What You Need to Know about Sponsor Logos

  • by Ryan Phillips
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It is that time of year again: Conference Season. When it comes to hosting successful events, sponsorship dollars often play an important role. Paying homage to those generous sponsors on your conference materials and/or at your event means dealing with their logos. Do it right, your relationship with your sponsors will flourish and grow. Do it wrong, you may cost yourself money and future sponsorship dollars. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Procure vector-based logos (.eps, .ai, and some .tif files). Insist if you have to. These files allow you to scale while maintaining clarity, and will allow you to edit the logo (such as reversing it to all white for dark backgrounds). Sponsors want their logo to look its very best, so make sure they give you proper art files.
  2. Double-check you have the most current logo. Triple-check even. This may seem too obvious, but companies spend a lot of money creating and maintaining their brands, so you want to be certain you are using the correct logo. Be sure your sponsors haven’t recently revised their logo. Even a small change, such as updating a logo with a registered trademark symbol, can turn into a costly reprint of conference materials.
  3. Give the appropriate amount of credit due. As you know, there are different sponsorship levels at conferences and events to encourage participation. After all, every dollar helps your nonprofit mission. Give prominence on your materials to those sponsors who give at higher levels. One trick we often employ is to display sponsor logos all in one color (usually black or white) and then slightly enlarge logos of sponsors who give the most. This way the logos don’t dominate the design of your materials and only the most prominent sponsors have the spotlight.
  4. Sweat the small stuff. Put multiple pairs of eyes on your conference materials to check for inconsistency of logo use, color, proportion, currency, and correct attribution. Preparing for conferences is a fast paced and hectic experience, and last minute edits should always be expected. It is always helpful to have someone look over your materials who hasn’t been dealing with them day in and day out.