The best way to meet people is to show up.
Sometimes, you just have to jump over that fake 'red velvet rope' to get access.
1. I once attended a VC Cleantech summit by just walking into the hotel and into the summit. Made some good connections there.
2. I also walked into YC's demo day.. Security asked us to stop, but we smiled and kept walking. It was a good event.
3. I showed up at a VC firm a couple of times, and just talked to the partners like normal human beings -- most people will talk with you if you smile and are a real person (not groveling but just being present and adding value to them).
4. I went to the hotel bar at Sandhill Rd. in SF, got drinks, and met VCs who were in town.
5. I went to angel.co penthouse parties that I heard about from a friend of a friend. I showed up, said I was here for the party, and I've found the startup community to be super accepting -- they let me right in, twice.
What if the events don't exist? Create the events, and be the leader everyone is looking for.
1. When I moved to PHX, there weren't as many startup events as there were in SF, so I created my own.
2. I invited some entrepreneurs to be guest speakers, and having 2-3 concurrent sessions in 1 night
3. Another time, I had VCs and successful entrepreneurs that were "out of my league" be panelists by emailing and inviting them. (I was lucky and they all decided to show up, making for a great event).
In summary, if you city does have a tech / startup scene, show up, network, make friends, and ask about future events to stay in the loop. If your city doesn't have a tech / startup scene, be like Ghandi and "be the change you wish to see in the world".