the koa club
We are truly excited about the launch of our successful Huddles concept for our Community Members, and we hope you join us in this new journey.
FAQS on the Huddles
What is a Koa Club Huddle?
We believe that it is important for women to have access to support and inspiration to help them along with their journey to sucess, whether in their professional or personal lives. Many of us are lucky enough to be able to lean on our family and friends to help us with some of our challenges or to share in the joy of our achievements, but sometimes, we find ourselves wishing for the opportunity to seek support, inspiration and community with others who are not necessarily within our core circle of family and friends.
Our concept of a Huddle is a smallish group of women who have gathered to meet from time to time to discuss, share and build relationships over a subject of particular interest to them, who are in similar professions, who wants to engage with other like-minded women, or who would like to meet others who are interested in a similar purpose for the Huddle. Huddles can be in-person or held virtually. It can be created by any member of The Koa Club following the procedures described later in this FAQ. A Huddle can mean a Community Huddle or a Cocktail Huddle.
For 2022, The Koa Club will be hosting an online Collaborate for Success Community Huddle once a month on the third Friday of each month and an online Women Entrepreneurs Community Huddle meeting quarterly. These two Community Huddles are not limited in size. The Koa Club will also be hosting an in-person Cocktail Huddle once a month for those members who reside in Seattle, limited to no more than 10 women at each of these in-person hosted Cocktail Huddles. Check the Events Calendar to see when these Koa Club Huddles will be held. We encourage our members to take the initiative to create a small group Huddle they would be interested in facilitating, and to join any Huddles created by others to take advantage of connecting with other members in a more dynamic manner.
What is a Community Huddle?
We encourage our members to meet to share interests, experiences and insights through the Community Huddles they create or join within The Koa Club. A Community Huddle is an opportunity to learn, find inspiration and qualities to develop, expand your network of professional contacts, and to share your skills and expertise with others. We envision that our members will use the Community Huddles as a safe space to open up and seek or give needed help, guidance and build long-lasting relationships with one another.
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. It is similar in concept to the Community Huddle, except that it is held normally after work hours and over cocktails!
Who can create or participate in a Huddle?
Only members of The Koa Club can create, or join, a 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 Huddle?
There is no hard or fast rule on this question. We recommend that each Huddle have 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 Huddle gets the opportunity to be heard, while allowing for multiple one on one conversations with different members of the group. Of course, if you believe you can effectively manage a larger sized Huddle, especially a virtual one, you are not limited to keeping your Huddle size to only a maximum of 10 women.
How often should we meet as a Huddle?
We recommend that a 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 Huddle for a mere six times in a year! You can of course, hold Huddles meetings more or less frequently as you deem appropriate as a Huddle Leader.
In between these Huddle meetings, members of their Huddle can stay in touch with one another through their private Huddle group page that your Huddle Leader has set up in our exclusive members-only Koa Network. We encourage everyone to remain engaged on their 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 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 Huddle.
How long does each Huddle last?
It is really up to the Huddle Leader to decide how long she wants her 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 Huddle Leader?
Anyone can start and facilitate their very own Huddle by inviting women friends, colleagues and acquaintances to become members of The Koa Club general community and then joining your private Huddle group. When you start a Huddle, you will be known as the Huddle Leader. You create a Huddle by taking the following steps:
- Adding Your Huddle to Our Events Calendar: Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know you are starting a Huddle, the name of your Huddle, the purpose of your Huddle and the date/times for your first meeting/recurring meetings, size limitations and we will add your Huddle information to our Events Calendar.
- Creating Your Huddle in the Koa Network:
- You look for “Koa Network” under your “My Account” in the membership portal of The Koa Club.
- Then Click on “Groups” under the Community tab on the left dashboard and then click on “Create New Group” on the Groups page, selecting the “Community Huddle” category for the new group.
