This is a good example of people taking themselves too seriously. Booth babes have been around since my first visits to Comdex and Networld/Interop in the early 1990s (and well before then I presume). The companies exhibiting at these shows are there to sell, even be outrageous, so they can gain some attention.
Whether you think it’s degrading or not, sex sells. It’s been researched and proven time and again and that’s why marketers use it. From what I gather, the booth babes are often aspiring models, speakers, and the like – not there to forge a career path to executive management in IT. They generally seem happy to be at these shows as well – no one forcing them to be there.
We humans like to control one another because we’re insecure and not happy with our own situations. I say live and let live. Let booth babes do their thing and we do ours. If we took the things that truly impact our well-being and lives more seriously (namely politics), I think we could all live and work in a much better world. But many people see that stuff as boring so the politicians go about waging their wars of political correctness and facilitating these very stereotypes we complain about.