Chic Spotlight: Jocelyn Cates, Founder of VenueAgent
Jocelyn Cates, owner and founder of VenueAgent and winner of last year’s Cincinnati Innovates Award, is helping individuals in Greater Cincinnati find the perfect venue for any occasion.
After running a makeup company called Zoe Custom Cosmetics, which focused mostly on brides and wedding makeup artistry, Cates found a passion for the wedding industry and switched careers to a wedding and event sales specialist. From her experience in helping people find venues, she says she realized there was a lack of interesting places to host events. "The venue hunting process for anyone planning an event is a big hassle," Cates says. "People will sometimes realize after traveling to a venue that it doesn’t fit their vision, the space isn’t available on a chosen date or it’s not the right price point for them."
This convoluted process to find spaces for events provided the impetus for VenueAgent. VenueAgent is a company Cates has been working on for two years, and after winning Cincinnati Innovates in 2010, she launched VenueAgent this past June. Her company is a hassle-free resource for anyone planning an event and wanting to find a cool, unique venue. "VenueAgent has really great untapped venue space. We have out-of-the-box spaces for bridal showers, cocktail parties, rehearsal dinners and unique wedding receptions," Cates says. "The database is growing every day, so we are excited now and look forward to building more robust results for our party planning enthusiasts!"
The award and grant given to her by Cincinnati Innovates demonstrates the great atmosphere for invention in the area, Cates says. "Cincinnati Innovates is a great example of the active support system this city has in place for innovators and entrepreneurs," she says. With the recognition of this reward, she has been able to fund the development of VenueAgent and initiated her relationship with CincyTech, which has been VenueAgent’s biggest source of encouragement.
She is excited to offer VenueAgent to people in Greater Cincinnati and is looking to expand to additional regional cities in the near future. VenueAgent presents a formidable ally for those looking to plan events in the area through its online database search engine. "If you log onto VenueAgent, you can search for a wedding, social or corportate type event space for your event," Cates says. "Results are based on event type, your guest count and the day you are hoping to host the event. VenueAgent makes it easy to identify a space, ascertain how much it costs and contact the venue to learn more."
VenueAgent will be running a Facebook campaign from October 17 to December 17 for brides who are planning a wedding to enter to win a beautiful and elegant wedding shower at one of VenueAgent’s unique and alternative venue spaces. All the bride has to do is visit the website and use Facebook to connect and register as a user, then simply "like" VenueAgent on Facebook and comment with the wedding date and reception venue (if already booked). The bride with the most "likes" will win.