Yes, I would start with meetups. Sometimes people you've heard of will present.
There are also events...
Besides the usual big conferences, there are also small, 1-2 day conferences.
For example, Google had one on Chrome in November.
There are also a lot of Startup Weekend / hackathons. It seems like almost every month.
Also, you might checkout co-working spaces.
They also have events -- that may or may not be on meetup.
There are quite a few is San Francisco.
And here in Mountain View we have a semi-famous one called hackerdojo.