by Marcia Da Costa March 12th, 2014: Fourteen Hundred Hours Western Development Museum, Saskatoon, SK It was icy out. It was typical Saskatchewan mid-March weather that I have come to know well during my last eight years living in the province. Stumbling though the parking lot, I managed to remain vertical until I reached the front entrance of the museum. I laughed and remembered Brazil, my native country, with joy. No ice, no snow… but I repeat what I personally believe in: “-40 over +40 any day.” I like Saskatchewan weather. Posters at the front doors welcomed people to the event being held at the premises. I purposefully ignored the sign and asked my husband, who walked next to me, some ridiculously lame and out-of-place question, also known as my first attempt at avoiding embarrassing and unsolicited tears. I had been waiting for this day since the day I spent a good 25 minutes talking to a city council candidate who came to my door. It was a great conversation that ended with me giving him his flyer back, saying “Sorry, I can’t vote. I’m not Canadian.” Now it was here. Attempt number two at no tears happened after a chaperone congratulated me as I walked into the large room of McLeod Hall. I proudly held it together after quickly making a joke less than mildly funny (which currently escapes my memory). There was still hope for no tears. I had a system that worked. Emotional speeches went by, beautiful words, and examples of past generations...

by Bonnie Hughes I recently attended the Fuze Conference 2014 in Saskatoon. The conference, which was organized by the Saskatchewan Professional Marketing Association and the Saskatoon chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators, was a sold-out event that, as promised, both informed and entertained. The conference was organized around the theme of the power of community and through a series of speakers, various facets of engaging audiences and creating a community of advocates for an organization were discussed. Maureen “Mo” Douglas shared her experiences with engaging people who may initially be resistant to a plan or idea and emphasized the importance of communication, transparency, and follow through. Leanne Bellgrade discussed the value and necessity of engaging Aboriginal people and provided insights into building relationships and engaging and investing in these communities. Khayyam Wakil’s presentation, “Video Killed the Marketing Star: The Content Revolution,” integrated multimedia elements and centred on innovations that are leading marketing, such as 360 video technology. The speakers also included a panel of successful Saskatchewan entrepreneurs, consisting of Neechie Gear founder and CEO Kendal Netmaker, 3twenty Modular co-founder and CEO Bryan McCrea, and Three Farmers Camelina Oil founders Natasha Vandenhurk and Elysia Vandenhurk. The panelists spoke about their marketing challenges, opportunities and transitions, as well as the support they received when starting their businesses. The afternoon keynote speaker was Aaron James Draplin, whose presentation “Tall Tales from a Large Man *PG-13*” covered graphic design, Draplin’s upcoming TEDx talk on freebie Fridays, designing a logo for the White House, and doing what you love. Draplin’s site, http://www.draplin.com, gives a sense of his design aesthetic, as well as his humour, enthusiasm, and charisma. The conference was interesting and engaging, and throughout the day, the theme of community was reiterated and built upon, offering many ways to think about marketing and communications in our increasingly connected and community-oriented world. by Dylan Cody During my undergraduate degree I took a few marketing classes and I have been involved in a few projects involving ad agencies since joining Insightrix, but the day I spent at the 2014 Fuze Conference in Saskatoon was a real eye-opener. I learned about how to interact effectively with communities from Maureen “Mo” Douglas and gained insights into engaging Saskatchewan’s Aboriginal people through a talk delivered by Leanne Bellegarde. Khayyam Wakil had conference goers tearing up with a few heart-wrenching videos during his talk on the content revolution while the panel of Saskatchewan entrepreneurs shared with the crowd their amazing stories about start-up marketing strategies, vision, and spirit. The afternoon keynote speaker Aaron James Draplin, owner of Draplin Design Co., took the crowd on a multimedia journey through his life, loves, hates and emphasized that doing everything for the almighty dollar may not be what matters most. Mr. Draplin had the crowd roaring with his outgoing personality, charm, keen insights, and his gratuitous and well-placed use of the F-bomb. I left the conference with a tremendously positive feeling from the conference theme, speakers, and attitudes of conference attendees and was able to engage a few people myself and begin some new relationships. The 2014 Fuze Conference was an absolute treat to attend and not only did I meet some great people and gain a new experience, I also learned more about the world of design, advertising, and marketing, all of which are immensely beneficial for a young market researcher....

Oscar had a great time visiting the Magic Kingdom in Los Angeles! He was able to visit both Disney parks (Disneyland and Disney California Adventure), and he also headed over to Universal Studios for a day, where he went on almost every ride. For a Saskatchewan resident to be able to visit L.A. in February was wonderful, although coming back to the minus 50 Celsius was bit tough....

Oscar recently took a day trip to Yosemite National Park in California. He was accompanied by a few Insightrix staff and a wonderful local resident who showed him many sights including waterfalls, deep valleys, grand meadows, and ancient giant sequoias. He did get a bit car sick on the winding roads but being the trooper he is, he managed to shake it off pretty quickly. At the end of the day, he relaxed at the Ahwahnee Dining Room and Bar. What a wonderful day! ...

Oscar recently took a trip to Alberta and spent some time at Sunshine Village, which is about 15 minutes away from Banff. While he was there, Oscar enjoyed the views of the mountains, took several gondola rides, and went snowboarding, taking on the double black diamond trails. He ended his days by relaxing at the chalet and is looking forward to his next visit to the mountains. ...

