A marketer got 2 booths at the same show, one with 'booth babes', the others with 'grandmas'. The grandmas beat the booth babes, delivering twice the number of leads and three times the amount of foot traffic. If you are looking for evidence of why not to use booth babes, this experiment review is for you.
The marketer's theory for why the booth babes did worse was that:
- Booth babes are intimidating (e.g., "guys [tend] to be a little nervous around hot girls. The ones that had no trouble engaging our booth babes were always the overconfident weirdos").
- Booth babes are lazy - in comparison to a car show where they are just paid to show up and smile, at a tech event, they need to engage and educate on niche technical issues (this was a SAP show so even more boring technical than surveillance).
- Grandmas are helpful - They were "more than happy to engage in small talk outside the booth, establish rapport, and make great local restaurant recommendations to our prospects before introducing them to one of our reps."
- "If you’re an exec, you’re looking for your peer at the booth and are not bothering with the booth babes."
- Attracts low quality leads - "the ones that the booth babes had no trouble attracting were often low-level, overconfident IT nubs"
On the other hand, this is for one company's product at one show and the marketer clearly was philosophically opposed to using booth babes (as am I).
By the way, the most controversial article on IPVM last year was clearly our critique of ISC booth babes.