Requiring an On-Site Kick Off Meeting for New Clients
Recently we’ve been pondering a new requirement for large web jobs with FortySeven Media: face to face time.
I know, we keep talking about how the internet has made the world flat and we can work with anyone from anywhere and that’s very true. But lately we’ve been wondering if it’s such a good thing to cut ourselves off so cleanly from human interaction.
They’ll get to understand you, what you believe in, your humor and all sorts of other subtleties that don’t come across in an email.
We see a couple of benefits to working on-site with a new client for a day or so when kicking off the project:
Save time on sitemaps, wireframes & moodboards
First, we go through a fairly extensive process with sitemaps, wireframes, inspiration boards, etc… and doing this via email or Basecamp can take several weeks by the time everyone goes back and forth and finally understands things.
While we can’t get all of those things done in two days, we finish a huge chunk of it - and having everyone in the same room, drawing on the whiteboard and talking through ideas ensures that we're more on the same page than if done digitally.
Cement personal relationships with your clients
Second, you get to meet the people you’ll be working with in person. They’ll get to understand you, what you believe in, your humor and all sorts of other subtleties that don’t come across in an email. And you’ll get to understand them.
See, it’s a lot easier to get frustrated with someone when they’re far away on the other end of a computer. But when you know they have 2 kids and 3 cats and go to 80’s metal concerts on the weekends their input becomes much more real and your relationship grows through conflicts instead of falling apart.
Understand their business better
Finally, an on-site visit can make a huge impact on your understanding of their business as well. Have them give you a proper tour, meet key stakeholders and immerse yourself in their world for a couple of days.
We’ve just begun this experiment, but we’re seeing a lot of good things happening. So why don’t you consider coming out of your cave and requiring an on-site kick off meeting? You might be glad you did.