Party banks on being most depressing in town

Kool & the Gang have been encouraging us for years to celebrate good times. Times are not so good right now — economically speaking — but that’s not stopping 463 Communications from throwing its annual holiday-anniversary gathering, a Depression 2.0 Party, on Dec. 10.

“We’re gonna party like it’s 1929,” reads the e-mail invitation, reminding prospective guests that ’29 was the year “selling Apple had nothing to do with iTunes, stampedes were held on the steps of financial institutions, the excesses of big business tanked the economy, [and] the Yankees didn’t make the playoffs.”

“We do a party every year … and we’re a very irreverent group,” partner Tom Galvin told ITK. “We take what we do seriously, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously.”

The man’s not lying. The theme for last year’s party was “A Self-Important Bash,” and included a video of 463 employees making light of their place in this world. (After the voiceover explains that an employee named Amber left to pursue performing arts, she’s seen walking into the Camelot Club, a strip joint on M Street NW).

Galvin and another partner, Jim Hock, are both Capitol Hill types (Gavin’s a former political reporter, and Hock worked as Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s, D-Calif., press secretary) who expect to toast Depression 2.0 with a couple hundred of their friends, clients and professional contacts. The firm concentrates primarily on technology policy and counts the Congressional Internet Caucus and Cisco Systems among its clients.

One not-so-depressing aspect, Galvin said, is they will unveil another self-effacing video at this year’s party at the District Chophouse, and raffle off a big-ticket item (last year it was a television). As with last year’s party, the Depression 2.0 event will also be a fundraiser for Neediest Kids, which works with at-risk children. Last year the firm raised approximately $3,800 for charity.

“In all seriousness, we are going to be a little bit careful this year,” Galvin said about not going overboard with the party, considering the country’s economic climate. “We purposely decided not to go crazy this year.”