I’ve been thinking about what makes face-to-face interaction so valuable. The Interchange hasn’t officially started yet, but I’ve already been here a day and a half, helping to set up, attending a CFAST meeting and a CAC meeting, and meeting people at registration. Part of it, for an old hand like me, is the opportunity to hug people I don’t see often. Then there’s the chance to see for the first time people whose names are familiar from e-mail and whose voices are familiar from teleconferences. There’s something very satisfying about putting a face to a name and a voice. There’s also free-ranging conversation that doesn’t fit in the context of a meeting. I talked with Scott Getzin about the release of CTR-XML for public review, since we’d both been involved in earlier efforts to create a standard for exchange of clinical trial registration information. A couple of people asked me questions about Epoch, following up on the recent Members-Only webinar I gave. It’s easier to have an exploratory conversation about problems and possible solutions outside of a meeting agenda. Even the formal presentations, which have some of the distance of my usual remote day-to-day work, is richer when I can see the person presenting. I know that when I go back to my remote working, I will feel that I know my colleagues better for having interacted with them face-to-face, and my work will be easier and more rewarding.
By Diane Wold, CDISC Sr. Director of Standards Development & Modeling