Booth babes have been a fixture at video games events for as long as I can remember. Some events, like PAX, have banned the use of booth babes, but they remain prominent at events like E3 and the Tokyo Game Show. But here's the interesting thing: apparently booth babes do not work.
Spenser Chan, the head of marketing and growth at Frontback had a suspicion that booth babes weren't a great idea, but at an event a couple of years back he tested that theory.
After being offered some free space at a trade show, Spenser staffed the space he had paid for the 'booth babes' but, for the other area, specified the need for "show contractors that knew the local area and had established people skills". Instead of the typical booth babes, Spenser had two "grandmothers" doing the job that 'booth babes' usually did.
The results were astounding. The 'booth babes' generated a third of the foot traffic compared to the 'Grandmothers'. And the grannies themselves managed to triple the lead count compared to the previous year.
Obviously the experiment isn't water tight. Other factors could have been the position of the two different booths, the knowledge base of the grandmothers, etc -- but Spenser Chan's post makes for interesting reading. He makes some fairly generalised observations about the experiment, claiming that booth babes are actually more likely to make men anxious, and that business and product executives don't tend to talk to 'booth babes'. One more nefarious generalisation he makes is that booth babes tend to be lazy, but I think that's completely unfair.
That said, it is an interesting read. You can check out the whole post here.
Booth Babes Don’t Work [Tech Crunch]