Do Booth Babes work?

BoothBabes

We here at Lazygamer appreciate the fine female form, though that could perhaps be construed as being sexist, a holdover of the sleazy “sex sells” marketing mantra. That entire ethos is still used very much alive in marketing today, especially at trade shows and conventions through the possibly exploitative use of Booth Babes. Do they even work though?

Once a staple of gaming conventions like E3 and Gamescom and Computex, I’ve noticed a rather sharp decline in the prevalence of the Booth Babe in recent years (they seem to increasingly be replaced by booth zombies). Other shows, like PAX, banned them years ago to make the show-going experience a little more inclusive and less sexually charged. You might be seeing even fewer of them, because they don’t really work.

Spenser Chan, the head of marketing and growth at tech company Frontback actually put it to the test (Techcrunch, via Kotaku), by having two booths at a trade show; one manned by skimpily dressed Booth Babes and another by "show contractors that knew the local area and had established people skills," who Chan labelled as “Grandmothers.”

According to Chan, the results spoke for themselves; the  ‘booth babes’ generated a third of the foot traffic compared to the ‘Grandmothers’. Of course, it’s hardly any sort of scientific study, but in my own experiences I find Booth Babes – especially when it comes to gaming shows – to be wholly ineffective, to the point where it generates negative interest in a product. I’d much rather have a chat with somebody who knows and cares about the product they’re trying to get me interested in, rather than some lovely young lass who’s trying to kick-start a modelling career.

Here’s what Chan said about Booth Babes.

Booth babes are intimidating. Instead of drawing people in, booth babes actually give guys who attend tech conferences some anxiety and pause for engaging in conversation. Even booth babes themselves have said this. I think it’s just human nature for guys to be a little nervous around hot girls. The ones that had no trouble engaging our booth babes were always the overconfident weirdos.

As a social pariah, I tend to agree. Chan then goes on to call Booth Babes lazy, which I think is a little unfair and counterproductive to his argument. that said, I really do think Booth Babes are a terrible marketing tool; they’re nice to look at, sure, but they don’t make me care about, or even notice a particular product any more.

What do you think? Do Booth Babes get you more interested in the products they’re shilling?

Tags: , , ,

Author:Geoffrey Tim

I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.
  • Admiral Chief in Vegas

    Geoff, trolling for hits…

    • RinceThis2014

      Indeed.

      • Admiral Chief in Vegas

        XD, its like he HAS to win Batman or something

  • Melasco

    Does it matter?

  • Stephen Snook

    They usually make me uncomfortable too. It’s the same for car shows. I’d rather someone at the very least who is knowledgeable and passionate about the product. Or just not have people there at all, then there’s no need for interaction with people at all.

    • Sageville

      Nothing worse than asking a booth babe about their product and getting a rehearsed line that get’s hammered into an answer, you nod sheepishly and walk away thinking, “I actually know more about the product than those supposedly promoting it, now wheres the geek-in-charge?”

  • Hammersteyn

    Sigh, it’s so easy. Assuming she is single and you want to hit on her and she doesn’t run away at the sight of you. Start by asking her about the game she is promoting, has she played any games like it, does she plays games, if she doesn’t what does she do in leisure time. I promise you the hardest part is opening your mouth and saying something.

    • Admiral Chief in Vegas

      I promise the hardest part won’t be opening your mouth…

      • Spathi

        *badumtish*

      • Hammersteyn

        hey?

      • TiMsTeR1033

        its making sense when you start talking! sentences to avoid: “So what do you do?” “You look hot in that skimpy outfit” “Are those real”

        • Admiral Chief in Vegas

          I was actually jesting about boners, but yes, those sentences SHOULD be avoided.

          Rather ask about the game, if she played it, if not, ask what other interests does she have, and for the love of all thats gaming, DON’T STARE AT TEEEHHHH ASSSSSETS

          • TiMsTeR1033

            I fail every time, I remember going to rAge and booth babes with huge assets was trying to tell me something was like (. ) (. ) and was thinking ” what are you talking about??

          • Hammersteyn

            I’ll hold your hand if I ever attend one with you

          • TiMsTeR1033

            Then they will think I’m gay!

          • Hammersteyn

            No no, you tell them you’re bi. They will find it more attractive.

          • Admiral Chief in Vegas

            I’m baie-sexual, ek hou BAIE van sex

          • TiMsTeR1033

            hahahaha

          • Hammersteyn

            hehehe

          • Hammersteyn

            You troll :P

        • Anon A Mouse

          So this is fine then?

