(Huntsville, AL) – 2020 threw a wrench in a lot of plans, particularly for those in the hospitality and tourism industry. However, that hasn’t stopped the Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) from bringing back one of their most popular events - the #iHeartHsv social media campaign – for 2021.
Celebrating its eighth year, Huntsville’s biggest “digital lovefest” once again offers visitors and locals alike the opportunity to share what they love most about Huntsville/Madison County. This year, the CVB is specifically shining a light on the area’s “heroes of hospitality,” local representatives across a variety of hospitality sectors that went above and beyond to rise to the challenges of the past year. Everyone is invited to join the CVB in celebrating all things travel and hospitality in the Rocket City by using the hashtag #iHeartHsv on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Starting Monday, February 1, and lasting through Sunday, February 14, social media users who respond to daily prompts posted via the CVB’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram channels using the hashtag #iHeartHsv could win big during the two-week campaign. The Huntsville/Madison County CVB will pick a daily winner each night at 8:00 p.m. CST, awarding them with $150 towards the local restaurant, attraction, or hotel stay of their choice.
New to #iHeartHsv in 2021
Celebrating the Heroes of Hospitality
The main focus for this year’s campaign is recognizing the hospitality heroes of Huntsville/Madison County. The CVB worked with local videographer Austin Spencer to produce a daily video series, highlighting a different individual or individuals each day of the campaign. The goal of the series is ultimately to introduce and connect viewers to those in the local hospitality and tourism field, as well as educate them on the importance of the industry to the local economy, culture, and quality of life.
Each video spotlight represents a different sector of the hospitality profession, from restauranteurs and hoteliers, local museum personnel, delivery drivers, arts and cultural entities and beyond.
“Traditionally the #iHeartHsv campaign is focused around the things that make Huntsville a wonderful place to both live and visit,” said Judy Ryals, President/CEO of the CVB. “But this year, after the challenges that the pandemic has brought to our industry, we really want to focus on the people that make our city great. Behind each experience, every impression that we leave on our guests and visitors, is a hospitality worker who’s working hard to present Huntsville in the best light possible. They deserve to be celebrated for the outstanding job they continue to do for our city.”
One such worker going above and beyond is Joseph Vick, Museum Education Director for the U.S. Space & Rocket Center and one of this year’s featured hospitality heroes. Vick is one of the creators of the Center’s Science Never Stops video series, an online educational program launched in 2020 as a way to continue the USSRC’s educational efforts amidst the pandemic. Vick added, "The U.S. Space & Rocket Center is a testament to many years of hard work, brainpower, and fully showcases the technological legacy of Huntsville and the great state of Alabama. Working in tourism and hospitality, we want people to know Huntsville is more than just a small town in north Alabama - it's a diverse, charming, and welcoming tourist space adventure that's always ready for launch."
How it works
Each day, along with the hospitality hero video spotlight, a different question will be posted on CVB social media channels for participants to respond to using the hashtag #iHeartHsv. Themes include favorite locally made products, attractions or outdoor activities, and much more. At the end of each day, at least one winner will be selected and awarded $150 towards a locally-owned or operated Huntsville/Madison County restaurant, attraction, or hotel.
Winners will be selected by CVB team members based on use of the hashtag #iHeartHsv, relevance to the day's prompt and creativity. For more information on how #iHeartHsv works, visit huntsville.org/iHeartHsv.
Deadline and winner announcement
Entries for prize drawings will open each day of the campaign at 8:00 a.m. CST and close at 8:00 p.m. CST. The winner will be contacted shortly thereafter and publicly announced via CVB social media channels. More details on entry rules can be found here.
Returning for 2021
#iHeartHsv tweet chat, January 29 – 4:00 p.m. CST - To officially launch the 2021 #iHeartHsv campaign, the Huntsville/Madison County CVB is inviting local and regional tourism influencers, the local hospitality industry partners, social media users and individuals who have an interest in Huntsville to participate in a tweet chat on Friday, January 29, from 4:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. CST to talk about Huntsville/Madison County favorites as well as what to expect during the 14-day campaign. For the latest updates on the #iHeartHsv tweet chat, visit the Facebook event page.
#iHeartHsv Valentines – Five, unique “Huntsville-centric” paper Valentines are back once again for sale in the Downtown Huntsville Visitor Center and in the Rocket City Shop online store. The designs, which were created by local graphic artist Crisy Meschieri, feature various Huntsville points of interest including the Weeden House Museum & Garden, Big Spring International Park, the Cosmic Christ mural at First Baptist Church (or “Eggbeater Jesus” as it is often lovingly referred to), Ditto Landing, and of course, a rocket. The Valentines are sold individually for $2.00 (individual cards available in person at the Visitor Center only) or sets of all five for $8.00.
#iHeartHsv Blogs – #iHeartHsv bloggers will be sharing new posts on the CVB’s #iHeartHsv blog throughout the campaign. Topics range from attractions and special events to outdoor recreation, dining, craft beer, and beyond.