Today was spent meeting with a client in San Francisco and I had a wonderful time with a great group of people. It's very, very rare that I see any clients at all. In fact this is only the second time I've met an Airbag client face to face. All of my other clients are in far off lands and we communicate by electronic messages and by phone. A project starts and stops without either of us having met in person. I give them XHTML and image files and they give me money. It works and works well but it's not as gratifying as being across the table and working through a list of problems and opportunities. Makes me wish I could visit past clients, to swing by and say hello.
Maybe it's the Jewish deli sandwich talking here (Mmm thinly sliced pickles on rye mmm) but I say that you can build all the project management, collaboration chat room, file storage hoo-ha you want but it will never replace the face-to-face.
(Note: Never will I suggest that every client is great to work with, however I have been extremely blessed to have worked with fantastic people since starting Airbag Industries, LLC. Sadly there have been other times, with other employers, in which I was convinced a few clients were put on Earth by the devil himself for the purpose of causing grief and strife to a project. And of those people I am referring too none of them every bought me a sandwich as good as the one I had this afternoon.)
Be sure to tell the good clients how great they are. And do so often.