The Independent Insurance Agents of Houston held a three-day long Houston I Day, combining in-person and virtual exhibits and offering continuing education classes, one for CE credit and one noncredit.

On Feb. 24, the in-person event was held at the association’s usual location, the Houston Marriott Westchase. IIAH reported that there were over 200 attendees and 43 exhibitors available to consult with Houston area agents.

Switching to virtual for the next two days, online visitors came very close to duplicating the experience of in-person visits to their choice of 54 vendors. Exhibitors were arranged in seven exhibit halls hosted by Virtual Event Place. Virtual booths were built off templates that offered visitors the opportunity to chat with exhibitors privately or post public conversations. Visitors could leave business cards, many of which made them eligible for booth door prizes, and view pre-produced video messages recorded by the exhibitors. Videos that took a click to start and ran from 30 seconds to 1.5 minutes familiarized the viewer with each exhibitor’s marketing message.

Walking from booth to booth was an easy mouse navigation for the 400-plus online visitors. In the IIAH booth, Executive Director David Wuthrich announced upcoming trade show events.

Online education was offered live on both days by Tony Mataya, WizeHire, who advised agencies how to post job openings online to get the best hiring results. Tai Jenkins Williams, Texas Mutual, reviewed how the workers’ comp carrier distinguishes between employees and independent contractors. Williams’s class carried one-hour of C.E. credit.

Attendance for the event was free, but preregistration was required. Visit IIAH’s Facebook page for pictures from the event.