Frequently Asked Questions
what we do
incentive travel
NYC programs
on-site services
recent programs
sample programs
contact us

On this page you will find the answers to many of the most frequently asked questions about us. Of course, if you require more information or have a question not answered here, you are most welcome to call or e-mail us.

Why should we do business with you as opposed to a travel agent, incentive house, larger competitor, etc.?

Schron Associates is a professional business services company, not a travel agency, travel management or marketing company.
We are a family-owned and managed business and not a franchisee or branch of a multi-level sales organization. As serious business people, we see the bigger picture, how your events are a part of your organization's strategy. Customized meetings, incentives, conferences & events ("MICE") and "business tourism" (study tours, educational seminars etc.) for corporate, association, and affinity groups are all that we do. We accept a limited number of assignments each year from a select, results-focused clientele. Unlike many of our competitors, we are not here to try to sell you some unrelated marketing or travel services and, unlike our biggest competitors (who each have hundreds - if not thousands - of clients), we aren't trying to consolidate our industry by serving both you and your competitors at the same time. When you deal with us, you can be sure that you are our priority client in your industry. We believe we offer a clear alternative to dealing with a monolithic travel conglomerate, motivation company, sales-oriented franchisee, faceless website, vacation-oriented travel agent, or going it alone. We take every assignment professionally and personally, giving you the kind of attention to detail that we think you deserve. We are in the "people business," and we view your business as a relationship, not a booking, and with Schron Associates you will always deal with the people in charge, who have a personal interest in making your program successful. We do not overpromise with slick advertising and underdeliver with mediocre and impersonal service, as so many in the travel and events industry do today. Additionally, our background is in marketing, finance, and public relations - not just the travel business. This gives us insight into your organizational goals and the ability to help you achieve them. Our no-nonsense, relationship-based service is the reason why some clients have done business with us for over 20 years, and why we attract clients from both the heartland of America and as far away as Australia. If you value this level of service, we would like to build an ongoing relationship with you as well.

What sort of programs do you specialize in?
Our expertise is in planning and managing customized meetings and events, group incentive travel, and education/study programs for corporations, associations and affinity groups.
While we can handle events of any type and size, we specialize in management retreats, employee and client appreciation trips, business study tours and other such events of under 100 guests that require a high touch, personal approach. Our goal is to provide efficiently-run, enjoyable and cost-effective meetings/events and the kind of exciting and rewarding incentive travel programs that assure the results our clients want and expect. We create customized programs at negotiated, group prices. We are not a retail travel agency nor are we an internet booking service; as such we do NOT handle requests for individual business or leisure travel arrangements.

Who are your clients?
Our clients come from all over the world and from a variety of sectors, ranging from global corporations and national associations to innovative start-ups and local businesses that are well-known in their communities. While some clients outsource the event planning function to us, others have an in-house event staff that we work with to provide specific expertise and services. What our clients tend to have in common is that, like us, they are value-conscious, detail-oriented and appreciate unbiased advice and personal, professional service. While some of our competitors trumpet lists of client company names on their websites (in some cases, several competitors list the same clients), we feel that part of our job is making sure the credit for a successful event goes to the person who hired us to plan and manage it. As such, we will be happy to provide individual references on request - not just a company name, but a person there you can talk to, who has worked with us personally.

Do you have a brochure?
Yes, but most of what you need to know about us is right here on this modest website, and if you have any questions we would be happy to answer them personally. If you would like more information, please call us at 1.800.842.5050 (toll-free in US) or 1.212.595.2700 (international) or e-mail us at Please note that while we are happy to provide the information you request, unlike some of our competitors, we do not send out those annoying and generic "blast" faxes, e-mails, etc. and we never sell or give client/potential client information to unrelated third parties.

What is the difference between what you do and a 'site selection' company?
Service and lack of bias. A site selection company generally aggregates RFPs from many clients to gain economies of scale and then places those groups with its preferred suppliers, e.g. hotel chains, who compensate the site selection company based on volume. As such, their site selection decisions are not unbiased. At Schron Associates, we actually work with our clients individually to find the specific venues that best meet their needs, without regard to potential compensation to us from the venues. In sum, we work for you, not the hotel chains. Additionally, site selection companies are not true event planners. What they offer is essentially a booking service as, unlike as is often expected of meeting and incentive planners, they do not generally go onsite to oversee client events. We feel that in addition to a lack of bias in site selection, an onsite presence to take care of our clients is an important part of what we offer.

