Apr 29 2007

What would Rothman say?

Published by at 10:09 am under General

After some of the interesting conversations we had about booth babes at a huge event like RSA, it was interesting to see one at Linuxfest Northwest this weekend.  The event is aimed at all levels of Linux user, but most of the people I’ve met aren’t business decision makers.   The funniest part is that the people who hired the nice young lady apparently only gave her a five minute outline and then expected her to talk to all the folks at the event intelligently. 

Is this really the level the IT field has gotten to?  Have we become so mainstream that it’s now normal to have pretty young women selling technology, just like at an auto show?  I’m not complaining, it just feels strange to me to see this type of sales technique becoming more common.  And it makes me wonder what Interop in Vegas will look like next month.

Linuxfest Booth Babe

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5 responses so far

5 Responses to “What would Rothman say?”

  1. Rob Newbyon 29 Apr 2007 at 10:34 am

    I was making this exact point about InfoSec Europe last week, but you know what, now I’m torn. It may seem like “dumbing down”, or “sexing up” even, but then, if there’s one industry that needs a bit of both, it’s IT.
    I think the point to take from it all is that these events are getting some good financial backing at last, which means we might all get a sniff of the compnay budget one day soon.
    When marketing has finished with it of course.

  2. MikePon 30 Apr 2007 at 6:51 am

    The insidious part is somebody seeing an attractive woman at a booth is likely to assume they don’t know what is behind them in the booth, they’re just there to look pretty. Makes it a tad difficult for women of any level of attractiveness (“what, your company couldn’t afford good-looking booth babes?”) to get taken seriously in the business.

  3. Morgan Davison 30 Apr 2007 at 4:36 pm

    I always assume the person I am talking to knows what they are supposed to, until I am proven otherwise. Anyone who’s been around this industry should know that. So on that note: Shouts to the smart one at RE:PC, I think your cute too.

  4. Daniel Sweeton 05 May 2007 at 6:22 am

    Having seen (and done) this at a number of conferences, what it usually supposed to happen is that the booth babe will attract and then hand off (to someone knowledgeable).

    What many companies don’t understand is that there is so little in common between booth babes and especially the technical community that it actually becomes a turn-off / frustration.

    Yes, it’s nice to talk with a (trapped) attractive woman. But if your passion is Linux or the efficient use of RPCs that underlie it, she starts looking like a deer in the headlights.

    However, until someone other than the marketing department is in charge of these events, it will continue on…


  5. MikePon 08 May 2007 at 7:57 pm

    Morgan, then you’re a rare one. I’ve heard enough sexist comments to know that.

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