I’m James Sweeney and I studied BA (Hons) Events Management at Cardiff Met, graduating in 2016. Now I’m an Events Management and Crowd Safety Specialist, combining my work as a Regional & Senior Operations Manager at AP Security with running my own business, JRS Events.
With AP Security, I carry out multiple senior roles at UK festivals and large outdoor events, and manage large contracts. Recently I was Head of Security for the company at Take That and Rod Stewart concerts at St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton.
In my own business I am a freelance Consultant and Event Manager. With my team we provide event services including consulting, client liaison, production, start-to-finish event logistics, and health & safety to a range of clients across both corporate and outdoor events.
To succeed in this field requires dedication and determination, especially when running your own business. Studying at Cardiff Met helped me develop foundations of knowledge, skills, and experience upon which I’ve worked hard to build my career in events management.
Cardiff Met was my first-choice university. The mixture of classroom learning and work-based experience on the BA (Hons) Events Management was attractive, as I wanted a practical approach that would enable me to hit the ground running with my career. Links between the department and the industry, with many lecturers active in events management, were a particular feature that drew me to Cardiff Met.
The academic work gave me invaluable knowledge about financial, legal and management aspects of the industry. The practical side gave real-life applications for the theory. A personal development plan and a module on employability helped knit together the academic and the practical.
During my first year at Cardiff Met, I started working as a freelance Production Manager with special effects experts. This included working on spectacular international rugby match days. I continued to work for them for four years, gaining valuable experience in teamwork, health and safety and client relations.
In my second year, I was accepted for a summer internship with AP Security. This was an action-packed full-time job, involving logistics, communications, operations and security, and was the start of various roles for me within AP Security.
Third year work was dominated by my dissertation, but I also joined a large scale production and event delivery company which specialises in stadia and spectator experiences as a freelance Event Manager, coordinating pre-match and half time entertainment at major sporting events. Between finishing my final exams and graduating, I was Security Manager for the UEFA Champions League Fan Zone in Cardiff. As soon as I graduated, I launched JRS Events.
Events I’ve worked on include the Six Nations, NFL UK, Leeds Festival, Latitude Festival, Camp Bestival, Glastonbury Festival, Royal Ascot, the London Marathon, Prudential Ride London, and corporate events overseas. I am continuing my professional development, studying for additional qualifications in crowd science, risk analysis, and Health & Safety.
Combining studying BA (Hons) Events Management at Cardiff Met with working in the industry required commitment and effective time-management, but was excellent preparation for my career. I’m grateful for the many opportunities and contacts offered by studying Events Management at Cardiff Met.