Your Guide to ROI for Live Events

Are you finding that traditional marketing tactics aren’t quite cutting it for your business? Are you looking for something that’ll catch attention and immerse your customers in everything to do with your brand and service, increasing your ROI versus other marketing methods?

Yes? Then consider the benefits of experiential marketing, and what it can do for you.

In this article, we’ll break down experiential marketing and how to effectively measure your ROI from live events.

What Is Experiential Marketing?

Experiential marketing is, in a nutshell, a marketing method based on creating memorable experiences and activities around your brand. They’re used to nurture leads, promote products or services and make sales.

Experiential marketing is highly effective when done well, immersing leads in the brand identity and showing them what you’re about. They’re social, fun, activity-packed events designed to build rapport and create a positive connection between leads and your products.

How Does It Create a Connection?

Marketing is great, it works, we all know that – you build digital marketing strategies like Pay Per Click ads, and a percentage of people will scroll past and stop. A percentage of those will be compelled to click the ad. A percentage of those will buy from you.

And if your marketing is really good, they might even come back again for a repeat purchase, if they can remember your brand name or where they found you. Experiential marketing doesn’t have so many variables and doesn’t leave your success down to so much chance.

Auctus Agency seamlessly blends physical and digital consumer experiences, taking the best from both worlds to strengthen your position and turn those leads into happy customers.

How Is Experiential Marketing Executed?

Whether you’re B2C or B2B, we’ll design and create an experiential event tailored completely to your brand, your message, your goal, and your service.

With Auctus’ wide-spread talented, creative team of over 50,000 across America, we’re on hand to create campaigns or one-off events of all shapes and sizes. The investment is up to you – you decide how big you want to go and what you want to do.

We’ll bring our expert advice, time-proven strategies, creative brains… and the return on investment.

We’re also completely flexible – want to get stuck in with us? We welcome it. We love working with our clients to help them realize their dream marketing campaigns.

Want to be hands-off and leave it to us completely? We also welcome that. Many of our clients ask us to handle everything from event planning and creation, logistics, arranging travel and board, putting together a team, and execution.

Knowing Your Goals and Objectives

Knowing exactly what you want to see from your live event is arguably one of the most important factors. Having a primary goal in mind will help you drive the direction when it comes to planning and logistics.

Some popular goals from these events can look like:

Selling A Product

You may be advertising and attempting to sell a product during your event. We’ll help you set up marketing, demonstrations of your product, and the hiring of upbeat, positive staff that are great at pulling people in and turning them into happy, paying customers.

This is a highly measurable objective: how many units of product were sold.

Signing People Up To a Service

Perhaps you run a service that requires people to sign up, maybe pay a monthly or annual fee.

If our objective for this event is sign-ups, we’ll focus on drawing in your target audience and expressing the service USP and benefits to turn leads into customers. Making sure you have a measurable goal will help you infinitely when determining your ROI, and makes the evaluation process that much easier.

How To Calculate ROI

Let’s look at a simple formula you can use after almost any event to gauge your rough ROI.

Gross Profit – calculate your gross profit from your event specifically. You may not see an accurate gross profit number right away, especially if your leads take a while to nurture, or if your sales take a while to come in, so wait a while before adding up your gross profit. (Gross Profit = Total Revenue – Cost of Goods Sold)

Total Expenses – make a note of every expense for the event. It’s important you keep track of these because it’ll help you calculate a more accurate ROI. Your expenses will look like marketing for the event, staffing, event creation, renting a space, staffing, loss of product if you’re planning on giving away samples or pieces of product.

Don’t worry – we’ll know most of this from our end, so we won’t let you forget anything. Here’s the formula for calculating ROI from live events:

Gross Profit – Total ExpensesNet Profit (from live event)

then, to calculate your ROI percentage:

Net Profit ÷ Total ExpensesROI %

Let’s look at an example:


9,000 ÷ 1,000 = 9 or 90% ROI

Of course, a 90% ROI is extremely impressive and for this explanation, we’ve rounded the numbers up for easy understanding. There are also return on investment factors that won’t show up on calculations, like hard and soft ROI.

Assessing Hard ROI and Soft ROI

There are several ROI calculations out there to help you determine the effectiveness of several parts of your business, not just marketing. Something that calculations can’t quite determine is the additional or brand growth from soft ROI.

What is Hard ROI?

Hard ROI are easy-to-quantify measurements, or easy to assess numbers or growth. It can look like:

  • Growth of email/mailing list subscribers
  • Higher website traffic
  • More successful conversion rates
  • More leads
  • Better social media reach
  • More social media followers
  • Lower bounce rate on blogs and pages
  • Higher click-through rate

What Is Soft ROI?

Some things just can’t be calculated – but that doesn’t mean they should be ignored. Some soft ROI factors are very important to your continued growth, so being able to recognize what they are will help you figure out how to utilize them effectively.

Experiential events are a brilliant opportunity for increasing your soft ROI margins. Soft ROI can look like:

  • Improved employee morale
  • Increased in-house productivity
  • Positive brand reputation
  • Brand awareness (e.g. people recognizing the brand name/logo)
  • Large number of applications for job postings
  • Word-of-mouth advertising and referrals
  • Increased customer engagement
  • Decreased employee sick time/better wellbeing

It’s important to assess both for a more accurate view of your results, both short-term and long-term.

Other Factors That Affect ROI

While the above formula gives you a basic idea of what your ROI looks like, use it as a springboard rather than a 100% trustworthy blueprint.

We don’t have to tell you that in business, there are unexpected changes, market breakdowns, and hidden costs. One thing most businesses forget to factor in to their calculations is their indirect costs.

Indirect Costs

While we know how to determine direct costs – equipment and software, materials, labor costs, the obvious factors – it’s important to know what your indirect costs are, as these will also impact your ROI.

Indirect costs are generally the expenses left when direct costs have been tallied. These can look like maintenance, electricity, water and gas bills, and minor supplies.

Your indirect costs can be calculated using the activity-based costing (ABC) method, using accounting and tracking software. The activity-based costing process assigns operational costs and overheads to specific parts of your business, like products, to assume the overall cost of producing it from start to finish.

How To Measure Success

The measurement for success will be different for every business. Money is always an important factor, of course – but it’s helpful to understand the other parts that, on the surface, don’t look like they bring in money, but are actually vital elements to keeping the wheels of your business turning.

Brand Trust 

How many people expressed that they liked the product/service/brand during the live event? Did they point out specifically which parts they liked the most, and why?

This feedback is incredibly valuable for brands. Sometimes, it’s hard to see the great parts and the downfalls of your business from the inside.

Having outside perspectives from your target audience is extremely valuable, natural market research. It can also give you a springboard for your next marketing campaign, so you know what you’re promoting is exactly what people want to know more about.


Are your customers returning? Are they bringing referrals with them?

Running a referral program is a great way to increase your ROI. Not only will you make more sales, but you’re making money on the money you invested into bringing in that original customer.

Brand Voice

Are your marketing efforts matching up with your brand voice and core values? How you portray your brand and how your employees portr

These days, customers don’t just want to know what you can offer them – they want to know what you stand for.

Experiential Marketing Is The Future

As we’re evolving into a post-Covid world where we’ve been locked down and sectioned off from one another, marketing strategies need to change with it.

We’ve all spent 2 years looking at our screen and seeing the same advertising strategies over and over. Experiential marketing with Auctus will help shape your future in your sector and secure your business growth.

If you’re ready to shake up the market with a hands-on, interactive style of marketing, get in contact with us to hear all about how we can help you make noise and increase your ROI.

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