If you have ever attended a tradeshow or conference that included exhibitors, then more likely than not you have experienced walking by a booth and seeing a “Booth Babe”. “Booth Babes” can be defined as promotional models (men or women) that are hired to drive interactions with your brand at an event. Let me start off by saying that I don’t have a problem with companies hiring support for large events and I understand that attendees of certain events such as car shows almost demand “Booth Babes.” I do however take offense when this is taken to the extreme and I see booths at business events that are manned by scantily clad women who know nothing about the brand they were hired to represent.
Unfortunately, the practice of using scantily clad women at business tradeshows is still ever present. Even more unfortunate is the fact that the companies using this tactic don’t understand the damage they are causing to their brand. When I walk by a “Booth Babe”, my first thought is “this company must not have anything interesting to say or showcase if they need to resort to using barely dressed models to create buzz.” Assuming that the company does have something interesting to show, I have yet to meet a “Booth Babe” that was able to articulate the brand message or purpose of the company they were hired to represent. This is by no means the fault of the “Booth Babe” but rather a common result of using a hired model that has no affinity towards your brand.
While “Booth Babes” may help generate more foot traffic at your booth, the question remains whether or not they attract the right type of attention. For example, I could have easily added a photo to this post of a barely dressed model that would have most likely increased the number of times the article was shared on Twitter, Facebook, etc. However, I would be willing to bet that the majority of the increased traffic would come from individuals that weren’t truly interested in what I have to say.
The concept of using “Booth Babes” seems so outdated and sexist, not to mention limiting as more women hold executive positions than a decade ago. With this in mind, I am interested to hear your thoughts so please share your comments below.
Does your company use “Booth Babes” and if so what value do they bring to the experience provided at your booth? As an attendee, are you attracted to booths manned by “Booth Babes” or are you offended by them?