I recently attended the first Parallel Programming MeetUp in Santa Clara California at Intel HQ. The event was put on and hosted by my colleague, Parallel Computing Community Manager, Kathy Farrel. The event was attended by developers, students and academics and was both informative, in that it brought together folks from various segments of the parallel programming community, useful, in that it helped them build contacts with teach other and with Intel and fun. There was even pretty good food considering it was a corporate event ;-)
Would an Academic Community MeetUp be useful? We could talk about our Academic programs, microgrants and course content; a briefing on next gen architecture and its implications for education could be useful as well, I think. There were quite a few students who attended the parallel MeetUp, so a chance to talk to a hiring manager might help them start planning their next steps after graduation.
Let me know your ideas and we'll see what we can do.