- Name your Huddle and some details such as location, who you are, type of Huddle and any specific preferences (not required). See the Collaborate for Success Community Huddle, Women Entrepreneurs Community Huddle and The Koa Club Hosted Cocktail Huddle examples of Huddles found in the Koa Network.
- Add your avatar picture and a banner picture for your Huddle group.
- Inviting Others to Join Your Huddle:
- Send an invite from your newly formed group to those members of The Koa Club within the Koa Network whom you’ll like to have in your Huddle by clicking on the “Invite” button on the banner area.
- If you’ll like your women friends, colleagues or allies to join your 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.
- You should accept all requests to join (to the extent your Huddle has room) but you do have the discretion to not accept a specific request to join your 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 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.
- Managing Your Huddle:
- Remember to post in your Huddle group page the dates/times/place you plan to have the next Huddle meeting.
- If you are creating an in-person Huddle, you will be solely responsible for contacting your desired location to make any reservations or arrangements for your Huddle meeting to be held there.
- You can create more than one Huddle if you are able to effectively manage all the Huddles you create. You also have the discretion to eject any member from your Huddle if you find that the member is disruptive or consistently does not follow reasonable rules you may have set for your Huddles.
- The Huddle Leader should always aim to create a supportive environment for her Huddle team that fosters a feeling of belonging and value as a member of her Huddle.
The Koa Club is not responsible for any costs incurred at these Huddle meetings, including, without limitation, any reservation fees or any food or drinks incurred by anyone at these Huddle meetings.
How do I join an existing Huddle?
You can also request to join someone else’s Huddle (if it is not at their stated maximum capacity). You request to join a 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 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 “Community Huddle” category to view what new Huddle groups have been created that you would like to join.
- View the description of the various Huddles to see if any of the existing Huddles would be a good fit for you.
- If the Huddle is open to “public”, then just join the group or if the Huddle is a “private” group, then send a request to join group and wait for the Huddle Leader to let you know if you have been accepted into that Huddle.
- If you don’t find any Huddles of interest to you, we encourage you to set one up and invite others to it!
You can join as many Huddles as you like, provided that you have the time and intention to commit fully to each of the Huddles you join. Once you are in a Huddle, please remember to introduce yourself in your group’s page in the Koa Network, warmly welcome others who are new to your Huddle and stay active in your group’s page to the extent you can.
Can I leave a Huddle I have joined?
Yes, you can always leave a Huddle you have joined. Just remember to politely let the Huddle Leader know that you have decided to no longer participate in their Huddle and if possible, provide a reason for leaving that Huddle (e.g. you have moved locations, you are now focused on another area of interest which fits a different Huddle, etc.). By notifying your 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 any Cocktail Huddle meetings is absolutely at your sole discretion. There is no requirement that you have to drink or eat anything at all at a Cocktail Huddle meeting. If you do drink at a Cocktail Huddles meeting, please do so responsibly and do not drink and drive.
What happens at a Huddle meeting?
We ask the participants attending a Huddle to complete a few must-do activities at each 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 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 Huddle Leader may pick one of the key topic/issue suggested by the group for discussion at the meeting.
- The 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 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 or more different women for more in-depth conversations and engagement.
Remember that each participant in a Huddle is solely responsible for any expenses the participant incurs at these Huddle gatherings (e.g. the participant pays for their own drinks and food, etc.) The Koa Club and the Huddle Leader has no responsibility for any costs you incur at these 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 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 Huddle, such as if meeting physically, opt to sit outside where possible and avoid crowded or poorly ventilated areas. If you are a Huddle Leader, you can choose to limit your 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 Huddle to wear a mask when not eating or drinking for their own safety.
How do I set up a Virtual 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 Huddle. First create a Huddle group as described in the FAQ above. Then, instead of scheduling an in-person meeting, you can schedule virtual 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 Huddles should have the same Must-Dos Activities as the in-person 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 Huddle meeting. This is to encourage members of the group to get to know each other well over time which may not always be achievable in a virtual group setting.
Our Huddles Mantra
- 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 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