event mentor POV #7: Don Mamone of The Mamones

By August 31, 2016Mentor POV

The Apprentice Program by The Simplifiers, taps into some of the top event professionals in the US, sharing the very best insights and practices. Over the weeks our event mentor POV blog series has brought you top tips from our network of event professionals.


Today we’re talking to one of Special Events magazine’s 25 young event pros to watch – Don Mamone of The Mamones.

Don is giving us some great insights including how investing in mentoring young professionals has resulted in big rewards. Plus he is telling us about the VERY exciting event The Mamones are looking forward to this fall…


How did you first get involved in the events industry?

My first job in the events industry was while I attended college at the University of California, Santa Barbara a few too many years ago to mention. I was one of two Assistant Conference Coordinators in charge of planning and managing summer events that took place on campus.

On average, how many emerging professionals/interns do you work with every semester?

I receive quite a few emails each year from emerging professionals interested in gaining insight as to how to succeed in the events industry.

Time permitting, I meet with all of them for at least a short amount of time. I provide whatever guidance I can offer as they embark upon what can only be described as a daunting and, at times, overwhelming task. Typically, 2-3 of these young professionals continue on with us to learn and grow.

What do you think are the most important skills you need as a mentor for emerging professionals?

This is a question with many possible answers…

“You have to truly love what you do.”

In most cases, you’re mentoring your eventual competition so you must accept that there is plenty of business in the marketplace for anyone that wants to chase their passion and make their dreams a reality.

You must have patience and a kind temperament. You should be able to foster an environment that empowers everyone to learn by doing.  Furthermore, you must knowingly accept that the process is not always the fastest or most efficient. Making mistakes is part of the process.

What tasks do you typically delegate to your assistants?

The tasks that I delegate depend a great deal on to whom I am delegating. I consider what he or she is most interested in learning. You may notice that I did not say, “where he or she excels”.

Sometimes an emerging professional will learn the most by being encouraged to do those tasks that are the most daunting or in the area where they need the most guidance and support. This is where the earlier mentioned patience really comes in to play for the mentor.

What’s the best thing about being a mentor?

There are so many benefits to being a mentor; it’s hard to choose. The most obvious is that you’re helping ensure a young professional who is eager to learn and excited to advance has the opportunity to succeed in a space where hard work and dedication offer no guarantees.

Somewhat less obvious was discovering that every time I mentored a young professional I learned copious amounts from the process that I could apply to myself and my business.

“Simply put, the investment of time and energy you dedicate to mentoring a young professional will reap copious rewards for everyone involved.”

It reminds me of one of my favorite sayings, “A rising tide lifts all boats”

What’s your very best life hack tip you’ve learned along the way as an events professional and/or as a small business owner?

Wow, these are some thought provoking questions…nice work! One strategic vision that has always guided my operational decisions to include any life hacks I employ is simple:


Focusing on Customer Service and Developing Enduring Relationships will aid in the establishment of your business. It will facilitate your growth and success over time.

What’s one event or project you’re working on right now that you’re super excited about?

Although I presume that you are inquiring about a professional event or project…

I would be remiss if I didn’t say that my most anticipated project for the fall is the impending arrival of our first Bambino Mamone due in early October. The excitement my wife Emily and I share at the prospect of becoming parents is simply incredible!

The Apprentice Program provides easy to implement, structured training for your interns, apprentices and new hires in the events industry.  Get them onboard faster with how your firm plans, designs and produces live events.

The Apprentice Program includes:

  • weekly “spark” training videos
  • intern homework missions
  • individual intern report cards
  • intern pop quizzes
  • mentor support and advice

Starting at just $75/intern USD per semester for our custom-crafted training, guaranteed to get your interns to think faster on their feet.

Join the waiting list for Fall 2016 start.


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