If you want networking you might try meeting some of the investors on this board for lunch/breakfast. We use to do that earlier this year and it was a good way to meet other investors and brainstorm some ideas. We would meet through the pre-con group that kevink setup.
I found it a little easier to network with investors at the SOCALCIA meetings (I have been to about 4 or so) compared to the SDCIA meeting which I found to be very large in numbers, and when I tried to network I found myself meeting Realtors and loan brokers.
The message board at SOCALCIA was recently revamped and it is very well organized, but as the poster above indicated very little use. If they can increase the traffic on that site it shows great potential. I again tried to register only to see that my email was already in use, and the user name was not recognized. There are some very knowledgeable posters on that site, that use to frequently post here. They are a huge loss for this site, but this site seems to continue to gain registered users and there are still many good posters on this site.
As far as education, I attend a learning annex class. I actually asked for a refund (never got it), so be careful if you go that route. This particular class was taught by a RE/MAX broker, that encouraged everyone to sell their CA properties and use him as the listing agent, and then allow him to represent you to buy C class properties in AZ. Total BS and no substance in the class, I can't even recall the name of the class.
I also went to a Russ Whitney scam, er... class. Talk about the low of the low. They talk about getting money to start your RE career (down payments on property is the implication), and suggest during the lunch break that you call your credit card company and see if you can increase your limit and reduce your interest rate. Whomever gets the highest increase wins a copy of his software, a $1000 value I was told (saw it on eBay for $99). Then after lunch and the following day the only goal is to sell there overpriced classes. The mortgage broker sitting next to me bought $60k in classes.
I found the books stores to be most useful and periodically Bruce Norris offers low cost seminars (under $75) which I highly recommend.