8th Annual IART Symposium, Sept. 2014
The 8th annual IART training symposium is scheduled for September 20th through September 24th at Saddlebrook Resort in Tampa, Florida. This is the premier training event for shop owners, especially those who service racquets or employ technicians who do. The event has grown significantly in it’s 7 year run and hosted people from 12 different countries in 2013. The theme for this year’s event is “Knowing and Growing Your Business” and will focus on fundamental changes and additions for businesses looking to increase their bottom line. 2014 sponsors include Alpha, Ashaway, Babolat, Bolt, Dunlop, Ektelon, Gamma, Kimony, Prince, Viking, Victory Racquet Sports, Wilson, & Yonex. Many of those companies will once again be participating in the events primary gift bag sponsorship that sees all who register being given one thermal bag containg 12 sets of string and one premium racquet. With the addition of Viking, some will also be receiving platform tennis gear. This sponsorship, along with a supplemental gift bag from other sponosrs, boasts a retail value that more than offsets the cost of registration.
The 5 day event kicks off on Saturday with the Prince Meet & Greet round robin at 9 a.m. and an afternoon with the sponsors. This is followed by an evening Prince trivia game with host Prince buying everyone a drink to welcome them to the event. Last year Prince trivia prizes included autographed racquets from Daniela Hantuchova, authographed posters by then reigning Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli plus other Prince sponsored player items making the trivia game a highlight of the day. The first 50 who signed up last year also received a very nice Prince hoodie. This year Prince is giving away a PTC (Precision Tuning Center) as an incentive for early registration. Register by July 1st for three tickets to win, July 8th for two tickets and July 15th for one ticket.
Several new presentations this year will include:
- Basics of Stringing
- Successful Pro Shop Management
- Tips & Tricks from Behind the Machine
- Platform Tennis
- Racquet Matching Simplified
- Dynamic vs Static Balance
- Wilson Trackman
- Maximizing Your Businesses Potential
- Best Employee Training
- Evolving Racquet Technologies
Each evening sees a schedule of several round table discussion groups after the dinner hour with a variety of our sponsors participating. Prince, Wilson, Bolt, Tennis Machines, and Ameriprise Financial will offer much to discuss in an open format.
The conference will also include an expanded 6 hour racquet customization class highlighted by the addition of Wilson’s Ron Rcocchi as a co-instructor. Rocchi is the manager of the Wilson Team room where all Wilson sponsored players have their racquets customized. He is also the leader of the Wilson Tour Services Stringing Team, the official stringing team of the U.S. Open, Australian Open and the Sony Ericcson in Key Biscayne, Florida.
USRSA Executive Director Dave Bone will once again be on hand directing certification testing for the organization on Wednesday September 24th. The symposium has an extremely high pass rate for those who go through the training first and follow up on the last day by taking their USRSA certification exam. Plus, a special review class for certifiaction is presented by Dave on Monday from 7-10 p.m., further increasing your chances of gaining your USRSA certification.
A special guest presentation by Babolat’s Lucien Nogues is shceduled for Monday from 4-5:30 p.m. Nogues has been a solid fixture at Babolat for many years and has a stellar background in tournament stringing at the very highest level.
You can register by going to gssalliance.com and following the links in the upper right hand side of the page. You can also find a schedule, seminar leader profiles, and testimonials from past attendees on the website. For questions please contact symposium director and founder Tim Strawn at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 540-772-4418.
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