I’m sorry…why are you here?

August 20th, 2010 by Karen

Fair warning…this is a rant. There are swears. Deal.

I like to consider myself fairly modern. I work, I share chores and child-rearing with Joel, heck we even split cooking duties. I don’t mind getting my own door, though I love it when I’m treated chivalrously. If we’re out to dinner and I get up from the table and you stand up like Cary Grant, you’ve completely won me over. Treat me condesendingly and I’m likely to beat you over the head with my physics degree in a rousing game of my “Bachelor’s of Science trumps your Community College Certificate”.

All in all, the whole feminist movement wasn’t all bad (I’ll save most of that dissertation for another post) BUT…sometimes there’s a line in the sand and if you cross it, well, you get what’s coming to you.

This past week, I attended Affiliate Summit East 2010 in New York City. It’s put on by my dear friends Missy and Shawn and I’ve only missed one in all the years they’ve held them because I’d just had a baby. (Excuses, excuses. 😉 ) I love Summit; I get to see all my old friends, meet a ton of new people, network like mad and stay out until 6am without getting in trouble. It’s by far one of my favorite tradeshows to attend out of the 8 or so I frequent every year.

But, there is one thing though that I hate about EVERY trade show I attend.

Booth babes.

Now, I’m not a prude for the most part. My shirts are usually fairly on the deep side of cleavage. I enjoy the flaunt and the flirt. I have friends that run the gamut from very uptight to so kinked that it would make your toes curl. I’ve heard it, I’ve seen it, and while it’s pretty easy to make me blush, I’m not the condeming kind. Some things I just think are better left to private moments and some moments do actually require a modicum of modesty, business situations being one of them.

Booth babes just piss me off into rageaholic land and every tradeshow seems to have at least one pair of the insulting tramps. Why ANYONE would willingly attend a PROFESSIONAL conference clad in a barely there bikini and six inch spike heels is completely beyond me. If you have a good, decent, USEFUL product or service, you don’t need to push some skinny vapid chick in my face to pop her chewing gum and ‘um’ and ‘uh” at me unless you are ACTIVELY trying to get me to hate you and never ever recommend you to anyone ever.

boothbabesJust to prove to you how damnably skimpy these girls were dressed at Summit, I had to take a pic. I honestly don’t know who they worked for and I don’t care.

In fact, there were probably 20 or so advertisers on the row where they were standing. They paid a small fortune to be there…between booth costs, ticket costs, hotel, airfare, food, taxis…it adds up fast to be an exhibitor.

I skipped the whole damn row.


I -hate- booth babes.

Posted in Life | 23 Comments

23 Responses to ' I’m sorry…why are you here? '

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  1. Josh Todd said,
    on August 20th, 2010 at 8:11 pm

    They were actually representing (and making me resent) “Bikini Babes Network”. Are you friggin kidding me? An entire network whose selling point is that the AM’s are in bikinis while you talk to them? Stupidest thing I have ever seen and a slap in the face to the whole industry.

  2. Cindy said,
    on August 20th, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    Funny thing, these girls didn’t know who they worked for either. They told me that the owner of the company was “detained” at the Canadian Airport and not allowed into the USA so they didn’t get to meet up with him to find out anything about the program they were there to promote. Now thats an affiliate program I want to join….NOT.

  3. Logan Thompson said,
    on August 20th, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    I agree. I wasn’t there at this ASE, but it annoys me at most conferences. As a guy, this doesn’t attract me at all to these companies. All it tells me is that there product must suck if they have to use sex to sell it.

  4. Wade said,
    on August 20th, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    I think there is a new fave CPA network over at WickedFire

  5. Shawn Collins said,
    on August 20th, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    FWIW, I don’t take a company seriously that goes with booth babes.

    My take from a few years back: http://blog.affiliatetip.com/archives/decline-of-the-booth-babe/

  6. Jen said,
    on August 20th, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    I’m right with ya there sista! Why is it some just don’t see the line they’re willing to cross so easily…

  7. Wade said,
    on August 20th, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    As a guy – I have to agree with Logan. It does nothing for me and if anything turns me off to what a company has to say. If you need bikini babes at your booth to get people to pay attention, you probably don’t have much to offer anyway.

  8. Eric Bisson said,
    on August 20th, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    What about booth dudes! 🙂 But I agree that booth babe don’t belong in a Affiliate summit unless they have a affiliate program to promote booth babe! (sarcasm)

  9. Dave Cole said,
    on August 20th, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    Let’s face it… People bring booth babes to an Internet marketing conference because *some* of the clientele doesn’t get out much. If your product isn’t that hot, ya gotta spice it up a little, and booth babes are just a fact of uncreative businesses (or simply the result of a business owner who wants to surround himself with cute women who he pays to put up with him).

