The Booth Babe

Here’s the scene: you are at a conference and are walking the trade show floor. You can’t help but notice the beautiful women “working the booth” or as they have become know the “booth babes”. The booth babe is usually supported by a smart-looking guy who is there to answer questions on the product or service after the irresistible women has lured the passerby in.


Booth babes recently got lots of attention at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Although not the kind of attention the companies who hired them were likely hoping for.

Like many conferences beautiful models dressed in provocative clothing were hired to work the booths. This tactic typically ranges anywhere from annoying, to uncomfortable, to inappropriate. Yet, companies still keep doing it. The good news is that both female and male attendees spoke up this year in protest of this outdated marketing strategy.

The booth babe controversy really got legs (ha, ha) when the BBC interviewed a booth babe who said the following:

I don’t know any women [interested in technology]. I don’t know any women that would choose the tech world over shopping or cooking or taking care of kids.

You can see this for yourself plus an example of a man hitting on a booth babe in this BBC video from the CES floor.

So, there is an easy solution to this one– enough with the booth babes. Let’s get the smart people who are the experts (male or female) out in front of the crowds talking about what they do. It’s time!

Published by Wendy Forsythe

I've spent my career working with people and organizations to help them build their brands. We live in a connected world where that line between a personal and professional persona has become nonexistent. Your brand is you 24/7. This blog is about me and my life. Some of it will relate to my passion for the real estate industry and some of it will just be about me living life and exploring my interests. The opinions expressed here are my own personal opinions.

3 thoughts on “The Booth Babe

  1. I was at CES a few years ago… I recall asking a woman about a specific product and her reply: “Umm… Like, I don’t know. But it’s really nice!”


    I’m not knocking on women either. Just that in this particular instance, this particular “booth babe” didn’t know a darn thing about the product. It wasn’t helpful, and quite annoying.

    I understand the tactic, but I also see how people over it.

  2. Hi Wendy. Interesting post. I think you are correct, this will stop when it stops working. Just like in other forms of advertising, sex will be used as long as it sells. I think that window has been closing for a while now, and it will continue in that direction. It’s the lazy way to get attention and those who put the effort in to build real communities and create real art will always win in the long run.

    We all have a responsibility here, though. Vote with your dollars. The same way we need to tell companies that treat employees poorly or violate other ethical imperatives; say no to the behaviour by saying no to the sale.

    Keep up the posts, I’m enjoying them.


  3. I wish I could have gone to CES but I was stuck working at DISH. Maybe next year, lol. I don’t mind the booth babes, companies are going to do whatever to attract attention to their products even hiring celebrities. Perhaps if they start educating the model about their product instead of just standing there looking pretty maybe it would be less frowned upon. As a female I am quite interested in technology and love to learn anything and everything but I get what companies are trying to do. CES is a great place to learn about the newest tech gadgets. I read about the Hopper at CES and I really want to get that DVR! It has much more recording space then DIRECTV’s HR43. Hopefully they release it soon.

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