          • TiMsTeR1033

            Thats fine if you intend to go to prison yes!

          • Sageville

            Pfft

  • Hammersteyn

    I’m not sure how effective they are at promoting though, Jaggermeister promo girls on the other hand. When they walk into the pub I get the urge to get more shots of than a redneck with a shotgun.

    • Admiral Chief in Vegas

      LOL, they operate about 50m from my office…

      • Hammersteyn

        Jeez you must be the Zen master of self control

        • Admiral Chief in Vegas

          You have NO idea, hence why my office is in different building

    • TiMsTeR1033

      The rule of thumb, you will only order if you can buy 1 a drink too ;)

      • Hammersteyn

        I’ll by her a shot.

        • RockMossel2014

          I was drinking in a very english part of town when these jagger girls came in. I remember shouting at the top of my lungs: “SKOTE!!” Turns out they were afrikaans and they actually ended up drinking with us!

          • TiMsTeR1033

            what does that mean for us english folk who are unskilled in Afrikaans?

          • RockMossel2014

            The word “shots” directly translated means “skote.” It started as a joke, because those shots refer to gunshots, but then it kinda sticked.

          • TiMsTeR1033

            I learn something new everyday! 7 de laan needs to try harder to teach me! lol

          • RockMossel2014

            Don’t ever listen to anything Oom Oubaas says, his metaphors and words are deliberately messed up! Also, I dont watch 7de Laan.

          • Admiral Chief in Vegas

            TWO TOP TIPS from Mossel

          • Admiral Chief in Vegas

            Where did you meet them up?

          • RockMossel2014

            The Shack – Cape Town. A very rock n roll bar. Dirty and the drinks are cheap! Like R15 a draught.

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            Heh I used to go there a lot. When I was @ Cape Tech I’d head there before an exam to study.

          • RockMossel2014

            Hehe. Friends of mine did that once. They scored like 20% in whatever test they wrote!

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            That’s because you’re not meant to have more than two. More is bad lol. I had 3 double brandies once – got there late & the lecturer was giving me the evil eye. I still passed though :D

    • RockMossel2014

      OMW dude they get me every time! Every fucking time! It’s like I think I will actually hook up with them. And those awesome test tubes you get to keep…I have more of those than I’m proud of.

      • Admiral Chief in Vegas

        I wonder if they are in now, will go look and post a pic if they are…

        • TiMsTeR1033

          DO IT!!!

          • Admiral Chief in Vegas

            Heh, I’d rather not post pics of them publicly…

            Might show em on Skype though…

          • TiMsTeR1033

            need to get skype at work!

      • Hammersteyn

        It’s like the queen be walks in and we are the drones.

  • Kensei Seraph

    I’m one of the people who gets somewhat intimidated when a random hot chick I have never met approaches me to try sell me something.

    On a separate note, a cardboard cutout would probably be a better idea in a lot of cases.

    • GalacticLordCaptainAwesomeness

      Is that why you have all those subscriptions to Destiny, Woman’s Health?

      • Admiral Chief in Vegas

        BWAHAHAHAHHA

      • Admiral Chief in Vegas

        Wtf is Destiny sub?

      • TiMsTeR1033

        He likes to look at the pictures for research!

      • Kensei Seraph

        Destiny isn’t coming out on PC yet (I have hope) and I’ve never even heard of a game called Woman’s Health.

        • Admiral Chief in Vegas

          Well played! :P

        • Sageville

          “Woman’s Health” worst simulator game eva!

        • RockMossel2014

          Woman’s Health: Tales of a born again Gynie. Best. Game. Ever.

  • TiMsTeR1033

    What about have your stand and then have the babes be moving around with a clear indication to the game or product… thus you see booth babe and think “oh they were advertising this” and go there..

  • Umar digs KOS-MOS

    I tend to attract all the booth babes’ attention because of my natural sexiness

    • Admiral Chief in Vegas

      HAHAHAAHAHAHAAA

  • RinceThis2014

    I just feel awkward. What are you supposed to do with them? I mean I couldn’t eat a whole one, not right there anyway. They don’t know the product they are selling, and I kindda also feel sorry for them. Also makes me wonder whether they are doing that to fund their degree in astrophysics…

    • Umar digs KOS-MOS

      …..wait…EAT?

