The Zen Experience with Keisha Pinto

On today’s episode, host Narmeen Kamran talks to Keisha Pinto, Event Experiences Expert Event Planner, specialising in event management and strategies, based in Toronto, Canada. She is the owner, event planner, stylist and coordinator at Keisha Pinto Events, a full-service event planning boutique, specialising in lifestyle events. Having celebrated her 6th business anniversary last September, Keisha says her events journey has been amazing, having been fortunate to produce and curate unforgettable experiences for numerous clients. Additionally, Keisha is also a revenue generating event planner, helping event producers and business brands leverage their events. 

Keisha’s dream event with an unlimited budget would be an event focused on women’s empowerment – as women are set to lead and run the world! Entitled ‘The Zen Experience’, it would be a fun-filled, substantive event focused on serenity and building women up starting on a Thursday, until Sunday. As the event is meant to be zen, Keisha can’t imagine anywhere better than Bali, Indonesia to host such a clarifying experience for guests to get intouch with their inner soul. With the unlimited budget, there would be private jets taking the attendees to the island. Once arrived, the experience would be personalised for each and every attendee, including swag bags and drinks. Kicking off with a welcome ceremony, guests would network and get to know each other, with everyone’s photos and descriptions displayed on a wall. The swag bags would be luxurious and high-end, including all the essential gifts attendees would need on their 4-day stay, such as a meditation journal, swimsuits and a robe/slippers. In order to keep the event intimate and focused on every single guest, Keisha estimates around 50-80 attendees, to allow everyone to feel safe and comfortable enough to share in the environment. 

On the agenda, Keisha reiterates that all attendees will be experiencing lots of empowerment, allowing them to get in touch with their inner selves and work on anything they may be struggling with or need help on. While many tend to see women as strong beings who don’t need as much help due to putting on a strong front, that isn’t always the case. Professionals will be at the event to ensure there are people that the guests can speak to and guide them through the process. Described as “fun-filled but full of substance”, Keisha wants to make sure the event allows all attendees to have key takeaways as to whatever they are seeking out of it, whether it is personally or professionally. As Keisha believes the guests would be looking for a breakthrough on whatever issue they are trying to focus on, one-on-one or small-group sessions of 4 people would also be available. Before embarking on the experience, attendees are able to tailor their daily agendas according to their own personal interests and needs, including their own sessions, rooms and breakouts. Starting off everyday would be a morning service of breakfast on the beach, with affirmations for all the ladies. Evenings would see guest speakers during elaborate dinners, with multiple entertainers putting on shows every night. The last of the four-day event would be a free day, where individuals can freely choose their activities for the whole day and do things they haven’t yet had the chance to do, before the trip comes to an end.

Regarding Keisha’s own tailored agenda, she would want a morning meditation on the beach during sunrise, potentially including a service depending on what your higher being is, before breakfast to help clear your mind. Following this, guests would change their clothes and refresh before the morning session. During breakfast, speakers would share personal journeys, experiences and struggles. While it would start off heavy to get straight to the reasoning of why everyone has chosen to attend, the event overall would be fun and allow guests to meet people they connect and resonate with. In the afternoon, tours of the surrounding nature and animals would take place around the island – also allowing guests to take amazing Instagram photos with the beautiful scenery! For dinner, guests sit on a different table each night to allow them to network with each other and meet every lady on the trip. The food being served at dinner would take into consideration everyone’s dietary and allergy needs, as a survey would be given and filled out beforehand, asking about the guest’s favourite foods, drinks and cuisines.

For Keisha’s own food preferences, she loves healthy and high-end foods, such as kale salads with the full works of fruits, berries and nuts, squash soup and seafood. However, she worries that seafood is a touchy food as many are allergic to it, but she is a big fan of shrimp and crab. A wide array of fancy French pastries in mini-size flown in from Paris would be available, in addition to cakes and ice cream. Based on a dream Keisha had where she was having lemon cake with Oprah, lemon cakes would also feature.

The theme and styling for the event would have a large focus on things you would associate with a rainforest, including lush greenery and brightly-coloured flowers, with the vibrant decor mimicking the energy of the attending guests. At night, there would be an abundance of lights to help make the event feel elegant and chic, but also girly and fun. Ultimately, Keisha wants the environment to be open and welcoming for all the women, allowing them to be themselves. For the dining tables specifically, Keshia believes a long table would be more intimate for guests to sit on either side of, as opposed to multiple round tables. This would let guests easily switch seats throughout the night and mingle. Floral arrangements would be dotted on the tables and draped across the chairs.

In terms of guest speakers, Keisha states that Oprah would HAVE to be there, alongside Michelle Obama and Kamala Harris. She would want her lineup of speakers to be women who have shown great resilience, power and strength that they could, in turn, pour in to the guests. Topics these speakers would cover include discussions surrounding having no limitations, knowing who you are and confidence, with an overarching theme of self-love – as who better than Oprah to talk about self-love?! Keisha strongly believes that self-love is where everything starts and it affects so many aspects of one’s life, including partners, children and work. Guests would also be taught about manifestation and how to manifest the life you deserve, as the power of one’s mind is unparalleled when one puts their belief and trust into it. After these talks, attendees would have the opportunity to journal using the notebook they were given in their swag bags, writing down any thoughts, observations and feelings they have shared and learnt.

Entertainment at the event would include Beyonce, and her accompanying band and dancers, alongside J-Lo as both artists empower through their music, lyrics and words, giving a speech after their performance, similar to that of the speakers. National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman would also feature, presenting a poem written just for the event, coupled with Ellen De Generes and Michelle Wolf to provide comedy entertainment that lifts everyone’s spirits and mood.

Fashion would be another focus for Keisha’s event, as she would encourage her guests to come dressed in their best, whether that be designer outfits for lounging or during activities and sessions. Dinners would also be themed, for example an all-white dress code or high-fashion ball gowns.

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