If you’re a developer on an island like me, chances are your end clients are foreigners, not local. This means that most of the communication is done either by e-mails or by some kind of voice calls. This is exactly my case; but after working with the clients for around three years, I finally got a chance to meet them in person, in London.
Although I’ve spent quite a lot of time talking to these people by both e-mails and weekly phone conversations, the experience of communicating with a person face to face is so much better than behind a screen. Face to face communications shows far more emotion and connection between people; it’s amazing.
I’ve only had two days with my clients; so time was definitely not on our side. Would more time meant better understanding of what they want from our side? Of course! But it does not matter that much; plus such conversations can now be continued by phone in the coming days. Of course, we went through lengthy discussions with regards to our vision for the foreseeable future. The sad part is that half of what we said will probably never be realised due to the usual problem: budgets.
What did this trip yield? Frankly; less than expected. Conversations got dragged and go on tangents, schedules were ignored and sometimes the clients just started having conversations with each other, leaving us just listening and waiting for them to conclude. But the fact that both my clients and I can now put a face to the name is worth the trip on its own.
In the end of the day, was the trip worth? Yes, hands down! Such meetings aid in boosting the confidence of both parties; which will (hopefully) result in better understanding between the two parties.
Plus, I got to spend some time touring through London, so that’s great as well!