HOW TO SET UP A CYBER CAFÉ 9-1-2003

Meetings & Conventions: Planner's Portfolio September 2003 Current Issue
September 2003 ChecklistPLANNER'S PORTFOLIO:

Checklist

BY MARTHA COOKE

HOW TO SET UP A CYBER CAFÉ

The following checklist was compiled with the help of Rentsys, 200 Quality Circle, College Station, Texas, 77845; (800) 955-5171, www.rentsys.com

BEFORE THE EVENT

  • Determine what hardware, accessories and services are being provided by show management, by a sponsor (if applicable), by the event venue and by the computer rental company.
  • Evaluate the space reserved for the cyber café.
  • 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 (the recommended ratio is one printer for every 10 to 15 computers)
    • software
    • NIC cards
    • hub (equipment that allows multiple computers to be connected to one cable) and router, if required

  • Work with selected technology provider(s) to determine prices and budget considerations. Take into consideration the size of café, technology and support needs.
  • Contact the venue communications or A/V provider to order a T-1 line and installation.
  • Request IP addresses and setup information from communications or A/V provider to give to tech-support personnel.
  • Determine if 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 café.
  • Order adequate AC power to support the cyber café. 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 show
  • MANAGEMENT.

  • Contact the show management company to ensure proper signage will be available indicating the location of the café and the sponsor, if applicable.
  • If a sponsor is subsidizing the cyber café, set aside a table or a specific area to offer related promotional materials.
  • Prepare a screensaver and wallpaper image with the group’s 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 café on a regular basis to check that all equipment is working properly, printers have paper and Internet connection is available.
  • Monitor traffic in the café for future evaluation. Is 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 café was sponsored, work with the sponsor to determine the success of the arrangement to help sell future sponsorships.


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