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A Quick Guide To Business Etiquette In Sydney For The Working Traveller

Employees working at Mercure Sydney Parramatta
Table setup in the boardroom at Mercure Sydney Parramatta


Preparing for success at your next Sydney business meeting is more than just choosing the right PowerPoint pie-charts. Making the right first impression and understanding the do’s and do nots of business etiquette in Australia can be the difference between closing the deal and an epic #businessfail. Check out our quick guide on business etiquette in Sydney.

Meeting and Greeting

Australians tend to be quite casual and relaxed in everyday interactions, greeting each other on first name terms – this informal greeting applies even when doing business in Sydney. It is also considered polite to shake the other person’s right hand when you meet them for the first time...and don’t forget to smile.

Although Australian’s may greet you with a “G’day” or “G’day, mate”, it’s best to avoid saying that yourself as it’s more likely to sound like a bad Crocodile Dundee impression than a polite business-appropriate greeting. Keep it simple and opt for a traditional “Hello”

Business Dress Code

Depending on your area of business, dressing right can vary a lot. Designers and creatives will often be a little more casual, while corporate meeting attendees will often choose something a bit more conservative. If in doubt, err on the side of formal and avoid shorts and t-shirts even when the temperature is mid-summer hot.

Body Language

Let those you’re conversing with sense your involvement by good eye-contact. Try to avoid crowding their personal space by keeping an acceptable distance of an arm’s length. When offering a business card do so with one hand.


Punctuality is critical so make sure you arrive on time or even a little early. Most business hours are 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday so try to keep business meetings in this time frame.

The Art of Conversation

Use conversation starters like the topic of the weather or a popular Australian sport; so long as you discuss Australia in a positive light you’re off to a good start. As a general rule. Australian’s appreciate factual information delivered in a friendly to the point way. Australians often don’t respond well to anyone who obviously thinks a lot of themselves – try and avoid sounding self-important and any aggressive sales techniques.

It’s generally pretty clear where you stand when doing business with Australians as more often than not, they’ll be direct and are not afraid of saying no. Finally, don’t be afraid of a little debate. Australian’s often love a good ‘bit of banter’, and often the best response is to take it in the good nature that it’s given.

Meeting Venues

When holding a conference in Sydney there is plenty of venues to choose from. A great option is The Events Centre at Penrith Panthers, with an exceptional array of conference and event space, it’s Western Sydney’s premier event destination. The Club’s impressive contemporary and stylish event space includes six formal and informal meeting rooms, accommodating up to 350 guests in a variety of function layouts; perfect for seminars and presentations. Plus, right next door is its partner hotel, the Mercure Penrith, offering group discounts for event attendees staying at the hotel.