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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 95th edition. All of our take5 articles are advertorial free.

WATG hospitality trends forecast
The future of meeting rooms

Towards the end of the year we always receive the predictions for the coming year.

WATG, a leading integrated design firm, just published a piece by its trend forecaster Muriel Muirden. She rounded up the top trends that will be shaping the travel and hospitality industry in 2017.

Less-is-more models offering millennials a break from ‘adulting’, the rise of travel-oriented apps and sound & lighting technology, a growing number of ‘feel good hotels’ and cannabis-friendly accommodations in the States are some of the things she mentioned.

future of meeting rooms

According to ICCA’s 'meeting room of the future' study , we’ll have a completely new way of holding meetings in a couple of years. Experience creation will be a key value.

To shape this custom experience clients are looking for, venues need to get creative: rooms designed to encourage creativity, themed food and drinks, outdoor meeting rooms, flexible furniture… they will all become more common.

Continuous refreshment breaks offering healthier food are on the rise as well.

Click here to read more.
It's better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation!
New experience floor at Hotel BLOOM!
Experience Hilton Amsterdam Airport Schiphol from a distance

BLOOM! Brussels' traditional hotel ballroom and adjoining break-out rooms received a complete make-over and now form one unique experience floor.

This 800m² multifunctional space beneath a 145 m² fresco, caters to clients looking for a new, cool and artistic event location.

With its urban atmosphere, contemporary decoration and ultramodern technology, the experience floor is the place to be for events of up to 300 guests. At BLOOM! even the most ordinary meeting becomes something extraordinary.

Hotel Bloom is therefore our venue for our workshop for Associations & Corporate Meeting and Event planners. The workshop will take place on January 10, from noon till 3 pm.

Click here for the invitation, further details and registration form.

Participation is free of charge.

Hilton Amsterdam Airport Schiphol now offers a virtual reality experience allowing new business relations to experience the hotel from the comfort of their own homes.

Put on a pair of 3D glasses and get an entire tour of the venue, from the spa to the business centre, the cocktail bar and the restaurant.

Click here for more info.

Sustainable hotel in Amsterdamigh Club

Zoku Hotel in Amsterdam offers 30m² hotel rooms that can be used to live, work and sleep. A large kitchen table serves as the central furniture, allowing you to work or plan dinners.

The bed is accessible via a little stairs and is invisible during the day. A space for work as well as living. Zoku used to be an office building and now holds a Green Key Gold certificate. The chambers have bamboo floors and most of the food is local and bio.
Stay in a sea fortress
Luxury tree house
sea fortress

Are you nostalgic for good old adventure programmes like Fort Boyard? Now you can have an adventure of your own. Spitbank Fort is a private island off the coast of Portsmouth, England.

This historic fortress was recently transformed into a luxury private island retreat. It has eight bedroom suites, three bars, three restaurant spaces, a rooftop hot pool, a fire pit and a sauna.

It’s available for special events, private parties and corporate hire. The fortress has accommodation for 18 people and function space for 60. Want a private venue in the most literal interpretation of the word? Here you have it.

sea fortress
Tree House

Looking for a very special love nest?

Why not book The Woodsman’s Treehouse in Dorset, UK. This luxurious two floor tree house was built in the branches of an old oak and is the perfect location to become one with nature and maybe with your partner.

It might be a tree house but you won’t lose any luxuries: it comes with a private sauna, a hot tub, an outdoor shower, a spacious terrace and a huge bedroom.

For ‘just’ €390 per night it could be yours!

sea fortress
Floating rooms en France
Floating rooms Floating rooms

You don’t have to go to Bali to stay in your own private luxury bungalow on the water. France can be just as fun.

La Cabane en l’Air offers a wide range of rooms and ‘cabanes’ in different shapes and sizes, right on the water of various lakes all over the country.

Perfect for a peaceful stay.

A new way of labelling people?
Good or bad decision?

Looking at some of the latest developments in our industry, we get the feeling every subgroup in society is being catered to separately.

It’s almost like everyone needs to go back to their own little space, without interacting with others. Airbnb was of course inclusive, but now we have Noirbnb for black tourists, Misterbnb for gay people and StayMarta for Christians.

Why can’t we all just get along?

What are your thoughts on this matter? Mail us,

The Brussels-City council ordered the removal of all restaurant terraces within the Ilôt Sacré – the pedestrian streets in the historic city centre – including for example in the Rue des Bouchers.

The measure came into effect on 1 November. The terraces are banned all year round except in summer, because they hinder the access of emergency vehicles.

Some will miss the nostalgic value of the setting, some will be happy the touts are finally gone. What do you think? Mail us,
Associations world congress 2017
Join us to Shanghai as a hosted buyer
Associations World Congress

Celebrating its tenth anniversary, the Associations World Congress – organised in Vienna from 2-4 May – is one of the largest conferences of its kind in Europe – over 400 delegates will attend.

The event offers a variety of workshops and networking opportunities, but also offers expert briefings and an association leaders forum.

BBT Online is of course a proud media partner of the event.

For more info and for registration purposes, click here.


