WE-EF and AILA are celebrating the
one-year Partnership Anniversary

In anticipation of the first Partnership Anniversary WE-EF asked Tim Arnold, CEO of Australian Institute of Landscape Architects, about the highlights of the year, expectations for the next one and the key ingredients of a successful partnership.

Q. We are about to tick off the first year of WE-EF being the Principal Corporate Partner of AILA – How do you rate our work together so far?

A. The partnership has been a great success so far. Both AILA and WE-EF have worked hard to establish a solid rhythm of how we work together and maximise where we can have mutual success.

So far it has been a genuine, open and productive relationship. AILA has been lucky that WE-EF has been so accommodating and welcoming to our ideas and feedback. WE-EF has also been very innovative in creating events and experiences that our members enjoy and want to return to.

Aside from the broader activations that have been going on throughout the year, the expanded WE-EF team has been fun to work with.

Q. During this year WE-EF introduced its Black Book to over 500 landscape architecture and lighting design professionals from Hobart to Perth – What feedback have your received from the landscape architecture community?

A. AILA members have been very complimentary about Black Book Launch Events and WE-EF are demonstrating the quality of their brand proposition through the sleek and quality functions that they generously host.

Translating the products into such an appealing visual resource is going to resonate to almost anyone, but particularly landscape architects. Capturing the products in this way becomes a point of inspiration and reference for the future.

Q. What would you name as your personal highlight of the partnership between AILA and WE-EF so far?

A. My personal highlight would be the way that WE-EF embraced every possible opportunity that came their way during the 2017 International Festival of Landscape Architecture. I had only been in the role for about a month, so it was reassuring to see that I had joined an organisation who had partners that understood how to offer value in a genuine way.

The mix of activity from WE-EF was fantastic – charity focused activations, the Sydney Harbour Boat Cruise, Fellows Lunch, venue dressing and presentation, lighting for the Parks Changing Australia installation, Future Street and much more! WE-EF got involved in it all and worked just as hard as the AILA staff to deliver a memorable experience for the 500 Festival attendees.

Q. What are your expectations from the next year of our collaboration?

A. I would expect that AILA and WE-EF will continue to find ways to offer valuable experiences to AILA members in a genuine way. There is a platform in place for WE-EF to now leverage. The association between Landscape Architecture, the benefits of quality lighting design and products, and WE-EF has the chance to become synonymous with one another over the next couple of years.

WE-EF and AILA are already working on refining the program for 2018/19 and all of the ideas are exciting.

Q. In your opinion, what are they key ingredients of a successful partnership between the Institute and a Partner?

A. Trust, genuineness and integrity.

There is always an element of trust needed for any sponsorship relationship. Initially it is a leap of faith from the partner to make sure that there is going to be a return that’s relevant to the investment. Beyond that, partners need to trust the expert staff that AILA have as we guide a valuable offering to members. AILA needs to trust that the partner genuinely wants to advance and support the profession, as well as profiling their products and services.

Partners must want to genuinely add value to the profession otherwise members won’t engage with them. The conversations between AILA and our partners also need to be genuine, so we can develop a productive relationship.

To me, integrity in the relationship between AILA and our partners is simply delivering on what we say we’re going to. That goes for both parties!

Fortunately, we’re very proud to have each of these elements in our partnership with WE-EF and look forward to working with Ian, Alena, Andy and the whole team to build on the platform that’s been established as they take on AILA’s Principle Corporate Partnership again in 2018/19.

Photography: Ina Parakhina


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