September 12, 2016

Exploring Space Syntax on Entrepreneurial Opportunities with Wi-Fi Analytics

Industrial events and exhibitions are known to play a powerful role in creating social relations amongst individuals and firms, enabling them to expand their social network and in turn acquire resources. However, often these events impose a spatial structure which impacts encounter opportunities. In this paper, we study this impact that the spatial configuration has on the formation of the network relations. We designed, developed and deployed a Wi-Fi analytics solution comprising of wearable Wi-Fi badges and gateways in a large scale industrial exhibition event to study the spatio-temporal trajectories of the 2.5K+ attendees including two special groups: 34 investors and 27 entrepreneurs. Our results suggest that certain zones with designated functionalities play a key role in forming social ties across attendees and that the different behavioural properties of investors and entrepreneurs can be explained through spatial lens. Based on our findings we offer three concrete recommendations for future organisers of networking events.

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