If you're attending the American Medical Association conference on CME provider/industry collaboration in October, you'll get to experience the new Baltimore Marriott first-hand. The 750-room upscale property, which opened in February, is focused on drawing medical association and pharmaceutical company meetings, says Mike Waterman, director of marketing. Built to meet the needs of groups of 500 to 1,000 attendees, Maryland's largest hotel offers a new option for planners who previously couldn't fit all their attendees into one Baltimore venue.

The architecture takes full advantage of the waterfront location — two-story windows surround the pre-function space, and a four-story atrium adds to the airy feel. The Marriott's 77,294 square feet of meeting space is divisible into 37 rooms — perfect for the break-outs pharmaceutical companies need, says Waterman. For larger gatherings, the Grand Ballroom offers 19,360 square feet, while the Harborside Ballroom is 14,520 square feet.

Technology is up-to-speed, so to speak. The Marriott is wired with category 5 cabling, and STS network access is available in any room in the hotel. (STS is similar to an Ethernet, but designed specifically for fiber-optic cabling.) All guest rooms are equipped with two-line phones with voice mail and data ports.

In addition to the AMA, medical groups that have booked the Marriott include Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, Wyeth-Ayerst, Glaxo Wellcome, Pediatric Academic Societies, the American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, and the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists.