These days small businesses simply cannot survive without a smart PR strategy. It isn’t enough to just offer a service or product, you have to socialize yourself in some way. No, we’re not talking about social media here – we’re talking about good old face-to-face time with your clients, vendors and potential customers. Recall back to when I was talking about forming valuable partnerships and associations. I mentioned a small Newport Beach chiropractic business that formed successful partnerships with neighboring businesses that allowed them to host mutually beneficial events that draw in the crowds. The practice’s success has been remarkable and they’re now considered one of the top OC chiropratics. Why Fundraising Efforts and Event Hosting Are Smart Marketing Tools PR and marketing trends don’t just stop there. Another top-rated OC interior designer took the time to announce her new website launch via a real-time reception at a posh Laguna Beach art gallery. While all these events are “live” in-person events, their goal is to promote an online business or at the very least draw attention to an online presence. The idea here is to offer an invitation rather than a sale. In a social media driven world, sales are tacky but invitations are chic. With all these events ranging from associated partnerships, to sellable events, to business backed charity campaigns, it becomes important to present your events in an easy-to-manage platform that allows for consumer action (the sell) and increased communication between secured and prospective clients (word-of-mouth). If you’re a small business dabbling in creative marketing, consider the following online event management and donor tools or make sure your online presence reaches maximum visibility through your guerilla marketing efforts. For the Event-Minded Business Acteva – With the motto “Create. Promote. Sell.” it’s easy to see why many small, mid-sized and large businesses all flock to Acteva for their event management needs. Acteva allows for businesses to manage registration, events, classes and training with online payment solutions, resulting in reduced lead management tasks, growing attendance and increased sales. Acteva users can look forward to a one time $250 setup fee with a $200 yearly fee; which wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for the additional per guest costs that are embedded within the small print. However, having heard no complaints from Acteva, and with such marked success, you have to consider whether functionality and professionalism in event management is worth the cost. If you have a small business, getting a system that allows you to properly market your events is worth a few extra nickels and dimes here and there. The extra price is also worth it if you consider the diverse industry range Acteva caters to. In addition, Acteva also offers attendee relationship management, organizer support services, attendee support services, strategy services, implementation services, training services and strategic partner services. If you consider the cost of hiring someone to manage your event marketing efforts, I’m sure you’ll quickly calculate the costs of employment far outweigh the cost of a smart effective program that already knows its job and has a great reference list of many satisfied customers. For the Charity-Minded Business Click and Pledge – If you’re using a good deed as a marketing tool to draw organic interest and traffic, then consider Click and Pledge. Click and Pledge allows easy online fundraising, recurring payments, donor management, and collection, while allowing users to build an online community. What makes it great for small businesses is the lack of a hefty fee. Businesses are offered free set ups and transaction fees as low as 2.85%. From Haiti to the Earthquakes in Japan and the recent tornadoes that have struck southern states, there’s unfortunately a continued chain of chaos that pulls at the heartstrings of your consumer base. Show them your business has a heart too by offering fundraising efforts for your favorite charity or cause. Using an established tool that specializes in fundraising only makes your campaign (and resulting visibility) that much more successful.