How much of our program can you handle for us?
As much or as little as you require, we are extremely flexible. From helping design your incentive program criteria or meeting agenda to venue and menu selection, we can take care of everything necessary to ensure your event's success. We can handle any and/or every aspect of your program including lodging, group flight arrangements, transfers, meals, activities such as golf or sightseeing, entertainment, and mailings and record keeping associated with your event. Even if you choose to buy an off-the-shelf package, we will be happy to customize it for you and handle the administration and supervision of your program.

How do you determine what is an appropriate proposal for my program?
By listening to you first. We will work closely with you to develop a program that will get you the results you're looking for. We first find out the organizational goal your program is designed to achieve, and keeping that goal, along with your preferences for program venue and budget in mind, work out a customized proposal, based on negotiated pricing, that meets your needs. Of course, if your company has an RFP format, we are happy to work from your formal specifications if you are willing to take the time to discuss the objectives of your event. Please note that for new clients, we cannot make proposals based solely on RFPs. While we have an extensive knowledge of suppliers and venues built over decades of experience, we have no financially-motivated preferred vendor arrangements (unlike some of our competitors), so you can always be sure our advice is unbiased and in your best interests. In sum, we never forget that it's your event.

Will you work with our in-house staff on a program?
Yes. While we offer an outsourced solution, we also will gladly work with your in-house staff to provide specific services and expertise to assure your program's success. Large companies with in-house travel and event departments often call on us for this sort of assistance, especially for events in our hometown of New York City.

You say that you offer your services globally; what does that mean?
It means that our process for planning successful events is not specific to any particular destinations or venues. We can apply our high standards and attention to detail to any place in the world, and work together with reliable and respected local partners who are destination experts that share our commitment to quality service. Even in places where we have not planned events before, our process enables us to identify dependable local partners we can work with to make your program successful. Our ability to work with such partners around the world makes us a small business with global reach.

It seems like you personally escort most of your client groups; is this really necessary? Don't hotels and cruise lines have group coordinators to take care of our group?
Our clients appreciate a higher than average level of attention to detail that applies to their entire program. As such, they often ask us to oversee their events because they know that we exclusively look out for their interests, while supervising the performance of what can often be dozens of unrelated suppliers. This includes not just the event venue, but also transportation companies, private dining arrangements, audiovisual suppliers, entertainment, activity venues, etc. A hotel or cruise line may assign a staff member to your group, but he or she will likely also be looking after other groups in-house at the same time, while also carrying out other job functions unrelated to the success of your specific event. Their primary accountability is not to you, but to the hotel or cruise line management. When we are on-site, we are accountable solely to you, and responsible for all program arrangements made by us on your behalf. Read more about our on-site services here.

Where are you located?
While we offer our services globally, Schron Associates is proudly based in New York City. Our offices are in Manhattan, just north of the Lincoln Center area.

I like the idea of having a professional handle my program, but I'm concerned about losing control. Some event planners act like they think they're celebrities, how can I be sure you'll deliver what I want?
The only attitude we express is yours. We make the effort to build an ongoing dialogue with each client, to learn a client's organizational culture, and to express it through the events we plan. This has been so successful that event attendees often assume that we are client company staff. That suits us just fine. Unlike some others in our business, especially here in NYC, we never forget that the star of the show is always you, our client.

We want to do something unique and creative with our program, to give our people an unforgettable experience they "can't buy" on their own. Can you help us with this?
Absolutely. Unusual venues, activities, transportation and entertainment can turn an ordinary meeting or incentive trip into a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Over the years, we've made all sorts of unique and memorable arrangements for clients, including chartering a special "bar/disco" car for an overnight rail journey across Europe, organizing a sailing race aboard America's Cup yachts and hiring a well-known Elvis impressionist to perform a surprise set at an awards dinner. We can arrange for you to stay in castles and former convents, travel on horseback or on a private jet, go sand-skiing or snowmobiling, make your own gourmet meal with a professional chef and drink champagne in the desert. We can also find you customized amenities, "household name" keynote speakers and celebrity entertainment, or, for the cost-conscious, celebrity impersonators. There are many truly unique and exciting experiences that can be arranged for private groups around the world. Our philosophy is that there's no limit to the imagination - only to the budget.

We are a travel agency (or tour operator); will you provide us with a bid on our client's program?
While we are more than happy to work with a client's in-house travel or event planning staff, Schron Associates does not generally work with travel agencies or tour operators unless they are willing to sign a client agreement, providing us with detailed program specifications (including the name of the end-user client and a budget), or unless we are paid a proposal deposit (creditable toward services to be rendered). This is because as consultants, we prefer to work closely with the end-user client organization, not a middleman who may be seeking a low bid to resell to his client at a higher price. We offer a quality service based on experience, personal service and attention to detail, not lowest price.

