I was once invited to a kick off meeting for a new project and I was thinking of joining over the phone when the organiser emailed me she wanted to have everyone in the same room.
When I got there I understood why: there were cookies and soft drinks galore. Her presentation lasted a few minutes and ended with "I want you to meet each and everyone in this room, we need to know each other if we're going to make this project a success".
The project turned out to be a success, as well as a few others projects involving the same people. Meeting face to face created bonds and help making remote work very efficient, even in the long run.