I appreciate the help. I consider professionals as someone who earns the bulk of their income from being in their profession, in this case as a photographer. I consider a semi-pro as someone who earns money but if they stopped tomorrow, they don't have to sell their house or car.
Regardless of whether you are a semi-pro or pro, professionalism should be a given. showing up on time and prepared, with quick turnarounds, with a high quality product.
You aspire to be a semi-professional?
What is a semi-professional? It's a term devised by marketing folk to upsell from base models.
If you want to be a professional then take out liability insurance (in case any of the actors fall over your gear) equipment insurance (in case your gear gets pranged) and indemnity insurance (in case your photos don't work out for any reason and the event promotors seek redress - if you enter a contract to take images for them and you for some reason don't then they will probably sue you) remember also to do your books, so you can pay your dues of income tax and corporate tax (hire an accountant to see what of your expenses you can claim against the $100)
I'm not saying this to be facetious, just that is what professional means, and your are either doing it as a professional (with the pressure and expectations and legal ramifications) or you are doing it because you'll enjoy it and learn from it and get your petrol money and lunch covered.
This is the problem with amateurs vs professionals... amateurs get a bit possessive about money after the event, professionals have it all sorted before they turn a frame.
I do video professionally, for a large media company and some freelance. If I'm getting paid for time and for the use of my equipment then I just see it that whoever paying me has the copyright.
Would you otherwise be taking images of the event? It sounds like yes. Will this offer give you better access and potentially better pictures? It sounds like yes. If you refuse the offer will they hire in a professional? It sounds like no.
Not much help I know, but some issues to think about. And never use the term semi-professional. It only exsists in camera shops. If you do start making money from your hobby and turn it into something else (and this is a whole new debate, the fun starts to go, it's no longer yours) do you expect to only get semi-paid?