Covid Protocols for the 2021 Meeting of the Southern Management Association

As you can imagine, planning for a face-to-face conference during an ever-evolving global pandemic has necessitated continual flexibility teamed with an unprecedented focus on the health and well-being of our members, members’ families, and our communities as a whole. This is of utmost importance to us and is at the forefront of our planning discussions.

As we have mentioned previously, we will be following the most up-to-date CDC protocols as well as all City of New Orleans mandates so as to ensure, to the best of our abilities, a safe and enjoyable in-person SMA conference that we’ve grown to know and love. Please note that as of August 16, 2021, the City of New Orleans has put in effect an indoor mask mandate and requires proof of vaccination for attendance at indoor gatherings, dining establishments, fitness centers, and entertainment/performance spaces (or proof of a negative PCR Covid test within 72 hours of attendance at any of the above). Please see the City of New Orleans’ current Covid-19 guidelines for more detailed information. We will continue to monitor these guidelines and update you as needed.

We at Southern Management Association (SMA) take the COVID-19 pandemic very seriously. It elevates risk for all of us, even if you are vaccinated. Yet, at the same time, life must move on (safely) and SMA 2021 is scheduled to meet in New Orleans. Please join us in helping to ensure all of our members’ safety.

Conference Safety Measures

Before SMA 2021

  1.         Register if you have not done so already: link.
  2.         New Orleans requires vaccinations or a negative PCR test for all indoor activities. Upload your COVID vaccination proof here before November 2: link After November 2, we will screen for vaccination status at check-in. 
  3.         If unvaccinated, you must show a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arriving at the Hotel Monteleone or SMA, 2021 (November 2 – 6). 
  4.         Sign the COVID liability waiver and attest that you will comply with the COVID guidelines before you go. You can access the waiver via the Whova app. Click on COVIDCheck under Additional Resources to open the link in the app. 
  5.         Check in with your colleagues, friends and students who are going to SMA, 2021 and encourage them to follow Steps 1- 4 above.
  6.         At the airport and public spaces, ensure you are six feet away from others and avoid crowded places.
  7.         If anyone in your household tests positive for COVID-19 or you might have been exposed, please stay home. Contact us for a full refund of your registration by emailing: email
  8.         Familiarize yourself with quarantine and isolation procedures in case of exposure or onset of symptoms here: link


During SMA, 2021:

  1.         The City of New Orleans has an indoor mask mandate — this applies to all regardless of vaccination status. Masks will be available at the Registration desk when you check into SMA, 2021 and will be available throughout should you run out. They are required at all sessions, meeting spaces, hallways etc. Masks are not required when you are eating or drinking and in your room.
  2.         All meeting rooms will have seating arrangements that have 6 feet between participants per CDC guidelines.
  3.         Hotel Monteleone has special staff that will ensure we comply with the City of New Orleans mask mandates and the CDC guidelines as needed. We request that you comply with any requests made by these hotel staff so as to keep all attending safe.
  4.         At our social events, we will have physical distancing and indoor-outdoor setups wherever possible. Please spread out to avoid crowding in one spot.
  5.         If you get sick or have symptoms of COVID-19 while at SMA 2021 – stay in your room. Here are the CDC guidelines on what to do if you are infected or suspect infection: link.
  6.         We are following industry best practices for holding in-person events and the CDC guidelines in recommending that you report any COVID positive status and who you have been in contact with here:
       *Hotel Monteleone Desk Manager on Duty or Eydie Barber, Director of     
       Conference Services –
       *Dr. Nancy McIntyre – SMA Conference Coordinator –
  7.         In addition to this expert guidance, I have activated a discretionary President’s fund to take additional steps towards Covid Care at SMA, 2021:
    • We will install HEPA Air Filtration Filters in all meeting rooms in addition to steps the Hotel has taken regarding air flow.
    • Masks and hand sanitizers will be available in registration packets.
    • Contact information for key personnel is included in every registration packet should you have any questions or comments while at SMA, 2021.
    • We will have a small number of self-testing COVID kits available at the Registration desk should you need one and are unable to go to a testing site.


After SMA, 2021:

We are working with the Hotel to notify any attendees who might have been exposed to a COVID-19 infection.

We take the COVID-19 pandemic seriously. It elevates risk for all of us, even those who are vaccinated. Yet, at the same time, life must move on (safely) and we are overjoyed to be together in New Orleans. Please join us in helping to keep you and everyone else safe.