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Infor user conference features trumpets, tubas, and trombones

By Ben Ames | September 26, 2018 | 10:27 AM

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Attend enough IT trade shows and you’ll quickly become accustomed to the soundtrack of thumping pop songs that preview the arrival of company executives on a keynote stage.

So it was unusual when business software provider Infor strayed from that script at its Inforum user conference in Washington, D.C., yesterday. Even as the standard radio fare piped over large speakers, the crowd was distracted by the sight of a live marching band dressed in full regalia in the cavernous halls of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

A moment later, the group unleashed thundering drums, sizzling brass, and high-stepping dance moves as they marched in full uniform past the array of interlocked chairs and water bubblers. This was the renowned “Showtime Band” from Washington, D.C.-based Howard University, and they are more accustomed to marching at college football halftime shows and presidential inaugurations than at business conferences.

But it turns out that Infor CEO Charles Phillips is a graduate of Hampton University, a rival school located just down the road in nearby Hampton, Va. Having seen Howard’s “Showtime Band” march many times in the past, he decided to invite them to the Inforum show when the conference chose a D.C. location, Phillips said in a press briefing on Tuesday.

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