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• #### Re: (Score:2)

This year the expo had more booth babes than last year, which raises the question "Are Booth Babes going away?".

Say what now?

Exactly. What I got out of this was that booth babes are returning. I see this as a sign that the economy is improving.

• #### Re: (Score:2)

We played a game with the photos of the booth babes from E3, which we called "staff or actress?" Female employees of the company wearing costumes were usually pretty easy to tell - they didn't have model perfect figures, although they were usually fit and attractive AND looked like they could hold their own in a conversation regarding the product in question. The actresses, too, were easy to tell. Did their thighs under the shorty shorts touch? Was their hair bleach blonde and down in loose waves? Did
• #### Not anymore, possible resurgence thanks to Conan (Score:2)

Booth Babes in general seemed to be on the decline. However after Conan 'O Brian brings the practice new respect [youtube.com], they may be on the rise again...

• #### Re: (Score:2, Funny)

by Anonymous Coward

DO NOT clicky on the linky unless you get your kicks seeing Conan 'O Brian in fishnets and a really tight package. Jesus. Christ. Shit. My eyes.

• #### Re: (Score:3)

Oh now I *have* to click it!
• #### really, does anyone care? (Score:5, Insightful)

on Thursday June 27, 2013 @03:15PM (#44125029)

They will probably be a fixture at car shows for all time, and in Korean gadget reveals, but they seem so out of place at a software conference.

• #### Re: (Score:2)

They will probably be a fixture at car shows for all time, and in Korean gadget reveals, but they seem so out of place at a software conference.

Yup; the real question is, what will the next generation of Booth Babes be whoring themselves out for?

Here's hoping for pull-start prosthetics, a la Space Truckers

• #### Re: (Score:2)

Speaking of "out of place", they are very much NOT going away at oil industry trade shows. Skimpy bikinis, formal gowns, power suits, they're all there and they all want to sell you heavy machinery. It's almost comical.
• #### Re:really, does anyone care? (Score:5, Interesting)

on Thursday June 27, 2013 @04:41PM (#44126163) Journal

Not sure I agree. There's always room for booth babes.

...ok did I say that out loud? Anyway, the market will decide. If booths with a couple of local models on deck do better business than booths without, they'd be crazy not to do it. On the other hand, if booth babes are neutral or a liability, they'll (eventually) disappear.

The last trade show I worked, (which was some time ago) the large company with whom I was employed at the time hired two local talent (show was in las vegas) to accompany us during the show. They didn't dress overly provocatively (safari getup, in keeping with the booth theme, no excessive cleavage or leg showing) and they did a good job managing the crowd, making sure we weren't overwhelmed, and taking prospective customer information. Don't get me wrong, they were drop dead gorgeous, but they also knew what they were doing and helped out a lot. "Booth Babe" is a somewhat disparaging term for what can be a difficult job. It's not all about standing in the aisle and doing the "vanna wave" towards the booth.

During a rare slow moment I got to talk to one of the girls, and asked her if she was an employee of our company. (There being a group in the company tasked with handling logistics for these shows, and I at first thought she might be with that group.) She looked shocked, and said no, she was from a local agency, and makes most of her living working booths at trade shows. (Which explains why she was good at it.)

• #### Not really sexist, just good psychology (Score:5, Insightful)

on Thursday June 27, 2013 @03:15PM (#44125035) Homepage Journal

Even women are more likely to want to talk to a well-dressed, attractive woman than the pushy marketdroid or worse, the obese engineer wearing a t-shirt and ripped jeans who smells like he hasn't bathed in a week. It's not just about appearance; it's also about appearance. Know what I mean?

• #### Re: (Score:2)

But I wouldn't be surprised if straight women and gay men are more likely to talk to well-dressed attractive men than well-dressed attractive women, which is the real question here. Well that and whether somebody should be making purchasing decisions based on whether the booth person is hot.

• #### Re: (Score:2)

You might be surprised. For better or worse, a pretty woman is often seen as less threatening and more approachable than the stereotypical salesperson or "sales engineer" (booth geek) by all genders and sexual orientations. Not just straight men.

But it depends on the context. For instance, if the woman is wearing something appropriate for a trade show, or is merely there to show a lot of skin. Also how she carries herself -- is she really there to help, or merely there as eye candy.

