World Cancer Congress

Case Study

In December 2014, Melbourne hosted the World Cancer Congress which was attended by a record 2,700 delegates from 105 countries, a 74 per cent increase from the previous event held in Montreal. Held biennially, the Congress brings together the international cancer control community to connect and discuss solutions to reduce the impact of cancer on communities around the world. This was the first time the Congress had been held in Australia where under the banner, Joining Forces – Accelerating Progress, critical issues including prevention and screening, diagnosis and treatment, survivorship and palliative care, and cancer control systems were tackled through plenary sessions, roundtable discussions, lively debates and symposia.

Fast Facts

3-6 December, 2014
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC)

Host organisation

Cancer Council Australia and Cancer Council Victoria


2,700 from 105 countries

Economic impact for Victoria

$8.1 million

A Collaborative Approach

The Melbourne Convention Bureau secured this prestigious event for Melbourne in 2010 in partnerships with former Director of Cancer Council Victoria and Club Melbourne Ambassador Professor David Hill AO. Melbourne was chosen to host the Congress because of the collaboration showcased throughout the bid process, leveraging Melbourne’s intelligence, as well as its unique destination appeal. Facilitated by MCB, the local and state government, Cancer Council Victoria and Australia, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) and tourism industry partners all committed to supporting the event and worked with the UICC right through to event execution.Through this partnership, delegates were able to visit Melbourne’s worldleading cancer research and treatment facilities including the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, the Royal Children’s Hospital, the Olivia Newton John Cancer and Wellness Centre, and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre - Australia’s only public hospital solely dedicated to cancer treatment, research and education.

Showcasing The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

The World Cancer Congress utilised MCEC’s Plenary and majority of the Convention Centre to create unique spaces for networking and collaboration. The on-site technology team developed a customised stage to match the event’s theming and implemented creative lighting techniques during Plenary sessions, using colour and movement, to create an immersive experience. High definition recordings and live-streaming webcasts were broadcast internationally.

MCEC’s award-winning chefs created a variety of healthy menu items available at two pop-up outlets in the Global Village and Convention Centre level two foyer. MCEC and UICC identified a need to offer delegates a breakfast option and opened an outlet on the second and third days of the Congress. The purpose-built non-communicable disease (NCD) café was operated by MCEC and provided a key networking point, with WHO and NGO representatives facilitating discussion groups on addressing NCDs.

Lasting Legacies

The World Cancer Congress was not only a platform for facilitating education and collaboration, but also for major announcements. The WHO in partnership with the UICC utlised the event to launch a new guide to prevent and control cervical cancer, while Cancer Council Australia in partnership with Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia and UICC launched new draft guidelines for Prostate-Specific Antigen testing.