Current Status of 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.

Moreover, we are in close communication with the Hotel Monteleone who has put in place many additional safety and cleaning precautions to protect conference attendees, hotel guests, and hotel staff. Please see the Hotel Monteleone’s most recent update (as of August 10, 2021) regarding their Covid-19 protocols and precautions.

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

We will be taking the following safety measures during the conference, which will change the conference slightly from previous years.

  • We will follow the federal (CDC) and local guidelines that are in effect at the time of our conference.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available on site
  • Banquet staff will be assisting at food stations to reduce high-touch surfaces (e.g., serving spoons)
  • Sanitation stations will be provided in common areas throughout the banquet space
  • Rather than handshakes or hugs, fist bumps are encouraged
  • If you are not vaccinated, your risk of contracting COVID-19 and infecting others is higher. Therefore, we request that non-vaccinated attendees wear a mask when indoors and when not eating or drinking. Given the changes we are currently seeing, it is also possible that vaccinated attendees will be encouraged to wear masks in high traffic areas.
Hotel Safety Measures (see for more detail)


    • Housekeeping personnel will be required to wear a face mask, if not vaccinated.
    • Rooms will be cleaned and sanitized for guest arrival and daily during their stay. “Do not
      Disturb” signs are available on each guestroom door should a guest not want their room
      serviced on a given day.
    • All unnecessary items such as: paper products, pen, pad, etc. will be removed from
    • A NEW In-Room Amenity will be provided: 1.25ML Hand Sanitizer.

PUBLIC AREAS (Fitness Center & Pool)

    • The pool attendant will clean and sanitize the chairs and tables after each guest use.
      • Fitness Equipment will be cleaned after each use.
      • Sanitizing wipes will be available in the fitness center.


    • If CDC and local authorities mandate it in Nov, all serving personnel, hostess, bartenders, cocktail waitresses, bussers and managers will be required to wear a mask.
    • Hand sanitizer stations will be placed at the entrance of Criollo Restaurant for guest use
      before entering the restaurant and lounge area.
    • Cooks and chefs will be required to wear mask and gloves.
    • Signage will be placed on the floor at the Criollo Entrance to assist guest in line with
      social distancing.

If You Become Infected

An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public space where people are present. By attending SMA 2021 and its related events, functions, and/or sessions, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19, and neither SMA nor any of its sponsors, employees, or agents can be held liable for any infection or consequent issues.

If you do become infected, you will of course need to seek medical help as needed and isolate yourself from the conference. There will be no refunds in this case. If you show any signs of infection, we might ask to take your temperature, get tested, or see a doctor.

Your responsibilities

    1. We strongly recommend you get vaccinated.
    2. Read this document carefully.
    3. Please take extra precautions prior to and traveling to the conference in terms of social distancing and mask wearing.
    4. If you have any symptoms of COVID-19 in the 48 hours before or during the conference, please immediately contact our office or staff and contact your doctor. Symptoms can include:
      • Fever or chills
      • Cough
      • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
      • Fatigue
      • Muscle or body aches
      • Headache
      • New loss of taste or smell
      • Sore throat
      • Congestion or runny nose
      • Nausea or vomiting
      • Diarrhea
    5. We ask you to cooperate with our staff, especially if you do have any symptoms of COVID-19. They may ask to take your temperature or ask you other questions about your health. Please understand that, if necessary, our staff will ask you to visit a local doctor.

Refund Policy

For your reference, the SMA conference refund policy is as follows: More than one month before the conference, full refund; less than one month and more than two weeks, half refund; less than two weeks, no refund. If you or someone in your household is diagnosed with COVID-19 in the days leading up to the conference, please make a refund request – providing appropriate documentation – and consideration will be given for a full refund.