• #### Re: (Score:2)

the obese engineer wearing a t-shirt and ripped jeans who smells like he hasn't bathed in a week.

Yeah, but this dude is going to know where the best Taco joint is. That convention food sucks!

• #### Re: (Score:2)

Agreed, the reason for attractive females (or even males) is because it works. Hence why so many of the sales people for whatever industry are charismatic and attractive.

I went to a (somewhat) nearby Ford dealer 2 years ago to start buying a car. I pretty much decided which one I wanted and the specs, I was just seeing how this dealer compared to the other Ford nearby since both were rated well for their repairs/maintenance/etc.

I walk in there are 2 guys and 1 sales woman; the women was a dream. She was h

• #### I resent them (Score:5, Insightful)

<bruce@perens.com> on Thursday June 27, 2013 @03:20PM (#44125101) Homepage Journal

I resent that some business is attempting to grab me by the balls rather than by my rational self.

• #### Re: (Score:2)

I resent that some business is attempting to grab me by the balls

I resent that they're not!

Someone's gotta mind the ol' stepchildren...

• #### One less reason to go to Expos (Score:4)

on Thursday June 27, 2013 @03:21PM (#44125115)
Many times those events are not even that informative!
• #### Re:One less reason to go to Expos (Score:5, Insightful)

on Thursday June 27, 2013 @03:33PM (#44125275) Homepage

Seriously. The better question is, "Are pointless, expensive marketing booth conventions which provide middle management a convenient excuse to get shitfaced and hook up out of town going away?"

• #### No. They just dress more conservatively. (Score:5, Interesting)

on Thursday June 27, 2013 @03:22PM (#44125131)

I was at a recent tech conference and the booth babes were not the ones from Comdex of yesteryear in bikinis. They were hired women who were very attractive but were wearing acceptable clothing. Mostly business casual, slacks and a button down blouse.

IT folks they were not, pretty faces yes. As someone has to scan your badge or hand out a trinket.

• #### Re:No. They just dress more conservatively. (Score:5, Insightful)

on Thursday June 27, 2013 @03:39PM (#44125381)

Here's the question. If you meet one of these women in the elevator and happen to remember which booth she was working, would you feel confident that you could ask her a question about that company/product and get an informative answer? If yes, they're not booth babes, they're marketing people who happen to be attractive (which certainly helps their career, don't get me wrong). The problem isn't attractive women manning the booths, the problem is when the women are there solely to be attractive (in a very literal sense).

• #### Re: (Score:2)

There are more roles in booth work than merely technical. In my experience, the babes (wish there was a better term) were there to manage the crowd, take business cards, hand out literature, funnel people to the sales crew in the right order, and keep them occupied until we were ready to talk to them. These tasks don't require knowledge of the product, they require knowledge of how to handle a crowd.

If you ask a booth babe a technical question, you should get something like "I can take you to someone who

• #### Re: (Score:2)

For some reason I find well dressed business looking women more attractive than the same girl in say a bikini. Not that I don't like bikinis!

• #### It's About Time (Score:3, Interesting)

by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 27, 2013 @03:24PM (#44125165)

The whole presence of scantily-clad women as a way of attracting attention to your booth assumes that the people whose attention you want to attract are heterosexual males who are inclined to pay attention to your exhibit because there's a scantily-clad woman there. It implicitly assumes that you're not trying to get the interest of/don't care about the opinions of, among others: women, homosexual men, the devoutly religious, etc. In the same way that an ad campaign that includes a of, say, racist caricatures of Asians effectively writes off the Asian population as potential customers (at the very least), this sort of thing writes off whole groups of people who are, you know, actually present in the tech industry. Funny how an industry that supposedly prides itself on evaluating results and actual ability so often tacitly assumes that it is the exclusive domain of straight, white males. It's almost as if cluelessly ignoring the reality of privilege, racism, sexism, and heteronormativity leads to cluelessly privileged, racist, sexist, heteronormative behavior.

• #### Marketing (Score:5, Interesting)

on Thursday June 27, 2013 @03:26PM (#44125195)

Booth babes are pretty.

Pretty is attractive.

Attractive is good marketing.

Its not just about sex. Its about hiring some attractive people to represent your company. Because your engineers are probably unshaved smelly cave dwellers that probably don't make a good impression at conventions. So how do you make your engineer or software developer seem credible? Put a 21 year old aspiring model next to him that smiles and makes eyes at everyone that gets near the booth.

