ISC West Bans Booth Babes

By John Honovich, Published Mar 22, 2018, 09:14am EDT

Booth babes, goodbye.

Technically, ISC West banned them 2 years ago with a 'staffing attire' requirement but it looks like ISC West is going to actually start enforcing it in 2018.

Last year, there was an uproar over IPVM's report: The Sleaziest Booth Of ISC West - Rapid Response and our criticism of the company's booth babe lineup:

With 500+ votes on the poll, almost half found this acceptable and with 100+ comments, numerous industry professionals defended it:

  • "The recent phenomenon of Politics and PC penetrating into the business world has been sad to see."
  • "You guys clucking at this should take your skirts off. Businesses since the beginning of time have used shiny objects to get prospects within proximity to pitch them." [emphasis added]
  • "This is SIN City don't like it don't go. Those girls at the show where beautiful and where in my opinion conservative but as soon as you walked outside man! oh man! what a show! all kinds of flavors. That Vegas. Grow a backbone and lets make America great again." [emphasis added]
  • "As far as the sex and looks of these public relation professionals, I think that’s relatively simple. First the sex, well that’s pretty much a no brainer. The alarm dealer universe is likely 95% male dominated, so hiring qualified females really makes good business sense."
  • "All this puritanical outrage is boiling down to the fact that the women were attractive and the necklines of their clothing exposed too much skin for their liking." [emphasis added]
  • "So long as there are companies who choose to use this as a marketing tactic, and there are women, who by their own free choice, choose to accept the job as booth babe, let there be booth babes!" [emphasis added]

Attire Requirements for ISC West

In 2016, ISC West added 'staffing attire' requirements:

Evidently, contrary to their own rules, it was not 'strictly enforced' in 2017.

However, ISC West told IPVM now that:

We are currently communicating with all ISC West exhibitors to remind them of the policy for proper attire. It’s our hope that they will take the feedback from us, attendees, and the public to heart this year and if not, we will determine the best course of action to remedy violations brought to our attention. To that end, I can confirm that the rules for attire will be in effect again at ISC West 2018. It’s very important to us that our attendees feel comfortable during their experience at the show. 

Vote / Poll

5 reports cite this report:

"If You Have The Same Qualifications, And You're A White Male, You Are Going To Lose", Says Integrator on Dec 16, 2019
Diversity is a rising priority, overall and in the security industry. One...
Secutech Taipei 2019 Show Report, Impacted By Expected Hikua Ban on May 08, 2019
IPVM went to Taipei to attend SecuTech 2019: The most significant new...
Intersec 2019 Show Report on Jan 23, 2019
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ISC West 2018 Best and Worst on Apr 16, 2018
ISC West 2018 had strong attendance, modest overall new products, and a surge...
The Sleaziest Booth Of ISC West on Apr 10, 2017
The use of 'booth babes' is way down overall, but one company, Rapid...

Comments (78)

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It's a professional event, people should be professionally attired, or if casual then "business casual". At least in this respect women will finally start being held to the same professional standards of men instead of being allowed special privileges.

Now if the organizers will finally start cracking down on booths that grab people and scan there badges without telling them what it is about or giving consent, we'll be making real progress.

Attire of an expletive nature? Was that really a problem?

Is this a valid workaround?

There's always someone who will push the limits if you don't spell them out.

It's about time

Personally, I feel those types of booths are substituting women for lack of content and innovation. If you need that to draw people to your booth, you should seriously rethink your approach, as well as your product.

I've been modifying cars and showing them since I was 12 years old, the same type of thing happens at car shows, for similar reasons.

I used to put up a sign next to my car, because I was sick of people leaving fingerprints all over it. Excuse my choice of words, but it got the point across, haha. Well done for highlighting the problem, equally well done for enforcing the rules on the part of ISC.

No automatic alt text available.

Booth Babes Banished at 2018 Geneva Auto Show

Sounds like we are back in highschool...

Are "Show Studs" still allowed? please let me know as I may need to return some clothing.

Sean, you need to get Woke. Women do not stoop to such objectifying behavior so show studs would not matter.

Yes! Yes! Come see our Show Studs at Digital Watchdog Booth 25089. We've got brains and brawn! Let us show you our fully-loaded equipment!

Sean, this could be you protecting the Hikvision booth? :)

Courtesy ISC Brasil...

Yes that was indeed me, which is why I asked the question. I was going to go a little more risque this year though. Banana Hammock and a Bullet Sash.

That's not real, is it?!

Yes, it is real, it is from the ISC Brasil 2017 photo gallery.

Also, in case anyone is not familiar with the device he is holding, it's an 'ant-drone gun'.

I hate to say it but I actually voted disagree.  If companies have a lack of product and want to objectify women - let them.  I skip these booths because I see this as a lack of content worth drawing anyone in.  It is not as though someone stopping in to ogle is a good prospect.

I say this having worked at an employer in the distant past whose CEO and CFO flew out with us and went from booth babe to booth babe, only stopping at the booths that served alcohol.  That type of neanderthal is a relic.  If manufacturers want to pay significant(?) funds to a woman to incite for boorish behavior, let them.  If anything it illustrates what type of companies NOT to work for and shines a light on them.

#4, thanks, that's an interesting take. I think it's fairly libertarian.

That type of neanderthal is a relic. If manufacturers want to pay significant(?) funds to a woman to incite for boorish behavior, let them. If anything it illustrates what type of companies NOT to work for and shines a light on them.

The practical issue here is that 'relic' or not, it's still clearly profitable. Rapid Response would not hire a large number of then year after year if it was not. Ergo, in this case, the market is not solving this problem.

And there are externalities to this practice in terms of its impact on other women in the industry.

It will continue to be profitable until the relics disappear.  ISC should ban the relics instead.  ASIS is far less relic adverse.

Ageism ?

Ageism ?

I could see how it could be interpreted that way.  It is more of a statement on the irrelevance of ASIS.  Someone does not have to be an octogenarian to be hopelessly out of date in integration.  In fact, there are several people who post on here that are older than I that are far more relevant than I will ever be.


I'm not sure what you meant by "ageism" in regard to this topic. If you're saying that the "booth babes" are a part of an older era, you're right...So are 3 martini lunches and many other things that are not around anymore for good measure. If you're saying that by banning the "booth babes" there is some exclusion of older people in the workforce, I respectfully call BS. 

The bell just rang for my 50th round, and the millennial generation can make me feel the years. However, times change...usually for the good. So, let's not hold on to bad habits because, "that's the way it was back in our day."

And there are externalities to this practice in terms of its impact on other women in the industry.

Some men decide to ban some women to help some other women?

Some men decide to ban some women to help some other women?

No one is banned. Rapid Response could just as well have the same models as last year. They simply will need to be dressed in business rather than nightclub attire.

Speaking of which, anyone wants to guess what Rapid will do this year? No models? Models dressed more conservatively?

No one is banned.

Only following your lede ;)

My bet is on models dressed more conservatively. 

How about having people in their booth that know the Rapid Response product and service and that can speak to its features, benefits, and advantages...Just saying, isn't that the point?

I always assumed that Rapid's extensive use of booth babes is because it's really, really, really hard for a central station company to distinguish itself from all other central station monitoring companies. 

There are hundreds of central stations in America, all charging roughly the same amount of money for roughly the same type and level of service. I'm glad I don't work in marketing for a central station, because frankly I can't think of a way to get people to my booth (or to switch to my service, for that matter). 

Does Rapid Response take the easy way out to attract attention to themselves? Absolutely. Is it skeevy and inappropriate? No question. Do I feel uncomfortable around the Rapid booth? Yes I do. 

Do I blame Rapid for using booth babes? Well... no, I don't. Not really. It's just desperation. 

I'm glad ISC is banning booth babes this year, though. Level the playing field. Affiliated has a booth just as big as Rapid, and they don't use booth babes, and Affiliated's booth is always much emptier than Rapid's. 

Commenting undisclosed because I have a bunch of friends who work at Rapid and I always visit their booth to say hello. 

Do I blame Rapid for using booth babes? Well... no, I don't. Not really. It's just desperation.

What's ironic is that a number of people I trust on the intrusion side say that Rapid is one of the most high-tech central stations. They should focus on that. Like a top product manufacturer, make your marketing around your key differentiators and new offerings.

Well, yes. Rapid is top notch. 

The problem is, the difference between top notch and bottom-of-the-barrel in the monitoring business isn't that far apart, not on reliability, not on technology, not on features, and not on price. 

There really isn't that much difference at all between Rapid and, say, Affiliated or COPS or any of the other big monitoring companies. Survey a bunch of intrusion people who are big enough to get bulk pricing from monitoring companies but small enough that they don't bother to monitor in-house about why they use the monitoring company they do, and I bet the honest ones will either say "because that's who we've always used", "because I have a buddy who works there", or some combination of the two.  

There are a bunch of monitoring companies at ISC this year, 8 of which can be considered major players (Acadian, Affiliated, All-American, CMS, COPS, Emergency24, Rapid Response, and UCC). Go ask them what makes them different, and why an intrusion company should choose them. I bet they all give you identical responses. 

#4, thanks, that's an interesting take. I think it's fairly libertarian.

A Libertarian take could also say it's ISC West's right to ban whatever attire they feel like, since it would be a private entity and not coming from the government.

Exactly.  Unfortunately this immature (sinful if you will) behavior does not correct itself.  It takes mature human beings with a back bone to step in.

Just as porn is the most lucrative product on the internet, "booth babes" are unfortunately not only profitable, they represent the oldest profession. Some have commented on the fact that "booth babes" are there when the product is low quality. However, I've seen quality manufacturers use this kind of enticement. There will always be a market for the base level of society...just as there will always be a market for trunk slammers. And, I realize that ISC, ASIS, and IPVM impacts a wide variety of subindustries in electronic security. But, in my opinion, for the commercial integration market, it is unprofessional and, in the "me too" era, it's really not acceptable...and should never have been if we were ever really interested in making women feel comfortable entering the male majority workplace. A litmus test that I use is, would I want my daughters, sisters, or wife in a given environment?

Ironically, the reduction of attractions like alcohol and "booth babes" has likely led to the downward trend of participation for shows like ISC and ASIS. I question the value and viability of exhibiting/attending these shows. In the past, these shows provided valuable information that could not be so easily obtained. Today, these shows are arguably not the best forum to gather information from vendors given the alternatives. Then again, if you just want to go to the shows to blow off some steam and let "what happens in Vegas stay in Vegas," by all means, spend the $1,500 to 2,500 to attend or the $20,000 plus to exhibit.

Excellent point and i agree with you, however it also takes courage to reveal whos posting.

This is blatant Ageism and Prehistoracism! OMG!

I had to vote disagree - but not because I am against the ISC Proper Attire Policy.

What I am against is the response from your ISC representative.

"It’s our hope that they will take the feedback from us, attendees, and the public to heart this year and if not, we will determine the best course of action to remedy violations brought to our attention."

That may be the wishy-washyest policy statement ever uttered. Doesn't even mention objectification of women in the industry  - at their show.

And we all know why... cuz ISC is afraid of offending a company that has a huge booth spend every year.

Nevertheless, I think they are going about it all wrong.

If they set a standard, well then set and enforce that damn standard already

They issued their decree in 2016? How?  By posting it on their website?  I never heard anything about it.  And apparently nobody else did either.

Same for 2017 as Rapid Response ignored the policyAnd ISC let them do it.  

So now, a year later, they issue that kind of soggy response to IPVM's reach out for comment on how this year will be any different than last?

If they had made it clear back in 2016 that they were serious and actually enforced their own policy, then we would not be discussing this now.

"To that end, I can confirm that the rules for attire will be in effect again at ISC West 2018."

Forgive me for laughing silently into my hand.

"It’s very important to us that our attendees feel comfortable during their experience at the show."

This comment so completely ignores the objectification argument that it is clearly intentionally obtuse.  Attendee comfort?  What about all the other women in our industry?

Be Bold ISC.  It actually makes everything easier, as taking a strong stance against objectification of women can be empowering to your organization... (see last 6 months in American society)

...and you will lose zero booth revenue.

I don't think booth babes have been banned at all.  They didn't say "no cleavage", and they didn't say "skirts have to be below the knee line".  They just banned "overly revealing" attire.  So by definition "revealing" attire is still permitted. 

I'm not in favor of political correctness in general; I agree with U#4's take - let the market decide.  Just because a practice continues *does not* mean it's profitable, we don't have to look far to find unprofitable business practices that still take place.

With 100 votes so far, like last year, people are fairly split, clear majority support but  over 40% are against the attire guidelines:

Accidentally left the apparently NSFH “ISC West Bans Booth Babes” article displayed on the familial PC, which triggered this exchange:

13 year old son: So what’s up with Booth Babes, Dad?

Me: Ah... well, the term ‘Booth Babe’ is best understood as a slightly pejorative moniker given to certain associates of a vendor’s temporary sales staff; often at an industry event, who are primarily hired for their aesthetic capabilities and typically use a minimalistic, and usually ostentatious, wardrobe philosophy.  Very often these would be females possessing a fair degree of nubility.

Son: C’mon, I already know what a ‘Booth Babe’ is, or at least I thought I did till that explanation.  But, have you ever seen them at a show?

Me: Oh, I’m sure I have, but you just kinda tune them out after a while as just so much noise. Anyway, it’s been years since I’ve been to one of them, and I doubt I’ll be going to any in the future...

Son: Cuz they banned the Babes?

Kids say the darnedest things...

I'm not a fan of booth babes.  That being said, how will they tell the difference between booth babes and risque RSMs who have booth duty? 

"You can't be here!"

"I'm the VP of Marketing."

“You can't be here!"

Better than escorting them off the premises would be to simply catch, ticket and release.  Then they would serve to others as a walking guide to the possible infractions awaiting—and would allow the BB’s to compare violations in an effort to comply:

"how will they tell the difference between booth babes and risque RSMs who have booth duty?"

Some reps attire can be more appropriate for nightclubs. However, let's not lump attractive reps in this category. That said, dress codes should be enforceable on everyone from the "temporary sales staff" to the CEO.

That's why I said "risque", not attractive.  Personally, I believe that I'm a burning hot hunk of masculinity, and my dog agrees, but I don't wear mini skirts to shows.

Crap, that came out all wrong.

The Australian shows stopped in a few years ago and the show is not as good now sorry to say.

If the quality of the show hinges in the eye candy, than I would wager it was pretty bad to begin with.

Had an interesting conversation with one of the "booth babes" while I was in line for lunch last year @ ISC W.  She was actually Ms. March for Tilted Kilt (or some place like that) and flew out to Vegas just about every month to be a "babe" in different shows.  She claimed to make anywhere from 4-7K for one week of standing around.

Personally - I'd take that job/payout but I doubt anyone wants to see my man boobs, Austin-Power-chest hair or 35yr+ man-gut strolling the show floor.....

....but in case they do, let me know.  I'm for hire and I can suppress shame for adequate cash payouts.

This is going to be our second year exhibiting at ISC West 

We have not received any official notice about a dress code

I assume it is in the fine print in one of the many documents that they sent us but I have not seen anything specific 

With regard to booth babes the logic makes sense as far as them trying to enforce a more business like environment

I do agree with many of the other commentators that anyone that has a real product does not need flesh to sell it

However, having spent 20 years of my life in sales, Men prefer to buy from Women when the women are just as knowledgeable or even a little less knowledgeable than men

Women do have that unfair advantage 

I don’t believe that in 2018 with everything going on in the world as far as the women’s movement is concerned we can really expect that a little more focus on the subject would not trickle into our industry 

The reason this has gone on and will continue to go on to some degree is because of how human nature is

I will venture to say that there will be more sophisticated attractive women at the show with the whole glasses look that Tina Fey became famous for since that is the trend of where the world is going

I have considered going the booth babe route in the past, but the wife nixed those ideas pretty quickly. In a way she did us a favor, it caused us to really focus on how to draw people in

We decided to focus on integration. With so many distributors just simply handing out line cards and candy. We figured, lets show people what differentiates us.

It worked, at this past ISC East we had one of the busiest booths. We had various manufacturers bring customers to our booth to show them what we were doing 

Bottom line is we spend a lot of money on these shows. We need to be able to get real results. One of the ideas we floated for this year was for me to dress up as a mascot to draw attention to us. Once they are in our booth because of the spectacle. We will get a moment of attention to try to turn them into customers. I am still up in the air, but what if I dressed as a giant Peach or something similar. Some good clean fun and of course no cleavage showing.....

A Mascot?... they'll be coming for you next.

I think booth babes should be like Tina Fey, except smart.  The most attractive "babe" at Rapid last showed was dressed conservatively.  But still, when someone representing your company doesn't know basic answers, that's not a plus.

David, Great post...and my wife (and daughters) would have nixed booth babes had I brought it up. 

I'm not sure I agree that "Women do have that unfair advantage." If that were true, wouldn't there be more women in our industry?

David, David, I created a new discussion for this: Do Women Have An Advantage In Security Sales?

That's great John...thanks.

How totally hypocritical.  The show is in Las Vegas!  The event organizers have no issue holding the show in the sex capitol of North America to achieve the highest attendance possible, which is fueling the adult industry indirectly.

Indirectly? That's being optimistic! :)

What subjective measurements applies to the iscwest police These people deserve sharia law. Inclusive of the glbt . 




ISC can patrol the show floor with Tyvek coveralls for the inappropriately dressed (and UM-8). That would solve the problem.

What part of "free enterprise" seems to be missing from this concept?

Hint; it's not the "enterprise" part.

If a business chooses to represent themselves in this fashion, and if the women (&/or men) hired to play these roles are consenting adults acting of their own free will & are duly compensated for their services, then the event organizers, and unrelated activists, should butt out.

They are entitled to their opinions, certainly, as is everyone, no matter how regressive or oppressive those may be. But that entitlement ends when they interfere with the free expression or free enterprise of other consenting individuals - - especially those of their paying customers.

Being offended is a choice. That some choose to be offended by something is not adequate reason to restrict the freedoms of others who do not share that view.

Nobody has said it's illegal; just inappropriate. If they wish to conduct their business as such in their own offices, no problem. But many people feel it's inappropriate for a business event of this nature.

Having said that, this is a private organized event and everybody who wishes to participate must abide by the expectations of the organizers.

You are my hero!

It seems the arguments for these "freedoms" keep getting mixed up with legal freedoms and individual freedoms. There is no legal freedoms being inhibited here. ISC is a non-government entity, they are a private entity, and they are free to allow or prohibit what they want within the confines of the law.

Maybe that is not what you intended, but I hate seeing the two conflated. And they get conflated when people say ".. but they [exhibitors] should have the freedom to do what they want".

I'm keeping this UNDISCLOSED, not because I care if anybody knows who I am, but to protect my current employer who may or may not agree with my personal opinion on this topic.

My 2 cents.  In a competitive market, you do anything and everything that is legal and within your budget/power, to get attention and bodies in the booth during a trade show.

If Peacocking accomplishes that, then so be it.

While I agree there are many companies that use attractive people at the edge of their booths as a way to compensate for lack of substance in the booth, I've also seen this strategy employed by companies who have significant substance in the booth.

In 2009, when I was at XXX Company, we did 2 consecutive shows with essentially the same booth. We had just introduced a pretty exciting line of 1080p cameras with H.264 compression (that was still a pretty big deal back in 2009), that also had auto-focus and a lot of other features.

At ISC-West we just used regular XXX Company employees.

At ASIS (Anaheim) I hired to models (female) and trained them for a week before the show so they had a high level understanding of the new products, but more importantly knew who to direct inquiries to within the booth.

These were young, very attractive girls, but I had them dress in brightly colored, but non-revealing, outfits for the show.

The difference in booth attendance and leads generated was ASTOUNDING. On Day 2, some of the home office suits didn't like what I'd done, so we asked the girls not to come the morning of the 2nd day. Booth attendance PLUMMETED, so I convinced the suits to let me bring the girls back that afternoon, and attendance SKYROCKETED.

We talk about 'relics' and whatnot, but to be fair, our demographic is 90%+ men, and we are hardwired biologically to be attracted to certain physical attributes in women. There are multi-billion dollar pornography and entertainment busineses that prove this out every year, along with "sex sells" advertising permutating across practically every industry, in every corner of this planet. We can pretend it's archaic, we can pretend we're more 'civilized' than that, but the facts prove out a very different story.

Am I advocating for hiring models at every booth? Am I advocating for the objectivication of women? Certainly not. I'm just stating that to deny what drives us as human beings seems to be folly. I'm saying is it's an effective strategy, and we should stop pretending it isn't effective, or that it's somehow immoral.

ISC-West can run their show how they run their show. But it won't change a proven marketing strategy.

Now I'm confused. Is she in or out?

DW Booth 25089

Very interesting feedback on the results. I figured the practice would help leads but had not ever heard specifics.

I'm saying is it's an effective strategy, and we should stop pretending it isn't effective, or that it's somehow immoral.

What ISC West is doing here implicitly acknowledges its effectiveness. It's like when warning signs go up. You don't see warning signs like "Don't stick a fork in your eye" not because people support that but because it's not an effective tactic. The attire requirement is needed because, as you point out, such attire is effective.

As for its morality, let me use a less strong term - appropriateness. Is it appropriate for people to scantily dress in a business environment? I would say no. I also think it would be easier for most men to accept if the scantily dressed people were men. However, as you say, since the security industry is 90% men, it's easier to dismiss scantily dressed women as no big deal, ignoring the impact it has on women.

I think we can reach a compromise. Japanese Sex Bots are made of synthetic skin and therefore the "Zero Flesh Tolerance" policy of ISC does not apply. I also believe that your ROI for the cost of the robots can be realized within several shows.

It doesn't solve the problem of humans being replaced by technology - but that is the business we are all in.

The answer is always Knightscope.

"It’s very important to us that our attendees feel comfortable during their experience at the show."

Then supply us with rickshaws or Segways.

You may have been kidding but, I like the idea of some sort of people movers within the show aisles. I'm not sure if it could be done economically due to the space it would take up, which is at a premium. Although, event organizers would undoubtedly find a way to increase advertising/sponsorships with this tool. Nevertheless, I'm for comfort. Forget the "booth babes." My favorite booths have included a chair massagee, shoe shines, soft floors, and comfortable couches.

David I was kidding to a degree and there will be no hot tub at the IPVM booth, this year.

I voted disagree with ISC's attire requirement because who are they to tell me or anyone how to dress?

I voted disagree with ISC's attire requirement because who are they to tell me or anyone how to dress?

Well, it's their show.  They own it.  You are paying to be their guest at a private event.

Yup, their show... Glad to see ISC solving these real issues so attendees feel more comfortable when they pass-by a handful of women showing come cleavage at one booth. Very 2018 of them.

I guess I’ll have to wear less revealing attire this time. Are they going to monitor color choices too?  Some are pretty tacky. 

Without having been to the above event, it is hard for me to accurately feel the impact that these women are having to the culture of these events. With that, I don't totally see the problem. If I can go somewhere to check out the latest and greatest technology, AND enjoy my time there by talking with desirable people . . . it seems like a win win. If you are unable to separate good tech, with bad tech solely based off of who might be holding it . . . we are talking about a different issue entirely. Just one man's opinion. 


imo, you are focusing on exactly what allows those that see no problem with booth babes at trade shows to be flippant about the subject.

By ignoring the primary point - objectification of women - you also allow yourself to ignore how the presence of these objectified women have a direct impact on women who are actually in our industry - and attend our trade shows.

Does sex sell? absolutely.

Do guys like to ogle 'hot women'? only liars will tell you differently.

Does using booth babes (vs not) translate to higher sales at trade shows when you are marketing a commodity, as in stories like UDM11's two year comparison?  I do not question UDM11's anecdotal figures.

There are numerous strings on IPVM over the last number of years where we all bunched up and voted pretty much down the middle on this very same subject.

And this string is no different.

However, I maintain that ALL of those that vote 'no big deal' are 100% men (I've never seen a post by a woman condoning the practice).  i.e. no woman has ever not understood how booth babes at shows effected their own industry positions in a negative way.

So, here is the rub, imo:

1.  EVERYONE knows that sex sells

2.  If you claim to have respect for the (small number of) women in our industry, you should then also see how this obvious objectification of women (booth babes) - within our industry trade shows - hurts the women in our industry, erecting additional hurdles for them to navigate - that men do not have to.

