On Trade Shows and Booth Babes

My sister came to town. She had a trade show downtown to attend, and she asked me to tag along which was, in the final analysis, very probably a good thing as my sister’s sense of direction is not that good. So I went to a trade show this morning for framers and such.

Just as the migratory swallow is not a stranger to these lands I’ve been to trade shows before. Not for this particularly industry, of course. Artwork, matting, frames–these things are unknown to me. I ended up treating the trade show as being, well, a museum. I could look at all the nicely framed artwork and goggle at it because, well, that’s what one does with artwork. And it occurred to me that if my impossible, improbable dream of moving to Scotland and finding a curvy redheaded Scot came true I’d probably want a house with lots and lots of room for framed artwork because that’s the kind of person I am.

As trade shows go, I realized something was missing. Something very obvious.

“Where are the ‘Booth Babes,’?” I said to my sister. Officially, they’re called “trade show models,” but I’ve never ever heard them referred to as anything other than “Booth Babes.”

“‘Booth Babes’?”

“Yeah, ‘Booth Babes.’ You know, the very attractive twenty to twenty-five year-old models the exhibitors hire to draw in prospective customers and hand out literature, but who actually have no connection to the product and wouldn’t know if it slapped them upside the face.”

“I’ve never heard of ‘Booth Babes’ before.”

“I’ve never been to a trade show without ‘Booth Babes.'”

My sister then asked an exhibitor. “Have you ever heard of ‘Booth Babes’ before? My brother says trade shows have ‘Booth Babes,’ and there aren’t any here.”

And then began a long conversation about Booth Babes. The exhibitor knew exactly what a Booth Babe was. šŸ™‚

Having come from an industry dominated by twentysomething/thirtysomething men, Booth Babes were part and parcel of the trade show experience. It never occurred to me that other industries could be so vastly different. šŸ˜†

Just to recap. If you go to a framing industry trade show, do not expect Booth Babes and plan accordingly.

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