Should scantily clad promo girls be a thing of the past at expos?


(Belinda Booker) #1

I read an interesting post on LinkedIn slamming an exhibitor at UK Construction Week for including showgirls on their Vegas themed stand. The show organisers then endorsed the “inappropriate” attraction by awarding it Best Stand. What do EventTribers think about this? Is the use of women as “something nice to look at” a step backwards in the male-dominated industry of construction? Is it ever appropriate? Or are we all getting a bit too PC?


(Melissa Saunders) #2

Bit of a grey area…Personally I think showgirls as part of a themed stand is ok but I don’t want to see girls in bikinis or half naked men on a stand for no other reason than being eye candy. Think the girls look great here. Not sure if the guy in the DJ is part of the stand team but that certainly fits in with the theme too. At least they’ve made an effort with their stand beyond a few pull up banners and a lit rack in what I suspect is a fairly dry show.
It’s a long time since I’ve worked in the construction industry so I’m not close to the specific sensitivities but I see this as a piece of theatre rather than outdated exploitation of women.


(Belinda Booker) #3

I think in this context they are okay too. Like I think they’re acceptable in a carnival theme, however there is still a general trend for hiring attractive women and putting them in skimpy clothes at exhibitions, especially in male dominated industries. This practice, I believe, to be undermining to women. Yes, there is the argument that women are to blame for wanting to do the job, but people (male or female) will do anything for money - it doesn’t make it right.
P.S. I think the “lit rack” was what the writer had a problem with :joy:


(Melissa Saunders) #4

Yes context is everything. Years ago when I worked at a motor-racing circuit I was told to use images of girls draped across bonnets and straddling bikes to promote events at that track. The women’s outfits arrived in an A5 jiffy bag! Twelve months later, my new (gay) boss had a very different brief and we thankfully moved away from that but I think you still see it at that type of events. I remember a fully clothed Suzi Perry getting far more attention though - guys were actually crashing into each other when they were looking at her rather than where they were going :joy::joy:


(Belinda Booker) #5

Yes pit girls and ring girls at boxing matches are still very much alive and well. I don’t think either sport would be any less popular if they didn’t have these extra “attractions”.


(Melissa Saunders) #6

Actually yes I’d forgotten about that :unamused:


(Julianne Johnson) #7

Love this @Belinda_Booker! I saw it on Linkedin too. I think its perfectly timed along with so many discussions about inappropriate treatment of women and men in the workplace. Whilst ditching this would unfortunately make many “promo girls” unemployed, it also sets a new and much needed premise for women - that your job isn’t to just stand there and look good, you’re more valuable than that.
The line is hard to define as many talent women can add value to events whilst, in some ways, standing in a costume and looking good. So I definitely agree with your point Melissa: [quote=“MelissaJane, post:2, topic:3349”]
showgirls as part of a themed stand is ok
[/quote]

The important thing for me is to always ask; are we hiring and using people to their full and best potential? Progress doesn’t come from underestimating and undervaluing anyone.


(Belinda Booker) #8

I tend to agree with you. We need to push forward and I do believe times are changing. It can only be a good thing.