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A large ballroom in a convention center.

Event Planning 101: How to Make the Most of Your Venue Site Visit

Play Video Photo courtesy of of the PA Convention Center.
Date February 20, 2024

Event Planning 101: How to Make the Most of Your Venue Site Visit

A large ballroom in a convention center.

A site visit is your introduction to the venue and the team responsible for partnering with you to deliver a successful event. It provides an opportunity for you to become familiar with the space, visualize the flow of your event, and interact, in person, with the venue team.

So, how do you make the most of your site visit to ensure you are choosing the best venue for your meeting or convention? These tips should be on the top of every meeting planner’s mind when they’re attending a site visit.

Before You Visit

A venue’s sales team is typically your first line of communication with the facility. They are usually the ones who would guide you during the site visit and should be seen as your partner. The sales team is there to not only help accomplish the objectives of your site visit, but to ensure that you get the most out of your investment.

Before your visit, an experienced venue sales team will discuss your event needs, goals, and expectations. Additionally, they will provide you with suggestions and innovative ideas on the best spaces to use and how to manage the overall flow of your event to bring your big ideas to life.

This is the type of attention to detail that the Pennsylvania Convention Center (PCC) prides itself on, and which you should expect of your venue sales team from the very start of your event planning journey.

During Your Visit

On most site visits, your sales manager will typically guide your tour. However, at the PCC, it is not unusual for our event services teams and other vendors to join. Including these individuals in the site visit will give you the opportunity to make full use of the venue’s expertise and cover multiple topics in one sitting.

People moving quickly around a carpeted room with a television screen in the background.

Photo courtesy of of the PA Convention Center.

Additionally, if you expect your event to have a high volume of food and beverage, the services team can plan a working lunch meeting, where you can sample the food and beverage options available for your meeting.

Ask Plenty of Questions

With all of these experts at your disposal, ask as many questions as you can think of to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Some important topics and questions to keep in mind include:

Space Flexibility

How much flexibility will you have to make changes to the space?

At the PCC, our event spaces have been purposely designed as “blank canvases” so that our customers can transform the space according to their event theme or company brand. Having this type of flexibility allows you to create a unique event experience for your attendees.

Marketing and Branding Opportunities

Are there any unique opportunities for brand placements around the venue? For example, digital signage, kiosks, or unique banner placements inside and outside of the building.

Inside the PA Convention Center, a sign reads "Upcoming dates"

Photo courtesy of the PA Convention Center

In Philadelphia, these branding opportunities extend through the PCC and beyond. Working the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Breau (PHLCVB) Destination Services team,  signage options are available for the Philadelphia International Airport, Reading Terminal Market, partner hotels, and the city’s lamp posts.


Is the venue able to accommodate your technology needs? Are you planning to livestream any parts of the event? Will your attendees require access to Wi-Fi and streaming capabilities? What network configuration would be required to achieve these objectives?

A venue that has state-of-the-art technology readily available, along with skilled and proactive IT and audio-visual teams, will help to make your life a whole lot easier. These teams should be able to provide you with innovative recommendations to help facilitate your unique event needs. They should leave you feeling confident in their ability to manage your technology requirements. 

Labor Rules

What are the labor rules for load-in and load-out? Will your exhibitors have some level of autonomy over their booth set up? Are the labor costs affordable for your exhibitors?

Selecting a venue that is collaborative and focused on controlling exhibitor costs and providing a positive exhibitor experience, will help to ease any concerns.

The PCC is one venue that offers customers some of the most progressive work rules in the market. This gives exhibitors a great deal of flexibility, more control over their costs, and more service-focused encounters with our facility’s labor teams, compared to other venues. These rules have transformed the way in which we partner with our customers and have made doing business with our facility simple and economical.

Parking, Transportation, Accommodations, and Amenities

Is the venue easily accessible by public transportation? Are there sufficient hotels nearby for attendees? Is parking available for attendees who may drive? What amenities are nearby?

Your venue’s location and proximity to transportation, accommodation, and amenities are key factors that affect the overall attendee experience. A venue such as the PCC, located in the heart of Philadelphia, goes a long way in helping you create a destination specific experience that is unique and memorable.

Three people walk down a city sidewalk


Is the venue ADA compliant? Will your event require any special equipment, technology, or accommodations for disabled attendees? Does the venue have a policy for service animals?

PHL Diversity is prepared to assist event planners in addressing the accessibility requirements of both attendees and customers in Philadelphia. The Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) business division of the PHLCVB is well-equipped to link you with community leaders, facilitating a seamless collaboration to meet your accessibility needs. By harmonizing efforts with the CVB’s Destinations Services team, you can gain access to a comprehensive array of resources, ensuring the successful execution of an inclusive and accessible event.

Health and Safety Policies

What policies are in place to ensure the health and safety of guests? Does the venue have a detailed crisis plan and is there a well-established relationship with local law enforcement?

The PCC has made significant capital investments in the facility to prioritize the health and well-being of all guests. Additionally, the venue has an onsite command station that works closely with our local police department to proactively and efficiently manage any crises that may occur. Partnering with a venue that prioritizes health and safety will help to reassure your attendees of your own commitment to their overall well-being.


Will your event incorporate a sustainability program? Can the venue facilitate the needs of your ? Will you require energy consumption and waste diversion reports for your event? Can the venue facilitate a donation program or other community outreach initiatives?

A venue, such as the Convention Center, that has well-established sustainability, donation, and community outreach programs in place, would be an invaluable partner. Your venue can become a resource to help implement your event’s corporate social responsibility initiatives and help you meet your sustainability goals.

Take Photos

In addition to asking lots of questions, while you are onsite, don’t forget to take lots of photos. Having an image catalogue of the spaces and food and beverage presentations is useful for evaluating your event.

After the Visit

A site visit can be a powerful tool to guarantee the success of your event. It is an opportunity to build a strong connection with the venue and event services teams who will help achieve your event goals. All of the moving parts of your event can be pulled together allowing you to visualize the final product.

At the end of the visit, you should feel confident in the ability of the team to manage your event and that they are committed to helping you achieve your event goals.

Looking to host your next meeting or event in Philadelphia? Contact our award-winning sales and services team to make your next event unforgettable.

About the Author

Stephanie Mays Boyd is the Director of Sales and Marketing with ASM Global at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

With more than 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Stephanie leads a dynamic sales and services team by creating sound strategies that yield $7 million of revenue to the Center yearly.

Since 1996, Stephanie has had a progressive career at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, starting as an event coordinator, and then moving through the ranks of the sales department holding various positions such as Sales and Service Coordinator, Convention and Tradeshow Sales Manager, and Senior Sales Manager.

An active member of the community, Stephanie currently serves as Board Member for the African American Museum of Philadelphia and Chair of the Leadership Council for the United Negro College Fund (Philadelphia).  She is also a member of The Links, Incorporated (Philadelphia Chapter), the National Foundation Board, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated