Silicon Valley events and how to find them

I have lunch yesterday with a friend who’s just starting her own marketing business.
“You have to network and meet people, ” I said.
“Yes, but how?” she asked.
That was a very good question, and led to this post about calendars, events, and things to do.
So, some tips to follow(and if these seem obvious, don’t worry, this is a post for people who need this advice, not you hipsters) :
1. Know there’s a group for everything.
2. Know there’s a place to find notices for most events,
3. Know these two still don’t fit together. (And yesm, that means no one has truly licked the integrated calendar issue neatly enough to work seamlessly for most people.)
Ways to find things to do:
1. Check your friends’ events on Facebook by clicking on the Events tab–you’ll get a good cross section of things happening; choose what’s open and appealing and add to your own events list (on upcoming or other site).
2. Check Meetup.com Yes, there’s a group for just about everything, and many of them are on Meetup. Search by keyword, topic and zip code to find all the possibilities, then sign up for the groups that interest you and get those email notifications.
3. Use the friends and social networking features on Upcoming.
4. Get on some mailing lists and groups, like this one for Valley high tech events.
5. Look for barcamps, unconferences and small one day or half day events–these are often gatherings of passionate users and makers.
6. Talk to people about neat groups and stuff they do in your area of interest. Yes, talk. Then follow up online and find the listings.
How to manage all the data you get:
1. Create an email address or newsreader folder for notifications, just to keep them clustered.
2. Create an online calendar and populate it with must-dos.
3. Create an account on zvents or upcoming and use it as a way to find and manage events–send the best ones to your online calendar.
How to make this pay off:

  • Schedule and do at least a percentage of what you could.
  • When you get there, talk to people–and bring cards!
  • Remember, this is like dating–different group have different flavors, and you need to find the ones that feel right for you–think of this as grazing till you settle in with a couple favorites (or not).
  • Start your own gathering if there’s something you want to talk about you don’t see covered, use all these tools to let people like you know what’s up.

P.S> Jeremiah Owyang, who’s the Scoble of another emerging set of people, pulled together a super useful set of links to networking events and groups in the Valley that is a great starting point if you’re looking for a directory of resources.