Allen Federal has been out and about lately meeting more and more with people in person.  These experiences have shown that we are not “virtual people”, but ones that require in person interaction.  Virtual meetings may have been borne of necessity and we can also fit more of these into daily calendars than going off-site, but virtual meetings simply do not provide the same opportunity to get to know people, share more information, or provide the opportunity for “watercooler” discussions.   In person meetings matter for your federal business.  While it is true that federal office buildings may still be closed to contractors that do not work on a government site, such buildings are not the only location for meetings.  First, many federal office buildings are near public gathering places. These often provide not only an opportunity for you to meet with the people you’ve arranged to see, but “bump in” to others from the same agency with whom you would like to meet.  It’s our experience that these encounters can help drive good business outcomes.  Second, your federal contact may work remotely at least part of the time and, if the logistics work out, you can schedule a discussion at a remote site that is mutually convenient.  That could be particularly true now as many workers, both federal and industry, are looking for more direct interaction.  Virtual meetings may have their place for regular check-ins or for discussions where there is a specific agenda.  Relying totally on virtual discussions, however, can lead to complacency and missed business opportunities.  Contractors have likely been back in circulation in their personal lives for some time.  It’s time to now expand that to your business interactions.  Shake a hand and look someone in the eye, not in the camera.