Setting the Mood
One of your goals as a storyteller is to immerse your party in your world. A big part of this can be mood and atmosphere. What kind of room are you playing in? Consider the lighting and acoustics. Consider the comfort of your players, make sure that everyone is relaxed, comfortable and has enough room to put their materials – which may include character sheets, dice boxes, food and drink.
It’s also a good idea to not jump directly into game when your players arrive. Have some time to sit and chat, get caught up and make sure everyone is ready before you start.