According to a new independent poll conducted by Insightrix Research Inc., chances of having sex on Valentine’s Day are “lookin’ pretty good” for 32% of Saskatchewan residents who are currently in a romantic relationship. An additional 27.8% do not want to jump the gun and say that “the jury’s still out.” However, your chances could improve if you know how to play your cards – credit cards, that is. Among those planning to spend money on Valentine’s Day, the bill is expected to be an average of $80, with approximately one third (36%) planning to spend between $21 to $50 and another one third (35%) willing to spend more than $75. In regards to gifts, Saskatchewan residents mostly turn to traditional ideas such as cards (35.5%), dining out (34%), candy/chocolates (26%), or flowers (19%). On the other hand, some are waiting until the last minute to decide (14%), while others will take their chances and not give any gifts at all (11%). When it comes to sex on Valentine’s Day, men (36.1%) are feeling luckier than women (27.4%). However, their chances of picking up the bill are also higher, as 44.6% of respondents expect men to pay for the night while only 0.5% think that women should pay. Given the high expectations for men to pick up the bill, it’s no surprise that they are twice as likely as women to forget Valentine’s Day (25.6% versus 12.6%). Overall, 71.7% of Saskatchewan residents 18 years of age or older are in a romantic relationship and of these, 70.5% plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Whether you are part of the 29.6% who love Valentine’s Day or among the 65% who think it is just “okay,” we wish you a happy Valentine’s Day, and yes, good luck! Research Details A total of 803 randomly selected SaskWatch Research™ panel members participated in the online research study from February 11th to 13th, 2014. Quotas were set by age, gender and region to match the general population of the province. As the research is conducted online, it is considered to be a non-probability proportion sample and therefore, margins of error are not applicable. About SaskWatch Research™ Insightrix began developing its SaskWatch Research™ online market research panel in October 2007, using high-quality techniques including telephone recruitment and referrals from existing panel members. Presently, there are over 15,000 active panel members representing all regions of the province and distributions of the general population. The panel membership closely matches the 2011 Census based on age, gender, household composition, household income, and education. For more information, please visit SaskWatch Research Panel   About Insightrix Founded in 2001, Insightrix Research Inc. is a full-service market research firm that helps clients develop, administer, and manage data collection and information strategies. From its office in Saskatoon, Insightrix offers a comprehensive range of research services. For more information, please contact Mario Caceres, Senior Research Executive Insightrix Research Inc. Tel: 306.657.5640 ext. 258 Cell: 306.281.4434 Email: mario.caceres@insightrix.com Web: www.insightrix.com...

Like the last two years, Insightrix celebrated the 2013 holiday season by participating in the 12 Days of Christmas. We shared treats, made donations, and volunteered to help brighten the season for others. Donuts for the Neighbours: We delivered donuts to our neighbours at HyPower, Windsor Plywood, and Northern Strands. Cookies for the Saskatoon Police Service: We brought cookies to the Saskatoon Police Service as thanks for their service throughout the year. Donuts for Ronald McDonald House: We delivered donuts to Ronald McDonald House for the families who were staying there. Ronald McDonald House provides accommodation for families of sick children who travel to Saskatoon for medical treatment and is currently being renovated. Pay it Forward: We went to Tim Hortons and bought coffee for the next 20 customers. Treats for our Mail Carrier: We gave our Canada Post mail carrier a box of chocolates as a Christmas thank you. Flowers for Autism Services of Saskatoon: We delivered flowers to Autism Services of Saskatoon in appreciation of their contributions. Donations for the Children’s Crisis Nursery: We collected toys and monetary donations and delivered three boxes of toys to the Crisis Nursery. The Nursery gave us a lovely certificate of thanks. Donations for the Lighthouse Supported Living: Throughout December, we collected donations of gently used clothing, shoes, and household items and delivered them to the Lighthouse. Serve lunch at the Saskatoon Friendship Inn: Six of our staff went to the Saskatoon Friendship Inn and served lunch to over 350 people. It was a great opportunity to assist an organization that helps so many others throughout the year. Donations for the SPCA: We gathered donations of cat food, dog food, cat litter, liquid soap, and dog toys and delivered them to the Saskatoon SPCA. Donations for the Saskatoon Food Bank: We collected food donations for the Saskatoon Food Bank and delivered three boxes of food to help the Food Bank stock its pantry. Donations to Operation Smile: We collected monetary donations from staff members, which were matched by Insightrix, to donate to Operation Smile, a children’s charity for cleft lip and cleft palate treatment. The donations will be used to help bring a smile to a child. We really valued the opportunity to make these contributions, and we wish everyone a happy holiday and all the best for the 2014! ...

As the holidays and the end of 2013 draw near, Insightrix has been busy celebrating the season. We hosted a family gingerbread house decorating night, and many of our staff proved that they have the skills to be the next Cake Boss. The office was full of families, decorating supplies, and, of course, sugar. Many colourful, candy-covered houses were created and several of the houses are currently adding to the office decor. We also had several potluck lunches and everyone brought in one of his or her favourite dishes to share. There was a great variety of food and lots of delicious treats for everyone to try. Our annual staff Christmas party took place last weekend, and the evening included staff trivia, awards, and karaoke. We held a silent auction, which raised over $500 for the Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan. There was plenty of food and a table full of delicious desserts baked by Stacy. Everyone, even those of us without singing careers ahead of us, had fun! ...

Insightrix recently conducted interviews (vox pops) with Saskatoon residents to learn more about their views of Christmas stories and the holiday season. Insightrix also completed an online survey through OnTopic, our monthly omnibus survey, and asked questions about Christmas traditions, relatives, and holiday parties. This video combines the results of the interviews and the survey. Enjoy!...