It’s no secret that Retail Banks and Credit Unions want to be pillars in their community. In fact, many almost singularly integrate some element of “community” within their mission statement, core values and branded messaging. 

From a branch perspective, many brick and mortar locations have some sort of “Community Room.” These larger rooms within the branch take up valuable real estate, so they must be used effectively. 

Many continually ask us at LEVEL5 to add a Community Room to a new branch design. They also, however, ask just as much about what to do with these rooms in existing branches. 

And so dear reader, below are some thoughts. Steal these ideas:

Conference Room/Video Room

While, perhaps the most obvious “idea” for a Community Room, this large room can be, and is often, used as a Conference Room. 

If outfitted with two-way video capabilities, the room may be used for Branch Staff to have video conference calls with their Regional or Corporate colleagues. 

The miss here is not equally use the space for your customers or members. This larger room would likely be better suited for a financial advisory session, and with video, is a more comfortable setting for them to speak with a remote expert at an off-site location. 

Art Gallery

Taking a queue from local coffee shops or trendy restaurants, tap into the local art community and use the Community Room as a make-shift art gallery, featuring an up and coming artist monthly, quarterly, or along whichever schedule best suits you. 

It’s a great way to tap into the community and allows you to “give back” by giving publicity to an artist who is otherwise looking for exposure elsewhere.

Curation of the pieces can also be up to the artist. They can come in when convenient and hang up the art accordingly. 

Local Business “Pop-Up”

Along the lines of the art gallery idea, you can also use the room as a local business pop-up. The idea here is to work with local small business owners who can use the space, either several times a week, or in a “First Friday” concept, where the room can be used as a showcase for the small business owner. Similar to a tent at a Farmer’s Market or stall at a swap market, the room can merchandise products for clients stopping by for some mortgage advice, but who also are looking for some farm to table produce.

All-Purpose Community Room

The all-purpose community room has some big upsides, and some big downsides. On the positive side, the room can be used as a gathering place for the community. Whether it be for meetings, games, or exercise, there is always the need for a venue.

On the negative side, offering up the room for non-banking purposes may be disruptive to overall operations. If the room is made available after traditional hours, someone still needs to be there to open it, be present, and then close it. Logistics are a key consideration here. 

All of these ideas can be promoted in-branch, via e-blasts and of course, in Social Media. They can reinvent and refresh a room that likely doesn’t get much monthly use. They can pay dividends by giving back to the community and bringing in extra foot traffic.

Steal these ideas.

If you want to learn more about how to reinvent your Community Room, Contact Us today.