For anyone on the East coast, especially around Boston, check out the Boston Game Loop
GameLoop is organized by Darius Kazemi (Orbus Gameworks) and Scott Macmillan (Macguffin Games) who are great characters who do a lot for the local scene and are instrumental in the success of the local IGDA chapter, the Boston Post Mortem.
The event this year is the second to be organised and has a much wider reach of people attending from all over the country, but obviously with a more local slant of attendees.
It's a "unconference" which basically means people talk about what they know to those who are most interested. How it works, people turn up and introduce themselves and what they are interested in at the beginning. With that information, people can suggest topics to talk about that they have knowledge in and that other people are interested in and can contribute towards.
This means that there might be micro niche topics with only 5-8 people being involved, but they will all gain and give so that they all benefit.
The whole point is to have a more intimate setting, people aren't putting on massive GDC style talks which only hold interest in parts for some people.
There's also a $20 suggested donation for this event to help the organisers cover the cost of the event which other wise would be out of their own pockets, cover costs of coffee and snacks etc.
Location, the "NERD" centre on the first floor of the Microsoft Office, Kendal Square, MA
Go, enjoy, learn and network!
Edit: to add, this event is on the 15th August, and for industry people only, so no students.