Booth Babes Don’t Work, According To Test
According to a recent test it would appear that sex really doesn’t sell as well as we’ve been led to believe. Booth babes are a part of just about every trade show, young attractive women placed there to draw your attention. Some expos and shows, such as PAX, have banned the use of such promoters.
Now, based on a very small and far from definitive test conducted by by head of marketing and growth at Frontback Spencer Chen it would appear as if there’s no reason to contract women to be on their feet all day in provocative clothing.
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Like many, Chen thinks that hiring provocatively dressed women to help promote technology products is “a pretty indefensible practice.” So he went about proving that it is also an ineffective marketing strategy.
When the opportunity presented itself, Chen used it to promote the same product at two different booths. He didn’t state which product or what event this was done at. One was staffed with your typical booth babes and the other with “contractors that knew the local area and had established people skills.” Last week, he posted his results and observations to TechCrunch.
“The booth that was staffed with the booth babes generated a third of the foot traffic (as measured by conversations or demos with our reps) and less than half the leads (as measured by a badge swipe or a completed contact form) while the other team had a consistently packed booth that ultimately generated over 550 leads,” he said.
Consider first that this is a miniscule test that doesn’t take into account the product being marketed nor the location of each booth and the foot traffic walking past each. For these reasons the results are not definitive but they are certainly interesting.
In Chen’s opinion, booth babes intimidated people instead of drawing them in, couldn’t educate the audience about the product they were promoting as well as the other team, and weren’t approached by legitimate business and product executives.
That’s an interesting notion and one I might be inclined to believe. Personally I don’t see the need for booth babes in the traditional sense.
At the Game Developers Conference 2013 International Game Developers Association board members Brenda Romero and Darius Kazemi resigned from their positions at the group after scantly-clad women preformed at one of the organization’s official events. In 2006 the Entertainment Software Association, which runs E3, made it clear that they would no longer tolerate provocatively clad women being used to promote games to men although that didn’t eliminate the practise entirely.
This is perhaps something that should be broadly tested to conclusively prove that booth babes hold no marketing value. Personally, booth babes hold no marketing value beyond being eye-candy.