It is fascinating to think that only a few years ago, the main DrupalCon was smaller than today's DrupalCamps. It's even more staggering when you realize that on any given weekend, there are probably several DrupalCamps happening in cities all around the world. It blows my mind.
In-person meetings have been instrumental to Drupal's success and growth. If you want to grow Drupal in your area, consider to put on a DrupalCamp and to organize regular meet-ups. It is the best way to bootstrap and foster your local Drupal community.