the koa club

Cocktail Huddles

We are truly excited about the launch of our Cocktail Huddles and we hope you join us in this new journey.

FAQS on the Cocktail Huddles

What is a Cocktail Huddle?

The Cocktail Huddle is our vision of a contemporary take on empowered networking for women in a relaxed, no-pressure, fun atmosphere, meeting at a wine bar, craft brewery, cocktail bar, restaurant or the like, to share skills, stories and insights about work and life, inspiring one another and building strong connections and allies. We envision that our members will use the Cocktail Huddle they create or join as a safe space to open up and seek needed help and guidance from each other.

Who can create or participate in a Cocktail Huddle?

Only members of The Koa Club can create, or join, a Cocktail Huddle.  Membership to The Koa Club’s general community is free, so if you are a woman achiever and is not yet a member of our community, we ask that you join us by registering through this link here: Membership – The Koa Club.

How many women can participate in a Cocktail Huddle?

Each Cocktail Huddle is made up of a maximum of 10 women. We believe that people tend to get lost in groups that are larger than 10, and this number should ensure that everyone in the Cocktail Huddle gets the opportunity to be heard, while allowing for multiple one on one conversations with different members of the group.

How often should we meet as a Cocktail Huddle?

We recommend that a Cocktail Huddle meets once every other month. We know you are all busy with work and life, but we do need to find time to meet and connect with other women who can inspire us, be a solid sounding board for each other and be allies that we can lean on at times. We know you can spare the time to meet and connect with others in your Cocktail Huddle for a mere six times in a year!

In between these Cocktail Huddle meetings, members of their Cocktail Huddle can stay in touch with one another through their private Cocktail Huddle group page that your Cocktail Huddle Leader has set up in our exclusive members-only Koa Network.  We encourage everyone to remain engaged on their Cocktail Huddle group page as often as they have time to do so, posting updates about themselves, sharing interesting information related to what might have been the subject of discussions at the last Cocktail Huddle meeting, and posting other thoughts on challenges facing women generally or successes attained by women.  We believe these ongoing conversations can continue to strengthen the bond with the other women in your Cocktail Huddle.

How long does each Cocktail Huddle last?

It is really up to the Cocktail Huddle Leader to decide how long she wants her Cocktail Huddle meeting to last. We would suggest no less than 90 minutes to give everyone time to get to know each other.

How do I become a Cocktail Huddle Leader?

Anyone can start and facilitate their very own Cocktail Huddle by inviting women friends, colleagues and acquaintances to become members of The Koa Club general community and then joining your private Cocktail Huddle group.  When you start a Cocktail Huddle, you will be known as the Cocktail Huddle Leader. You create a Cocktail Huddle by taking the following steps:

  • You look for “Koa Network” under your “My Account” in the membership portal of The Koa Club.
  • Click on “Groups” under the Community tab on the left dashboard and then click on “Create New Group” on the Groups page, selecting the “Cocktail Huddle” category for the new group.
  • Remember to pick “private” as the privacy setting instead of the default “open” privacy setting for your group so that you have the ability to accept/reject any requests to your group and only you and your accepted Cocktail Huddle members can see the postings in your group.
  • Then name your Cocktail Huddle and some details such as location, who you are, type of Cocktail Huddle and any specific preferences (not required). See below for an example of a Cocktail Huddle found in the Koa Network:

Name: Women Who Empowers Cocktail Huddle

Women who loves to mentor and empower other women

Cocktail Huddle Leader: Susan Seah, CEO & Founder of The Koa Club

Location: Seattle

Type: In-person Cocktail Huddle

If you would like to join this Cocktail Huddle, please send a request to join this group and we will consider your request if we have space in the group.

