Los Angeles, CA (Hugh Hewitt, BlogWorld and Me) 11/7/11/—
Last week, I attended the most amazing conference ever: BlogWorld Expo 2011 Los Angeles. I learned so much about social media, met interesting people, and came away with a greater appreciation for the whole social media industry. More details on the conference later in the week.
On the first day of BlogWorld, Hugh Hewitt, national conservative radio talk show host extraordinaire, was broadcasting live on site at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Hugh has been a great supporter of this event since it began five years ago. When I heard that he was going to be there, I was giddy with joy. You see, Hugh Hewitt is my all-time favorite radio host. What an honor and a thrill it would be for me to see him in person.
After my last session and before the final keynote address, I had about 20 minutes to go and seek out Mr. Hewitt. Locating where he was not an easy task. I asked several of the BlogWorld staff and they didn’t have a clue who Hugh Hewitt was, let alone where his broadcast location was. Finally, it was at the Media Check-in desk, that a worker was able to direct me to the Exhibit Floor area. I panicked at first because I knew the Exhibit Hall was off limits to regular attendees that day. If he was broadcasting behind the great barrier curtain, I wasn’t going to let that stop me. I resolved that I would just have to devise some plan to sneak my way in to see him. Luckily, no such plan was needed as a security guard alerted me to a non-secure area behind a big column in the middle of the room. Sure enough, behind the column, was Hugh Hewitt, broadcasting live to America, in a make-shift studio. All of his fancy radio equipment lay haphazardly across a portable, six foot long table. Two smaller tables were placed on each end of the long table and provided space for the engineer at one side and Hugh’s famous producer, Duane (who looked nothing like I had imagined from his voice on air) on the other side. Across the table from Hugh were his regular Thursday guests, James Lileks and Larry O’Conner. There were only about 10-12 people standing around observing the show. It was all very laid back and casual. I just blended in with all that was going on and watched the show unfold.
When there was a commercial break, I inched over the protective u-shape table arrangement, and said, “Sir..” to catch Mr. Hewitt’s attention. He looked up at me and I said, “I just want to let you know that I am your biggest fan and I wanted to tell you thank you for all of your good work.” At that point, Mr. Hewitt jumped up, shook my hand, and thanked me for my kind words. He asked if I was with a company at the conference to which I replied, “No…I am my own company…I have a blog: TheMidLIfeGuru.blogspot.com.” Then, to my absolute surprise, Mr. Hewitt asked, “Can you stick around? I would like to have you on the next segment.” and then he went back to his post as the commercial was ending and he needed to go back on air. I turned to Duane and said, “What did he say?” and Duane nonchalantly answered, “He wants to have you on the air. Do you have a business card? “You bet,” I replied and handed him one of my cards. Then, I moved over to the side, watching the current segment, nerves building, as I waited for my cue.
When Mr. Hewitt finished interviewing Michael Stetzner, SocialMediaExaminer.com Founder and CEO, he announced to his audience that after the commercial break, his next guest would be “TheMidLifeGuru.” (ME!!!) Duane showed me where to sit, how the the fancy headphones worked and I waited. During the commercials, Hugh asked me a few questions about myself, and then I watched in amazement as these three very famous men (Hewitt, Lileks, and O’Conner) all pulled up MY blog site on their laptops and did some quick reading. Then the countdown…5-4-3-2-1 and Hugh began: “Hello America. I’m broadcasting live from BlogWorld and am here with Caryn Payzant, TheMidLifeGuru.blogspot.com.” For the next five minutes, I was interviewed by Hugh Hewitt, James Lileks, and Larry O’Conner on live national radio!!! You can’t get better exposure as a new blogger than that!!!
After the interview, Hugh thanked me and I asked if I could give him a hug (He said yes). I also thanked Mr. Lileks and Mr. O’Conner. They were all so gracious and kind. And then my five minutes of fame was over. I can now say that I was interviewed by a world-renown radio personality. I appreciated all the attention my blog received in those five short minutes. Thank you Mr. Hewitt for giving a start-up like me a such a wonderful opportunity and an experience of a lifetime!!! .