This court procedure is very, very old. It goes back to a time when very few people were able to read and write, not so very long ago actually. (Some might say that is true today!)
Anyway, this courtroom event starts the judicial clock clicking down on the prosecution of the case. The age of a pending case can have consequences and the courts stay concerned about that issue. The state MUST try the case within two years of this date.
It is at this event where the defendant receives the formal presentation of charges called an “Indictment” and provides the defendant the opportunity to announce his formal plea of “Guilty” or “Not Guilty.” If the plea is Guilty, you would proceed to sentencing. If Not Guilty, you would proceed to the discovery phase of the case.
This is point at which a defendant may file his initial defensive motions. (Hint: Doing so earlier accomplishes nothing as the motions will be determined to be pre-mature.)