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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 97th edition. All of our take5 articles are advertorial free.

Antwerp Diner raises € 77,350
New meeting venue
Antwerp Diner

The 16th edition of the charity event Antwerp Diner – hosted in the Zuiderkroon on 5 February, raised € 77,350. The money will be donated to Sensoa, the institute of tropical diseases, Tomorrow for Isibani en Domino. All of it will be used to further AIDS research.

The event was organised by (amongst others) president’s Antwerp Diner Frank De Neef and Danny Kayser, and combined a dinner prepared by well-known local chefs and students of the PIVA cooking school with performances by Laura Tesoro and Kate Ryan.
Den Berg

Den Berg is a great new meeting venue in Londerzeel, near the A12 between Antwerp and Brussels.

It offers a modular event room capable of serving 850 people for a walking dinner and 500 (!) for a seated one.

It has lots of parking, several conference rooms and an adjacent hotel with 30 double rooms for your guests, as well as a private wellness and fitness centre.
It's better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation!
First Brussels Ambassadors night

At an exclusive gala dinner at Bozar on January, 31, presented 37 Ambassador awards to the partners who, over the past three years, have contributed exponentially to propagating and supporting Brussels as an international MICE destination.

In front of an audience of academics, doctors, European decision makers, deans of universities, chairmen and directors of international associations based in Brussels, scientists, MICE press (among BBT Online) and other destination partners, the 37 new ambassadors were praised for their efforts and help in bringing major international events to Brussels and reinforcing its image as ideal MICE destination.

Want to become a Brussels ambassador? Click here for more info.

Ambassadors Night Ambassadors Night Ambassadors Night
Restaurants as event venues

Restaurants can be more than just a place to enjoy a good dinner. Some of them make excellent event venues as well – especially if they can be privatised. We’ve found a couple for you to check out.

Danieli Il Divino opened in Antwerp’s trendy south district, across from the Museum of Fine Arts. It’s a charming Italian restaurant with enough capacity to host events and dinners for groups.

Another interesting venue in Antwerp is Black Smoke, a BBQ restaurant based in the De Koninck Brewery site. Enjoy prime American style BBQ meat and award winning cocktails, and indulge yourself in the beers brewed below.

In summer, a cool rooftop bar is opened as well.

Daniel Il Divino Black Smoke Black Smoke
Your very own castle retreat
Chateau Beausaint

Chateau Beausaint is a gorgeous little castle serving as a unique vacation home and B&B for up to 22 people. It’s located right outside of La Roche, in the Belgian Ardennes.

The interior was designed by Flamant, and the castle has a three hectare private park for you to enjoy. The entire venue can be rented as a whole.
Europe targets

The EU is looking into possible anti-competitive practices by and other online booking services. Sites like these make it impossible for hotels to determine their own rates. When a client directly contacts the hotel, the venue is not allowed to offer cheaper rates than the ones on

Meanwhile, can impose high commission fees of up to 15% and more. Because of the growing frustration, Europe is taking action next month, meeting on a joint strategy of handling these practises.

Guest article: Stress – A conflict between biology and culture
Guest article: The relationship between incentives and motivation
Guest article: Stress

Osteopath and Stress Coach Tom Meyers was one of the speakers on our last workshop. In this article, he writes about what stress is, how it became a nuisance, and what we can do about it.

Since stress is now the second most frequently reported work-related health problem in the EU, and we’re all working in quite a stressful industry, it will prove to be a very interesting read indeed.
Hugo Slimbrouck

Hugo Slimbrouck, Director of Sales & Strategic Partnerships at Ovation Global DMC, wrote another interesting article this month. Why is incentive travel necessary?

Why does it work for loyalty and engagement and how can it be used as a tool to foster behaviour change?

Click here to read the full article.
We publish much more news than you can read and see in our monthly Take5 Newsletter. Follow us on our Facebook page.
All about France

BBT Online was invited to an expert panel discussion organised by Atout France and the France Meeting & Convention board. Different sectors from the MICE industry were present and had their say. France had a rough 2016. Tourism went down 30 to 50%, with numbers from China, Japan and the US shrinking dramatically. 2017 is expected to become a return to normal. Amongst others a new congress centre will be opened in Valenciennes to help the MICE industry grow.

