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.
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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:
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 www.mpiweb.org.
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 www.SITE-intl.org.
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 www.cruising.org.
& 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,
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 would
like to see something specific here, please let us know.
Global Experience, Personal
Service, Competitive Pricing