Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide a conceptual framework for conducting a benchmarking visit/expedition. Design/methodology/approach – Recent articles on the models of benchmarking are reviewed and used to construct a seven-step benchmarking visit/expedition framework that is subsequently tested by applying it to facilitate a benchmarking expedition for Dubai Holding Group (DHG) with United Utilities, Bradford and Bingley and the Marriot Hotel, all of the UK. Findings – The paper finds that good planning and execution of the benchmarking visit are essential. How the visit is conducted influences favourably/unfavourably the outcomes of the visit/expedition. Capturing meaningful learning of best practices required a purpose-focused approach/framework to guide gathering, documenting and prioritising best practice evidences. The suggested 7-Steps framework, when applied, focuses actions towards realising and reaping the full potential of such visits/expeditions. The 7-Steps model enabled DHG to exhaustively collect, document and prioritise best practice actions from the three benchmarking partners thereby rendering the expeditions a success. Practical implications – The success of a benchmarking visit’s/expedition’s outcome is contingent on the planning and training undertaken prior to the visit/expedition, how the visit itself is conducted and crucially, the usability and reliability of data and evidence gathered. Poor execution of a benchmarking visit even with good planning inevitably yields poor results and vice versa. Originality/value – The paper contributes to knowledge by closing a knowledge gap and providing a framework that enables user organisations to fully realise the benefits of a benchmarking visit/expedition.