Ideas, tips and reports about event display construction and management

Booth Assistants

by welkamro

Exihibitions without assistants is like sushi without soy sauce – it´s possible, but everybody would miss the spice. At least, somebody has to draw the visitors interest for the booths – and the first attetion is mostly to the female booth assistants. During my travellings through Japanese exhibitions, I saw many different kinds of booth assistants and figured out a rough division in three categories.

First Category – lightly cladded manga-assistants

I think in previous reports I told you enough about the importance of mangas in the Japanese culture. So, if you walk through a Japanese exhibition hall, you will probably hear some sustained „Sumimaseeeen“ noises. (If you ever travel to Japan without any knowing of the language, remember the word „sumimasen“. De facto it means „I´m sorry“, „excuse me“ or sometimes „thank you“, but for many Japanese people it seems to be the „magical“ word for everything. In this case, the booth assistant wants to apologize for responding you, eventually bringing you in an unpleasant situation.)

If you look up to them, you´ll see an friendly smiling face, colourful hairstyles and only a few pieces of cloth: The skirts and hot pants are just as big as necessary.
Often, the outfits of the female assistants are inspired by the school uniforms for Japanese girls, which skirts are also quite short. For many Japanese men, women in school uniforms are a kind of a sex symbol.
So, school uniforms are an effective method to gain the attention of the businessmen. And it works: Many visiors obvisously can not resist the charm and the short skirts, and go together with the assistants to their stall, where they have to hear about the great variety of their products.

In Germany, these kinds of booth assistants also exists, but usually only on public exhibitions, where are huge appearence of young people ist expected. On exhibitions just for businessmen, you won´t find them.

Second Category – The fluffy elite

Normally, Japanese booth assistants are female. So, what happened if a man apply for this job? He gets a huge plush-costume that often looks like the mascot of the company. Than he has to stand nearby the booth and waiting for people who wants to photograph him, or giving booklets to the visitors. Even though, it is prohibited to take photos.
And no, the custumed guys are not only for birthday parties, they are an important part of Japanese exhibition.

The mascots are also often drawn in manga-style: Big eyes, simple strokes for nose and mouth, gaudy colours – just like Japanese people like. A phenomenon, you will see not so often on German business exhibitions.

Third Category: The serious businessmen

Maybe you won´t believe it, but: there are some assistants that present themselves in a very serious way with suits – and without any Japanese hokum. This „species“ you will find on exhibitions with an huge appearence of foreign visitors (for example the „FoodEx“), or when it fits in the image of the company or the product.

This kind of assistants you find most often in German business exhibitions, even though it looses some entertainment: The assistants sometimes look a bit stocky and stuffy. I think, a bit more of the Japanese way of entertainmet would be good for some european trade shows.

the Welkam boys Kojichu, Japanese for 'under construction,' is an ongoing notebook of ideas, tips and discoverys we've picked up over the years building displays and managing events around the world.

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