For more info, contact Gisele Jamin, -

The event took place in Brugmann restaurant (Brussels) – which we absolutely loved. Both the food and the service were of the highest quality. The place was completely refurbished 1.5 years ago and now combines a modern interior with a classic building. There’s a meeting room available above the restaurant.


SITE Belgium’s Meet & Lunch

On SITE Belgium’s Meet & Lunch at Bluepoint Brussels (formerly known as the Diamond Conference center), we were treated to a presentation by David Gysels, whose ‘Dinner in the Sky’ started in Brussels ten years ago. He told us how the concept grew from a one-time event to a worldwide business and how social media and the visibility it granted played a vital part in making it go viral.

Read the whole story behind this link.

The next SITE Belgium event will take place in Antwerp, on Wednesday, 19 April, and will include an ex- tensive visit of the city’s brand new conference Elisabeth centre next to the Antwerp Zoo and the Central Station.

SITE Belgium

BBT Online’s 12th B2B Workshop – Burning Man style

Join us on Monday, July 3 2017 for the 12th edition of our B2B Speed-Date Workshop!

Come enjoy the summer vibes with BBT Online in De Kruitfabriek in Vilvoorde, and meet a brand new selection of surprising A-list suppliers such as Jamaica, Hawai, Aruba, DMC Norway, Body and Soul International, Oostwegel collection and many more.

January is business for BBT Online, but in summer we like to keep things a bit more festive! Like on our hippie themed workshop in Antwerp and our beach workshop on Ibiza last year, we’ll give you the freedom to go wild and come in your funkiest outfits.

This year’s theme is in the style of Burning Man, which means there are no boundaries to your creativity! Go nuts, surprise us, and if you do really well, you might win yourself a fantastic prize as a reward!

Interested? More info and registration behind this link. Interested to join as a supplier, contact us at Till the 3rd of April you can benefit from our early bird rate.

Note that this event is meant for professional incentive and event agents and PCO's only.

PS: We’ll hold a separate event for corporate and association planners at noon on July 4 in the completely refurbished NH Brussels Grand Sablon.


Thai magic - high luxury in Phuket – destination report

When considering Phuket, you probably think of sun, sea and a mass of tourists. While it’s certainly true that the island is a very popular tourist draw, there is much more to discover: luxury hotels, fantastic food in great venues, incredible wellness experiences and a whole lot of meeting and incentive options.

Phuket Phuket Phuket

BBT Online joined on invitation by Thai Airways International an exclusive four day press trip to check it all out first-hand.

Click here to read our destination report.

Phuket Phuket
Phuket Phuket
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?

This month we asked Country Manager Groups & MICE, Scancoming Benelux, Tania De Grave. Click here to see Tania’s bucket list.

Tania De Grave Tania De Grave Christophe Verstraete
Real Short !!

Consult BBT Online's MICE agenda, and don't miss any event.
From February to April, six large-scale events focused on geek and pop culture will be held in Brussels. Check out the programme here for more info.
The next Site Belgium event will take place in Antwerp, on Wednesday, 19 April, and will include an ex- tensive visit of the city’s brand new conference centre next to the Antwerp Zoo and the Central Station. More info on
April, 27. Around the world in 1 evening? Aviareps, their airlines and tourism travel trade partners (tourism boards, hotels, TO’s etc ) are inviting you a for a unique concept that will bring you to the regions of Africa – Asia – Europe – America – Australia – Indian Ocean & Caribbean, all in 1 evening. Registration form behind this link.
6-7 May, Brussels: Iris festival 2017. Come celebrate the Brussels-Capital Region’s 28th birthday with numerous free activities all over the region.
11-13 May, Slovenia: Slovenia Incoming workshop. The Slovenian Tourism industry’s biggest workshop comes with pre and post-tours and a lot of networking events. Register here and discover one of Europe’s greenest destinations.
26-28 September, CentralWorld Bangkok: IT&CMA 2017. Join BBT Online to Bangkok, as a hosted buyer to the leading international MICE event in Asia-Pacific. A multi-faceted programme mixes business and education with ample networking opportunities. This year’s edition will be IT&CMA’s 25th instalment, so a celebration is in order. More info on Mail us at if you want to attend.

