This Pole-Dancing Robot at ISE 2020 is Rubbing Some Attendees the Wrong Way

Netherlands-based mounting solutions provider Vogel’s is turning heads at ISE 2020 with a pole-dancing robot, but #avtweeps say it’s for the wrong reasons.

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This display at ISE 2020 had some attendees taking to social media to voice their opinion.

I’m not at ISE 2020, but I am helping our folks on the ground who are running around the RAI Amsterdam’s 15 halls and are surely exhausted after three days at the world’s largest pro AV event.

That includes following the discussion on social media, and some of that discussion seems to be about Netherlands-based mounting solutions company Vogel’s Professional.

The company’s stand (1-M30) features a robot pole-dancing on what appears to be one of the company’s display mounts.

Some Twitter-active AV professionals slammed the company for a general lack of taste and for misreading the room, especially when the industry’s trade shows have largely moved on from the once-common practice of using so-called “booth babes” to attract attention and as diversity movements like the AVIXA Women’s Council are making strides in creating a more diverse and inclusive industry.

See all of our ISE 2020 coverage here

No one from Vogel’s has yet answered our email seeking more information about their decision to include the pole-dancing robot in their ISE 2020 stand. We also reached out to ISE managing director Mike Blackman and will update this article if either one comments on the situation.

Here are just a few of the tweets questioning the decision by Vogel’s:

Brandy Alvarado, the chair of the Women’s Council, said the council asked AVIXA to act on the display, but as of Thursday, the robot was still dancing away, according to Twitter posts from event attendees.

“We are an industry working hard towards being more gender equal,” Alvarado said from the U.S.  “(We are) working hard to make our shows a safe and successful environment for women, and this stripper robot is counterproductive. These types of ‘booth babes’ whether in robot or human form are unacceptable in my book.”

In a statement, AVIXA senior director of communications Joé Lloyd, said she would not share the details of conversations between the association, ISE leadership and exhibitors, adding AVIXA would not instruct an exhibitor to change its booth.

“AVIXA’s CEO, Dave Labuskes, has been on record since 2014 with our stance on diversity and inclusion,” Lloyd said in an email to Commercial Integrator. “Our message has always been that a true path to diversity and inclusiveness is dependent on open communications and a willingness to learn.”

“As the industry association, we would encourage anyone who is disturbed by an exhibit to have a constructive conversation with the exhibitor. We fully agree with the sentiment that one should not do business with a company that they feel behaves in an inappropriate fashion,” she said.