You 'no big deal' people can all deflect and ignore this - but it remains the primary point that these types of discussions actually should be focused on - not the ridiculous assertion of 'it is what it is'.

"it is what it is' is the weakest of all arguments

However, I maintain that ALL of those that vote 'no big deal' are 100% men (I've never seen a post by a woman condoning the practice). i.e. no woman has ever not understood how booth babes at shows effected [sic] their own industry positions in a negative way.

While agreeing mostly with your sentiment, stereotyping women as you have has its flaws. I would suggest that many women see "booth babes" and similar marketing stunts as impacting their own industry positions in a positive way. And, I'm not just talking about the models making decent money. Consider senior executives of a company (or a shareholders) who's income and industry position rises with the revenue and profit of the company. As you acknowledge, sex sells. Then there are women who enjoy using sex to sell. Even in this "me too" era, we have to acknowledge that at least some women have used their own sexuality to achieve their goals.

My take is that, while sex sells, it does make many people uncomfortable. It is also, according to the current social norms and mores, not professional. And, it's not just "objectifying women." Not only have there been whatever the male equivalent to "booth babes" is at ISC, ASIS, and other shows, at least some men if not many would say that it is at least somewhat insulting for marketers to assume they can be won over by a gorgeous women with a short dress and high heels.

This is a difficult topic because of the wide spectrum of perspectives. While I agree that we can be too "politically correct" and thin-skinned at times, there has to be a balance to achieve respect and professionalism.

those are good words, David.

except for the extremely thin argument that women employees of companies that sell more stuff with booth babes understand this benefit.  I snickered at that a bit.

We can all dance around the fact that objectification of women has a negative impact on women in our industry.... but I'm still waiting for any argument from a woman that condones the practice.

Why do you think this is?  Because, I don't wonder at all.

I can hear the typical call to a Las Vegas advertising firm this year..."Yeah, so listen, I am getting a lot of flack from the Show Gods about featuring scantily clad beautiful women in my booth.  This year, I want to make sure the models you provide are not scantily dressed, and are wearing conservative clothes. And another thing, I realize that even conservatively dressed models are still very beautiful and appealing, and will bring more people into my booth, but I want to be very sure I don't break any rules, so make sure to just supply me with ugly models!"


The Rapid Response girls all were within ISC's guidelines. 
None were dressed "over revealing". Most of them were just stunningly beautiful, and obviously professional models. 

The Rapid Response girls all were within ISC's guidelines. None were dressed "over revealing"

ISC West response: "We opt not to comment retroactively on 2017 and are focusing on the upcoming 2018 event."

Definition: Gimmick

Definition: Objectify

There is nothing simple about this issue. Let's say that we can agree the goal is to get more people in the booth.

Here is a piece of IPVM research I would like to see.

Effectiveness: Women Models vs. Free Popcorn Machine

Effectiveness: Women Models vs. Free Happy Hour

Effectiveness: Women Models vs. Free Coffee Baristas

Effectiveness: Women Models vs. In-booth Entertainment

Effectiveness: Women Models vs. Comedians as Presenters

I agree that men, in general, need to show more respect for women. I feel guilty about my female colleagues who are reduced to pretending they are one of the guys, laugh and say they don't care. Of course they care.

My assertion is that a free drink, a fresh snack and a place to sit down can combat the cheesecake strategy. Companies with their big open booths and lots of couches are brilliant. However, we have a lot of products to show, take a reasonably-sized space for our budget and stuff it with live demos. SRO.

I would like to lure potential customers with leading technology that will help them become more profitable. However, popcorn, coffee, beer and women can get them in the door. It's just not our thing. Come and talk business. You might walk away with a mouse pad or luggage tag, because, well, we really are more focused on our products.

Until ISC says, "All men and women must appear homogeneous," this will not be solved. An attractive woman in a tailored business suit is an attractive woman and men are men.

Spam email received today related to this topic:

Who do you have pulling potential leads into your booth?
Are they outgoing and assertiveFearless and shamelessly stopping everyone that walks by? If not, read on... 
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