      • TiMsTeR1033

        can be taken in many bad ways..

      • Admiral Chief in Vegas

        Yes, indeed, if you are skilled, they love it

        • Umar digs KOS-MOS

          WAIT WAIT….WAHT??????

          • Admiral Chief in Vegas

            NOMNOMNOMNOMNOM aaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh (sounds of pleasure)

          • RinceThis2014

            The line… The admiral somewhere over the horizon 0-O

          • TiMsTeR1033

            ended off with a ” boy you were hungry weren’t you!”

          • RinceThis2014

            And in some cases, a cigarette…

          • TiMsTeR1033

            but of course!

          • RockMossel2014

            hahahaha!!!

        • RinceThis2014

          BWAHAHAHA! At least one penny dropped ;)

          • TiMsTeR1033

            I caught what you were saying man!

          • RinceThis2014

            If I had a penny every time I heard that, I’d have 2 pennies… 0-O

          • Umar digs KOS-MOS

            I didn’t :(

          • TiMsTeR1033

            one day Umar you will be a real boy!

          • Umar digs KOS-MOS

            I wana be a real boy now!!1….WAAAAAH :(

          • TiMsTeR1033

            To be a real boy, one must meet Master Rince!

          • RinceThis2014

            Well that ain’t ever going to happen with @umarbastra:disqus Almost as bad as the Nana!

          • TiMsTeR1033

            perhaps Umar and Nana are the same person! *Tinfoil hat engage!

          • Umar digs KOS-MOS

            na na na na batman….

          • RinceThis2014

            Hehehe. Well, after you ditched both of us last night and our planned Spur date I don’t think we will see him for a while…

          • TiMsTeR1033

            you had a planned spur date?

          • Admiral Chief in Vegas

            So you guys ARE dating?

          • TiMsTeR1033

            The plot thickens

          • Umar digs KOS-MOS

            God dammit Rince … Now you made it public knowledge

          • TiMsTeR1033

            what would your wife think!! shame on you Umar!

          • Umar digs KOS-MOS

            Nana is involved too

          • TiMsTeR1033

            So having a 3 way! 0_0

          • Admiral Chief in Vegas

            Who is the boy and who is the girl in the relationship?

          • RinceThis2014

            Uh uh. Don’t act like you knew. You suspected Trevor, not Umar and Banana!

          • Admiral Chief in Vegas

            You are cheating on Trev with the Banana AND Umar???

          • TiMsTeR1033

            Its like Days of our lives!

          • Admiral Chief in Vegas

            O_O

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            It’s not an orgy if there’s only two of you. That’s just maths.

          • RinceThis2014

            HAHAHA! *vomit

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            Of course we have to use an Oculus Rift to interact with the Banana.

          • RinceThis2014

            Brilliant! I promote this! GATE 2 OPEN

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            If we open gate three does OVG get let out?

          • TiMsTeR1033

            Dear lord DO NOT OPEN IT!

          • RinceThis2014

            Well, GATE 3 is Satan, GATE 4 is OVG…

          • RinceThis2014

            Well, have you met Trev? 0-O

          • Admiral Chief in Vegas

            Nope, but it does explain some things…

          • TiMsTeR1033

            Atleast you planned the Spur date during the week and not on a Monday. You have some class Nick I respect that!

          • Umar digs KOS-MOS

            LOOOOLZ free burger monday rocks!

          • TiMsTeR1033

            It does hey can take out the mrs and not feel bad for being cheap!

          • Umar digs KOS-MOS

            HAHAHA, in this economy you have to make that money last

          • TiMsTeR1033

            You do! Times are tough esp in Jan! this month must hurry up and end!

          • RinceThis2014

            I are nutting but like classy hey.

          • TiMsTeR1033

            They girls *cough boys* must love you!

      • RinceThis2014

        I mean, uhhhh, no, wait guys, come back!

    • TiMsTeR1033

      Eat one whole or not there anyway… what are you a monster?

  • Anon A Mouse

    Booth babes will never work. Either people hit on them or avoid them. Those who actually want to know something about the product will walk away frustrated because they will not know anything about it most of the time.

    • TiMsTeR1033

      apparently some eat them

      • Anon A Mouse

        They do tend to taste better in the mornings though.

        • TiMsTeR1033

          ah speaking from experience! @rincethis:disqus pay attention!