We'd like to do a meeting, incentive or event, but our travel and entertainment budget has been drastically reduced, how do we pay for it?
With your marketing, advertising or promotional budget. We at Schron Associates do not believe that meetings, incentives and especially business education events are "T&E" expenses. After all, any such event should be strategic, designed to advance an organizational goal. If your company is spending millions on a national media campaign or even tens of thousands on a local ad campaign, you can find the budget for a MICE or business education event, which will produce more qualitative (and likely more quantitative) results. While your ad agency obviously won't tell you this, we think that you will find strategic business events a superior value compared to other marketing and promotional options. In real terms (adjusted for inflation), hotel rates in popular destinations like Las Vegas are about the same as they were 50 years ago, and airfares are less!

How do you price your services?
Realistically. We don't believe in using deceptively low, bait-and-switch pricing to attract business, as so many in the travel industry tend to, e.g. the "$99 airfare" that is one-way based on a round-trip purchase and excluding taxes and fees, or the "amazingly low hotel rate" that's never available when you want to stay there. When you give us your dates, budget and specifications, we design a custom proposal to meet your needs, and our goal is always to deliver value to the client; we save you money by negotiating with suppliers on your behalf. Typically, our proposal is based on a customized package price for a program, with the cost of our services already built in. However, we can also offer a cost-plus option with separate billing for our services, generally in the range of 18 to 20%. Whichever option suits your needs, we believe you will find that we are competitively priced, with our unique experience, knowledge and attention to detail at no extra cost. While package pricing may often be the best value, the cost-plus option is popular for those clients for whom specific cost identification is important or required. Either way, our goal is to deliver value and build a long-term relationship with our clients. Whatever pricing option you choose, ask us about discounts for prepayment. If you pay us in full at the time of contract, you can benefit from significant savings on the cost of our services.

We're looking to minimize our travel expenses; how do we know you're the cheapest?
While we do negotiate group rates to offer you the best value, we aren't in the business of offering bargain-basement travel deals, and if lowest cost is your main or only criteria, we invite you to look elsewhere. Travel pricing today, particularly with respect to airfares and hotel rates, is a rather sophisticated dynamic process driven by supply and demand-based revenue and yield management algorithms and seldom, if ever, is the absolute lowest price available for exactly what you want, in the quantity you want it, when and where you want it. There are plenty of websites that provide generic lowest price-driven services for individual travel if venue and timing are not the key criteria, although due to revenue management systems you are unlikely to find the lowest internet rates available for groups. However, if your objective is to give your people a custom-designed, rewarding and results-oriented event experience, within a reasonable, value-oriented budget, then you should talk to us.

Doesn't the internet have the best travel deals?

The internet is a very efficient order entry and pricing system for travel, especially for individual travel, but makes little if any representation about the quality of the product or service delivered. What we offer is a professional service for clients that want customized, specific arrangements made for their events at prices negotiated directly with suppliers that have been identified and selected based on quality, convenience and value, and we personally oversee the performance of those suppliers on our clients' behalf. This is a much higher level of service than any website can possibly offer, because it requires personal interaction with both clients and suppliers. In some cases, "internet prices" may be lower than the negotiated group prices. This is because group prices are customized, somewhat flexible, and based on a supplier's guarantee of specific availability for your program, while the most heavily discounted internet prices are somewhat like a clearance sale; they are only available while supplies last, they are quantity, date and time restricted, they often require payment in full at the time of booking, and are generally nonrefundable and nontransferable. This makes them too inflexible and generally inapplicable for meeting and incentive groups.

You're based in New York City. Does this mean you charge more than your competitors?
Absolutely not. While our proposition is not based on lowest price, we run a very efficient, value-focused operation here. As business people ourselves, we understand that productivity is key. And as a small, privately-held business, we have lower fixed costs and greater operating flexibility than our large competitors. We offer competitive pricing, and whether your event is in the Big Apple or elsewhere, you get the hardworking, professional spirit of New York City at no extra charge. We invite you to submit to us any valid proposal from a legitimate competitor based elsewhere in the US, and we will do our best to match or beat it. Contact us and ask for details about this offer.

Your website contains quite a few references to globalization. What do meetings & incentive travel have to do with globalization?
We believe meetings & incentive travel have everything to do with globalization. The emergence of an increasingly interdependent global economy is the major trend of the 21st century, and to stay competitive, even small and local businesses must understand global markets, sourcing, and strategies. We can help you take your sales team to visit suppliers in China, or bring your Indian customer service staff to the US to better understand the marketplace. We can help you take your management team to visit corporate facilities anywhere on earth, or to study how business is done in the world cities driving the global economy like New York, London, Hong Kong, and Dubai. This can be structured as either a business education meeting or as an incentive trip for top performers, and we have experience with both, having organized several Mexican factory visits for Europe's largest automaker as well as study tours of major US financial centers for one of Asia's biggest banks.

