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BBT Online is growing, and it’s becoming hard to fit all MICE news into one of our monthly Take5 newsletters. So from now on, we’ll send you a separate newsletter once a month, containing some contributions of our editorial team.

Enjoy the read!

Meetings Africa 2013: Advancing and Branding

Last February, BBT Online’s Ellen van Ree visited Johannesburg in wonderful South Africa to attend Meetings Africa 2013.

During the past few years, the country succeeded in establishing itself as a new and exciting MICE destination. This year’s theme: ‘Advancing Africa Together’, suggests that Africa wants to expand this success to the larger region, uniting countries and organisations across the continent to create a pan-African destination.

Read Ellen’s report here.

ATF 2013: A day and a night in Vientiane

LaosIn our last Take5 you could read all about Jonathan Ramael’s experiences on ATF 2013 in Vientiane, Laos. He didn’t just go to the fair though. In his free time, he contacted Laurent Granier, gm of MICE-People: a dynamic DMC based in the capital.

Together they took an off-the-beaten-track tour of the city, visiting all sorts of local venues, eateries and activities. Far from the tourist traps and the big hotels, they discovered a multitude of truly Laotian sites: authentic, exciting and well-suited for incentive activities.

If you’re considering Laos for one of your next Incentive trips, you should click here to read more.

MPI EMEC 2013 in Montreux: a report from A to Z

Last January, BBT’s Bruce Taylor joined 400 other delegates in Montreux for MPI’s European Meetings and Events Conference 2013. The theme of this year’s conference was ‘Connectivity’.

Since it is not easy to summarise 2,5 days of education and interaction in a couple of pages, Bruce decided to write his coverage in alphabetic form with keywords from A to Z: from Alphorns to Jazz, ending with (as you should always do) a moment of Zen.

Click here to read his story.

It’s always nice to get compliments

BBT Online’s first Speed Date Workshop in Antwerp on 25 February proved to be a big success: 54 top suppliers and 84 top planners present (the biggest challenge of such an event: to have on both sides – suppliers and planners - the crème de la crème of the meeting industry). Furthermore two marvelous venues: Umami and Little Buddha, great food and a lot of business contacts made.

We’ll organize another edition in September, again with very crisis friendly rates for suppliers. If you want to take a look at some pictures of the workshop, go to our Facebook page by clicking here.

In the days after the event, a lot of our guests (meeting planners and suppliers) sent us heart-warming compliments via mail or Facebook. Because they’re always nice to receive, and because it’s ok to be proud of a job well done, we will share them with you behind this link.


Real Short !!

15 – 23 March, Belgium: RestoDays. Discover more than 350 gastronomic addresses all over Belgium. During 9 days, chefs of the selected restaurants will prepare you a delicious 3- course menu for a very friendly price. Prices start from €21 for lunch and €28 for dinner. Venues with a minimum rating of 15/20 in GaultMillau can ask for an extra €10 and restaurants with a star start from €36 for lunch and €43 for dinner.
20-21 March, Tours & Taxis, Brussels: Beurs Ondernemen. The place to be if you’re starting a business or if you already have one and you’re looking to boost and develop your activities.
22 April, BBT Online’s next 4D workshop – venue: The Egg Brussels. For professional Event & Incentive agents only. The official invitation will follow this week. FB page of this event,
6-9 May, Dubai: Arabian Travel Market 2013. Travel and tourism event unlocking business potential within the Middle East for inbound and outbound tourism professionals.
30 September – 3 October: Riviera Maya, Mexico: ILTM Americas. ILTM Americas provides an exclusive opportunity for global luxury travel suppliers to develop business with buyers from high spending markets across the American continent such as Brazil, Mexico, Panama, Chile, Columbia, Venezuela as well as North America.
Consult BBT Online’s MICE agenda, and don’t miss any event.

On 9 March, Zandhoven gets three new venues under one roof: the bistro ‘7Senses’, the ‘White Room’ event venue and the music lounge ‘Club 7’ (hosted by Buscemi). Three different venues in one location, under the motto: ‘Music and Food: the hidden language of our soul’.
Design Hotels published its new Design Hotels coffee table book for 2013. 800 pages full of the most splendid hotels. Two versions were released, one in XXL format. Designer Alvar Aalto’s famous Stool 60 and a special table have been customized to accompany each copy of the 25kg (!!) special edition. You’ll be getting a coffee table book that is bigger than your coffee table. Even weirder: you’ll get a coffee table book that IS a coffee table.
Genie Mobile announced its top ten predictions for the mobile event App industry in 2013. Events will become more and more mobile, and as a result, apps will become the norm at most of them. Aps will also play a much greater role in the marketing arm of every product it is attached to. For all ten predictions, and a detailed explanation of all of them, please visit
Welcome to the surreal, quirky and wonderful world of Flanders! ‘Fans of Flanders’ is a website that will teach you all there is to know about the Flemish people, even the things you really didn’t want to know. A very interesting, funny site, based on a television show for expats.
The MPI Foundation released its ‘Future of Meetings Supplement #4 of 5 – From the Outside In: Meeting Communications’. It focuses on how new technology coupled with an aging workforce and a new generation on the doorstep, is affecting the way meeting professionals will need to communicate. Go to to access the research or join the discussion via

It might sound weird, but Marriott and IKEA teamed up to create Moxy Hotels. Marriot is making a move for the 3-star segment, aiming for the millennium generation. No less than 150 Moxy Hotels will be opened in Europe in the following 10 years. IKEA’s role in all of this? Financing, not furniture. Inter IKEA (the parent company), has been making heavy investments in real estate for years, making itself less dependent on retail activities. IKEA hotels, but without IKEA furniture. 
Pullman opened a new hotel in Dubai. Pullman Dubai Deira City Centre will have 317 rooms. It’s close to the airport and connected to one of the city’s largest malls. The hotel was designed to be perfectly balanced between business and leisure: it will have an entire floor dedicated to meetings and events, with a total of 9 meeting rooms.
Hotel Bloom’s restaurant SmoodS launched its ‘Crazy Casseroles’. As of 25 February, SmoodS lets you discover all sorts of crazily tasty casserole dishes. A unique menu full of daring and wild combinations. Ever tasted a Flemish beef stew with pears and ginger cookies? Now is your chance!
St. Valentine’s day is already over, but romantic weekends are not limited to 14 February, are they? Where better to book one than in ‘Hotel Montmartre Mon Amour’, right in Paris’ most romantic neighbourhood. Every room is unique and symbolizes a different kind of love: eternal love, true love, passionate love, free love, et cetera. We wonder how many people can fit in the bed of the Free Love room.
Restaurant Day is a lovely concept, encouraging everyone to open their own pop-up restaurant for a day. They even have a short guide on how to do so on the website. ‘Knowing how to cook’ was sadly left out of the to do list though. Quite an important factor, no?
Hampshire Classic (representing 25 historic hotels in the Benelux) recently started cooperating with Historia Events. The Hampshire Classic hotels will now be intensively promoted by both organisations. Bookings can be made on both websites under the same conditions.

Because the Benelux office of Disneyland Paris’ MICE department was recently closed down, Liesbeth van Heiningen is looking for a new professional challenge in the South of the Netherlands or in the North of Belgium. She worked for Disneyland Paris for 9 happy years. You can reach her on
These are hard times, it’s no secret. PCO Mindstream International, with GM Eric Thiry is the next company to face bankruptcy. The employees were already fired.


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

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!


Karin de Graauw – Editor-in-chief BBT Online
Rue de Toulouse 49 – 1040 Brussels – Belgium
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