  • Add your avatar picture and a banner picture for your Cocktail Huddle group.
  • Send an invite from your newly formed group to those members of The Koa Club whom you’ll like to have in your Cocktail Huddle by clicking on the “Invite” button on the banner area.
  • If you’ll like your women friends, colleagues or allies to join your Cocktail Huddle, then make sure to invite them to first join as free members of The Koa Club, so they can have access to the Koa Network to join your Huddle. 
  • Carefully consider requests from other members to join your Cocktail Huddle. You should accept all requests to join (to the extent your Cocktail Huddle has room) but you do have the discretion to not accept a specific request to join your Cocktail Huddle as long as the reason for not accepting the request is not based on any discriminatory reasons. Always remember that when creating or managing a Cocktail Huddle, racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism, ageism, religious discrimination or other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.  If you do not accept a request to join from any member, please be polite in your response to let them know that you appreciate their request but that your Cocktail Huddle may not be the best fit for them.
  • Post in your Cocktail Huddle group page the dates/times/place you plan to have the next Cocktail Huddle meeting. You will be solely responsible for contacting your desired wine bar, craft brewery, restaurant, or similar places to make any reservations or arrangements for your Cocktail Huddle meeting to be held there. You can also decide to host your Cocktail Huddle gathering at your home and ask your Cocktail Huddles participants to bring their own beverages and snacks to attend the gathering.
  • The Koa Club is not responsible for any costs incurred at these Cocktail Huddle meetings, including, without limitation, any reservation fees or any food or drinks incurred by anyone at these Cocktail Huddle meetings.

You can create more than one Cocktail Huddle if you are able to effectively manage all the Cocktail Huddles you create. You also have the discretion to eject any member from your Cocktail Huddle if you find that the member is disruptive, consistently does not follow reasonable rules you may have set for your Cocktail Huddles or fails to attend more than three of your Cocktail Huddle meetings in a year you have set up without providing any acceptable reason for missing such meetings.      

The Cocktail Huddle Leader should always aim to create a supportive environment for her Cocktail Huddle team that fosters a feeling of belonging and value as a member of her Huddle.

How do I join an existing Cocktail Huddle?

You can also request to join someone else’s Cocktail Huddle (if it is not at the 10-person maximum capacity).You request to join a Cocktail Huddle by taking the following steps:

  • You look for “Koa Network” under your “My Account” in the membership portal of The Koa Club.
  • Once you are in the “Koa Network”, look to see if you have been invited to any Cocktail Huddles by checking the notification badge (the bell symbol) under your Avatar and if you have any messages or invites, it will show up as an orange number (or if you are looking at it from your mobile phone, the notification badge will be on the top of your Koa Network page once you are in it):

  • Click on “Groups” under the Community tab on the left dashboard and then click on “Group Categories” under the Groups page. Select “Cocktail Huddle” category to view what new Cocktail Huddle groups have been created that you would like to join.
  • View the description of the various Cocktail Huddles to see if any of the existing Cocktail Huddles would be a good fit for you. 
  • Send a request to join group and wait for the Cocktail Huddle leader to let you know if you have been accepted into that Cocktail Huddle. 
  • If you don’t find any Cocktail Huddles to join, we encourage you to set one up and invite others to it! 

You can join as many Cocktail Huddles as you like, provided that you have the time and intention to commit fully to each of the Cocktail Huddles you join. Once you are in a Cocktail Huddle, please remember to introduce yourself in your group’s page in the Koa Network, warmly welcome others who are new to your Cocktail Huddle and stay active in your group’s page to the extent you can.

Can I leave a Cocktail Huddle I have joined?

Yes, you can always leave a Cocktail Huddle you have joined. Just remember to politely let the Cocktail Huddle Leader know that you have decided to no longer participate in their Cocktail Huddle and if possible, provide a reason for leaving that Cocktail Huddle (e.g. you have moved locations, you are now focused on another area of interest which fits a different Cocktail Huddle, etc.). By notifying your Cocktail Huddle Leader, she can then open up your space in the group to someone else to join, especially if the group is already at capacity.

Can I join a Cocktail Huddle even if I don’t plan to have any alcoholic beverages at a meeting?

Of course. Whether you choose to partake in any alcoholic beverages or any other beverages at these Cocktail Huddle meetings is absolutely at your sole discretion. There is no requirement that you have to drink or eat anything at all at these meetings. If you do drink at these Cocktail Huddles meetings, please do so responsibly and do not drink and drive.

