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Expected to bring hundreds of thousands of dollars in economic impact to Madison County, Ala. is the Social Media Tourism Symposium from Nov. 6-8.

Madison County voted to bring the conference to the area last spring. Huntsville received close to 30,000 votes during the competition among 12 other U.S. cities to win the right to host the conference, which explores social media tools and strategies in the tourism industry. Aimed at tourism professionals looking to share ideas, network and discover opportunities using social media, #SoMeT13US, the hashtag used to discuss the conference on social media, is in its fourth year.

Three Madison County community representatives will present how Huntsville won the conference in “The #SoMeT13US Story.” Judy Ryals, president and CEO of the Huntsville/Madison County CVB, expressed her gratitude to the city, county and state community for voting for Huntsville to host the Symposium.

“It’s awe-inspiring to see what this community can do when it sets its mind to something,” Ryals said. “From round one to round four, this community stuck with us and rallied to bring this conference, its economic impact and its online exposure to the Rocket City. We couldn’t be more grateful for our community’s support and winning effort.”

Local Mayor Tommy Battle was one of the biggest proponents of securing #SoMeT13US, and he stressed the importance of the community being welcoming.

“Huntsville is sublimely southern, extremely social and smart in technology,” Battle said. “I encourage our citizens to take to their preferred devices and give a big southern, social, high-tech welcome to our visitors from the Social Media Tourism Symposium using the hashtag #SoMeT13US.”

Dave Serino, founder of the Social Media Tourism Symposium and strategist and educator at Think! Social Media, expressed his excitement for #SoMeT13US to come to fruition in the Rocket City.

“We’re really excited to see this event come together,” Serino said.  “The people in Huntsville have been so welcoming and supportive over the last few months, and it’s really appreciated. This is our fourth U.S. event, and Huntsville has been the most enthusiastic to-date.”

Online coverage of last year’s host city — El Paso, Texas — reached nearly 1 million people on Twitter with over 10 million online impressions. Seven hundred Instagram photos were posted.

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