Those of you who have gone to Macworld have encountered the booth bimbo phenomenon. It's not a sexist phenomenon as such, applying equally to the pretty young men and women who work as scenery at various booths. Universally, these people have no clue about the products they represent; instead they hand out buttons and propaganda, smile nicely, and act as props for the larger show that goes on around them.
It's easy to condemn large companies for using booth bimbos instead of bringing some of their overworked and underpaid technical support staff, some of whom even look like normal people and most of whom will answer most any technical question. Small companies that have small staffs should get a little slack, although you wonder how they can afford to spend so much money on a large booth that needs booth bimbos, but can't afford or don't need the staff normally. Smaller companies like Aladdin, Dantz, and Nisus manage without booth bimbos, pressing their entire staffs and the occasional friends, relatives, or significant others into service as necessary.
The subject of booth bimbos rises to the surface every Macworld in one way or another, buoyed by hot air, fluff, and hairspray, and this year it was prompted by a real-world description of what a booth bimbo will go through to look "sexy, but not sleazy... or maybe just a little bit sleazy." The booth bimbo in question lacked a certain physical attribute to achieve the required look, but being resourceful (she apparently described herself as a drummer, dancer, and actress - I wonder if she added booth bimbo to her resume?) she enhanced herself with two cleverly placed sweatsocks and about nine feet of duct tape (right, the sticky, strong, grey stuff) to create the illusion of bustiness.
After squirming into the booth's costume, a petite jumpsuit that zipped up the front, she lowered the zipper to just above the duct tape region and then employed the age-old technique of finding an excuse to constantly bend down for maximum cleavage exposure. And all most people wanted was specs and to find out if the product being hawked was compatible with their existing hardware. Sigh.
Perhaps this story is an extreme look at previously secret booth bimbo techniques, but it comes from a reputable and rather irritated source closely placed to this particular booth bimbo. If you have an especially funny booth bimbo story, send it to us, and perhaps we'll do a "Best of the Bimbos" article. Eventually companies will realize that showgoers don't give a damn about a extra skin or sexy hair styles. It's certainly never entered my product choice process - can you imagine? "Well, WhizzyWriter has all the features I need, but the babes at the WriteStuff booth sure were cute. I'll buy the WriteStuff instead." Get real, people. It's not as though there's even an image involved with most of this stuff. "If I buy the WriteStuff bodacious women will see me as a macho hombre studpuffin and drape themselves over my body whenever I'm writing."
I'd like to suggest to any company that feels it needs booth bimbos at the next show that they instead buy some life-size blow-up party dolls of both sexes, dress them in appropriate costumes, and pose them in anatomically correct booth bimbo positions with some propaganda in their inflatable hands. Think of the money saved and the smiles it will create. Alternately, unchain another tech support person from the phones. They like that sort of thing.