kick off business in the first or second quarter of 2017. They will offer flights to Asia and will thus be the first company in both Belgium and the Netherlands offering low cost flights to long haul destinations. Whether they will leave from Brussels or Liège is not known at the moment.

This September, Belen Folgueira became the new GM of the Barsey By Warwick Hotel in Brussels. She came over from Hotel Westminster in Paris.

BBT Online Club 100 welcomed the following new member last month:

If you’re interested in joining, 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. Where are the suppliers btw? With so many planners joining us these days, they should take the opportunity.

BBT Online Club 100: the place where you meet more planners than suppliers!


Laughing is good for you. The presidential debate. Click here.


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