For the last 4 years my partner and I have been building and running our online business based in Dublin, Ireland. A couple of months ago we decided to make a move to San Francisco in an effort to meet some interesting people and look for ideas in order to grow our business further. We will be there from this Thursday the 26th for about 3 months.
My question is - what would be the best events or meetups for us to attend in order to get the most out of our time there?
Our business is www.piehole.ie, a directory of talented voiceover actors.
In terms of contacting potential customers, I'd recommend that you check out
Theatre Bay Area (http://www.theatrebayarea.org/) and Artsopolis (http://www.artsopolis.com/). TBA is oriented mostly towards stage, but is read by actors, producers, etc. who do film, voice-over, etc. Artsopolis is used by just about everybody in the South Bay performance scene, though I'm sure plenty of SF-based people use it as well.
And though you could do a lot worse than SF for voiceover talent, if you really want to talk to lots of potential customers, you'll want to make a trip to Los Angeles at some point (FYI, L.A. is a 5.5-hour drive, or 1 hour flight, from the SF Bay Area).
For networking with other startups, investors and the like, you are going the right place.
I will check some of the many startup meetups in SF and the bay area, here are some examples:
I would first change the name.
"piehole" is slang and used in the negative context (pretty much the only expression that comes to my mind is "shut your piehole").
SEO-wise, no sane person looking for voice over talent will type "piehole" in the search engine. You're wasting one of the strongest scoring indicators (domain name) used by search engines on a frivolous name in bad taste.
As to your question, you should first decide what kind of value do you expect to get.
If you're looking to socialize with other technical talent, search meetup.com or upcoming.org for technology-oriented meetups.
If you're looking for investors/business partners, then there's probably not many organized events where you can just show up. You would probably have to setup meetings with people you want to meet in advance, via e-mail (assuming they'll be interested in talking to you).
I would also look through Eventbrite
http://www.eventbrite.com/directory?q=&loc=san+francisco&page=1 and see what's there that's interesting to you for the next 3 months.