For years now, booth hostesses have been the subject of a heated public debate.
For years now, booth hostesses have been the subject of a heated public debate.In one camp, there are those who see them as a relic of a long gone era when trade shows – both behind the scenes and in terms of attendance – were male-dominated. In the other camp, there are those who claim that despite all the negative rep in recent times, booth hostesses are still a very important asset in promoting brands and products and raking in sales.
But very few attempts have been made to dissect the booth hostess phenomenon and offer an impartial look at the matter. In this article, we’ll try to make a case for hiring booth hostesses to work at conventions and trade shows, while duly acknowledging the concerns voiced by the opponents of this trend.
What Is a Booth Hostess?
Booth Babe is a slang term used to describe female models you will find in promotional booths at a variety of trade fairs. Scantily clad, they are tasked to use their sex appeal to lure male visitors into closing the deal and becoming clients or investors.
The trend dates all the way back to the 1930s, when car manufacturers first used attractive female models to promote their vehicles at trade shows. However, what very few participants in this ongoing discussion seem to mention is that a booth babe is more than just a pretty face and body.
From the early days of the phenomenon, these ladies have demonstrated extensive knowledge of any business they were promoting at the time. Few exhibitors have ever relied on booth hostesses solely for their looks; it was their skills to talk to prospective clients and answer business-related questions on the spot that enabled them to perform their tasks so efficiently.
An attempt was made a few years back to erase the negative stigma that accompanies these female models, when the alternative term “booth hostess” was coined. In keeping with the times, they are now fully clothed and use their know-how and conversational skills to convert leads.
While some major trade shows have said no to booth hostesss, they are still a permanent fixture of industry events that attract predominantly male audiences, such as car shows, as well as gaming and tech conventions.
What to Look for in a Booth Hostess?
There are a few important things to look for when hiring a booth hostess for your trade show exhibition.
1. Beauty with Charm
A lot has changed since the 1930s, when booth hostesses first appeared, so even if an event doesn’t have a strict dress code in place, your booth hostess must always be tastefully clothed. Of course, the model you hire should be attractive, but she also needs to possess natural charm, charisma, and conversational skills.
2. Business Knowledge
The most important thing to remember when hiring a booth hostess is that she will act as an ambassador for your brand. As such, she must have vast knowledge of your company’s history and the specific products she will talk about to generate leads.
3. Professionalism and Dedication
The key consideration is to ideally find someone who will serve as your brand ambassador for a long time and not just for a one-off appearance at some trade show. For that reason, you need to find someone who displays professionalism and dedication to their work; someone with the brain to match the beauty.
4. Interest in Relevant Topics
Finding a booth hostess with an interest in topics related to the industry you’re in can be very beneficial. For example, booth hostesses working at gaming conventions are usually very enthusiastic about games themselves.
5. Excellent Communication Skills
People who attend these events – mostly males in their 20s and 30s – love to engage in passionate conversations about video games with these ladies. This in-depth communication allows your ambassadors to get a deeper understanding of their audience and generate better leads as a result.
Are Booth Hostesses Worth Your Investment?
No matter how we feel about it, the universal truth is that sex sells. To be clear, we’re talking about tastefully presented sex appeal that isn’t based solely on the looks of your booth hostess, but also on her technical knowledge, her conversational and presentation skills, as well as her overall personality.
Whether hiring a booth hostess is a sound business investment will depend on the type of trade show you’re exhibiting at.
An increasing number of attendees at events that attract both male and female audiences see the model-type booth hostesses as mere distractions. What’s more, they are completely unacceptable at family-oriented trade shows.
On the other hand, if you pick them right, booth hostesses at events that attract predominantly male audiences can be an incredibly valuable asset. A good booth babe – or booth hostess – will identify the right leads and convert them with her charm, warmth, and business know-how.
Some casting agencies have recognized them for what they are – talents instead of models. They allow you to select professional booth hosting talent that is a perfect match for your company’s needs.With a highly compatible booth hostess, the lead generation process at any industry event is guaranteed to be a success.