Drinks via open bars were flowing, music was pumping and, because this is Washington, it wouldn't be the holidays without a little lobbying as well. This year's crush of Washington Christmas parties (and it was a crush, thanks to that late Thanksgiving) had D.C.'s associations, companies and think tanks regaling lobbyists, journalists and other party-goers with industry-centric fun.
Here's what Whispers witnessed:
Google's holiday party was "Best of Search" themed, with the year's most popular search terms –Twerking, Wrecking Ball, North Korea, etc. – found on party decor and on the t-shirts of people working the fete, which was held on the rooftop of Washington, D.C.'s luxe W Hotel. Pillows, emblazoned with Google's most popular search terms, turned into party favors as guests snuck them out of the hotel.
The Entertainment Software Association, which represents the video and computer game industry, made sure said games were a main part of the party. As guests walked into Longview Gallery, located in D.C.'s Shaw neighborhood, they immediately witnessed their co-partiers playing Just Dance 2014 in front of the crowd.
Music was center stage at the Recording Industry Association of America party. The trade group, which represents the record labels, took over the 9:30 Club, one of the country's top-rated concert venues, and let Ne-Yo and M.C. Lyte do their thing.
The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States' party celebrated the prohibition era (and the repeal of it) with a pop-up speakeasy, cigarette girls and old fashioned cocktails at the dive-y D.C. bar Hogo. And speaking of creative cocktails, the folks at the Heritage Foundation took advantage of their boss, former Sen. Jim DeMint's, name when coming up with the "DeMint Julep" served to reporters at the think tank's Christmas party.
But perhaps the best way to build your brand, is to provide guests with that what-the-heck moment, as Republican strategist Ron Bonjean did for a fourth year in a row by inviting a Hollywood has-been to his house. This year his guest was Dustin Diamond, better known as Screech from "Saved by the Bell."
"This is pretty chill, it's pretty normal," Diamond told Whispers after being paraded around Bonjean's house.