(Inc.) — Be on the offense, not the defense. Some companies who think of trade shows as an expense attend to defend their turf from new competition. Others see trade shows as investments: Those are the companies that end up building real relationships on the floor. “Don’t just buy space and expect miracles because that’s like Russian roulette,” says trade show coach Susan Friedmann. “Maybe you win, maybe you won’t. It’s an expensive exercise just to find out it doesn’t work.” In order to make your trade show experience an investment, set measurable objectives before the event and stick to them.