22nd World Diabetes Congress

Case Study

In December 2013, Melbourne seamlessly delivered Australia’s largest medical conference to date – the 22nd World Diabetes Congress. A biennial event, the Congress provides the global diabetes community with the latest findings in research and is a platform for networking and exchanging knowledge and best practices. The prestigious event was secured for Melbourne by the Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) in partnership with Professor Paul Zimmet AO - Director Emeritus, Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute and Club Melbourne Ambassador.

The IDF chose Melbourne as the host city for the Congress because of its acclaimed medical institutions and academic strengths in the field of diabetes, along with the Australian government’s policies on diabetes treatment and care at a state and national level. Also key were the exceptional facilities available at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, the city’s ease of accessibility for delegates and proven ability to host an event of this scale.

Fast Facts

2-6 December, 2013
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC)

Host organisation

International Diabetes Federation (IDF)


10,237 from 170 countries

Economic impact for Victoria

$63 million

"Having the Congress [in Melbourne] elevates interest in diabetes, not only in the general community but also improving the enthusiasm of people working in the field. As there was an international focus on activities here, I think people realised that Melbourne is one of the greatest cities for diabetes care and research.”

Professor Paul Zimmet AO, Director Emeritus, Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute and Club Melbourne Ambassador

Support From The Melbourne Convention Bureau

As a full service bureau, MCB worked closely with IDF and the local bid leader, Professor Zimmet, from when the bid was won right through to event execution to ensure it was a resounding success.

MCB provided assistance, advice and support to Professor Zimmet, specifically through producing the official bid document, liaising with the local and state government and conducting site inspections of Melbourne for the key decision makers from the IDF.

Showcasing Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

The World Diabetes Congress has been the largest event held at MCEC to date, utilising the entire Convention Centre and majority of the Exhibition Centre.

MCEC’s in-house technology experts partnered with and supported the IDF team throughout the entire event. In a first for the Centre, every in-room camera was utilised to webcast and record the 700 speaker sessions. In addition, over 6000 attendees accessed the Platinum Wi-Fi service.

MCEC’s award-winning chefs created a healthy menu for delegates and served 18,000 meals over the five days. Meals were available to delegates via new public catering pop-up food stations.

Lasting Legacies

Professor Zimmet said the Congress played a significant role in raising the profile globally of Melbourne’s research capabilities and of the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, strengthening the fact that it is one of the leading institutions in the world in the area of diabetes.

In addition, Professor Zimmet also said that having the Congress in Melbourne elevated the interest in diabetes in the general community and increased the enthusiasm of people working in the field. For the global diabetes community, one of the most significant legacies resulting from the Congress was that members of more than 50 parliaments committed themselves to tackling the worldwide diabetes pandemic at the first-ever Parliamentary Champions For Diabetes Forum. At this event, led by Victorian Minister for Health David Davis, the Melbourne Declaration was released, which set a global framework for parliamentarians across the world to cooperate and collaborate on the diabetes agenda.

In addition, IDF and the Fred Hollows Foundation announced a ten-year partnership to tackle diabetic retinopathy - one of the most common diabetes complications - seeking to strengthen advocacy, the workforce and technology development.

"I have to say it improved my status in the international diabetes community. I think it was quite reasonable in the past but certainly it was an event which actually gave me an opportunity to return hospitality to the many different people and the many different conferences I’ve been to over the years."

Professor Paul Zimmet AO, Director Emeritus, Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute and Club Melbourne Ambassador