Curated experiences: By carefully selecting events and experiences that align with your brand’s quality standards, you ensure that your customers will have access to unique and high-quality offerings. For example, partnering with a popular music festival and offering exclusive VIP packages can create a memorable experience for your clients and make them more likely to book future events with you.

As part of my series about “How To Create A Travel Experience That Keeps People Coming Back For More”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jordan Scheffler.

Jordan Scheffler is an entrepreneur, innovator, and leader reshaping the events and entertainment industries for a new generation. He has built his career connecting millennial and Gen-Z audiences with culturally relevant brands and experiences. His deep understanding of the cultural zeitgeist and expertise across community-building platforms led him to co-found Crewfare, a startup that customizes travel solutions for event attendees and organizers powered by industry-leading tech that enables a seamless experience for all.

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Co-founding a revolutionary event-booking platform was never part of the plan. I spent my entire professional life in the live events and music industry, working at Universal Music Group, Groot Hospitality, and most recently 1/ST, where I produced the Preakness Stakes and Pegasus World Cup. I knew the ins and outs of producing successful events, while our CEO, Jason van Esso had expertise in assembling travel experiences, and co-founder, Zach Picon helped create hospitality experiences at some of the world’s top venues. After joining forces to bring our unique areas of expertise to the table, we decided to take the leap to start Crewfare, and here we are. Crewfare is the first truly integrated, seamless and social way for people to book event travel, powered by industry-leading technology and a user-friendly digital interface. Through Crewfare, we offer discounted accommodations curated by our team of experts, 24/7 customer support, and access to exclusive extras like merch and shuttle passes — bookable on Crewfare’s website and directly through festival websites.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

Earlier in my career, I had the opportunity to conceptualize and produce a festival for over 10,000 attendees. At 1/ST, we created a new concept called Clubhouse Fest — a music and food festival on the clubhouse turn of a racetrack. Guests could watch the races, see their favorite performers, and enjoy the best food and drink Maryland had to offer. The event ran for two years and I am thankful for the experience of transforming an idea into a festival that impacted so many lives, even just for one day. That same feeling resonates with Crewfare. We had an idea, built it, and it is successfully changing how event attendees and event staff book their travel accommodations.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

My favorite story to share with interns and staff who are just starting their professional careers is when I interviewed with Atlantic Records for a music intern position. I was a freshman in college and this was my first interview ever. During the interview, after mentioning that “my biggest skill is understanding people’’ and “I’m a big fan of music,” they asked an intense question: “Tell us a little bit about a 911 situation you’ve faced and how you dealt with it.” Being the genius that I am, I responded with, “Well, I’ve never really had to call 911 for anything.” That marked the end of the interview. The key takeaway for me was that you’re going to make mistakes any time you try something new. All you can do is laugh it off and learn from it. As long as you learn something, it’s okay to embarrass yourself.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

Absolutely. My position at Groot Hospitality evolved from an internship during my junior year of college. As an intern, I was placed in a back office with little responsibility. I was eager for more hands-on assignments, and after a few months there, the VP of Marketing at the time, Jimmy Vargas, took me into his office and said, “You work for me now. You work out of my office.” Two years later, he left Groot to accept a position as CEO of 1/ST Experience, where he was tasked with reinvigorating the sport of horse racing through experiential events. He brought me with him, and under his tenure, we built 1/ST Experience into a 30+ person team and produced some of the biggest events in the world. He gave me a seat at the table of every meeting he was a part of, and gave me responsibilities I thought I was nowhere near ready for. The experience gained from those opportunities helped me become well-rounded early on in my career. In addition, Vargas is detail-oriented, and I credit him with my attention to detail, organization style, and leadership style. To this day, we are very close and still work together on various projects.

One of my favorite experiences with Vargas is when we produced the first drive-in music festival during the COVID-19 lockdowns. We were days away from Preakness when we decided to cancel, and within a 72-hour period we created a new experience, DriveInfieldFest, which allowed first responders to come see D-Nice (who was known for his Club Quarantine) in person. Within that time we secured approval from the mayor’s office, procured the venue, assembled stage production, activated hospitality and F&B, and produced a great event. This entire production came to life because of Vargas. Everyone thought he was crazy to attempt to produce a drive-in music festival during the pandemic. But, he has always been known to push creative boundaries when it comes to events and experiences. He goes for ideas that people believe are unachievable because he always says that if you’re going to do something, you should go all in. He shared this quote with me, and it’s now one that I live by: “Never let me see you sweat”. To this day I make sure I always have a smile on my face no matter how crazy things get.

Thank you for that. Let’s jump to the core of our discussion. Can you share with our readers about the innovations that you are bringing to the travel and hospitality industries?

The beauty of our company, Crewfare, is that most of our employees don’t come from the travel industry. The travel world has a super high barrier to entry, and without working your way up at a top travel firm, it’s hard to make a name for yourself or get the access required to work with major hotel, airline, and travel amenity chains. Because Zach and I already had access to contacts in the event industry, and Jason had experience in the destination travel industry, we had a combination of access and experience that allowed us to get in touch with major players in the space. Because of that we were able to successfully launch Crewfare and become the travel booking platform for 100+ global live events slated for 2023.

