I’m often asked about good ways of meeting people working in UX, either to hire them, get hired, or simply to break out of the freelancer’s isolation and meet some human beings with like interests.
Whatever your interest in going, here are some active groups I recommend:
Designers and Geeks
Designers and Geeks is a monthly lecture series with hour-long talks on different aspects of Design, last one was on Typography. Also has a slot for hiring and “hire me” announcements.
CascadeSF is aimed at web designers and developers, and has talks of a more technical nature. Events are somewhat sporadic.
HTML5 is another meetup aimed at web developers and designers. Lots of good talks on HTML5, CSS3 and all that good stuff.
Fire on the Bay
Fire on the Bay is another meetup, focused on Interaction Designers. The kind of people who might use Adobe Fireworks.
AIGASF is the professional association for Design, however they don’t seem to have many events. Still, its worth keeping an eye on their calendar.
Baychi is the grandaddy of Bay Area UX Meetups. Talks are of a more academic nature. If you’ve ever been to a CHI conference, you know what to expect!
What else have I missed?