• Pauline Kwasniak

Courtney Stanley - create momentum in moments of distress





Courtney Stanley is a keynote speaker, event emcee and career coach with a background in event design, PR/ marketing and leadership development. 


She is the youngest member to have ever been elected to Meeting Professionals International's (MPI) International Board of Directors. Courtney is the recipient of Smart Meetings' Women in Events Entrepreneur Award, the Association for Women in Events (AWE) Disruptor Award, the MPI Chairman’s Award and MPI RISE Award, named Collaborate and Connect Magazine’s 40 under 40 and has been recognized by Meetings Today and MeetingsNet as one of the event industry’s most impactful change






She is a former member of AWE's Board of Directors and currently serves on the Events Industry Sexual Harassment Task Force, MPI's Women's Advisory Board, a Meetings Mean Business Ambassador and is the co-founder of the award-winning movement, #MeetingsToo.

We have recently asked Courtney, how did she find the lockdown and what has changed in her eventprof life.




When I decided to leave my full-time job at the end of 2019 and take the leap as a keynote speaker and entrepreneur, I had no idea that 2020 would turn out to be one of the most economically challenging times in our industry's history. The adversities I assumed I would face as a brand new business owner turned out to be much lesser than the impact of a global pandemic. The financial and emotional rollercoaster that has been 2020 provided a rare opportunity to grow in ways that would not have happened had I not been challenged to the extent that I have. I have learned how to be financially lean, how to create momentum in moments of distress, and how to build community in times of need. 

This year, I'm proud to say that I launched three brand new initiatives that I hope will make our industry and world a better place! 1. #OUTSPOKEN: Owning Your Mic Drop Moment: You have unique strengths and experiences. You have a story. You have a voice... but are you using it?


So many people - often women - leave jobs, relationships, networking events and conversations filled with regret. The regret of not speaking up when they felt that internal nudge to jump in. Remorse for not allowing themselves to truly be seen by others. Shame for staying silent when they knew, if they had spoken up, maybe it wouldn’t have made a difference to anyone else, but it would have made a difference to them.


 #OUTSPOKEN is a community of people with one common value: personal growth! I created this group to teach and empower people to improve their ability to speak up for themselves and/or for others - with confidence - whether that's in a conversation, in a boardroom, or even from a stage. Through weekly Facebook Live video training, community discussions and guest interviews, together we're committed to becoming stronger, bolder, happier versions of ourselves. 

2. Dare to Interrupt: This year, I launched a brand new podcast with Meetings Today magazine! Dare to Interrupt gives event professionals the chance to overhear raw, unfiltered conversations between the event industry’s most influential women. The podcast brings together industry professionals who shed light on important topics facing women today, from imposter syndrome to sexual harassment to negotiating pay and more. 



3. Meetings Mean Community: When COVID-19 took over our world, Christine Mack and I created a private Facebook group for professionals in the meetings, hospitality, and travel industry who are interested in using times of conflict as opportunities for positive collaboration and growth. The online community offers virtual hangouts, a variety of education-focused conversations, resources for meeting professionals, and an opportunity to seek support, ask questions, or offer solutions. To better help support and connect people on a broader scale, our community has also sparked a new social media campaign, #MeetingsMeanCommunity. Using the hashtag, posts will fill social media channels with stories of humanity and compassion, transforming elements of the global crisis into opportunities of positive impact and relationship-building.

Connect with Courtney:


Website: https://www.courtney-stanley.com/ IG: https://www.instagram.com/courtneyonstage/ FB: https://www.facebook.com/courtneyonstage/ TW: https://twitter.com/courtneyonstage LI: https://www.linkedin.com/in/courtneystanley/

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