Why do you think you know more about globalization than other business event planners?

Our background as New Yorkers, living and working in America's most global business city, is just the beginning. Our founders have a forty year history of working with foreign companies in the US. In fact, it was some of Europe's major automakers that were our initial clients in the 1980s. In the 1990s, one of our principals worked in the Middle East, in one of the world's most dynamic and multicultural expatriate communities. While some see globalization as a recent business trend, dealing with this issue is a longstanding tradition for us, and today we carry on this global tradition by serving clients from as far away as Australia.

On many travel and event company websites, I see lots of little logos and banners of various hotel chains, airlines, cruise lines, etc., that they say are their "preferred partners." Why don't I see any here?

Those logos and banners are essentially paid advertisements that, in our opinion, create a conflict of interest when they appear on the websites of companies in our business. While some of our competitors have a vested interest in steering you to a venue or vendor that is compensating them to specifically do so, or that is even owned by the same company, our reputation is based on offering realistic, unbiased advice, and Schron Associates does not accept marketing money to promote any specific destination, vendor, or outside service to our clients. We do consider the various independent surveys and rankings in site selection, as well as our own past experience and input from other trusted sources, but we do not believe there is any "best hotel" (or "best cruise ship" or "best conference center" etc.), only the one that's best for you and your program. We understand that sometimes you want to "wow" and pamper your guests with 5-star luxury, but sometimes you just want a clean, cost-effective meeting venue near the airport. In putting together a program, we select vendors based only on what is appropriate for the client in terms of quality, value, and convenience.

So what do the logos mean that are on the bottom of the homepage?
These are the logos of professional and trade organizations with which we are affiliated. In contrast to the above, these are organizations that require membership and adherence to certain standards of practice. Here is some brief information about each:

Meeting Professionals International: Established in 1972 and based in Dallas, MPI is the largest trade association for the $100 billion+ meeting and event industry. With over 24,000 members in 84 countries worldwide, MPI defines the return on investment and strategic value meetings bring to individuals, organizations and the global economy. MPI helps its members enhance their professional value by providing them with best practices, superior education, the latest research and trends, and professional development opportunities. Membership is split between meeting planners and industry suppliers. To learn more about MPI, visit

The Society of Incentive & Travel Executives: Based in Chicago, SITE is a worldwide organization of business professionals dedicated to the recognition and development of motivational and performance improvement strategies of which travel is a key component. It recognizes the global cultural differences and practices in developing these strategies, and serves as a networking and educational opportunity for its members. Through its foundation, SITE also sponsors research studies to enhance the body of knowledge relating to the incentive industry. SITE has over 2,100 members in 87 countries, representing every discipline in the incentive travel sector. More information about SITE can be found at

Cruise Lines International Association: Founded in 1975 and based in Fort Lauderdale, CLIA is the official trade organization of the cruise industry. CLIA is made up of the 24 major cruise lines that represent 97 percent of the global cruise capacity marketed from North America working in partnership with over 16,000 affiliated travel agencies to ensure the highest caliber of cruise sales expertise and service for cruise vacationers. Through education, public relations, and marketing, CLIA's end objective is to raise awareness about the cruise experience. To find out more about CLIA and about the cruise industry in general, please visit

NYC & Company: Formerly the New York Convention & Visitors Bureau, NYC & Company is New York City's official tourism marketing organization. A private, nonprofit, member-based organization, it has a membership of about 2,000 businesses involved in NYC's $30 billion travel and tourism industry, including museums, hotels, restaurants, retail stores, theaters, tour companies, and attractions. The mission of NYC & Company is to enhance New York's economy by marketing the city on a worldwide basis as the premier destination for business and leisure travel. For more information about NYC & Company, and for official NYC visitor information in general, see

How do we know you're reputable? Your website doesn't look very slick.
Neither do we. We're a small family business and we believe in keeping it real; we created and continue to maintain this website ourselves. We have no big marketing budget for hype and rely mostly on word of mouth about our old-fashioned personal service and attention to detail to find new business. This site exists to inform you about who we are and what we do in a way that is honest and direct. That's the way we have done business for over 25 years. Our clients choose Schron Associates because we are results-oriented, not image or process-oriented. Of course, we love hearing from you and if you have any comments or questions about our site, or woul
d like to see something specific here, please let us know.

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Since 1982
Global Experience, Personal Service, Competitive Pricing

©2009 Robert P. Schron Associates Ltd.