I've updated this a few times now. Most recent additions to Los Angeles Networking Events:
- Open Stack Meetup - cloud computing and storage, discussing OpenStack deployment, coding to further the project, and creating a collaborative local community.
- LA Ruby Meetup - anyone interested in learning or sharing experiences with "Ruby" or "Ruby on Rails".
- SoCal Web Designers - Web designers and developers talking about technology and design process.
Additions Fall 2011
- LeanLA Startup Circle Meetup
I’ve gone to a couple of these. Often the presentations are pretty basic because of a fair number of newbies in the audience. However, there are some great folks who have lots of experience also attending so the networking and discussion is generally pretty great. Especially if you are looking at early-stage start-up issues.
- Social media week Los Angeles
Runs week of Sept 20 - 24. Lots of scattered events around LA on social media.
- SoCal Kanban/Lean software meetup
They have a line up of events there. Doing a good job of helping to make events happen. And for what it's worth, a few folks I know have used their space as a coworking space and say they really like it.
Don’t forget to check out Plancast. I sometimes find some interesting events through that system.
Great post by John Shiple. He talks about a bunch of the different networking events that occur in Los Angeles and other parts of Southern California. In his post, he mentions the following events / event organizers, and you should visit his post for a bit more on each of them.
- LA CTO Forum
- Dealmaker Media
- Digital Family Reunion
- Startups Uncensored
- Social Media Club, LA
- Mindshare LA
- LA Hadoop Meetup
- Geek Dinners
- LA Cloud Computing
- LA Web Application Developers
- LA PHP Developers
In addition to these, I'd recommend looking at:
- Technology Council of Southern California – Surprised John didn't mention this one. They put on great events.
- VentureNet – Great annual event by the Technology Council.
- CalTech MIT Enterprise Forum – Great events on various topics – there's one this Saturday that would be great to go to.
- AITP-LA – Monthly events. Often very IT focused, but can be interesting topics.
- TechBizConnection – Orange County monthly events. Often good topics and interesting networking.
- AWT So Cal - Association of Women in Technology
Update: I was just sent a link to Todd Zebert's blog where he has a list of networking events in Los Angeles and Southern California along with some commentary. Here some of those groups:
- Web 2.0 Entrepreneurs
- LA Mixers
- Twestival LA
- Digital LA
- Los Angeles LinkedIn Networking Event
- So Cal Sushi
- XING Community Los Angeles
Challenger Networking Group
- Ventura Highway Networking Group
- Work It Forward; Bootstrap 2-2
- LA Tweetah
And here's where you can find more events:
- SoCalTech Calendar – A great aggregation of events around Southern California that has been pulled together for years by Ben Kuo.
- Mixergy - A great calendar of events.
- TechZulu - Another great calendar. I believe that a lot of the events on Mixergy come from TechZulu.
- Meetup – My personal experience has been mixed with these.
- Southern California Tech Central – Brings together posts from top bloggers around Southern California including John's blog and this blog. You can use keywords like: Events in Los Angeles or Southern California Events or even Santa Monica Events.
- You can also use Southern California Tech Central's list of Organizations to find possible events: UCLA, CalTech, Twiistup, USC, AeA, TCVN, OCTANE,
BarCamp, Enterprise Forum, TCOSC, LAVA, UCI, LINC, UCSD, AWT, Digital Hollywood, WITI, TechBiz, ASP, Stirrers and Shakers, AMA, ACG, Pepperdine, PMI, CTC, LMU, LARTA, AITP, iHollywood, Media Leaders.
Quality of Events
Of course, the bigger issue with events is finding the ones where you will have a really good opportunity to network with interesting people. I guess I should confess that I used to go to a lot more networking events. Now, I'm more likely to only go to a few and to heavily use Prenetworking – see Secret for Networking at Events – Prenetworking and Pre-network with LinkedIn. This is why I say that Local Event Organizers Need to Adopt Social Media.
These days, it might be more effective to just invite a small group of people to get together for an interesting discussion than it is to attend an event.