Did you know you can check out all of our previous Take5 editions on our website, as well as every destination report? Check out our archives, here for destinations, and here for Take5.
According to IDEA, the 50 Dutch event agencies it recognises earned a total revenue of € 180 million in 2015. They employed 675 people and got to work on an average of 120 projects each.
The Efteling turns 65 this year. To celebrate the occasion, the theme park started a fairy tale competition. Send them your best stories via this link and you might get published.
The School for Butlers & Hospitality comes with a new initiative. A carefully selected crew now stands ready to fulfil short assignments of all types. Looking for a personal butler for a short dinner or a business weekend in a chalet? It’s possible now.
EventMB just posted a video on the five hottest trends in corporate events right now. Check it out here. Click here for their interesting list of some of the best destination websites. is a news website all about travel and everything that comes with it. Worth checking out.
Send your best brand activation cases to and you might win a special prize at the award ceremony in La Tricoterie (Brussels) on 27 April.
The Weather Dial app is a very accurate weather predictor. Looking at the app feels like staring out of your own window – cool stuff.
Why doesn’t anyone want to sit in the front row at a conference and what to do about it? Find out here.
Soon a party and looking for a skilled DJ? Check this website,
The Oscars 2017 will go down in history for the wrong coronation of the Best Picture award. How can such a simple mistake have an incredible impact and most of all, how can you avoid it at your next event? Click here to read more.

According to Lonely Planet, Bordeaux is the trendiest town on the planet, beating Lisbon, Seoul and LA for the first spot in the list.
Now that the new president is sworn in, the official travel advice for The Gambia is once again positive. This means that all of the tour operators offering trips to the Smiling Coast of Africa are restarting their programmes.
Looking for a fun, surprising activity? Rent a railbike and relax while you’re pedalling on the old train tracks in the picturesque valley of the Molignée near Namur. Don’t take the wrong turn though; you might get chased by a TGV all the way to Paris Nord.
Looking for a nice boating trip in The Netherlands? Find some inspiration here.
Starting 15 June this year, roaming in the EU will finally be a thing of the past. Calling someone on the phone in any member state will now cost the same as a phone call in Belgium.
Discover the best beaches in the world. Click here.

The Boatel is a unique river boat turned hotel docked in the centre of Ghent. It offers five different rooms: three standard ones and two luxury versions.
Park Inn by Radisson Leuven just finished renovating its lobby and restaurant. You can take a first look at the results on the hotel’s Facebook page, click here.
Two new Green Keys were awarded in Brussels, and 30 of them were renewed. The two new green key venues are Agora Hotel Brussels Grand Place and the Plaza Theatre. Green Key is an international eco label awarding touristic establishments for their sustainability.
Les Bains de Dinant is a luxurious spa close to the city. It’s focused on Tao philosophy and the five elements. You can rent the upper floor as a vacation home – it can accommodate 13 people.
Would you like to sleep with a hairy bear other than your spouse for once? Go to Les Grottes de Han and spend an unforgettable night in a log cabin just a few meters away from a bunch of Baloos in the middle of a beautiful 250 hectare.
Last month, we published a list of Belgian homes for rent. Here are some more suggestions. can accommodate 21 guests, while can house 9. Both venues were beautifully and contemporary decorated.
Null Stern (“Zero Stars”) Hotel in Switzerland offers no walls and no ceiling. You just get a nice comfy bed in the middle of nature. You’ll get breakfast in bed in the morning and you’re free to enjoy the panoramic view on the Swiss Alps for the rest of the day. Reservations are cancelled during bad weather of course.
Mama Shelter Hotels will open a new venue in Lille this year. The hotel is part of a project aimed at revitalizing the Euralille and train station neighbourhoods.
Belvilla now offers a wide range of vintage vacation homes, combining the comfort of today with some sweet sweet nostalgia trips. Check some of them out here.
Intercontinental Hotels Group just published its 2017 IHG Trends Report. Check it out here. launched a new Apple TV app, helping you find the best destinations, activities and places to stay. You can download it from the app store.
Check out this podcast on hotel trends with expert Marianne Kuiper. How will hotels change in the coming years? How to make the difference as a hotel? Listen to it here.

