• Customization: Malden Public Schools tailored professional development events, focusing on the unique needs of their 800 educators, making the training more effective and impactful.
  • From Outsourcing to In-House Control: Initially, Malden Public Schools outsourced their professional development, which led to generic content and a lack of control. Transitioning to in-house planning with them to curate specific content, directly addressing the educators’ needs.
  • Cost-Effectiveness and Value: Sched’s flexible pricing, especially with discounts for educational organizations, offered Malden Public Schools a more economical solution without compromising the quality of their events.
  • Enhanced User Experience: Both organizers and participants found Sched easy to use, with 85% of survey respondents agreeing on its user-friendliness.
  • Continuous Improvement through Feedback: The ability to collect and analyze attendee feedback efficiently – and easily – allowed Malden Public Schools to continuously adapt and improve their professional development offerings.

To improve the relevance and diversity of their professional development events, Malden Public Schools turned to Sched to power up their hybrid and virtual events. 

The story of Malden Public Schools

The Malden Public Schools is a group of 7 schools, 5 kindergarten through 8th grade campuses, an early learning center, and their flagship high school, Malden High. 

The district has 800 educators working in these schools. They are situated north of Boston and making Greater Boston a better place, empowering the lives of 6,700 students. 

We spoke with Emilys Peña – Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment. She is responsible for professional development. 

Emilys led the charge to transform the professional development of their educators. It’s all built in-house, and curated to specifically respond to their teacher body needs. This results in huge events with keynote presentations, workshops, and networking sessions.

Getting to this point has been trial and error for the team at Malden Public Schools. They had experimented with different strategies for their hybrid and virtual events before finding Sched.

It began with outsourcing their training, to initial attempts to plan their own – without the aid of event platforms. 

The challenges Malden Public Schools faced planning virtual events

  • Poor professional development – one size doesn’t fit all

The biggest challenge at Malden Public Schools was providing quality professional development for their teachers. 

The quality of training they received during professional development events was too generic to cater to the specific needs of Malden’s educators.  

And with 800 educators in your district, that will be a problem for teacher development. Which in turn, will ultimately lead to a knock-on effect on your student’s education. 

That means the training has to be relevant and unique to the teacher and the subject. However, the difficulty is that there are too many variables: subjects, teaching styles, and age ranges. Or, as Emilys so percisley put it, “there is no ‘one size fits all’”.

“Even if 100 teachers tell you they want PD in this one thing and you offer it, 50 of those teachers will tell you, this isn’t what I wanted.”

Plus, what makes this challenge harder is that what is the right content one year could be wrong the next year. Emilys described it as a“constantly moving target to try to figure out the learning needs of so many different staff members.”

In short, the challenge was building a professional development event that made everyone happy. 

  • No control of content at outsourced hybrid and virtual events 

While Malden Public Schools outsourced their training, Emilys couldn’t provide the necessary professional development programs to her staff. This was largely because she wasn’t in control of the event planning. 

“I had zero to do with planning. They did everything.”

This particular case was in Emilys’s first year – 2021/21. The event covered 5 different neighboring school districts. 

The conclusion was that an external organization couldn’t understand the specific needs of educators across 5 schools, each with different needs.

  • The expense of outsourcing your hybrid and virtual events

The additional negative was that when you outsource your entire process like this, it is costly. 

“My first year, we used to partner with five other districts, and we paid a lot of money to belong to this partnership.”

This pain point wasn’t directly stopping Malden Public Schools from achieving their objectives. However, budgets for public schools are always tight. Moreover, the feeling of not getting your money’s worth is a universal pain point. 

N.B. Discover the hidden costs of event platforms: are you paying too much? 

  • Teething Problems 

Considering the issues above, Emilys moved towards internal professional development days. A step in the right direction for the Malden Schools. However, it wasn’t without its pain points. 

They initially looked into virtual events, where they organized for a parent to do a keynote speech on Zoom. Following the presentation, teachers were allotted free time to plan and collaborate.

For this event, although they had taken control of their own event planning, they hadn’t yet provided “proper training”

It’s at this point that Emilys realized they had to do something different. Her goal was to find a “one-stop-shop” via event platforms. 


Why Malden Public Schools chose Sched over other event platforms

Malden High School School Main Entrance And Sched'S Event Platfroms
Malden Schools and Sched’s Event Platfroms
  • Scheds easy to use event platforms

One of the core philosophies at Sched is making tech for non-techy people. 

Emilys first found Sched as an attendee at another event. She found it “very easy to use”, particularly with the experience of creating her own schedule. 

This logic for choosing a product is very simple: ‘If I like using it, it stands to reason that my attendees will like it too.’ 

Of the 601 (out of 670 attendees) post-event survey responses, 85% agreed that Sched was easy to use (292 strongly agreeing, 219 agreeing). 

