BOSTON Inspiring content and a variety of networking opportunities have been hallmarks of the Forbes Under 30 Summit since it began in 2014. But this year’s event, held October 1 to 4 at venues around Boston, is noteworthy for a new element: unique, possibly once-in-a-lifetime experiences that organizers made available to the more than 6,000 attendees. Those experiences included basketball tips and an informal game with former N.B.A. star Amare Stoudemire, a private bar crawl inside Fenway Park, and the chance to test drive the 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio at the Boston Seaport.
“You get into a great city like Boston and you worry you might lose [attendees] to just wandering around the city, but I think what they appreciate is we do take them other places. We do give them a taste of the city,” said Cathi Culbertson, Forbes’ vice president of event marketing and conferences.
The event’s content is focused on topics such as technology, investing, social good, health, science, and more. It’s part of Forbes’ “Under 30” franchise that is built around its annual list of 30 innovators under 30 years old in nearly two dozen categories. Summit attendees include current and former “30 Under 30” honorees as well as celebrities, investors, entrepreneurs, and more.
New this year, organizers shrank the summit’s footprint by scheduling the content in venues close to the main Under 30 Village at City Hall Plaza. Those venues included Faneuil Hall, the University of Massachusetts Club, and Tremont Temple Baptist Church.
“The one bit of feedback we got [last year] was it was a lot of travel for some people, and they couldn’t move from stage to stage easily,” Culbertson said. “So this year our goal was to have everything walkable from the Village and City Hall Plaza.” Speakers included Kendrick Lamar, Ashton Kutcher, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, chef Daniel Boulud, hedge fund manager Ray Dalio, and dozens more.
The day before the Summit’s official opening, organizers hosted a new event focused on gender issues in the tech industry. The Women@Forbes program took place at M.I.T., where more than 500 people took part in panels, hands-on sessions, and networking opportunities. Forbes also launched a new “Under 30 Scholars” program at the Summit, which provided free registration passes and networking opportunities to 1,000 college students from underrepresented backgrounds.