I am coming to NYC and would like to connect and network with potential future clients, and not exactly sure where to start, except Meetup.com . I am owner of small/mid IT development company and we did number of great jobs so far including Universal Studios.
Meetup is a great resource for events, so that's a good start. Have a look on Eventbrite and other sites to see what sort of networking events are happening in the city. See if there are relevant LinkedIn groups that you can join and use those to find interesting people to connect with. You'll also find that a lot of the bigger/more popular groups will have news feeds with useful links to events and more. Find out what big conferences are on and head along to one or two that are particularly relevant. You'll find a bunch on Lanyrd and other sites.
Ask your existing clients for intros - not leads - but just intros to people they know in NYC. Can they help you get coffee with a few people. If they can and you manage to impress those people, there's a good chance that referral will lead to some work.
Cherry pick some of the people you'd like to work with - specifically ones where you think you could add real value. Reach out to them with a two or three sentence email saying hello and seeing if they have five mins for a coffee. It's never a bad thing to meet more people.
Follow people you'd like to work with on Twitter and build a bit of a relationship with them that way. Use that relationship to potentially get a meeting or a coffee with that person. Maybe they can do some relevant intros or help you in some way.
Be useful - if you're going to meet all these people, make sure that you provide them with some reason for meeting you. Maybe you can intro them to someone or help them with some advice or insight. Whatever it is, make sure that you have something to add into the mix.
First of all try to make a target profile of your potential customers. The profile should consist of both demographic and psychographic attributes. Demographics describe the common characteristics of the target audience of a particular market segment, such as age and income of decision makers. Psychographics are the attitudinal traits people exhibit in their approach to life.
Once you know who may be your potential client in New York try to do a research and find a list of 80-100 companies. Your research should contain contact information of all decision makers including their LinkedIn profiles. Before connecting with them make sure you change your LinkedIn custom invitation text and write your reasons for connecting. According to my experience once this step is done correctly the chance to connect and network even with some of the internationally famous company managers becomes very easy! In addition to this LinkedIn strategy you may consider also using their inMail services or joining to the appropriate networking groups.
Meetup.com is also good place to attend to some events, alternatively you can check eventtribe.com (these guys are quickly dominating the market for free events), Plancast and some of the local New York based event websites.
My best advice for connecting with IT clients anyway remains LinkedIn and Twitter. During my role as a an inside sales manager at international IT company LinkedIn took 12% of our lead generation sources. Currently as a CEO of Armenia based digital agency it takes 35% in our lead generation sources and we managed to work with some of the big insurance, software and investment companies from North American and Europe.
Please don't hesitate to reach me out if you need any detailed case studies or help how to conduct your research or do the appointments on your behalf.