Columbia's comic convention could benefit the community

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COLUMBIA – Columbia’s version of Comic-Con is this weekend, and it could be beneficial for more than just comic book enthusiasts.

Dodeca-Con: The Fourth Awakens takes place Friday through Sunday at the Parkade Center. The event features artists, vendors, creators and guest panelists.

Amy Schneider, director of the Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau, said events like Dodeca-Con have an important impact on the community.

“Events are economic generators for the area,” she said. “The more visitors we attract to Columbia, the more new dollars we bring in to help our economy.”

Randy Taylor, owner and founder of Dodeca Events, said while many attendants live in Columbia, there are some people who travel here for the event.

“We do get people from Kansas City and St. Louis,” Taylor said. “Probably about a 200-mile radius around Columbia is where people come from.”

According to Schneider, part of the CVB’s mission is “creating unforgettable experiences for Columbia visitors.”

“We can only do this by creating and maintaining strong partnerships, and working together, with those who are producing these outstanding & unique events,” she said.

Taylor said this event attracts a variety of people who do not always have the resources to go to bigger conventions.

“We’re trying to pull in people of all ages who are into comic books and anime and what have you, who may not have the ability to get to Kansas City or St. Louis to some of the bigger shows.”

Dodeca-Con will also have an “Education Connection,” which is like a career fair for middle and high school students in Mid-Missouri who are interested in careers in comic book art, acting or gaming.