I'm becoming convinced that the salon is a great model for meeting in person the people to whom you already have an online network connection. A few weeks ago I participated in an IA Salon, and tonight I was invited to another group interested in social network analysis and the like. Both events were attended by fantastically interesting people, most of whom had never met. They were all selected by a central host and took place in a home.
Other events I've attended, like groups of bloggers, just don't have enough in common for conversation to flow naturally. At a salon the connections are more interesting, the atmosphere warmer. Not to mention it's all easier on the wallet. Recommended.