Diner en blanc takes New York City

(CBS News) More than 3,000 people dressed entirely in white overtook the courtyard of New York City's Lincoln Center for five hours last night for quite an unusual social event. Part flash-mob, part-dinner party, not even the guests knew where this exclusive event would take place until an hour before it began.

The event, known as Diner en Blanc, originated in Paris in 1988 and has seen significant growth internationally, particularly in the age of social media. New York's first Diner en Blanc took place last year at the World Financial Center in Manhattan's Battery Park.

"After New York, the buzz was worldwide," event organizer Sandy Safi told "CBS This Morning," in a report that aired Tuesday.

This year, events are scheduled in more than 22 cities on five continents.

"The guests are very involved in the event," Safi said. Guests can sign up online and pay $25 to attend. Monday night, most brought their own food, utensils and tables and chairs. But first, diners met at points across the city to find out the exact location. Each group was assigned a leader who led the way to the secret location. Only about 20 production staffers and 100 volunteers were necessary to orchestrate the event.

After enjoying dinner Monday night, guests hit the dance floor before heading home after what Safi deemed another successful Diner en Blanc.

"I feel fantastic," she said, "I feel that everybody had a good time."