One of the biggest driving forces locally has been the Boston TNT. It was definately inspired by the Providence coffee society and the Tulip Tuesdays Providence Throwdown. It is really not roaster focused and remains really laid back and approachable.
This is a contrast to the heavily roaster driven and branded events in other major cities. Having been to many of these, it often felt like a sales outreach by one aggressive company rather than a true community driven event. That really kept many of us from having one here until seeing how well the ones in Providence were run.
The key was keeping sales people at bay and making the shop it was being hosted at the focus. This made for a really relaxing event where turnout peaked over a hundred for the first Boston TNT and was solid for the most recent. The diversity of shops represented as well was most impressive to me and yet no tension or posturing.
A big piece to that has been shops like Voltage and Render which bridged what has been a very tight and active coffee community in Cambridge to the rest of the larger community. Living on either side of the Charles means you don't visit the other side that much. The TNT changed that and merged the Boston and Cambridge communities for now.
A big thanks to those involved and please keep supporting the TNT.