I have been to numerous NY Tech MeetUps over the years. Biggies like Tumblr and FourSquare have all demoed at the NYTM. I don't remember Tumblr's presentation though. Maybe that was a MeetUp I missed. (Dennis Crowley: I Underestimated Him, Dennis Crowley: Role Model For Kids?)
I started going to the NYTM when it was six people at a bar on the Lower East Side, one of them the MeetUp.com CEO. And that was only a few years ago.
I have said several times at this blog that Digital Dumbo beats the NYTM after party. No more. Not after last night. (Digital Dumbo 18: The Dumbo Loft)
What made the difference?
It was not at a bar. It was in the same building. You left the hall and you went upstairs. When people have to walk three blocks to the after party, many of them leave.
The space was huge.
Free drinks, free food. Worth seeking out sponsors.
And that was pretty much it.
I think the NYTM should stick to this venue forever.