Brussels’ Kitchen is a stylish website, listing all of the best new places to eat in Brussels: The guide to food with style.
Nemo Restaurant in Antwerp now offers a 60m² private room for the most undisturbed and stylish of dinners.
Are you a burger fan? Here’s a list of some of the best burger joints the world has to offer.

The BMW Brand Store in Brussels is now offering a limited-time event location: the Next5. During the Next 5 experience, you can host up to 26 guest. A 5-course gourmet dinner is served. Second option, an apero lounge for up to 48 guests with a DJ spinning his vinyl.
More info, click here.
‘The Art of Venue Negotiation’ is a new book teaching you how to get the most out of strategy, opportunities and tools available to strike the best deal when negotiating with venue owners. Get your copy here.
Surfers Paradise is a water sports club in Knokke-Heist offering teambuilding activities as well as accommodation for groups and events in their clubhouse on the beach.
Eurostar opened a new business lounge in Gare du Nord in Paris. The new lounge gives business travellers another advantage in choosing a high speed train connection over a flight.
Studio 100 couldn’t find a suitable event location for their planned 40-45 musical. This is why they asked Katoen Natie to just build a completely new theatre in Beveren. Well, if you have the money…

After a long fight between the Brussels government and Flanders, the new (much stricter) noise standards above the capital are in effect: another blow for MICE and the Belgian travel industry in general. You’d think that if you go and buy a house right next to an international airport, you can expect a couple of planes to fly over, no? Ah Belgium: where terrorists fail to close the national airport, but politicians happily give them a helping hand.
According Flemish Minister of Mobility Ben Weyts, one in ten flights from Brussels Airport will become impossible if the strict sound norms in Brussels become law. Lots of cargo companies might turn their backs on the airport if this happens.
Let us keep our airport jobs. Watch this video, click here.
Is the end of the in-flight entertainment system at hand? American Airlines just ordered 100 new Boeings 737 without tv-screens in the seats, stating that most people already have a smartphone, tablet or laptop with them to stream whatever they want. United Airlines will follow suit and replaces the screens with a Wi-Fi connection you already know will barely work. Horrible decision.
Getting married anytime soon? You might want to read this. Air Europa is organising a romantic giveaway. If you win the competition, you’ll get a marriage ceremony in Madrid and a honeymoon in the Dominican Republic. Just send a picture of your proposal here: Btw: couples who are already married but want to renew their vows are welcome as well.
Schiphol and KLM started testing a ‘biometric boarding’ project. This will allow people to board immediately without showing their boarding pass or passport. The passenger enters the plane via a separate little door that recognises them by their face. What to do with identical twins though?
Starting this coming winter season, KLM will offer direct flights to Mauritius. In summer Air Mauritius takes over the service. This means travellers can fly straight tothis lovely island from Schiphol all year round.

Pascal Struyve succeeds Geert Behets as president of BATM (Belgian Association of Travel Management). Pascal Struyve is director Global Travel, Fleet & Meeting Services at Ingersoll Rand and replaces Geert Behets, who will completely refocus himself on his duties as board member and as Head of Global Travel, Meetings, & Fleet Management at UCB.
Griet Esselens quit her job at Thomas Cook and started her own incentive bureau Motivart.
Laurence Dogné moved from Wallonie-Bruxelles Tourisme to Visit Brussels and became their new Sales & Promotions Manager.
Liesbet Vandenberghe is MeetingLeuven new Association Consultant. She will help associations find their way to the famous University City of Leuven.
On the Site meet & lunch, Frank Bouckaert (De Buck Travel/In- centives) was presented as Site Belgium’s newest member of the board.
Koen van den Bosch leaves his job as spokesperson for Thomas Cook Belgium to become the new CEO of VVR (the Association of Flemish Travel agencies). He will start his new function on 1 April this year.
The property company Pandox AB recently appointed three new hotel managers in Brussels and strengthened from the 1st of February its sales team in Belgium by the appointment of Isabelle Jamet as Director of Sales Belgium.

BBT Online Club 100 welcomed the following new members last month:
  • Katrien Ceulenaere, Sales Manager, Notabene Events
  • Els van Oldenbarneveld, Managing Director, Body and Soul International

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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