The Eventful Startup: Cynthia Kim, Regional Marketing Director of Venuerific

Venuerific is making it easier for people to discover great venues around Asia for their events. They are a young and dynamic team that loves introducing people to all manner of amazing, trendy, beautiful, professional and truly unique venues. They are building a regional platform that showcases Asia’s best venues with the aim of delighting event owners and saving them the time and effort when looking for one. After all, events are really all about people and connecting the right people with the right places is what we do best.

LadyBoss caught up with Cynthia Kim, Venuerific’s Regional Marketing Director on leadership.

Q: What does Venuerific do?

A: Venuerific (www.venuerific.com) is Southeast Asia’s largest online marketplace of event spaces. Headquarted in Singapore and present in Malaysia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, and the Philippines, we make sure you find the perfect space for your upcoming 30th birthday bash, sunset wedding by a beach in Bali, to an intimate team-bonding session for your company! We want to make it hassle-free when it comes to organizing events and creating unforgettable memories.

Q: Why did you take the plunge to being involved in a startup?

A: Since young, I grew up watching my father start, grow, and manage his own startup. He didn’t share much about it when he was home nor did I ask much but what I do remember is I was very much inspired by him working so hard for something he cared about and for his staff and their families that his business was responsible in supporting. After I graduated from my university back in Vancouver, I wasn’t aware so much about the startup world, but a part of me felt much more attracted to taking a leap into the entrepreneurship world rather than working for a large corporation.

When I came across the chance to becoming part of a startup that I felt passionate in, I took a big jump (a 12,812km one) to Singapore, leaving my friends and family back home. I had previously completed my exchange studies at the National University of Singapore and was well aware of the vibrant startup scene here. Currently, I’m very happy to say that since working at Venuerific, I have been privileged to partner with over 900 venue hosts in the region and it is always heartening to see them grow and make revenue through events which helps them run their businesses or pay for the rental of their spaces.

When I came across the chance to becoming part of a startup that I felt passionate in, I took a big jump (a 12,812km one) to Singapore

Q: What are some of the main challenges in this business?                      

A: Creating the best product is certainly the goal of every startup and while running operations, you have to focus on building the functions needed to make it scale. It may sound matter-of-fact. However, for  bootstrapping startups like ours (we are on our 4th year) with limited manpower and funds depended solely on the sales of our products, it is most likely you’re in a loop of constantly running operations. When you are caught in this, it’s hard to balance between creating the best product you wish to achieve and managing business.

Q: How many people do you lead in your team? How do you remain on top of things with many staff moving at a high pace?

A: Currently, I lead a group of four people in my marketing team. It is actually really great to have these teammates moving at a high pace because they also inspire and motivate me in return. My priority is building a strong communication amongst our team especially because half of our team is based in another country. Most of the times, we frequently jump on a call whenever and wherever we are to share and discuss ideas so that we can all be united and challenge one another at the same time.

By 2022, I envision when anyone is planning for an upcoming occasion, they will first think of Venuerific and we can be part of their celebrations.

Q: Tell us your achievements for Venuerific. What’s your 5 year or 10 year plan?

A: Being an online marketplace has barriers in communicating offline with your website users. I wanted to change that and turn it into an amazing opportunity of creating fun parties with unique themes that can bring together the entire events community here in Singapore.

Geylang, known as the ‘red light district,’ is actually a beautiful and vibrant place of heritage and culture. Our recent 4th year anniversary party was held at four of the award-winning shophouses or known on the day of as jazz lounge, zen garden, neon club, and cruise with a private chef at your service! In a period of 2 months, we partnered with over 23 vendors that provide valuable services/products at events. Our guests enjoyed foot massages while having free-flow champagnes getting nails done to tasting the food freshly made by a private chef who has cooked previously for ministers.

The two months felt a lot shorter than it actually was but our team was able to pull this off altogether and even to this day, I have friends and partners ask me when is our next party!

I am sure 5 years or 10 years will also come sooner than expected. By 2022, I envision when anyone is planning for an upcoming occasion, they will first think of Venuerific and we can be part of their celebrations.

Q: What do you enjoy most about being the Marketing Director of Venuerific SEA?

A: People and Events. I frequently attend events and enjoy networking with people with different passions and personalities and learn about their journeys. They inspire me which I like to take back to applying it back into my role and how I can reach out to them through Venuerific. It is a challenge but an exciting challenge.

Q: What motivates you personally?

A: I take the chance of being in Singapore to enjoy travelling to different parts across Southeast Asia. Discovering new cultures, from hip cafes with great coffee to visiting heritage sites such as temples like Angkor Wat in Cambodia helps me broaden my perspectives in life and that is why I deeply treasure my travels.

Q: What would be your advice for women who are interested to be involved in a startup?

A: Being in a startup means it will become a big part of your personal life as well and you have to be sure you are in it for what you believe in. It is amazing to work together with a small group of people who you will depend on and encourage each other to be better at what you do.

Written By

Jackie Yeo is the co-founder of Ladyboss. She is an internet marketing specialist who focuses on helping clients build and manage their online presence. Jackie is also a strong advocate of women's rights and is keen to promote entrepreneurship among women. Outside work, she's a self-professed foodie and an avid dancer.

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