Bar Code Rape

What Does Bar Code Rape Mean?

Bar code rape is a slang term for a practice in which trade show exhibitors scan an attendee’s nametag bar code before telling them anything about the product or service being promoted. The correct procedure is for the exhibitor to explain the product or service and then only scan the attendee’s bar code if he or she wants more information. Exhibitors who commit bar code rape are often hired representatives who are paid a commission for every bar code they collect.


Techopedia Explains Bar Code Rape

Many technology trade shows use a nametag or wrist tag system on which an attendee’s information, including the company he or she represents and contact details, can be attained by scanning the bar code printed on the tag.

Because the majority of the attendees at many technology trade shows tend to be male, exhibitors often hire attractive women – sometimes called booth bunnies – to collect attendees’ information. These women sometimes commit bar code rape to maximize the number of leads they can collect. Most bar code rape goes unreported, so accurate statistics are hard to come by.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.