Meeting Place

Arts Access Australia (AAA) is the national peak body for the arts and disability sector. AAA represents artists and art workers with a disability who are neurodiverse. Its mission is to create greater access and inclusion for all people with disabilities to participate and benefit from arts and cultural life in Australia.

In operation for 30 years, AAA is a disability-led organisation with a majority of its board comprising people with a disability.

Meeting Place, Arts Access Australia’s annual arts and disability forum, brings together artists with disability and industry leaders for two days of keynote presentations, panel sessions, masterclasses and workshops, along with networking opportunities.

In 2021, Meeting Place was held in collaboration with the Undercover Artist Festival (UAF), presented by Access Arts, Queensland’s arts and disability organisation. There were crossover artists and events developed in collaboration with UAF, especially at live events on the ground in Brisbane at Queensland Theatre, South Brisbane.


Arts Access Australia




15 & 16 September, 2021

The Challenge

Delivering the gold standard in event accessibility is the primary objective, and we saw an opportunity, in delivering Meeting Place. Working in collaboration with AAA’s disability-led advisory committee, we were determined to deliver an exemplary, best practice event for people with a disability that focussed on meeting the specific needs of each presenter and attendee.

This meant providing a wide variety of access requirements including two-way Auslan interpretation, live captioning and audio description.

While initially planned as a three-day live event, the forum pivoted to a hybrid format one month out after NSW and Victoria went into snap lockdowns. As a result, the first two days were delivered entirely online with a third live day for networking at the conference space in Brisbane.

We considered live-streaming the online content from an event hub in Brisbane however due to COVID-19, our audience was understandably reluctant to travel to venues with an increased COVID-19 risk, so this plan was abandoned.

Our Solution

  • As this was the first time the event had been run using a hybrid model, we attended the initial planning meetings with the project team and facilitators to mitigate concerns and provide technical solutions from the ground up
  • We liaised with the venues independently to confirm their technical set up and diagnose where we would need to bring additional kit to ensure zero connectivity issues
  • Use of a bonded channel internet system which proved invaluable when the internet dropped out five times during one event. Our failovers kicked in, there was no gap in delivery and the audience and facilitator experience was maintained


According to Lisa Beilby, Program Manager, Meeting Place 2021: ‘On one particular panel, we had the potential for both hearing and non-hearing presenters. Due to Adam’s skills and expertise, we were confident we could compound a series of access requirements in the one session and still deliver a successful programme.

‘Because of our confidence in Adam, I was able to immediately respond with a ‘no problem’ to each and every one of our access requirements without having to check in with him, such is his amazing ability to think outside the box and problem solve.’

‘On the actual day, we had over 30 people presenting content and it was seamless. Adam was personable and charming and all the presenters and facilitators were delighted by him.’

Working with us

'We chose Pyrus Event Services based on the strength of the introduction and following an initial briefing call with Adam where we were very well assured by his demeanour and approach to the project,’ said Matthew Hall, Chief Executive Officer, Arts Access Australia.

‘We knew we needed his specific expertise and we were impressed that he already had some runs on the board. From the get go, Adam was a team member, rather than a service provider. He was incredibly responsive, hardworking and inventive in terms of responding to our access requirements.’

You can’t underestimate the value of having an empathetic communicator in a technical role. In my experience, it’s unusual to find both.
Matthew Hall
Chief Executive Officer, Arts Access Australia
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