As you may know, after seeing her speak in 2008 at SXSW and WordCamp, I was rather determined to invite Kathy Sierra to keynote the 2009 NMC Summer Conference. I was a fan long before this as a follower of her blog Creating Passionate Users. I had donea parady of her graphic style in my Twitter Life Cycle which she did kindly acknowledge by comment or twitter.
When I was at WordCamp, I had a chance to ask Matt Mullenweg how he managed to get her as a speaker, he told me all their communication was done via twitter direct message.
So I thought it was worth a try and did manage to get her agreement (via twitter, it was about 5 DMs to send me her abstract) to come to NMC 2009 in Monterey.. I knew she was a different kind of speaker then we have had before, but my gut told me she would bring us a strong message.
It paid off in many ways, mainly as she electrified the audience with her messages on the user experience and the ways we ought to help people be better at the things they want to do.
I lost track of how many people expressed thanks (one of our corporate partners said "f******ing fantastic choice!")
I am utterly thankful for Kathy for stepping out to a new audience and making a huge impact on our conference.