Join BBT Online to IT&CM China in Shanghai as a hosted buyer! China’s largest MICE tradeshow takes place from 21 to 23 March 2017.

Meet several top suppliers from China and the rest of South-East Asia, enjoy a myriad of exciting networking opportunities and discover the biggest and most vibrant city in the Middle Kingdom.

If you’re interested in joining, mail us at

More info on

The importance of the relationship between PCO’s and DMC’s
Free a girl

The relationship between core PCO's and DMC's often raises considerations about aspects like the effectiveness of their cooperation or if this can be a real added value.

This is why AIM released a White Paper to show their point of view on why a local DMC is an added value for a core PCO, what are the most important aspects to consider in the selection process and what a PCO expects from a DMC and vice-versa.

Read the full paper here, click here.

Free a girl

The second edition of ReddingsVestival: a networking event for the Meeting and Event industry also serving as a fundraiser, has chosen 'Free a Girl' as the good cause to be supported.

'Free a Girl' dedicates itself to releasing young girls from forced prostitution and to getting perpetrators convicted. They work in Bangladesh, Brazil, India, The Netherlands, Nepal & Thailand and were able to free 3,783 girls from Asian bordellos in the last 8 years.

The event takes place on 23 January in Thuishaven, Amsterdam.

For more info, click here.

We publish much more news than you can read and see in our monthly Take5 Newsletter. Follow us on our Facebook page.
Guest writer Mario Corrado: VAT complications in the EU

From now on, we started in our November edition, we will invite a monthly guest writer from the industry to share his/her thoughts on a certain top with us.

Mario Corrado This month guest writer is Mario Corrado (Latitude Events), who will speak on the VAT complications of organising corporate events in a different EU member state. Do you pay VAT in Belgium or in the country where the event takes place?

Where do problems most likely arise and are there ways to prevent them? Mario looked into the issue and wants to start a discussion amongst peers. Reactions, mail and or

Read the full article here.

Travel with the locals in Brussels
Breaking assumptions in the event world

Everyone can make a picture of Manneken Pis or the Eifel Tower, but if you’re a real traveller you want to see the real destination, far away from the common tourist traps.

That’s why Visit Brussels now comes with the USE-IT city map for young travellers, offering lots of alternative tips.

Normal city guides are sparsely updated, and they lack tips on how not to stand out as a tourist. For instance: don’t order a waffle with whipped cream and four kinds of fruit, because we Belgians don’t either. And perhaps a mitraillete is more of a Brussels dish than mussels with fries.
Breaking assumptions

This edition BBT Online invited a 2nd guest writer to inspire us.

Professional speaker Cyriel Kortleven, talks about the opportunities we miss when organising our events.

There are so many things we could do in a different way to surprise or inspire our guests – when thought out well these little adaptions could have a huge impact on the experience of the event.

It’s all about daring to break fixed assumptions.

Read the full article here.

BBT Online’s 11th B2B speed-date workshop

BBT Online’s 11th B2B Speed-date Workshop

Join us on Monday, 9 January 2017 for the eleventh edition of our B2B Speed-Date Workshop! Come celebrate the New Year with your colleagues in the Lamot Congress Centre in Mechelen, for another evening of networking, business and fun!

This time, we decided to start the workshop at 4 pm. If you arrive at 4, you’ll avoid losing time in the traditional horrendous traffic jams and you’ll be rewarded with two interesting speakers (10 minutes a day & how to deal with stress) and a 75cl bottle of Laurent-Perrier Champagne!

Patrick Van Rosendaal We’ve gathered another 50 exclusive and exciting A-list suppliers, click here for the full list.

We’ll end the evening with a presentation by Patrick Van Rosendaal (Belgians in New York), who will have a lot to talk about ins and outs of NY (and a bit of Trump).

Buyers who wish to spend the night can do so for free in a hotel offered by BBT Online.

Registrations and more information, click here.

BBT Online's bucket list

Every month we ask a prominent MICE personality and 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?

This month we asked euromic’s Executive Director Christophe Verstraete(52). Click here to see Christophe’s bucket list.

Christophe Verstraete Christophe Verstraete Christophe Verstraete
Real Short !!

Consult BBT Online's MICE agenda, and don't miss any event.
BBT Online will organise 2 B2B workshops in 2017. Our first one takes place on 9 January for event and incentive agents (click here for the invitation) and during lunch on 10 January for corporate and association meeting and event planners (click here for the invitation). Don’t miss it!
13 December, Living Tomorrow II, Vilvoorde: EMA Society meets Virtual Reality. Learn everything you need to know about VR concerning the live communication and event industries. Speakers are Kevin Alderweireldt & Wouter Van Hauwermeiren.
24 February, Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Brussels: European Association Awards 2017.
9 March, Rotterdam Ahoy, Rotterdam: Evenementcontact. 400 exhibitors showcase their products and services to help you raise the quality of your future events. An inspiring educational programme is also available.
21-23 March, Shanghai, China: IT&CM China 2017. Join BBT Online to IT&CM China in Shanghai as a hosted buyer! Meet several top suppliers from China and the rest of South-East Asia & enjoy a myriad of exciting networking opportunities. Take note that the event now takes place in March and not in April like it used to. If you’re interested in joining, mail us at More info on
12-13 April, Jaarbeurs Utrecht: Event 17. Giant trade show for event professionals.

