As the idea of being 'geeky' became cool, companies flocked to find ways to snatch potential customers from their competitors. Unfortunately, in our society, the idea that sex sells is all too prevalent. In order to key in on their large, young, male demographic (which, in my opinion, is highly inflated) companies have been employing models to promote their booths.
Normally, this idea would be nothing more than a slightly sexist marketing technique not unlike attractive models in print magazines. The difference is that you can actually speak to models at conventions and this is where fans and customers alike find their disappointment. It is all too familiar to attempt to converse with a promotional model to find that they have absolutely no knowledge of the product they are representing or anything else relevant to the industry.
As a representative of a particular company, you would almost expect, at the very least, a base level of knowledge or understanding of that company’s story or product. It's not the problem of the models themselves, they are just jumping on the created idea that being attractive and acting or looking 'geeky' gets you attention and money.
The unhappiness of the fans stems from the companies themselves. Companies should employ models not only based on their appearance alone, but also their knowledge. If you are interviewing a model for employment at a gaming convention, for example, ask her a few generic questions on gaming. Ask her what her favorite games are? Ask her which system she likes and why? Get an idea of who she is other than asking her what her measurements are.
The point is that the geek community is not solely composed of awkward teenage boys playing Dungeons and Dragons in their parents’ basement. These companies should be supporting and promoting their customer base and that includes geek girls.
It’s not that difficult to find attractive, geeky women these days and there are numerous outlets where an employment ad would garner attention. I implore companies that hire promotional models to at least attempt to hire genuinely knowledgeable women who are passionate about the culture rather than only basing their hiring decisions on looks.
I would like to gather as many signatures as possible to send to the major convention and conference committees as well as some of their major exhibitors. The goal is to let them know how their fans feel. These yearly gatherings can be the highlight of some attendees lives so why not attempt to fulfill their hopes in any way imaginable? Why not hire promotional models to do what they are meant to truly do, promote and engage? Show your fans that your company stands for more than just looks.