The following checklist was compiled with the help of Rentsys, a technology and audiovisual rental company based in College Station, Texas (www.rentsys.com).
BEFORE THE EVENT
- Determine what hardware, accessories and services will be provided by show management, sponsors (if applicable), the event venue and the computer rental company.
- Evaluate the space reserved for the cyber cafe.
- Determine equipment needs based on the number of attendees and available space.
- Contact a computer rental company (or several) and discuss your needs for equipment and technical support. Be sure to include the following items:
* Computer system
* Monitors (LCD or CRT)
* Printers (one for every 10 to 15 computers)
* Network interface (NIC) cards
* A hub (allows multiple computers to be connected to one cable) and router, if required
- Work with selected technology provider(s) to determine prices and budget details. Take into consideration the size of the cafe and its technology and support needs.
- Contact the venue’s communications or A/V provider to order a T-1 line and installation.
- Request IP addresses and setup information from the communications or A/V provider to give to tech-support personnel.
- Determine whether the communications or A/V provider will supply a router (if required) and on-site support.
- If on-site support will be necessary, work with the computer rental company to determine staffing needs and levels, based on the size of the cyber cafe.
- Order adequate AC power to support the cyber cafe. One 25/30 amp circuit per 10 terminals is standard.
- Request skirted tables on which to put the terminals. (Chairs are optional if tall tables are selected.) Obtain or rent tables and chairs from the show, if necessary.
- Contact show management to ensure proper signage will be available indicating the location of the cafe and the sponsor, if applicable.
- If a sponsor is subsidizing the cyber cafe, set aside a table or a specific area in order to offer related promotional materials.
- Prepare a screen saver and a wallpaper image with the group’s and/or sponsor’s logo.
DURING THE EVENT
- Have the computer rental company test each system to ensure the Internet connection is running properly.
- Monitor the cafe on a regular basis to check that all equipment is working properly, printers have paper and Internet connection is available.
- Monitor traffic in the cafe for future evaluation. Are the space and equipment adequate?
AFTER THE EVENT
- Dismantle and package all equipment.
- Coordinate pickup of rented hardware with the computer rental company.
- Pack up all marketing materials and organization or sponsor signage.
- Obtain itemized invoices from the computer rental company and the venue’s telecommunications provider in order to compare the budget against actual costs.
- If the cyber cafe was sponsored, work with the sponsor to determine the success of the arrangement to help sell future sponsorships.