8 big travel predictions for 2017
Read on to find out what holiday makers and business travellers can expect to experience in the year ahead. Click here.
Ljubljana – already one of the greenest destinations in Europe – goes even more sustainable, with new Visionect-powered notice boards in front of the Town Hall, promoting the city’s green events. They use 99% less power than an LCD or LED screen would.
Our friend Hugo Slimbrouck, Director of Strategic Partnerships at Ovation Global DMC, wrote an interesting piece on the importance of being earnest about incentive travel.
As of 1 January 2017, Vietnam will offer electronic 30 day visas. The whole visa procedure will now happen online, even the payment. In the future, tourists will no longer need an invitation to visit Vietnam.
On this blog, you’ll find a list of useful travel apps, from maps to photo editing software.
Leaving from Montreux, you can now take a ride on the gourmet Chocolate Train (summer) and Cheese Train (winter):
Organising a Venice style carnival in Bruges during low season, we think it’s a smart and fun idea, to bring tourists and events to Bruges. On 14 and 15 January.

Airbnb’s are a real threat to hotels. Click here to read more.
The new easyHotel Brussels City Centre offers 107 rooms at rates starting from € 49 per night. The hotel is located in the Rue d’Argent, and is part of the Chambon Project, combining it with 250 apartments and penthouses, 134 student rooms, another hotel, 10.000m² of office space and 200 underground parking spots.
Marriott is thinking of closing its Brussels office, putting 137 jobs on the line in the process. The hotel brand is looking to cut €250 million from the budget.
Quiet Room published a guide for architects and developers. By following it, new hotels can take care of the necessary sound isolation to get the Quiet Room label before even opening.
The Chinese HNA Group owned by billionaire Chen Feng now owns 25% of Hilton Worldwide. It took them €6 billion in stocks.
The new Gault&Millau guide was recently published. Chef of the Year – the most prestigious title – was awarded to Tim Boury of Restaurant Boury in Roeselare. More info on
Remember how we told you last month a bar in Utrecht was the only place in the world where you could get Belgian Duvel Beer on tap? Now it looks like the French got in there before us as well. HiltonParis Opera now offers the only Duvel on tap in the country. When is it our turn?

Docks Bruxsel, located on the crossing of the canal and Boulevard Lambermont, is Brussels new sustainable shopping district, offering 113 boutiques, 8 cinema screens, an indoor adventure park, 20 restaurants and a 2,800m² events venue able to host 1,500 guests.
Good2CU is a very unconventional meeting locating in Mechelen. The meeting table drops from the ceiling, you can sit on a throne and there’s a punching bag to cope with the more frustrating moments of the day. Check it out here:
B19 Antwerp is a new business club focused on CEOs, business owners and KMO management. The purpose is to regularly meet the other members during breakfast or after work sessions with speakers. More info via Freddy Arnauts at

Brussels Airport is about to launch a renovation programme for the emblematic Sky Hall, which dates from 1958. In a first stage, the airport is investing around 2.6 million euro in the renovation of the façade.
Arnaud Feist, CEO of Brussels Airport says the Brussels Government is slowly killing the airport with new sound fines and with delaying the federal law on aviation.
Starting next April, Brussels Airlines offers weekly flights to Mallorca. Flights will leave on Saturday afternoon and will last throughout the summer season.
Wow Air is the latest in a line of so called ‘low cost’ carriers that are not what they seem. Their flights look cheap, but you pay an €84 supplement for ‘large hand luggage’ and €116 for one 20kg suitcase to be checked in. Doesn’t sound low cost to us.
Starting March next year, there will be a direct connection between Brussels and Atlanta again. Delta AirLines halted this line last year after the terrorist attack on Brussels Airport.
Luxaviation Belgium invested in a 4,000m² hangar in the Kortrijk-Wevelgem Airport. Constructing the thing will cost about € 4 million. The structure will be able to house 15 business jets at the same time – offering private clients much better service.
Thai Airways celebrates 5 years of direct flights between Brussels and Bangkok, and offers promotional fares to complete the party.
Everyone flying to Africa, the US or Canada with Brussels Airlines, can now choose from three classes instead of two, for a supplement of €120 per one way flight.
Starting late April 2017, Air Europa offers weekly flights from Brussels to Honduras (via Madrid).
Business travel numbers are on the rise again. Since 2013, the industry has caught up to the numbers of pre-financial crisis 2008. A BTO survey concluded that 75% of business travellers are traveling more than 5 years ago.

The Brussels hotel sector welcomes three new GMs. Egbert Buursink starts working for The Hotel. Vieri Biticchi became GM at Hilton Brussels Grand Place and Benjamin Tenius will take care of Hilton Brussels City.
Mies Hofman is about to leave South African Tourism after nine years. She’ll become the new director of the Curaçao Tourist Board in Europe.
Hanne Maren Kristensen became Innovation Norway’s new country manager for Belgium and The Netherlands.
Thierry van Eyll is back at as Senior Account Manager.

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!



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