7 Years and Counting
IART is now ready to experience it’s 8th year of offering this annual event for racquet technicians from around the world and we couldn’t be more excited about it!
Each year as we get more and more feedback from the attendees we’re constantly amazed at the different things they have to say about their own personal experiences at the symposium. Larry Hackney of Union City, New Jersey contacted us by phone and asked why we don’t just record the seminars at the symposium and sell the DVD’s. We tried to explain that it’s the experience that you can’t box up in a DVD and the friends that you’ll meet. After Larry attended his first symposium in 2008 he was absolutely convinced that in order to get the full benefit out of the symposium it was definitely one of those things where you just “had to be there”! The networking opportunities and the new friends made are a major part of attending an event like the IART racquet stringers symposium and as we said, this simply cannot be captured on a DVD. Face time with the professionals who lead the seminars are truly a unique experience that you won’t find anywhere else! The learning opportunities are many and varied. No one who has attended a seminar in the past will deny that everyone has something to share and there is no one at the symposium that can’t learn something from someone else in attendance.
Saturday Round Robin Sponsored by Prince
Yes we like to party! You didn’t think that all we did was string racquets and sit in a classroom all day did you? The Saturday meet & greet session will begins at 9 a.m.. with a round robin sponsored by Prince. The idea is to get people involved with one another in a true “meet & greet” atmosphere and what better way to do that than playing tennis together. After the round robin everyone we haves time set aside to interact with our sponsors and then back for the evening activities sponsored by Prince. A Prince trivia game will have everyone involved in fun activities and then it’s time for the famous IART symposium gift bags!
What party would be complete without gift bags? When our attendees show up for the Saturday night meet & greet there’s always a lot of buzz about what to expect in the gift bags because it’s never the same. At past events we’ve had bags stuffed so full of string, grips, over wraps, and other accessories from our sponsors that we almost needed two bags just to hold it all! In 2011 we went over the top and recruited major industry sponsors to step up and provide a triple racquet thermal bag, 12 sets of premium string, and one premium racquet. Each person who attends our event will walk away with one of those bags plus, another bag from other sponsors filled with some nice goodies! Our best estimate of past gift bags was that the combination of bags had a retail value of well over $600 which easily offset the cost of the registration fee.
Stringing? Sure there’s plenty of stringing going on at the symposium. Stringing machines from various manufacturers including Alpha, Babolat, Gamma, Prince, and Wilson will be available and we’ll have as many manufacturer reps on hand as possible to answer any questions you may have about their machines. Seminar leaders will also be available to answer your questions and assist in any way they can.
Don’t forget the speed stringing contest which will be sponsored by Wilson! This is not an event for the faint of heart as we do our best to offer up a stiff challenge. Speed always seems to excite people but in the case of racquet stringing, there’s been a huge misconception when it comes to equating speed to whether or not a person has what it takes to string at the tour level. So instead of giving our contestants a cream puff racquet with a 16×19 pattern and a soft synthetic string we use a racquet with an 18×20 pattern and give them a full set of poly to work with. Many of our winners have gone on to take the specialized Wilson training and have been offered a chance to get their feet wet during the qualifying rounds at the Sony Ericcson in Key Biscayne or the U.S. Open in NYC. This year the two finalists will win a one-on-one evaluation from Ron Rocchi, head of the Wilson Tour Services stringing team so this is truly a unique opportunity for those aspiring tournament stringers to get some recognition in front of the right people!