  10. Ben said,
    on August 20th, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    I made the following sarcastic comment on revenews but will repost here – It’s awesome to see the company’s in the space get so desperate for business that they need to break out bikini babes and midgets in order to draw attention to the fact that they’re just another ad network looking to make a quick buck. Well done, guys, keep it classy.

  11. Daniel M. Clark said,
    on August 20th, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    I’m with Shawn, I don’t take the any company seriously that has booth babes, especially if they’re bikini booth babes. When the only goal at a *business* conference is to show as much skin as you can reasonably get away with… it’s boring. It’s just dull and boring.

    Oh look, a random hot blonde woman in a black bikini. Gee, never seen that before.

    I’m not trying to act like some faux-enlightened I’m Better Than This male or something, because I do enjoy looking at attractive women, but to me, the setting and the reason for being there are a big part of said enjoyment. There’s a time and a place for everything, after all.

  12. EvilSlutClique said,
    on August 20th, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    We mostly agree with you and we touched on the booth babe thing in our recap as well: http://evilslutopia.com/2010/08/10-things-about-affiliate-summit-east.html

    We do take issue with referring to the booth babes as “tramps”, though. You never know when someone is working as a booth babe because they’re trying to pay for school, desperate for a job in this crap economy, or whatever. She may be hating every minute of being in that bikini. We reserve most of our judgment for the people (usually men) who think it’s a good idea to have booth babes in the first place.

  13. Karen said,
    on August 20th, 2010 at 11:48 pm

    Thanks to all of you for reading, retweeting and commenting!

  14. Geno Prussakov said,
    on August 21st, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    @Karen, @Shawn, @Ben, @Daniel: Nail hit right on the head! Thanks for starting this discussion, Karen.

    @Cindy: Re “these girls didn’t know who they worked for either” – Wow… Maybe they should have more stuff written on them. There’s space on the back, no? 🙂

  15. […] Karen Garcia’s opinion […]

  16. […] Karen Garcia’s opinion […]

  17. […] I’ve noticed that bending the “rules” of acceptable behavior at professional events is becoming a growing trend. As a self employed business woman, I attend a variety of conferences and local gatherings to help grow and expand my business reach as well as building business relationships. I love to network and tend make friends easily. I do not, however, recall signing up for the “anything goes” list of participants, yet over the last few years I’ve witnessed more events where adult behavior has crossed the line far beyond inappropriate. […]

  18. Kevin Strawbridge said,
    on August 23rd, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    I was shocked and actually embarrassed when I looked up from my Blackberry and saw the two walking past me. In this world, it is not surprising, but it does make me happy I have an awesome wife to go home to that looks much better 🙂

  19. Dave Naffziger said,
    on August 23rd, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    Yup, entirely inappropriate. Their presence only serves to highlight the less professional aspects of our industry.

  20. Mike Allen said,
    on August 23rd, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    I was surprised as well, Karen. Yes, such actions produce lots of attention, but instead of being productive, I feel it creates long-lasting negative impressions that can damage our industry’s credibility. It’s easy for people who don’t understand what we do to broad-brush paint us as sex and porn pushers and ignore the overwhelming good within our industry. Thanks for sharing your “rant”!

  21. Trisha Lyn Fawver said,
    on August 26th, 2010 at 12:04 am

    @Dave Cole – in regards to some people not getting out much, that’s why I think so many people vote to have conferences in Vegas because of the perceived “excitement” for someone working a desk job in Middle America. While people who’ve been there a fair share of times for various conferences are all glittered-out.

    Otherwise, that said, Karen I’m 100% with you. And I *THINK* that they didn’t actually have a booth… I saw them meandering around mostly. As well, I mentioned elsewhere, that when I walked down the aisle they seemed to be lingering in the most, the guys from Pareto (I think it was them) who had the Ducati motorcycle in their booth were trying to get the girls on for a picture.

    Can we say “adolescent male fantasy in action”?

    I considered it really juevenile, and actually a bit discriminatory… as Cindy mentioned, the whole idea was that the person running the company was only hiring affiliate managers who’d be willing to be in a bikini… which = hot, which doesn’t = me, which = discrimination based on physical appearance. I don’t know that any self respecting female affiliate manager would want to work for them, hence whoever WILL work for them can’t be too good of an AM.

    OK, logic rant over… thanks for the platform lol

  22. TrishaLyn said,
    on August 26th, 2010 at 12:16 am

    […] of booth babes & controversy (see some great post-ASE articles on the booth babes thing… I’m sorry…why are you here? by Karen Garcia & Professional events and sexual harassment, when did that become ok? by Jen […]

  23. TrishaLyn said,
    on September 2nd, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    […] and probably not the last.  Credit where credit is due… I owe the rants of Karen Garcia (I’m sorry…why are you here?) and Jen Goode (Professional events and sexual harassment, when did that become ok?) to remind me […]

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