Finding a job without applying on an online job board is very do-able and, in fact, may be the most effective way to connect with a new job. In fact, focusing all of your job search efforts on job boards has some major disadvantages for job seekers.
When the chips are down, and everyone does the same old crap, what can you do to stand out from the rest when making new connections?
What value can you offer? How can you help the person you just met?