Technology is a gift. So is visiting someone in person and delivering a large latte and a scone. So, when are video visits okay, and when are in-person visits really necessary? This is a question I have been asking myself for a while and deserves a bit of attention. Video meetings work well when I know clients and they know me. I prefer video over phone conferences because I am forced to focus on the screen in front of me, and stay engaged. In-person visits are critical for establishing relationships before the long-distance video meetings begin. I have not always been able to do this, but time in the community is golden. The goldenness is priceless because as an evaluator, researcher, and writer—I get to know them and the community gets to know me. Yep, that is right.
When to cancel a video or in-person visit? When it doesn’t matter. When a phone conversation will suffice, when you can mail a document rather than delivering it in-person, and when the connection is not absolutely critical to your mission or success.