What happens at a Cocktail Huddle meeting?

We ask the participants attending a Cocktail Huddle to complete a few must-do activities at each Cocktail Huddle meeting (“Must-Dos Activities”):

  • At the start of each meeting, please introduce yourself to the group, and since The Koa Club is about learning while connecting, you’ll need to share with the group one insight or skill that you have.
  • The Cocktail Huddle Leader will ask the group in their Koa Network group page before a meeting to come up with a specific key topic/issue to discuss at the next upcoming meeting. The group can either vote by majority on the key topic/issue to discuss or the Cocktail Huddle Leader may pick one of the key topic/issue suggested by the group for discussion at the meeting.
  • The Cocktail Huddle Leader will plan some time for the group to break into pairs for some one-on-one engagement between the members.
  • At some point before the end of the meeting, have someone take a group picture and post the picture in the Koa Network.
  • Here is a suggested agenda for a Cocktail Huddle meeting:

First ½ hour – Introductions and sharing of insights/skills by the group

2nd ½ hour – The group to discuss the selected topic/issue

3rd ½ hour – Break into pairs, rotating every 10 minutes to give each participant the opportunity to meet three different women for more in-depth conversations and engagement.

Remember that each participant in a Cocktail Huddle is solely responsible for any expenses the participant incurs at these Cocktail Huddle gatherings, e.g. the participant pays for their own drinks and food, etc. The Koa Club and the Cocktail Huddle Leader has no responsibility for any costs you incur at these Cocktail Huddle meetings.

What about any Covid-19 dangers when meeting in person?

Because of the ongoing pandemic, we ask everyone who is attending an in-person Cocktail Huddle to please carefully follow the then-current CDC guidelines and your local city and county guidelines on COVID-19 for in-person gatherings, including some common-sense rules when you meet with your designated Cocktail Huddle, such as if meeting physically, opt to sit outside where possible and avoid crowded or poorly ventilated areas. If you are a Cocktail Huddle Leader, you can choose to limit your Cocktail Huddle to only those women who have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19, or you can keep it open to any women irrespective of their vaccination status, except that in the latter case, you should ask everyone who are attending the Cocktail Huddle to wear a mask when not eating or drinking for their own safety.

Virtual Cocktail Huddles

Of course, we are fully aware that we are still in the throes of a pandemic, so if you want to be a part of a Cocktail Huddle but not meet in person at this time, you can create or join an available Virtual Cocktail Huddle. The Virtual Cocktail Huddle works exactly like the in-person Cocktail Huddle, except that you will meet through a virtual platform, while enjoying your favorite cocktail in the comfort of your own space.

How do I set up a Virtual Cocktail Huddle?

We also understand that some of you may not be ready to meet other women in person yet because of the risks of contracting COVID-19, but it should not stop you from being a part of a Cocktail Huddle. First create a Cocktail Huddle group as described in the FAQ above. Then, instead of scheduling an in-person meeting, you can schedule virtual Cocktail Huddles using any available online meeting platforms such as Google Meet, Zoom, Microsoft Teams or Skype by setting up a free account offered by such platforms. All virtual Cocktail Huddles should have the same Must-Dos Activities as the in-person Cocktail Huddle, except that with respect to breaking the group into pairs during the meeting, if there is the availability of setting up breakout rooms (such as that offered by Zoom) for the meeting, then do so. If there is no availability of setting up breakout rooms, then we suggest that you have each person pair up with one other person in the group and for the pair to separately contact each other for their own one-on-one (virtually or otherwise) any time before the next Cocktail Huddle meeting.  This is to encourage the more the members of the group to get to know each other well over time which may not always be achievable in a virtual group setting.

Cocktail Huddles Mantra

Always Remember

  • To be kind to each other
  • To be respectful of each other’s opinions and point of views
  • To keep confidential any personal stories and shares that were heard during a Cocktail Huddle meeting
  • To be willing to really listen to what others have to say with an open mind
  • To be an authentic, empathetic and patient participant
  • To be willing to inspire and empower others
  • To be committed to showing up with your best self