Is it dumb? No more dumb then the people buying your products. Which isn't an insult against them... people are just like that. Get over it. We're not robots. We're semi intelligent social opportunistic primates. And even women like having attractive women around.

Open a women's magazine. What do you see? Is it lots of half naked men? Nope... half naked women.

As to getting the attention of gay men... All respect, but they're by definition a minority. Were they not the species itself would be in some trouble. So while it might make some sense to reach out to any demographic, the reality is that its probably a marginal issue at best.

All of that said, possibly there is something to be said for not having such aggressive marketing at conventions. Rather, put your unshaved cave dweller out there sans smiling boobs... and just see what happens.

It will either be fine or it won't. And we'll learn something either way.

• #### Re:Marketing (Score:4, Insightful)

on Thursday June 27, 2013 @03:50PM (#44125495)

With respect, I'm no feminist, but the question here isn't whether sex is effective at selling. It certainly is. The question is the residual effects of using women's bodies in that way. Does it contribute to certain attitudes that could be negative for women?

I'm not really going to go farther down that path, because again, I begin rolling my eyes as some of the more insane feminist bullshit out there, but like any good thing, I wonder if using sex in that manner can have negative consequences, if done outside of moderation.

• #### Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

by Anonymous Coward

Feminism is more varied than the insane bullshit. If you're asking these questions, well, you might just be a feminist. You know, moderately.

• #### Re: (Score:2)

Any time women decide they don't want to leverage their appearance they are welcome to stop doing it, but I suspect that there are several truisms that will make this unlikely.

1) The benefit is short term, while the negative is long term. In that situation, most people give in to the short-term benefit and ignore the long-term consequences (smoking, drinking, drugs, etc).

2) Women, I think, are inherently image-conscious (reproductive advantages) and usually it takes a repressive, male-dominated religious m

• #### Re: (Score:3)

We're human beings. We're going to use sex to sell. We've been doing it for tens of thousands of years. Best get over that.

Think only women's bodies are used? Men's bodies are used as well. And not just men's bodies but the masculine mystique. The whole tough guy, macho man... thing. And do you see men complain about that even though its easily as exploitive of male psychology as female swimsuit issue? No.

Because men understand that's just reality. Women like it. And men therefore want to be it. It gains th

• #### incremental effect and biology (Score:3)

on Thursday June 27, 2013 @03:26PM (#44125197)

Men are men. Our attention is drawn to curves. We can act respectful, but can't deny biology.

"But Michael says one booth with babes was one more than last year"

If everyone has booth babes then the incremental effect of one company adding booth babes is about ZERO. You can be at booth A and still see B, C, D, E ....
If no one has booth babes then the incremental effect of one company adding booth babes is significant.

• #### Re: (Score:2)

If no one has booth babes then the incremental effect of one company adding booth babes is significant.

Perhaps, but one booth is still only one booth. Its significance to me would be more likely to be shown if that booth had them next year, and then one or two more exhibitors joined them.

One booth at the beginning of a trend is groundbreaking. One booth of something that never gets any traction is just some doofus who brought girls in tight clothes and got nothing out of it. In other words, the value of being that one booth only has historical value.

• #### Unprofessional (Score:5, Insightful)

on Thursday June 27, 2013 @03:32PM (#44125273) Journal

I like looking at booth babes as much as the next guy, but c'mon. It's just unprofessional. And frankly, I don't want to talk to a hired salesmodel at an IT conference, either. I want to talk to a technical person who knows the freaking product and can answer detailed technical questions about it. If I wanted a brochure, I'd go to the website. It's a waste of my time and your money to have anyone in your booth that doesn't know the product inside and out.

