#8 and Still Going StrongTim Strawn
Saturday September 20th, 2014 marks the beginning of number 8 in the continuing evolution of the IART annual training symposium. As we move closer and closer to #10, a milestone I personally look forward to organizing, I think back to the beginning. There were naysayers. Those who openly suggested that this was an effort in futility and that the industry just would not support such an event. But the real question remained hidden, eluding an answer that for all intents and purposes, was long overdue. Why? Why was our industry readily willing to embrace annual meetings for other sectors of the racquet sports industry but not the sector that represented the hard working racquet technicians? It seemed as though it was there all along, hiding in the background just begging to be brought into the light. In 2007 I asked that question by organizing the first ever symposium to be held in New Braunfels, Texas. In the middle of what seemed to be virtually nowhere, racquet stringers showed up from around the country to support the event. It was a small group but more importantly, it was a start. Remarkably, the results of the last 7 years have not only proven the naysayers wrong, they have cemented this event into a progressive effort to highlight the talents and efforts of an extremely dedicated and talented group of people.
If you are headed to Tampa, Florida this weekend to attend the 8th annual IART symposium I want to personally extend a warm welcome to you. If this is your first time joining us I guarantee you will not feel out of place but rather, you will feel like you’ve found your place. You will feel as though you are enjoying a 7 course meal and like desert is around every corner. For those of you returning, you know we always turn it up a notch and this year will be no different. You’ve also experienced this event first hand and to some extent, are old hands at this so please, extend a gracious welcome to our new guests and welcome them into the fold.
Each and every year the planning expands. Things change at the last minute but inevitably, it all comes together. I always try to pull the rabbit out of the hat and find that special surprise that will make this event better than last year’s. If you want to see if there’s a special surprise in store for this year’s IART symposium you’ll just have to register and come join us. Registration is open until 9/18 so there’s still time. I guarantee you won’t regret it.
See you all in Tampa real soon