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Andrew Stefanovich launched Opus Event Marketing in 1990 after learning about event marketing while working in the Ritz-Carlton's sales department. His shop now counts 13 full-time staffers, with dozens of part-time field personnel; a separate unit, Avail, markets premiums and incentives.

Age: 31.

Title: president, Opus Event Marketing, Richmond, Va.

Insight: As companies move from selling products to marketing brands, event marketing is rising to the forefront.

Tip: Give your clients concierge-level service. Never do the same thing twice and always reinvent your wheel. Think "mind share," not awareness. Too many sponsorship packages are focused only on superficial measurements such as name and logo presence. Make the experience the thing to measure.

Creativity tricks: Bring technology to low-tech activities, entertainment to industrial events, trade show formats to consumer marketing. Mix oil and water.

Forecast: Events that evoke true emotional and human elements will beat out advertising. The Internet will complement, not replace, other forms of communication, and technology's demands will force more hands-on marketing.

Secret weapon: Have fun. Jump on a trampoline, twist Play-Doh, have a meeting at a pingpong table. Put customers and vendors into the planning loop in different

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