  • oVg

    Booth Babes are the same as marriage.
    An old fashioned social necessity of social acceptance built around archaic indoctrination.

    • Admiral Chief in Vegas

      Still single eh oVg?

      • oVg

        SPforever

        • Admiral Chief in Vegas

          I DEMAND that there be lil’ oVg’s running around before 2015!!!

          • oVg

            I tried :( but the local sperm bank will not allow gingers.

          • Admiral Chief in Vegas

            Just PLEASE don’t spawn with another ginger, there is enough bad things in this world :P

          • TiMsTeR1033

            I can’t blame them..

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            Dye your sperm before handing them in.

          • Admiral Chief in Vegas

            O_O

      • RinceThis2014

        Still would imply he is trying not to be :P

    • RinceThis2014

      YES YES YES! What you said! #foreverSP man!

    • RinceThis2014

      PS, what the heck was in your coffee this am!? 0_O

      • oVg

        Hemileia vastatrix :P

        • Sageville

          Sounds like some sort of STD

      • Sageville

        Apparently a dictionary….

        • Admiral Chief in Vegas

          LOOOL

        • RinceThis2014

          HAHAHAHAHAH! DING LEVEL UP

  • Sageville

    I prefer to see cosplay peeps at conventions instead of a pretty face that invariably know very little about the product they are promoting.

    Don’t get me wrong, when I see a hot lady dressed to attract male attention, I will be duped into looking… wimins are sneaky like that.

    • RinceThis2014

      You would rather see Darryn in his sweaty Batman costume than the above? 0-O *Backs away…

      • Sageville

        What can I say, I’m a sucker for sweaty rubber, so squeaky…

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        It can’t be worse than his sexy firem.. I’ve said too much.

        • TiMsTeR1033

          Yes that downvote was from me! you deserved it!

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

        • RinceThis2014

          HAHAHAH! :) Who down voted you? 0-O

          • TiMsTeR1033

            ME!

          • RinceThis2014

            lol

  • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

    Mmm. That actually makes some sense. I’d also much rather chat to someone who knows what’s going on.

    That being said I think booth babes are a non issue. Have em, don’t have em. It really doesn’t bother me in the least to be honest.

    • TiMsTeR1033

      NO! what is this you speakth! we need booth babes! for um research purposes!

      • Admiral Chief in Vegas

        Right, ‘research’

        :P

  • DrKiller

    Its not that we are scared to talk to them, its just that we know they don’t know the product where they are standing at. Imagine you talk to an Intel booth babe and you are like.. “So what do you think about the new generation i5 processors”, she’ll probably be like… “the what?”

    • Admiral Chief in Vegas

      Just imagine if they surprise you with a full technical analysis and breakdown of the model range, price and performance.

      You’d better have a wedding ring handy to propose THEN AND THERE!

      • DrKiller

        haha I was thinking the same thing! But what are the chances it will happen :( lol

        • Admiral Chief in Vegas

          There are still chances dude, ALWAYS a chance!

      • Anon A Mouse

        I’m more afraid that they will know far more tech jargon than I do, then what?

        • TiMsTeR1033

          Then you get her drunk regularly, drunk people never sound clever.

  • Rags

    I don’t care if it works or not. They are like a cracker at a wine expo. Cleans the palate after much tech and marketing bs. :P

    • Admiral Chief in Vegas

      LOOL

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    I couldn’t care less whether they’re there or not. I’d certainly notice if they’re there, because I’m not that blind, but it’s nothing further that a simple acknowledgement that she’s pretty & then I move on to what I’m really interested in. If I wanted to ogle women I’d go to a strip club… or outside. I tend to feel insulted when a woman tries to sell me something & her sales pitches revolves around, “I have boobs!”

  • General JJ Raven (John)

    There are women at some of these stalls?

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      Yes, but not for sale. It’s deceptive marketing.

  • Jaded_Reprobate

    Lies i tell you…. ALL LIES

    • Admiral Chief in Vegas

      O_O

  • http://www.lazygamer.net Gavin Mannion

    I like booth babes, however I’ve never once thought that they are marketing consultants. They are nothing more than eye candy for the guys and girls. And yes there are a ton of booth hunks at these conventions.

    • Admiral Chief in Vegas

      “booth hunks”

      O_O

  • VampyricSquirrel Monk

    I don’t enjoy R@ge as much since there’s no booth babes… but I don’t see why they couldn’t just add booth hunks to the mix to make everyone happy. :P

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