By Corey Moss

(Note: I’ve had conversation with Kate Calderon, who this is partly based on).

First, a thread generated from this tweet by AV industry Marketing Manager Kate Calderon, on June 18th:

I, being in the AV industry for over 20 years, have never seen such an outpouring of support for an issue at one time – especially as serious as this.

Kate, and the others who have voiced their own total displeasure about being involved in certain situations, not only deserve global support from the industry – they also deserve the right to be anywhere, and do anything they’d like without the concern or worry of compromise.

I have asked a question at times – who are the industry police, and if there exists such a body, why aren’t they getting fully involved here? Or maybe they’re getting ready to now.

I said this:

Harassment and bullying are not just for a particular group of society, it happens to many, and most of it goes unreported. I’ll pick up on this on the business side of things in Part 2 – first, a personal story based on this:

Here’s one. There was this incident from last year involving a drunk looking for a fight at a bar that I like to go to on the weekend, and a near broken leg. The near broken leg was mine, the drunk I had never seen before, and I’ve never seen again. He knocked someone into me, and himself fell on the other person – both on my leg. When I got up, he was being held by three people, as he wanted more. Funny though, I found out days later that someone chased him around the patio after it happened and put him into the furniture — a woman. It took over a month to fully heal, what became a mind over matter situation with some real inner strength mixed in too, to continue moving on with my daily schedule.

Seems the tables turned on him though – and it’s time for it to happen in this industry as well. Kate and the rest – you have a lot of us behind you, we know what it means to be in situations.

Oh, and this came from Kate too:

Really. I think that I and my podcast team, along with the guests on AV Road House [Resurrection] Episode 1 roped this one around pretty good. I actually referenced this article in the podcast, about how booth babes don’t work.

Here’s my message to her post:

Hey jerks – Kate is not a booth girl, or babe. Those are most of those “scantily clad” airheads at booths that scan badges without a clue as to why they’re doing it, or why they’re where they are in the first place (refer to a severe lack of prime leads here). I’ve long advocated for these booth hostesses (as they’re also called) to be dressed well, and be informed as to exactly what they’re doing there.

The advice here is to talk to the women who are dressed professionally in the booths, which could be an employee or a hostess trained to bring you to the right person after the badge scan (it happened for me at the show, and it worked). Go ahead and get the scan if it’s a product or solution that you feel could help your business. If not, it’s worthless to you in the end. That moment of “eye candy” really never works for anyone – it’s proven, even scientifically.

The scientific proof article is from 2014, the article Kate tweeted from 2015, yet it’s 2019 and the booth babe issue is still here. And we thought this was eradicated? How do they keep sneaking onto the show floor? Wait a minute, security won’t let me on the show floor without a badge – and I’m press. What does their badge say? Professional booth model badge scanner?

The inner strength that these women in the industry have to build at this point to deal with such marginalizing must be extraordinary in terms of dealing with utter crap like this. Go to the auto show if you want to ogle a booth babe, steer way clear of tech and business shows where the exhibitors are serious about showing their latest and greatest.

Or they should be…

You see, I had full proof that they were brought to InfoComm last year, here it is – a Shenzhen company that actually had one of them half-aware of why she was there (the one looking my way), and the other (with her back turned) fully clueless.

People have told me they saw them at this show this year too – and with this, female employees are still marginalized, and even harassed if you will by guys in a way looking for auto show eye candy.

As you saw in the first tweet though, harassment doesn’t stop here as it can happen after hours too. Let’s go back to my “had a little too much to drink” story, and I have another thing to say:

If you can’t hold your liquor, and keep your hands to yourself – there are a whole lot of people in this industry, as in Kate’s tweet thread, ready to step in. And it won’t be pretty…

Part 2 is here.

(Header image: Pixabay License, free for commercial use).  

With over 20 years in audio visual integration and IT/computer sales and consulting, Corey Moss is the owner of Convergent AV Media. Corey writes for the publication and hosts/produces podcasts – The AV Life, Convergent Tech Talk, Convergent Week and The AV Tech Trade. He has written for numerous industry publications about AV, IT, unified communications and collaboration (UCC), cloud and software, IoT, cybersecurity and more. He has also conducted interviews with AV and IT executives and global influencers. Find him talking about a whole lot of things, tech and otherwise. On LinkedIn