Remember cyber cafés? Cyber cafés were traditionally set up as a place for people to access the Internet. For trade shows and conferences, these “cafés” opened up a great opportunity to increase sponsorship revenue. The café itself was usually a computer or tablet resting on a table, and the sponsors could be advertised on a printed table tent or something similar.

Now, however, people are accessing the Internet via their smart phone, so there is no need for a traditional cyber café. However, we still need opportunities to sell sponsorships for trade shows and other events in order to increase sponsorship dollars and also boost the visibility of your show.

So, here at SmartSource we’ve come up with a couple of ideas with a modern day twist on cyber cafés that will allow you to quite easily improve your ability to sell and grow sponsorships.

The Kiosk Cyber Café

SmartSourceRentals was the first company to introduce kiosks to the tradeshow industry. Kiosks have such a friendly interface that they can be used by customers without any training or documentation.

SmartSource kiosks have a touchscreen that gives users the opportunity to interact with the offered information while sponsors can be highlighted.

For example, the kiosk itself can be branded with a full wrap displaying a sponsor’s information, or different sponsors can be highlighted in the various zones on the kiosk. But now that the traditional cyber café is no longer needed, what should you use the kiosk for?

1. Kiosks as Survey Terminals

You can put together a bank of kiosks that are used for evaluations on breakout sessions or for evaluations about the trade show itself. This allows you to get people to answer questions so you’re capturing that valuable back-end information and actionable data while also highlighting sponsorships.

Here are 5 tips for creating great surveys to use on your kiosk:

  • Speak in the right language. Simple and direct is always important, and don’t hesitate to define terms that aren’t common to everyone.
  • Each question should deal with only one idea at a time. You want your respondent to be very clear on exactly what they are answering.
  • Don’t write questions that guide the respondent to a specific answer.
  • Aim to write questions that give you information you’ll actually use. In other words, don’t waste a user’s time.
  • Be familiar with how and when to use different question types. For example, a multiple choice question is good when there are a limited number of possible responses, while a rating scale question prompts the reader to respond along a continuum. A Likert scale is often used in this type of question.

2. Kiosks as Cell Phone Charging Stations

The same type of kiosk that you would use as a survey terminal can also be converted into a cell phone charging station. The information and interaction a user will find on the kiosk gives them something to do while they are waiting for their phone to charge, so it’s a prime sponsorship opportunity.

A charging station kiosk gives you roughly 5-7 minutes of a customer’s valuable time while they are charging their phone. They are not going to walk away, of course, while they’re waiting for the charge to complete, and the kiosk can be running sponsored video loops, PowerPoints, or sponsored JPGS. And you can also have sponsorships highlighted on the various kiosk zones.

Maximize the draw power of your charging station kiosks:

  • Go the extra bit and create more of a lounge feel for your charging station/s.  This can be accomplished with something as simple as providing a stool to sit on at the charging kiosks.


Or you can be more elaborate and do things such as having a staff member offer the users something to drink or even have a full-on coffee bar service while they wait on comfy sofa-like seating. Providing a lounge atmosphere is a great way to extend a user’s time at the kiosk so you can open up conversations with potential customers while they wait for their phone to charge.

So, though the traditional cyber café is no longer needed, there are still many ways you can use technology to create modern cyber cafés and not lose out on valuable sponsorship opportunities.

Want a visual on using touchscreen kiosks as a cyber café to create sponsorship opportunities?  Watch our Cyber Café Video