B2B Marketing

Making a Grate Big Impact

Trade Show Marketing / Experiential Marketing / Brand Launch

Cheese State University is a virtual resource for cheesemakers, cheesemongers and other cheese professionals looking to deepen their knowledge and grow their network in the hopes of advancing their careers. The university’s founders, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin, tasked us with creating a grand introduction of Cheese State University to the media and the specialty food industry.


Cheese State University is not a party school. Expertly selling & pairing artisanal cheese takes years of study and a wealth of experience. We needed to create a sophisticated and elevated event befitting of the trade and the brand, while telling the world that Cheese State University is open for enrollment in a collegiate and energetic voice. Plus, we had to gain attention in a crowded B2B marketplace, and in what turned out to be a city that is known for having a few other things to look at.


The Winter Fancy Food Show in Las Vegas is one of the largest industry events in North America. We took over a bar off the strip and transformed it into an ivy league alumni club, replete with rich leather textures, candlelit lamps and plenty of Cheese State University memorabilia.

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Our team handled event execution, from venue research and selection to creative direction and production, plus on-site installation and management of the evening.

Because Cheese State University was still a new program with limited assets, we had to find new, creative (read “cost-efficient”) ways to build a story, a history, a whole world for Cheese State University.

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The Entrance—To instantly communicate the “ivy league of cheese” experience that Cheese State University provides, we draped the wall with ivy and a custom Cheese State University crest. Their mascot, Casei, is incorporated, as is the motto, Pro Amore Casei (For the Love of Cheese).

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Portrait Wall—The bar’s original brick walls were draped over to envelop attendees in a moody and intimate vibe. Faux oil painting portraits and fun, fictional bios were created for distinguished Cheese State University faculty members from days of yore.

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Extracurricular Excellence—For further immersion, a memorabilia wall showcased pieces of Cheese State University’s extracurricular activities, like the championships of the legendary Cheese Bowling teams (Go Mongers!), with plaques, pennants and letter jackets.

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Cheese Atlas—Another of the university’s educational resources that alums can reference long after graduation is this database of how a variety of cheeses are made and what they pair well with. Its individual entries made beautiful, informative, and thematic tasting cards as part of the enormous cheese display.

Cheese State University Field Guide—The central component of the Cheese State University educational experience, the Field Guide is a comprehensive, self-guided interactive course on how to be a more knowledgeable, responsible and successful cheesemonger. Students who pass its exam at the end get a certificate to display in their shop, declaring them an official Cheese State Scholar. We reproduced creative elements from the Field Guide, and hung them throughout the installation, driving the most important point home.


Simply put, the event sold out to capacity and Cheese State University’s enrollment increased exponentially during and shortly after the event. Additionally, many trade publications listed it as one of the highlights of the entire conference. As you might imagine, for an awareness campaign, Dairy Farmers of America was over the moooon.

“We hit a broad segment of the industry while reaching our target audience and improving perceptions of Wisconsin cheese across the board…you all made this entire vision come to life in the most perfect way.”

Overheard at the event:

“Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin has never looked so good.”

“Best party ever—so proud to work with Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin.”

At S/B, we don’t do boring tradeshows.

Or tepid experiential marketing. Or forgettable brand launches. Well…we can, if that’s what you’re going for, but we prefer not to. Let us make your products, brands or services stand out and hit home.

Let's have a chat.