A number of people wrote in regard to our articles on booth bimbos and CD-ROM pornography. Several suggested that booth bimbos are used to attract people to a booth, much like a flashy demonstration or clever freebies. I agree that booth bimbos act as an attractant for some, but for others, booth bimbos make for an embarrassing and potentially offensive situation. Furthermore, talking to them is always so depressing. What do you say, knowing that the person has the technical background of Cheez Wiz? "So hey, nice teeth you've got there..."
If a company doesn't have the guts to laugh at itself with a blow-up booth bimbo, it should at least spring for good freebies. Clever and durable giveaways provide lasting exposure, and people do wear t-shirts if they like the company or program.
Alternately, try food. As Linda Iroff, a friend at Oberlin College, writes, "The scent of fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies drew me to Contour Designs, tucked in a corner of the big hall. I will sit though a WordPerfect demo just for one of those mint truffles and a hat. I filled out an application for a free subscription to a new magazine to get some popcorn. And I will listen to anyone's spiel if I think I can get a free t-shirt out of it. These freebies aren't going to make me buy their products, but it does get me to look at what they have to offer. Anyway, I guess some people will be drawn into a booth by a bimbo. I, however, recommend cookies."
Linda Iroff -- Linda_Iroff@qmgate.cc.oberlin.edu