By Laura P., Volunteer Instagramer SF Community Manager and Training and Content Manager at DoubleDutch

My name is Laura P. and I’m an avid iPhoneographer. I attended Macworld iWorld 2012 on behalf of – I’m the SF Community Manager (we call ourselves “Community ManIgers”). You can find me on Instagram as IgersSF.

Before the show began, I searched for a Macworld app in the iTunes store. It feels like that app was designed for people like me.

After downloading, I personalized my profile with my company name and title, and looked for sessions of interest. I looked in the “Users” microapp and selected my interests as “photography.” This unlocked a whole slew of people that I wanted to know. I was riveted.

The Moscone Center was a mob scene. I milled around the expo floor, took a photo in the photobooth (see below) and sat down to take a break.

Much to my surprise, someone sent me a message through the app! Her name was Susan L. and she was dying to learn more about Instagramers SF. Man, I’m glad I included that in my profile.

In true community manager style, I invited her to an Instagram Meet-up that was happening in a few days. A few messages back and forth and I felt like I had made a pretty good contact.

That story alone is a great example of using a mobile app to network at an event. But… it gets better.

Back on my feet, decided to go to one of the sessions I had bookmarked in the “My Agenda” section of the app. I scurried over to “Zen and the Art of iPhone Photography.” Right up my alley.

I walked in and strategically sat next to an electrical outlet, so I could juice up my phone. I’m opportunistic, what can I say?

Due to my compulsion to “check-in” to places (I also have an addiction to Foursquare and Path), I immediately pulled up the Macworld app to log my session. I checked-in and it published to the main activity feed. (As an aside, I unlocked the “San Francisco” badge with my check-in. I love those little surprises. Rock on.)

I quickly glanced through the feed to see what other people were doing. A little ways down, I saw a familiar name. Looks like Susan had checked into the same session just a minute ago! Cool. I “liked” her check-in and looked around the room.

Ironically enough (and I’m not making this up) I looked to my left and somehow recognized the friendly woman next to me – it was Susan L. from the mobile app!

Somewhat startled and greatly intrigued, I said “…Excuse me, are you Susan L.?” to which she replied, “Yes! Are you Laura P.?”

This was incredible. We both were so flabbergasted. Not only had we met in person at the event, but that we happened to sit next to each other at a session! We stayed after the session to chat and exchanged business cards.

Throughout the rest of the show, it was comforting and flattering to see my new contact “liking” my check-ins, and I felt like I could comment on hers, as well. We had very similar professional interests and had very relevant things to say.

The story gets even better.

3 weeks later, I got an email from Susan L. Apparently, she had been so inspired by my Instagram community in SF, that she wanted to start a local Instagram group in Bend, Oregon (her hometown).

This is just the beginning. I’ve given her lots of advice, and connecting her with the creator of Instagram to get her own local group started. She emails me with questions and I’m now getting her advice on a few things, as well.

Because of the mobile app, I have made a new professional contact, and the Instagram community is expanding even further. This kind of organic networking doesn’t happen very often. I guess that’s what happens when you bring a group of iPhone app obsessed people together and give them an interactive event app. Thanks, Macworld.

All this happened before I started working as a Content and Training Manager at DoubleDutch, just a mere 2 weeks ago. I’m delighted to work for a company that has had such a profound impact on me.