Vienna's networking etiquette

networking etiquette
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Updated 2019-10-31 12:22

Every country and culture has a different idea of how to behave in society, even more so when it comes to professional life. The wrong word at the wrong time might cost you a valuable connection, or in the worst-case scenario, you end up losing a business deal. So better prepared than sorry is the way to go when you are approaching any business interaction in Vienna.

Overall, Austrians are known for their relaxed and laid back attitude. Be careful when it comes to business, though. Especially the older generation has still very high standards and beliefs of how you should present yourself in certain social circles. In Vienna, people tend to have a rather reserved and chilled approach when doing business.

Greetings in Vienna

A no-go for everyone considering developing a professional network in Vienna is to make any physical contact other than a firm handshake.

Of course, it always depends on the people you are working and meeting with. Indeed, a meet-up with a young start-up team won't require the same etiquette as one with someone from older generations.

Punctuality in Vienna

One thing that all have in common is being very strict about punctuality. It is considered highly rude and offensive if you are late for a meeting. This way, you lose trust and respect instantly. So try to avoid it under all circumstances.

Gifting in Vienna

In many cultures, it is appropriate to bring gifts, but not in Vienna or generally in Austria. For some social occasions like a birthday or anniversary of a close business partner, it might be suitable.

If someone invites you over to their house, it is common to bring a bottle of wine or some high-quality chocolate.

The dress code in Vienna

When it comes to appearance, the right dress code is critical in Vienna. Austrians tend to have a classic approach for business outfits, but usually, business-chic or business-casual should be fine, again depending on the occasion.

Businesspeople are advised to wear dark-coloured suits, and women should either stick to conservative dresses or classic business suits as well. If you wear sloppy attire, be prepared to earn frowning. If you are a woman, you should avoid wearing anything shorter than up to your knees. This is considered highly inappropriate.

Business meetings in Vienna

Viennese business people take their meetings very seriously, and so should you. Do not enter a meeting unprepared or not well-informed.

You have to provide solid facts to convince your counterpart.

Do not promise anything that you cannot keep up to and try sticking to an analytical approach and leave out any emotions you might have about the project or your business partner.

Meetups in Vienna

To expand your professional network, it is essential to attend meet-ups that are relevant to your business frequently. Find the best possibility to strengthen your old bonds or for creating new ones in our article about developing a professional network in Vienna.

Don'ts in Vienna

Last but not least, avoid the biggest faux-pax and do not compare Austrians to Germans. It is not like they have a real aversion towards one and another, but they are quite the opposite even though it might not seem like it in the beginning.

If you are following these few fundamental rules, there is nothing to worry about. Austrians are known as friendly people, and people from all over the world enjoy working with them.

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.