Our Time with the University of Saskatchewan

We are Saskatoon’s small business marketing agency and our management team and contractors are all University of Saskatchewan alumni. Why am I telling you this? Well because a few months ago, we were approached to create a “recruitment experience” for the U of S.  It was a no-brainer for us. We’re proud U of S alumni and it was a great way to get back into the University scene…I would love to go back for just one more term (I think most of us alumni would say the same thing).

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Every year, universities across Canada set out with a goal of attracting students from close to home and around the world. The U of S has a lot to offer but year after year, a generic Powerpoint presentation was their main communication tool for recruitment. Boring! They knew it…we knew it. Nowadays, fancy transitions and cool photography just doesn’t cut it. With today’s technology, there are so many cool things to be done. This year, they wanted to break through the noise and throw a curve ball. The U of S brought on our team to create a recruitment experience like none other. They wanted to stand out from the crowd and make a statement! We did just that.

We spent countless hours conducting market research and putting together an overall concept and strategy. At the end of the day, it’s how well you execute but planning is a huge component and we made sure we had all our ducks in a row before we put the plan in action.

Our plan was to create 4 independent videos and integrate those throughout a presentation created through Prezi. Prezi is a web-based presentation application and storytelling tool that uses a single canvas instead of traditional slides. We love the end result but getting there was another story. The application has its limitations but we feel we’re experts on it now. I can go on and on about this process through Prezi but you would be here all night…there’s time for that another day.

Over the next 4 weeks, we worked with a production team and created four videos highlighting the campus, city of Saskatoon, the province of Saskatchewan, history of the campus, alumni, Huskie Athletics, the colleges and programs and life as a student as the U of S. The end result is an engaging communication tool that will attract the next band on the cover of the Rolling Stones or the next Prime Minister of Canada!

You can check out these videos by viewing them on our YouTube Channel. Here’s 1 of 4…

 

It never ended there with the University of Saskatchewan…in fact our relationship was just beginning. They must have liked what we did for them as just a couple weeks after delivering the recruitment experience, we were hired to take their Open House event to new heights.

Open House is the University of Saskatchewan’s annual event for prospective students. Every fall, prospective students, parents, counselors, teachers and others are invited to spend time on campus to experience the U of S in full swing. Through interactive information sessions, tours and other activities, students can learn more about the wide variety of programs and services available at the U of S.

Our job was to create a fun, energetic and engaging atmosphere throughout the entire day. Sweet gig right? We thought so too. That being said, it was a ton of work but something we can build on for next year (crossing our fingers).

Like always, we kicked off this project with a lot of strategic thinking. We had to move fast through the planning process because we were on a tight timeline. We met with the organizing committee and we were able to find everything about this event. In the past, there were bands entertaining in the bowl and a BBQ lunch but just like their recruitment experience, the U of S really wanted to step up their game this year.

Our team put our heads together and after numerous brain-storming sessions and a few pumpkin spiced lattes…we had our game plan. With the event on Friday, October 4th, we had to hope for nice weather in Saskatchewan and fortunately, it all worked out.

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We wanted to bring something unique to the Open House event and a campus-wide scavenger hunt was the answer. This was no ordinary hunt as we teamed up with the app “Scavenger Hunt with Friends” and fully customized a hunt where students would “Explore. Snap. Win.” with their mobile phones. We were able to design a fully customized app with the university branding and our own list of clues. We put a lot of time into the planning and development of this hunt but it was well worth it. Finding Agriculture Al and making a T-Rex impression in front of the dinosaur exhibit are just examples of the 15 clues we had in store for these students. We were able to see the hunt going on real-time with our desktop application so it was really entertaining seeing all the pictures flow through. We had an amazing list of prizes courtesy of the Campus Computer Store and it really created an incentive for these students to get involved and have some fun.

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We brought in Double Vision, identical twins who perform comedy and magic with a twin twist. These guys were incredible! They performed strolling magic through the bowl over the lunch hour and again at the Information Fair later in the afternoon. It’s really quite amazing what these guys can do so if you are ever planning an event and need some entertainment, highly recommended!

It didn’t end there though, we really wanted to reach out to the students and see if we could incorporate something here to entertain the crowd. Luckily for us, we found “The Alpha Boys”. This break dance group is comprised of 5 are current U of S students and wow did they put on a show! The moves they were pulling off boggled my mind as sometimes I have trouble touching my own toes. We are definitely keeping these guys on the radar for next time…a crowd favorite!

Last but certainly not least, we had hired a current U of S student to deliver an epic student speech to be performed in front of the 2500 students at the Kickoff session in the PAC to start the day. As you know, things don’t always go as planned. Due to the high volume of students attending the event, we were delayed and after a few speeches and a quick overview of the itinerary, students started piling out of the gym before the kick-off event even concluded. Mike still got up and nailed the speech for the 1000 people still in attendance as they say…”the show must go on”. The students loved it and being a U of S alumni, it just makes me want to go back that much more. Check it out for yourself!

We had a blast working on these two projects with the University of Saskatchewan and we hope to get another kick at the can next year. If we can help your business with video production or event planning, give us a shout and let’s see what we can do for you!