Let’s face it, most of us are highly distracted when we attend conferences. Whether it’s the constant stream of work emails or anxiety surrounding the new doggy day care (maybe just in my case), the excuses go on and on, but why waste the chance to learn how to do your job better? I decided to put aside the distractions, dug through my memory box for a spiral notebook and did just that, took full advantage of the New Media Expo (NMX) this past weekend.

What did I learn from doing this? If I approached other events the way I approached this conference I’d get much more from my experience.

Conferences are about more than just learning a ton of new content in a short period of time and crossing your fingers that you’ll be able to use a couple of the notes you jotted down. It’s about refreshing your perspective on what you do and being inspired by what others have found successful. Yes, it’s about learning, but not the kind of learning we did in college. It’s the type of learning that teaches you valuable lessons that are everlasting throughout your career.

I’m a complete nerd when it comes to “new media” aka blogging, social media, etc. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been looking forward to attending NMX since GES purchased my ticket last July. Hearing from others who share my passion for new media - from a commissioner of a professional sports league to six sisters who like to share their stuff (and make an amazing living doing so) left me in awe, excited and ready to write a million blogs (along with starting my own personal one).

I jotted down over thirty pages of notes and really just soaked in all of the marvelous advice from each speaker. My mind was imprinted with how much this trend has caught on and how many people are blogging as a career.

My attitude was a reflection of all the creative juices that were flowing, leaving me energized, motivated and recharged.

Whether about how to write blog posts that attracts a million unique visitors or four ways to create insane loyalty in your new media community, here are my three favorite quotes of the conference:

1. Ford Company’s Leader of New Media, Scott Monty explained, “Social media is not a campaign it’s a commitment.”

2. Copy Bloggers’ Associate Editor Jon Morrow said, “Use my toe tag principal when writing. Once you’re dead, people should remember you by the quality of your writing not quantity. Write stuff worth remembering.”

These are the kinds of nuggets that changed the way I will approach my job. So next time you attend a conference, don’t focus on what you could be doing back at the office or worrying about what you should be learning. Let go and let the principals that are coming to you change your perspective on what you do. Look at the bigger picture and get excited. You never know how what you learn in a conference session could revolutionize what your company does.

What’s your favorite quote you heard at a recent conference? Share them below!