Take a trip to Philly and be ready to meet positive people who work together. The Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia has been intent on improving the visitor experience for a dozen years. In 2023, the convention center added something new – teamwork training for its labor partners. Treat ’em Right offered just the right program for this new initiative which is an element of the Pennsylvania Convention Center’s groundbreaking Hospitality Industry Advancement Trust (HIAT) Fund program. Comments about the eye-opening training have poured in. In this article, find out what participants had to say about the training and learn how knowing yourself can lead to more success on the job.

The Pennsylvania Convention Center Teaches its Team Innovative Ways to Work Together

At one time, everyone from plumbers to meeting planners thought the Pennsylvania Convention Center was a difficult place to work and do business. Visitors complained about the poor service and bookings declined. The convention center found itself in the same place as other once-thriving centers – losing both money and the public trust.

Enter Treat ‘em Right, which began working with the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority in 2012, first conducting a thorough review of the situation then developing a multi-pronged solution to the challenges the center faced. Hundreds of convention center employees and industry partners have participated in Visitor Experience Education programs, learning customer service skills they now use every day.

What Union Members Said About Our Teamwork Training

In 2023, we created Coach ‘em Up, a custom program for the convention center’s labor partners – laborers, stagehands, electricians, riggers, and others who support the center’s operations. Ninety union members learned ways to build stronger teams at our first training in December.

Dominique Bonds, director of engagement for the Pennsylvania Convention Center, says the training gave participants the tools they need to, “not only be the best versions of themselves in the workplace, but also provide a necessary level of coaching and mentoring to the newer team members. This training is essential in ensuring our guests have an exceptional experience and positive engagements at the PCC.”

Ms. Bonds shared some of the positive feedback she received from tradesmen who work together:

“The training helped folks see their strengths and weaknesses in their mentoring/leadership abilities. The training also helped them to see each other’s abilities and recognize that as a team we are better together.”

“Each team member has skills that are highlighted, and they can see how to use their abilities to make the customer experience better.”

“Overall, I was impressed with how accurate Phil’s exercises were and how they encouraged team members to not only participate but learn from the sessions.”

After polishing the visitor experience with training like Coach ‘em Up, the Pennsylvania Convention Center is ready for continued growth by exceeding customer expectations.

Our Process for Teaching Teams to Work Together

Organizations spend thousands of dollars sending individuals to train in collaborative leadership. However, when you want to train a group of leaders to work together, your best bet is to bring in a trainer like Treat ‘em Right’s Phil Bruno. In addition to maximizing your training budget, in-house training allows you to customize the content.

The Pennsylvania Convention Center asked us for a program to break down barriers and build connections between their labor partners. Highlights included:


Our personality assessment homes in on three factors:

  1. How a person’s behavior changes in different situations.
  2. Their level of self-awareness, acceptance, and positivity.
  3. Character traits presented in a meaningful and scientific way.

Once participants have a realistic picture of themselves, they communicate better, and their leadership skills improve.


We lead an exercise in which employees get to know each other’s strengths, grouping people with similar personalities based on their assessment, and then providing prompts for a conversation about how their team’s strengths fit together.


Participants pair up with a co-worker with whom they would like to have a better working relationship. They brainstorm ways to build on their strengths and draft a plan on how to improve their teamwork.


We split into small groups, and then three participants shared their improvement plans and listened to the group’s feedback.

After the Coach ‘em Right training, participants were ready to lead their teams from a place of strength and armed with new ways to address conflicts. Most importantly, they had new skills for exceeding visitors’ expectations.

Throughout our partnership, the Pennsylvania Convention Center has focused on building trust. Managers, employees, and vendors now trust each other. Visitors and meeting planners trust the convention center’s team.

Is something eroding the trust between your organization, partners, and visitors? We are here to help uncover the causes and develop solutions. Give us a call now at 314-221-6037 or send us a message.