P.S. Try Sched for free yourself and see if it is the right fit for your organization.

Make Collecting and Analyzing Attendee Feedback Effortless from Sched Support on Vimeo.

  • Value for money with Scheds event platforms

After the experience with third-party educational companies, Emilys found Sched to be value for money. Sched offered Malden flexible pricing by event size. Plus there was an additional discount for being an education organization

But what stood out most for Emilys was that there was a package for hybrid and virtual events of under 10,000 people. This kept things simple for her in the buying process. 

  • Check out Sched’s flexible and transparent pricing here.

How Sched responded 

Once the decision to do professional development in-house was made, the rest was smooth sailing. 

Emilys felt at ease and comfortable dealing with the sales and support team at Sched: “I feel like you guys were super patient with me.”

Moreover, Emilys was pleased with the ongoing dialogue between the Sched team and hers. They felt like their opinion was heard and appreciated. 

Buying software for virtual events like Sched isn’t like buying a shirt off a rack. The relationship with the customer and vendor doesn’t end as soon as the payment goes through.

The key takeaway here is that to get the best out of your event platforms, stay in dialogue with the team you’re paying – they’re there to help. 

The results of embracing Scheds event platforms

Malden Public Schools Virtual Events
Malden Public Schools Virtual Events

In terms of results, the conclusion is short and sweet: 

“It has done everything that we wanted. It has helped us 100% meet our goals”

However, let’s break down Emily’s wins to see how the results addressed the issues Malden Schools had been experiencing before Sched. 

  • Giving educators what they want and need with Scheds event platforms 

The main goal for Malden Public Schools was moving away from generic professional development. And one of the key features that helped them do that was Sched’s reporting functions. 

This function allowed the event planner to simply ask what their attendees wanted instead of pre-supposing it for them! 

  • Taking control and ownership over their hybrid and virtual events

This satisfied the pain point that the Malden Schools team spoke of before life with Sched: the lack of control over their training. 

In the context of Malden High Schools, this was the power to not only build the schedule, layout, and experience of the event. Moreover, it is also the power to make next year better with the aid of analytics. 

The comfort of control wasn’t limited to event organizers either. The attendees experienced it too. 

The Malden Public Schools attendees reported that Sched felt like a “personalized” experience. They had the freedom to browse, enroll, and unroll in sessions they wanted. 

  • Introducing a feel-good factor, tone, and professionalism

An outcome that the Emilys and the attendees at Malden Schools were happy with was how using Sched made them feel. It added a “professionalism and a gentle reminder to make the best of your day.”

She found that the filters and color-coded layout were a big part of this process. The content and substance of a professional development event are the most important things, always. However, when it’s presented well on sleek event platforms, it can make all involved feel respected and inspired: 

“Sched just brings it up a notch. It makes it fancy, it makes it fun, it makes it feel less like professional development”

Creating a Branded Event App Has Never Been Easier – Here’s How! from Sched Support on Vimeo.

  • Simplicity for attendees of Malden’s hybrid and virtual events 

The feedback is quite clear – the participants and attendees were pleasantly surprised that they didn’t need their laptops. 

The ability to plan and engage on their phones via the event platforms app was a game changer at Malden Public Schools. It led to a fantastic 85% of attendees reporting a straightforward and user-friendly experience. 


WATCH – see the Sched mobile app in all its glory for yourself. 

  • Flexibility and good communication 

A victory for the event planning team at Maldens was the communication they had with their attendees. They were able to roll out our major announcements leading up to the course of their event without any problems. 

This gave them confidence in executing last-minute changes. Safe in the comfort that vital messaging knowing that it would reach their attendees in a clear and timely fashion. 

P.S. Avoid chaos: the consequences of poor communication systems

The takeaways

The migration to event platforms – Sched in particular – has powered up the hybrid and virtual events at Malden Public Schools. Their main goal was to provide their teachers with relevant and diverse professional development. Sched helped achieve this in the following ways: 

  • Scheduling: Malden Public Schools could build a schedule with exactly what their educators needed. It was relevant and diversified to suit their 800 staff members.
  • Professionalism: The event platforms’ design and feel made Malden Public School’s educators feel like their events had been taken up a notch. 
  • Ease-of-use: Both event planners and attendees found the whole experience very pleasurable. This was particularly noticeable in terms of customization and control. 
  • Communication: The event organizer enjoyed stress-free communication with attendees when it came to last-minute changes in the event planning process. 


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Author: Harry Prince

Harry is responsible for content creation at Sched. From non-profit project development to cheffing, his experience is varied. Originaly from Scotland, he's currently writing from Amsterdam. Outside of telling stories about events, he likes cooking, old trains and running.