Last week I attended the Moscow International Oil and Gas Exhibition (for those of us in the Oil business this is Russia's answer to Houston's Offshore Technology Conference). I've been to a lot of oil field trade shows and conventions and I have never seen anything like this. It might not have measured up to the size of Houston’s OTC, but what it lacked in size it made up for in marketing ingenuity.
Each booth is sponsored by a company, usually oil service related, (i.e. Baker Hughes, Weatherford, Schlumberger) that is marketing its products and or services. And at each booth there are ridiculously hot girls that have been hired to be just that...ridiculously hot. In fact, it's pretty common knowledge that the companies that rent these booths contact modeling agencies to pick out their models that will be standing around lookin' pretty all week.
But i guess in Russia where most of the women are ridiculously hot no matter where you are, marketers are forced to come up with a better strategy. This year the clever Russian marketeers had topless girls standing around near the booths passing out flyers. TOPLESS! Well, I guess I am exaggerating a bit. They were tasteful enough to use an airbrush to paint the company logo over the girl's...girlies for lack of a better word.
Anyway, I was going to take a picture to send back to the planners of next year's OTC in Houston but my boss saw me reaching for my camera and told me that he thought it might be tasteless for me to take the picture. After all, I'm sure the girls wouldn't want to bring any unwanted attention to themselves.
Only in Russia…
Oh, and I told him later that day that I wasn't reachin' for my camera. I was hoping that I might have some paint thinner stashed away in my pocket.
~The Moscow Correspondent