The meeting before can have one pitfall. If we get too wrapped up in talking to old friends, we can miss the new face. I like to arrive early, but appoint myself greeter with the sole task of spotting the new guy and making them feel welcome. I remember how important that was for me.
I travel a lot and surprisingly often I get to the new guy before anyone in the actual group has noticed his presence. I know they don't intentionally ignore people, but it can feel quite disconcerting for the newcomer, and straight away we have begun teaching them bad habits.
What you most need will be found where you least want to look
All BB quotes from 1st Edition.