• #### Re: (Score:2)

I like looking at booth babes as much as the next guy, but c'mon. It's just unprofessional. And frankly, I don't want to talk to a hired salesmodel at an IT conference, either. I want to talk to a technical person who knows the freaking product and can answer detailed technical questions about it. If I wanted a brochure, I'd go to the website. It's a waste of my time and your money to have anyone in your booth that doesn't know the product inside and out.

look man, it's useless.

talking to an attractive salesmodel is a lot better than talking to some dude who a) doesn't know shit about the product of the company and b) feels like he's hitting on you due to his script. the techies rarely are at the booths, they're either having a good time or in meetings - occupying the booth is a bottom of the barrel job for techies. the booths are actually just a sideshow to the actual show of having the industry people in one place at one time. the booths are meaningless fo

• #### Re: (Score:2)

I like looking at booth babes as much as the next guy, but c'mon. It's just unprofessional. And frankly, I don't want to talk to a hired salesmodel at an IT conference, either. I want to talk to a technical person who knows the freaking product and can answer detailed technical questions about it. If I wanted a brochure, I'd go to the website. It's a waste of my time and your money to have anyone in your booth that doesn't know the product inside and out.

...but there's generally only one or two of those, and they may be occupied. The babe can hand out literature, swag, or do smalltalk until the salescreature can see you. This is a valuable resource.

• #### Re: (Score:2)

It is an IT conference, it is not supposed to be professional. Professional is for offices and meetings, this is just a cluster-fuck advertising event.
Who is going to talk business in front of all of your competitors and 10 thousand other people, on the spur of the moment, in a room louder than a circus, when the person you are trying to talk to needs to look after 100 other interested onlookers?

• #### 'Not Sure Those Are Booth Babes (Score:2)

Ok, yes they are. But they certainly are not scantily clad. The one on the right might be attempting a provocative stance. Or she just stands that way.

'Wonder what the funky eye makeup is supposed to mean?

I may as well fess up: I've never really liked trade shows. I don't "get" them. I haven't been to one in several years. Maybe it's because my Live-In Booth Babe for the last 22 years is also my best friend and I'd rather go for a hike with her.

So, any takers on the eye makeup?

• #### Has cucumber time begun, again ? (Score:2)

That is what we, in Dutch, call the summer time when cucumbers are everywhere in the supermarkets, and news is scant....
• #### obligatory I.T. Crowd Reference (Score:2)

my first thought was of Jen in the I.T. crowd [youtube.com] getting the task of "entertaining" the visiting executives ...

Second thought is that "good marketing" is also a great way to quickly kill a bad product - if your product doesn't "perform" (choose a metric any metric) then "good marketing" will have the unintended consequence of letting a lot of people find out that your product is worthless. These people will "get the word out" and ipso facto - yadda yadda yadda - good bye product/company

example: the whole d [wikipedia.org]

• #### The essential problem is this: (Score:3)

on Thursday June 27, 2013 @04:28PM (#44125965) Homepage Journal

#1) Booth babes are offensive to the larger population of women, even in the tech industry, there are more and more women present compared to say... the 1990's where it was almost 100% male dominated. In fact, there was a recent story about a female journalist harassed at E3 because it was just assumed by some that any woman at a gaming convention must be 'meat'.

#2) They are as clueless as their looks would lead you to believe. I remember being at a Motorcycle convention, and while that was once a male dominated event, the new market for motorcycles is now women -- but I digress... at the "Vespa" booth (Vespa, of all places, scooters appeal to women!), we had a question about some seriously radical Vespa merchandise (I think I was a cool looking leather bag, or a jacket), and I go to ask what I thought was a saleswoman, but she didn't know anything about what it was or how to buy it, even though she was dressed in Vespa branded attire. Point is; I was interested; but they lost a sale because the lady was apparently hired as decoration, but wasn't trained to even point me to a real salesperson!

• #### Re: (Score:2)

Booth babes are offensive to the larger population of women

...snip...

I go to ask what I thought was a saleswoman, but she didn't know anything about what it was or how to buy it, even though she was dressed in Vespa branded attire. Point is; I was interested; but they lost a sale because the lady was apparently hired as decoration, but wasn't trained to even point me to a real salesperson!

If she had pointed to a salesperson, would having her there no longer been offensive?

• #### Red flags (Score:2)

Booth babes (of either sex and orientation) are a red flag that the company you are dealing with would like to grab your attention using the nether regions of your body rather than engaging your mind with a fantastic product. Easy tip off that they are more interested in flash over substance that will leave one looking foolish for having selected their product.

• #### Feminism! (Score:5, Funny)

on Friday June 28, 2013 @12:37AM (#44129501) Journal

Feminism: letting women be whatever they want to be...unless it contravenes our image of what they should be, then we require that they conform with our idea of what's "right".

I'm sure they're feeling empowered already!

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