Best practice: bespoke virtual events by Drees & Sommer

Today, there are numerous software solutions for virtual conferences, trade fairs and events. However, many lack important features for interaction, networking and information sharing – not to mention the capacity for customization. Drees & Sommer solves this challenge with a low-code/no-code platform based on Microsoft 365.

“In the context of shaping the future together, there is a need for a new interplay and transfer of knowledge between various decision-makers and actors. It is not enough simply to stream lectures live. As part of our Themenreise, or ‘themed program’, we want to hold different sessions that provide in-depth information before, during and after the event and also facilitate interaction and networking,” says Marcel Roll, Project Manager Business Transformation & Network Management at Drees & Sommer.

The consultancy firm is not alone in this: according to Bitkom, 78% of digital companies in Germany want to organize purely virtual trade shows and events in the future. 70% of them envisage using hybrid formats. However, many software solutions lack important features that provide an individual event experience, or they require extensive reprogramming. Companies such as Drees & Sommer therefore use an event and network solution developed in conjunction with Comma Soft and W&K Management, which can easily be adapted to the requirements of the event in question without any programming knowledge.

Numerous opportunities for networking and interaction

The event platform is based on Microsoft 365 and offers participants the same intuitive usability that they are already familiar with from their daily work with Teams and SharePoint. For organizers, the platform can be operated like a content management system with simple tools and requires no programming knowledge. This opens up a whole new range of possibilities for them to design virtual events:

Automated event management

Hosts can control invitations, registrations and the notifications for them automatically. This significantly reduces the effort required and participants automatically receive personalized updates about the event.

Interactive sessions

Workshops can be held interactively with all the participants in a virtual room, or as parallel sessions. Here, all the participants exchange information directly with each other through channels with both audio and video connections. For larger audiences, we recommend the one-way stream with embedded chat for an optimal presentation experience.

Convenient visitor guidance

The platform guides speakers and participants through the event so that they can quickly get to the right slot. They can access their personal agenda in a view that can be tailored to their individual interests, which also gives them the ability to jump to lectures, workshops and further information. They can save the agenda directly in their calendar in advance and they will be reminded about the end of breaks and the start of new lectures in a timely manner.

Clever networking

What is missing at many virtual events is personal interaction. Chats and calls are just one way of reproducing this virtually. Another feature incorporated in the platform is fixed or random networking spaces. This makes it easier for participants to get in touch with each other and add each other to their network directly via hyperlinked LinkedIn profiles.

Central access to information

Additional information, recorded presentations, a digital guestbook, links to sponsors’ websites and much more can be found on the platform in one central location – before, during and after the event.


The organizers decide what the design of the platform should look like and which features will be used: the solution can easily be adapted to the event or company CI.

Integrated approach – holistic event experiences

“What’s special about the platform is that it covers all the requirements with one unified solution. This makes event management easier for us and makes the event experience much more exciting for the participants,” summarizes Marcel Roll.

The straightforward customization options also make it possible to create a wide variety of formats: event programs like those organized by Drees & Sommer, conferences in an academic environment such as at WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management, and much more. If you would also like to use the platform for your digital events, don’t hesitate to contact us!