Crewfare is bringing many innovations to the travel industry, for both the attendees and the event staff:

  1. We help large events monetize travel, which many are not already doing. Large events such as conferences, music festivals, and playoff games bring thousands of travelers, without monetizing the travel accommodations. We set out to change that, and by partnering with Crewfare, events have the opportunity to profit on the travel being booked, while attendees receive a seamless booking experience. On the technology front, Crewfare offers tools that are unique to the group travel space, including payment plans, split with friends, and a robust reservation management functionality. Through our interface, users will experience a much simpler and more accessible way of booking travel.
  2. For event organizers, we offer bespoke solutions that are no-cost and no-risk, including white-label booking pages for event organizers, powered by Crewfare. And, born from a long overdue need to better manage staff travel, Crewfare has simplified and modernized the internal staff travel booking and management process through a centralized and personal portal, making archaic room block Excel grids obsolete.
  3. For event attendees, we integrated innovative functions into the Crewfare platform such as next-gen payment options including split payments, making group travel way more fun with way less fuss.
  4. Crewfare can also be used as a travel tool for event organizers to market their events. Between our blog, booking site, and paid ads, we’re seeing hundreds of thousands of monthly users on the Crewfare platform, and direct a significant amount of traffic to events.

Which “pain point” are you trying to address by introducing this innovation and how do you envision that this might disrupt the status quo?

With Crewfare, our goal is simple; we want to simplify the travel-booking process for event staff and attendees alike, and empower events to monetize attendee travel with no risk and no headache. Through Crewfare, we are making events more accessible for travelers with a seamless purchasing experience, tools dedicated to making hotel research easier, and offering payment plans, split with friends and reservation management functions.

As you know, COVID19 changed the world as we know it. Can you share a few examples of how travel and hospitality companies will be adjusting over the next five years to the new ways that consumers will prefer to travel?

Since COVID19, we have found that Gen Z prioritizes travel high on their list for their disposable income. The travel industry is long overdue for an innovation in the way travel accommodations are booked. Over the next five years, you’ll begin to see the modernization of travel-related booking, from the way we research where to stay, up to the check-in process at the hotel. Travel companies will have to modernize to be considered by Gen Z, and continue to stay up-to-date on technology and trends to appeal to this largely increasing consumer audience.

You are a “travel insider”. How would you describe your “perfect vacation experience”?

My perfect vacation experience is one where I don’t have to think about what my plans are for the day. I prefer to have everything booked in advance, ensuring that I have a well-organized itinerary. I also prefer to have flexibility to make changes when I need to, without having to deal with any hassles or stress. Personally, I prefer to go off the beaten path to a new and unknown destination, versus the one everyone is visiting and posting on social media.

At Crewfare, we aim to be ahead of the travel trends to inform others of what we predict will be the next big travel destinations.

Travel is not always about escaping, but about connecting. Have you made efforts to cultivate a more wellness driven experience? We’d love to hear about it.

Our entire model of Crewfare is one community. Through the platform, we aim to make travel more accessible for groups and we enable people to experience events together. As I mentioned, our split with friends functionality allows groups of friends to conveniently book travel together, and split the cost of planned travel accommodations and activities directly through Crewfare.

Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. Based on your experience and success, what are the five most important things one should know in order to create a travel experience that keeps bringing people back for more? Please share a story or an example for each.

  • Curated experiences: By carefully selecting events and experiences that align with your brand’s quality standards, you ensure that your customers will have access to unique and high-quality offerings. For example, partnering with a popular music festival and offering exclusive VIP packages can create a memorable experience for your clients and make them more likely to book future events with you.
  • Flexible reservation management: Offering flexible reservation management options, such as easy rescheduling, helps build customer loyalty and trust in your brand. This functionality shows that you understand the unpredictability of life and are willing to accommodate your clients’ needs.
  • Outstanding customer support: Your phone, chat, and email support demonstrates your commitment to providing exceptional customer service. This level of support helps address issues promptly, ensuring customers feel valued and well taken care of during their travels. At Crewfare we offer 24/7 customer support, to show our clients that we are available at any time of day for any of our upcoming global event partners.
  • Tailored experiences for different attendee types: Personalizing the types of experiences you offer based on the attendees of the event you are working with shows that you understand your customers’ preferences. For example, offering family-friendly activities for a kid-oriented event or adventure experiences for an outdoor sports event shows your clients that you are offering tailored activities to their personal interests to maximize their travel experience.
  • Refundable rates option: While not all companies offer refunds, providing refundable rate options adds an extra layer of flexibility and security for customers who may have concerns about potential changes to their plans. This option can give travelers peace of mind and make them more inclined to book with you.

Can you share with our readers how you have used your success to bring goodness to the world?

At Crewfare, we support meaningful experiences. Our team of event mavens carefully selects events that align with our brand values, ensuring that customers have access to unique and engaging experiences. By partnering with these experiences, we contribute to the success of local event organizers and help create memorable moments for our clients.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I would initiate a global “Travel for Change” movement, which aims to promote cultural understanding, empathy, and kindness through immersive travel experiences. By partnering with local communities and organizations, we can create curated trips focusing on cultural exchange, volunteering, and supporting local economies. This movement will foster connections between people from diverse backgrounds and help participants develop a more compassionate worldview.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Readers can check out Crewfare on Instagram @crewfare and can connect with me @sch.eff.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!


  • Savio P. Clemente

    TEDx Speaker, Media Journalist, Board Certified Wellness Coach, Best-Selling Author & Cancer Survivor

    Savio P. Clemente, TEDx speaker and Stage 3 cancer survivor, infuses transformative insights into every article. His journey battling cancer fuels a mission to empower survivors and industry leaders towards living a truly healthy, wealthy, and wise lifestyle. As a Board-Certified Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC, ACC), Savio guides readers to embrace self-discovery and rewrite narratives by loving their inner stranger, as outlined in his acclaimed TEDx talk: "7 Minutes to Wellness: How to Love Your Inner Stranger." Through his best-selling book and impactful work as a media journalist — covering inspirational stories of resilience and exploring wellness trends — Savio has collaborated with notable celebrities and TV personalities, bringing his insights to diverse audiences and touching countless lives. His philosophy, "to know thyself is to heal thyself," resonates in every piece.