A Q&A with Lisa DiLuzio, Director of Marketing and Sales for Erie Events, Bayfront Convention Center
PAME: Tell PAM+E readers about the convention center
Lisa: We opened in August of 2007. Erie’s Bayfront Convention Center is located on the shores of Lake Erie’s Presque Isle Bay and consists of over 100,000 square feet of event space, offering breathtaking views and amazing sunsets. It provides world-class facilities, amenities and service you need for your meeting, trade show, convention or event from the largest banquet venue for 2,000 or a small meeting for as few as 10.
PAME: What recognition have you received?
Lisa: We won the Aon Build America Award recognizing the most outstanding project of the year.
PAME: What sets you apart from other venues?
Lisa: In June of 2016 we opened a second hotel connected to our convention center bringing our total connected guest room count to 392. Having the Courtyard Erie Bayfront and the Sheraton Bayfront Hotel connected directly to our meeting space along with our location overlooking Presque Isle Bay is making us a much sough-after meeting facility. In addition, our hotel and convention center teams work under the same leadership umbrella which translates to a seamless process for planners.
PAME: What do you want planners to know?
Lisa: The meetings industry has become plagued with “gotcha pricing,” with much of the costs for a convention increasing long after a contract has been signed, or adding up uncontrollably as multiple vendors and properties get added. We’ve addressed this by ensuring that we can provide everything a convention planner would need using our own in-house team. By keeping most costs centralized, we can provide a tremendous value to meeting planners. From audio visual to trade show décor, our inventory can handle all sorts of event needs. In addition, our close relationship with our sister hotels ensures that we can sit as a group in the negotiation process to ensure that all convention costs are taken into account. We feel strongly that our value proposition stacks up against any other facility in PA.
From an attendees’ perspective, we feel our views and access to amenities are unmatched. Being located on Presque Isle Bay enables us to offer all sorts of recreational opportunities for attendees and guest room views that can’t be
matched. Through partnerships with VisitErie and our other sister properties, we are also able to coordinate off-site entertainment options from minor league hockey and basketball, to theatre and dining in our adjacent downtown district. During inclement weather, attendees can easily travel throughout our convention complex from building to building.
PAME: What is happening in 2018?
Lisa: In 2017 we celebrated our 10th year in operation. While that is young for our type of facility we’ve been making constant improvements. 2018 is no different. We have several projects planned in the year that will update our building décor as well as equipment. We are committed to ensuring we are able to address the ever-changing needs of today’s meeting planner.
In addition, we are pleased to announce the addition of a new restaurant located in our complex. Details of this restaurant are still in the works but we are looking to a summer opening. This is one of many additions that we will see over the next several years as we grow the size and offerings within our convention complex. We are looking to become the premier convention destination in the state.